Tola. 1After Abimelech, Tola,* son of Puah, son of Dodo, a man of Issachar, rose up to save Israel; he lived in Shamir in the mountain region of Ephraim. 2When he had judged Israel twenty-three years, he died and was buried in Shamir.
Jair. 3Jair the Gileadite came after him and judged Israel twenty-two years. 4a He had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkeys* and possessed thirty cities in the land of Gilead (these are called Havvoth-jair to the present day).b 5Jair died and was buried in Kamon.
Oppression by the Ammonites. 6c The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, serving the Baals and Ashtarts, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. Since they had abandoned the LORD and would not serve him, 7the LORD became angry with Israel and he sold them into the power of the Philistines and the Ammonites. 8For eighteen years they afflicted and oppressed the Israelites in Bashan, and all the Israelites in the Amorite land beyond the Jordan in Gilead. 9The Ammonites also crossed the Jordan to fight against Judah, Benjamin and the house of Ephraim, so that Israel was in great distress.
10d Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD, “We have sinned against you, for we have abandoned our God and served the Baals.” 11e The LORD answered the Israelites: Did not the Egyptians, the Amorites,f the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Midianitesg oppress you? Yet when you cried out to me, and I saved you from their power, 13you still abandoned me and served other gods. Therefore I will save you no more.h 14Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen; let them save you in your time of distress. 15But the Israelites said to the LORD, “We have sinned. Do to us whatever is good in your sight. Only deliver us this day!” 16And they cast out the foreign gods from their midst and served the LORD, so that he grieved over the misery of Israel.
17The Ammonites were called out for war and encamped in Gilead, while the Israelites assembled and encamped at Mizpah. 18The captains of the army of Gilead said to one another, “The one who begins the war against the Ammonites shall be leader of all the inhabitants of Gilead.”i
* [10:1–5] Tola…Jair: two more of the so-called “minor judges”; see Introduction.
* [10:4] Donkeys: mounts signifying rank and wealth; cf. 5:10; 12:14.
a. [10:4] Jgs 8:30; 9:2, 5; 12:9, 14.
c. [10:6–8] Jgs 2:11–14; 3:7–8, 12; 4:1–2; 6:1; 13:1.
d. [10:10] Jgs 3:9, 15; 4:3; 6:6, 7; 1 Sm 12:8, 10.
e. [10:11–14] Jgs 2:1–3; 6:8–10.