Judges 10

Tola and Jair

1 After Abimelech, Tola son of Puah and grandson of Dodo, a man of Issachar, arose to rescue Israel. He lived in Shamir in the Ephraim highlands.
2 For twenty-three years he led Israel; then he died and was buried in Shamir.
3 After Tola, Jair from Gilead arose, and he led Israel for twenty-two years.
4 He had thirty sons who were mounted on thirty donkeys and controlled thirty towns in the land of Gilead—these are still known as Havvoth-jair today.
5 When Jair died, he was buried in Kamon.

Israel’s unfaithfulness and oppression by the Ammonites

6 Then the Israelites again did things that the LORD saw as evil. They served the Baals and the Astartes, as well as the gods of Aram, Sidon, Moab, the Ammonites, and the Philistines. They went away from the LORD and didn't serve him.
7 The LORD became angry with Israel and handed them over to the Philistines and the Ammonites.
8 Starting that year and for the next eighteen years, they beat and bullied the Israelites, especially all the Israelites who lived on the east side of Jordan in the territory of the Ammonites in Gilead.
9 The Ammonites also crossed the Jordan to make raids into Judah, Benjamin, and the households of Ephraim. So Israel was greatly distressed.
10 Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD, "We've sinned against you, for we went away from our God and served the Baals."
11 The LORD replied to the Israelites, "When the Egyptians, Amorites, Ammonites, Philistines,
12 Sidonians, Amalekites, and Maonites oppressed you and you cried out to me, didn't I rescue you from their power?
13 But you have gone away from me and served other gods, so I won't rescue you anymore!
14 Go cry out to the gods you've chosen. Let them rescue you in the time of your distress."
15 The Israelites responded to the LORD, "We've sinned. Do to us whatever you see as right, but please save us this time."
16 They put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD. And the LORD could no longer stand to see Israel suffer.
17 The Ammonites called out their army and made camp in Gilead, while the Israelites gathered and set up their camp at Mizpah.
18 Gilead's rulers said to each other, "Whoever is willing to launch the attack against the Ammonites will become the leader over all those living in Gilead."

Judges 10 Commentary

Chapter 10

Tola and Jair judge Israel. (1-5) The Philistines and Ammonites oppress Israel. (6-9) Israel's repentance. (10-18)

Verses 1-5 Quiet and peaceable reigns, though the best to live in, yield least variety of matter to be spoken of. Such were the days of Tola and Jair. They were humble, active, and useful men, rulers appointed of God.

Verses 6-9 Now the threatening was fulfilled, that the Israelites should have no power to stand before their enemies, Le. 26:17, Le. 26:37 . By their evil ways and their evil doings they procured this to themselves.

Verses 10-18 God is able to multiply men's punishments according to the numbers of their sins and idols. But there is hope when sinners cry to the Lord for help, and lament their ungodliness as well as their more open transgressions. It is necessary, in true repentance, that there be a full conviction that those things cannot help us which we have set in competition with God. They acknowledged what they deserved, yet prayed to God not to deal with them according to their deserts. We must submit to God's justice, with a hope in his mercy. True repentance is not only for sin, but from sin. As the disobedience and misery of a child are a grief to a tender father, so the provocations of God's people are a grief to him. From him mercy never can be sought in vain. Let then the trembling sinner, and the almost despairing backslider, cease from debating about God's secret purposes, or from expecting to find hope from former experiences. Let them cast themselves on the mercy of God our Saviour, humble themselves under his hand, seek deliverance from the powers of darkness, separate themselves from sin, and from occasions of it, use the means of grace diligently, and wait the Lord's time, and so they shall certainly rejoice in his mercy.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JUDGES 10

This chapter gives an account of two judges of Israel, in whose days they enjoyed peace, Jud 10:1-5, after which they sinning against God, came into trouble, and were oppressed by their enemies eighteen years, and were also invaded by an army of the Ammonites, Jud 10:6-9, when they cried unto the Lord for deliverance, confessing their sin; but he had first refused to grant them any, though upon their importunity and reformation he had compassion on them, Jud 10:10-16 and the chapter is concluded with the preparation made by both armies for a battle, Jud 10:17,18.

Judges 10 Commentaries