After Abimelech there arose to defend Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar;
Interesting names, don’t you think? When you speak these names, they have odd sounds, but they also have unique meanings. Dodo means “loving.” Puah means “splendor.” So, we don’t know anything else about him except that he was from the tribe of Issachar.
And he dwelt in Shamir in mount Ephraim. And he judged Israel for twenty years, and died, and was buried in his city of Shamir. And then after him there arose Jair, who was a Gileadite,
Being a Gileadite, simply means he was from the other side of the Jordan River, from the tribe of Gad on the opposite side of the Jordan.
…….and he judged Israel for twenty two years. And he had thirty sons that rode on thirty ass colts, and they had thirty cities, which they called Havothjair unto this day, which are in the land of Gilead. And Jair died, and was buried in Camon.
Now comes cycle number six.
And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Zidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the children of Ammon, the gods of the Philistines, and they forsook Jehovah, and did not serve him.
Again, the people turned away from Jehovah God. They began to worship Baalim, Ashtaroth, and the various gods of the surrounding nations.
And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon.
They began to be pressed in from both sides, the Philistines from the coastal cities, and the Ammonites from the area of Moab.
And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: and for eighteen years, all of the children of Israel that were on the other side of Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. Moreover the children of Ammon passed over Jordan to fight also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was sore distressed.
They had conquered the two and one-half tribes on their side of the Jordan River, and then, they actually came on across the Jordan River to attack Judah, the tribe of Benjamin, and the tribe of Ephraim. They attacked all the way into the middle of the country, and Israel was sore distressed because the Philistines were pushing on them from one side, and the Ammonites were pushing on them from the other side.
And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and served Baalim.
So, they confessed their sin. The Bible has quite a few things to say about sin. The Bible tells us that, “you can be sure that your sin will find you out.” It tells us that, “the way of the transgressor is hard.” We are told that, “Whatever a man sows, that he’s also going to reap.” These people confessed their sins. Why? Because they were reaping the result of their sins. They had forsaken the Lord, and now the Lord had forsaken them, and they were being oppressed by their enemies. The first thing they do is to make the confession of sin. They knew what they had done wrong.
“We have forsaken the LORD, and we have been serving Baalim.”
So the LORD said to the children of Israel, “Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites and from the people of Ammon and from the Philistines? Also the Sidonians and Amalekites and Maonites oppressed you; and you cried out to Me, and I delivered you from their hand. Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods. Therefore I will deliver you no more. “Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in your time of distress.”
And the children of Israel said to the LORD, “We have sinned! Do to us whatever seems best to You; only deliver us this day, we pray.” So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD. And His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel.
Then the people of Ammon gathered together and encamped in Gilead. And the children of Israel assembled together and encamped in Mizpah. And the people, the leaders of Gilead, said to one another, “Who is the man who will begin the fight against the people of Ammon? He shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.”
So, God tells them to ask for help from their other gods. They tell God to do with them as He will and, as they are being pressed by Ammon, they begin to search for a leader to help them to fight against Ammon.
Teaching notes: Don D. Don Stephens
Short chapter this week, so I will probably post chapter 11 in a couple of days.