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Judges 10

Stability Restored

10:1 After Abimelech’s death, 1  Tola son of Puah, grandson 2  of Dodo, from the tribe of Issachar, 3  rose up to deliver Israel. He lived in Shamir in the Ephraimite hill country. 10:2 He led 4  Israel for twenty-three years, then died and was buried in Shamir.

10:3 Jair the Gileadite rose up after him; he led Israel for twenty-two years. 10:4 He had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkeys and possessed thirty cities. To this day these towns are called Havvoth Jair 5  – they are in the land of Gilead. 6  10:5 Jair died and was buried in Kamon.

The Lord’s Patience Runs Short

10:6 The Israelites again did evil in the Lord’s sight. 7  They worshiped 8  the Baals and the Ashtars, 9  as well as the gods of Syria, Sidon, 10  Moab, the Ammonites, and the Philistines. 11  They abandoned the Lord and did not worship 12  him. 10:7 The Lord was furious with Israel 13  and turned them over to 14  the Philistines and Ammonites. 10:8 They ruthlessly oppressed 15  the Israelites that eighteenth year 16  – that is, all the Israelites living east of the Jordan in Amorite country in Gilead. 10:9 The Ammonites crossed the Jordan to fight with Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim. 17  Israel suffered greatly. 18 

10:10 The Israelites cried out for help to the Lord: “We have sinned against you. We abandoned our God and worshiped 19  the Baals.” 10:11 The Lord said to the Israelites, “Did I not deliver you from Egypt, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 10:12 the Sidonians, Amalek, and Midian 20  when they oppressed you? 21  You cried out for help to me, and I delivered you from their power. 22  10:13 But since you abandoned me and worshiped 23  other gods, I will not deliver you again. 10:14 Go and cry for help to the gods you have chosen! Let them deliver you from trouble!” 24  10:15 But the Israelites said to the Lord, “We have sinned. You do to us as you see fit, 25  but deliver us today!” 26  10:16 They threw away the foreign gods they owned 27  and worshiped 28  the Lord. Finally the Lord grew tired of seeing Israel suffer so much. 29 

An Outcast Becomes a General

10:17 The Ammonites assembled 30  and camped in Gilead; the Israelites gathered together and camped in Mizpah. 10:18 The leaders 31  of Gilead said to one another, “Who is willing to lead the charge 32  against the Ammonites? He will become the leader of all who live in Gilead!”

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1 tn The word “death” has been supplied in the translation for clarification.

2 tn Heb “son.”

3 tn Heb “a man of Issachar.”

4 tn Traditionally, “judged.”

5 sn The name Habboth Jair means “tent villages of Jair” in Hebrew.

6 tn Heb “they call them Havvoth Jair to this day – which are in the land of Gilead.”

7 tn Heb “in the eyes of the Lord.”

8 tn Or “served;” or “followed.”

9 sn The Ashtars were local manifestations of the goddess Ashtar (i.e., Astarte).

10 map For location see Map1 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

11 tn Heb “the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines.”

12 tn Or “serve”; or “follow.”

13 tn Or “the Lord’s anger burned [or “raged”] against Israel.”

14 tn Heb “sold them into the hands of.”

15 tn Heb “shattered and crushed.” The repetition of similar sounding synonyms (רָעַץ [raats] and רָצַץ [ratsats]) is for emphasis; רָצַץ appears in the Polel, adding further emphasis to the affirmation.

16 tn The phrase שְׁמֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה (shemonehesreh shanah) could be translated “eighteen years,” but this would be difficult after the reference to “that year.” It is possible that v. 8b is parenthetical, referring to an eighteen year long period of oppression east of the Jordan which culminated in hostilities against all Israel (including Judah, see v. 9) in the eighteenth year. It is simpler to translate the phrase as an ordinal number, though the context does not provide the point of reference. (See Gen 14:4-5 and R. G. Boling, Judges [AB], 191-92.) In this case, the following statement specifies which “Israelites” are in view.

17 tn Heb “the house of Ephraim.”

18 tn Or “Israel experienced great distress.” Perhaps here the verb has the nuance “hemmed in.”

19 tn Or “served”; or “followed.”

20 tc The translation follows the LXX which reads “Midian”; the Hebrew text has “Maon.”

21 tn The words “Did I not deliver you” are interpretive. The Hebrew text simply reads, “Is it not from Egypt…when they oppressed you?” Perhaps the incomplete sentence reflects the Lord’s frustration.

22 tn Heb “hand.”

23 tn Or “served”; or “followed.”

24 tn Heb “in your time of trouble.”

25 tn Heb “according to all whatever is good in your eyes.”

26 sn You do to us as you see fit, but deliver us today. The request seems contradictory, but it can be explained in one of two ways. They may be asking for relief from their enemies and direct discipline from God’s hand. Or they may mean, “In the future you can do whatever you like to us, but give us relief from what we’re suffering right now.”

27 tn Heb “from their midst.”

28 tn Or “served”; or “followed.”

29 tn Heb “And his spirit grew short [i.e., impatient] with the suffering of Israel.” The Hebrew noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) also appears as the subject of the verb קָצַר (qatsar) in Num 21:4 (the Israelites grow impatient wandering in the wilderness), Judg 16:16 (Samson grows impatient with Delilah’s constant nagging), and Zech 11:8 (Zechariah grows impatient with the three negligent “shepherds”).

30 tn Or “were summoned;” or “were mustered.”

31 tn Heb “the people, the officers.”

32 tn Heb “Who is the man who will begin fighting.”

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