Judges 10; Judges 11; Judges 12

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Judges 10

1 Tola rose up to save Israel. That happened after the time of Abimelech. Tola was from the tribe of Issachar. He was the son of Puah, who was the son of Dodo. Tola lived in Shamir. It's in the hill country of Ephraim.
2 Tola led Israel for 23 years. After he died, his body was buried in Shamir.
3 Jair became the leader after Tola. Jair was from the land of Gilead. He led Israel for 22 years.
4 He had 30 sons. They rode on 30 donkeys. They controlled 30 towns in Gilead. Those towns are called Havvoth Jair to this very day.
5 After Jair died, his body was buried in Kamon.
6 Once again the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They served the gods that were named after Baal. They served the goddesses that were named after Ashtoreth. They worshiped the gods of Aram and Sidon. They served the gods of Moab and Ammon. They also worshiped the gods of the Philistines. The people of Israel deserted the Lord. They didn't serve him anymore.
7 So the LORD's anger burned against them. He handed them over to the Philistines and the Ammonites.
8 That year they broke Israel's power completely. They treated the people of Israel badly for 18 years. Those people lived east of the Jordan River. They lived in Gilead. That was the land of the Amorites.
9 The Ammonites also went across the Jordan. They crossed over to fight against Judah, Benjamin and the people of Ephraim. Israel was suffering terribly.
10 Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. They said, "We have sinned against you. We have deserted our God. We have served the gods that are named after Baal."
11 The LORD replied, "The Egyptians and Amorites beat you down. So did the Ammonites and Philistines.
12 And so did the Amalekites and the people of Sidon and Maon. Each time you cried out to me for help. And I saved you from their power.
13 "But you have deserted me. You have served other gods. So I will not save you anymore.
14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you get into trouble!"
15 But the people of Israel replied to the Lord. They said, "We have sinned. Do to us what you think is best. But please save us now."
16 Then they got rid of the strange gods that were among them. They served the Lord. And he couldn't stand to see Israel suffer anymore.
17 The Ammonites were called together to fight. They camped in the land of Gilead. Then the men of Israel gathered together. They camped at the city of Mizpah.
18 The leaders of Gilead spoke to each other. They said, "Who will lead the attack against the Ammonites? That man will be the ruler of all of the people who live in Gilead."
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Judges 11

1 Jephthah was a mighty warrior. He was from the land of Gilead. His father's name was Gilead. Jephthah's mother was a prostitute.
2 Gilead's wife also had sons by him. When they had grown up, they drove Jephthah away. "You aren't going to get any share of our family's property," they said. "You are the son of another woman."
3 So Jephthah ran away from his brothers. He settled in the land of Tob. A group of men who weren't good for anything gathered around him there. And they followed him.
4 Some time later, the Ammonites went to war against Israel.
5 So the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob.
6 "Come with us," they said. "Be our commander. Then we can fight against the Ammonites."
7 Jephthah said to them, "Didn't you hate me? Didn't you drive me away from my father's house? Why are you coming to me only when you are in trouble?"
8 The elders of Gilead replied to him. "You are right," they said. "That's why we're turning to you now. Come with us and fight against the Ammonites. Then you will be our leader. You will rule over everyone who lives in Gilead."
9 Jephthah said, "Suppose you take me back to fight against the Ammonites. And suppose the LORD gives them over to me. Then will I really be your leader?"
10 The elders of Gilead replied, "The LORD is our witness. We'll certainly do as you say."
11 So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead. And the people made him their leader and commander. He went to Mizpah. There he repeated to the LORD everything he had said.
12 Then Jephthah sent messengers to the king of Ammon. They asked, "What do you have against us? Why have you attacked our country?"
13 The king of Ammon answered Jephthah's messengers. He said, "Israel came up out of Egypt. At that time they took my land away. They took all of the land that was between the Arnon River and the Jabbok River. It reached all the way to the Jordan River. Now give it back. Then there will be peace."
14 Jephthah sent messengers back to the king of Ammon.
15 They said, "Here is what Jephthah says to you. Israel didn't take the land of Moab. They didn't take the land of Ammon.
16 When Israel came up out of Egypt, they went through the desert to the Red Sea. From there they went on to Kadesh.
17 "Then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom. They said, 'Please let us go through your country.' But the king of Edom wouldn't listen to them. "They sent the same message to the king of Moab. But he refused too. So Israel stayed at Kadesh.
18 "Next, they traveled through the desert. They traveled along the borders of the lands of Edom and Moab. They passed along the east side of the country of Moab. They camped on the other side of the Arnon River. They didn't enter the territory of Moab. The Arnon River was Moab's border.
19 "Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon. He was the king of the Amorites. He ruled in Heshbon. They said to him, 'Let us pass through your country to our own land.'
20 "But Sihon didn't trust Israel to pass through his territory. Instead, he gathered all of his men together. They camped at Jahaz. And they fought against Israel.
21 "Then the Lord, the God of Israel, handed Sihon and all of his men over to Israel. Israel won the battle over them. Amorites were living in the country at that time. And Israel took over all of their land.
22 They captured all of the land that was between the Arnon River and the Jabbok River. It reached from the desert all the way to the Jordan River.
23 "The Lord, the God of Israel, has driven the Amorites out to make room for his people. So what right do you have to take it over?
24 You will take what your god Chemosh gives you, won't you? In the same way, we will take over what the LORD our God has given us.
25 Are you better than Balak, the son of Zippor? Balak was the king of Moab. Did he ever argue with Israel? Did he ever fight against them?
26 "For 300 years Israel has been living in Heshbon and Aroer. They have been living in the settlements that are around those cities. They have also been living in all of the towns that are along the Arnon River. Why didn't you take those places back during that time?
27 "I haven't done anything wrong to you. But you are doing something wrong to me. You have gone to war against me. The LORD is the Judge. So let him decide our case today. Let him settle matters between the people of Israel and the people of Ammon."
28 But the king of Ammon didn't pay any attention to the message Jephthah sent him.
29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came on Jephthah. He went across the territories of Gilead and Manasseh. He passed through Mizpah in the land of Gilead. From there he attacked the people of Ammon.
30 Jephthah made a promise to the Lord. He said, "Hand the Ammonites over to me.
31 If you do, here's what I'll do when I come back from winning the battle. Anything that comes out the door of my house to meet me will belong to you. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering."
32 Then Jephthah went over to fight against the Ammonites. The LORD handed them over to him.
33 Jephthah destroyed 20 towns between Aroer and the area of Minnith. He destroyed them all the way to Abel Keramim. So Israel brought Ammon under their control.
34 Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah. And guess who came out to meet him. It was his daughter! She was dancing to the music of tambourines. She was his only child. He didn't have any other sons or daughters.
35 When Jephthah saw her, he was so upset that he tore his clothes. He cried out, "My daughter! You have filled me with trouble and sorrow. I've made a promise to the Lord. And I can't break it."
36 "My father," she replied, "you have given your word to the Lord. So do to me just what you promised to do. The Ammonites were your enemies. And the LORD has paid them back for what they did to you.
37 "But please do one thing for me," she continued. "Give me two months to wander around in the hills. Let me sob there with my friends. I want to do that because I'll never get married."
38 "You can go," he said. He let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills. They were filled with sadness because she would never get married.
39 After the two months were over, she returned to her father. He did to her just what he had promised to do. And she was a virgin. So that became a practice in Israel.
40 Each year the young women of Israel go away for four days. They do it in honor of the daughter of Jephthah. He was from the land of Gilead.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Judges 12

1 The men of Ephraim called out their troops. The troops went across the Jordan River to Zaphon. When they arrived, they said to Jephthah, "You went to fight against the Ammonites. Why didn't you ask us to go with you? We're going to burn down your house over your head."
2 Jephthah answered, "I and my people were taking part in a great struggle. We were at war with the Ammonites. I asked you for help. But you didn't come to save me from their power.
3 I saw that you wouldn't help. So I put my own life in danger. I went across the Jordan to fight against the Ammonites. The LORD helped me win the battle over them. So why have you come up today to fight against me?"
4 Then Jephthah called the men of Gilead together. They fought against Ephraim. The men of Gilead struck them down. The people of Ephraim had said, "You people of Gilead are nothing but deserters from Ephraim and Manasseh."
5 The men of Gilead captured the places where people go across the Jordan River to get to Ephraim. Some men of Ephraim weren't killed in the battle. When they arrived at the river, they would say, "Let us go across." Then the men of Gilead would ask each one, "Are you from Ephraim?" Suppose he replied, "No."
6 Then they would say, "All right. Say 'Shibboleth.' " If he said "Sibboleth," the way he said the word would give him away. He couldn't say it correctly. So they would grab hold of him. Then they would kill him at one of the places where people go across the Jordan. At that time, 42,000 men of Ephraim were killed.
7 Jephthah led Israel for six years. Then he died. His body was buried in a town in Gilead. Jephthah was from the land of Gilead.
8 After Jephthah, Ibzan from Bethlehem led Israel.
9 He had 30 sons and 30 daughters. He gave his daughters to be married to men who were outside his family group. He brought in 30 young women to be married to his sons. Those women also came from outside his family group. Ibzan led Israel for seven years.
10 Then he died. His body was buried in Bethlehem.
11 After Ibzan, Elon led Israel. He was from the tribe of Zebulun. Elon led Israel for ten years.
12 Then he died. His body was buried in Aijalon. It was in the land of Zebulun.
13 After Elon, Abdon led Israel. Abdon was the son of Hillel. Abdon was from Pirathon.
14 He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons. They rode on 70 donkeys. He led Israel for eight years.
15 Then he died. His body was buried at Pirathon in Ephraim. Pirathon was in the hill country of the Amalekites. Abdon was the son of Hillel.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.