Notes on Judges 10, verses 1-5

by Jonathan Spurlock
(Holts Summit, MO)

Judges 10:1, KJV 1 And after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in mount Ephraim.


Tola was another judge who lived in Ephraim’s territory even though he was from the tribe of Issachar. Shamir was probably on the border between Ephraim and Issachar but its location is not certain. The men share the names of their ancestors: Tola was the name of Issachar’s oldest son and Phuvah (close to Puah) the name of his second son (Gen. 46:13). Dodo of Issachar is only mentioned here.

2 And he judged Israel twenty and three years, and died, and was buried in Shamir.

Here the text makes a connection between defending Israel (verse 1) and being a Judge. The text neither specified the enemies of Israel during this time, nor any of Tola’s deeds. Regardless, he was raised up and used of God for defending Israel at a particular era.

3 And after him arose Jair, a Gileadite, and judged Israel twenty and two years.

The land of Gilead was on the east side of the Jordan River, where the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh decided to live when Israel entered the land of Canaan (Numbers 32). Like Tola, the text does not reveal any of Jair’s deeds or any enemies who may have attacked Israel.

4 And he had thirty sons that rode on thirty ass colts, and they had thirty cities, which are called Havothjair unto this day, which (are) in the land of Gilead.

It is not stated if Jair’s sons were judges like their father or if they performed any other deeds. At the very least they are not accused of any wrong doing nor is it stated that they lapsed into idolatry. The text does not give the names of any of these cities nor even what tribe Jair was born into. Again, like Tola, Jair was raised up for a specific time and location. That nothing bad is said of him is proof of a job well done.

5 And Jair died, and was buried in Camon.

Camon is only mentioned here. Its location, except that it was probably in Gilead, is not stated.

Scripture quotations taken from the King James Version of the Bible (KJV).

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