Tola, the Judge

After Abimelech died, another judge came to save Israel. He was Tola son of Puah, the son of Dodo. Tola was from the people of Issachar and lived in the city of Shamir in the mountains of Ephraim. Tola was a judge for Israel for twenty-three years. Then he died and was buried in Shamir.

Jair, the Judge

After Tola died, Jair from the region of Gilead became judge. He was a judge for Israel for twenty-two years. Jair had thirty sons, who rode thirty donkeys. These thirty sons controlled thirty towns in Gilead, which are called the Towns of Jair to this day. Jair died and was buried in the city of Kamon.

The Ammonites Trouble Israel

Again the Israelites did what the Lord said was wrong. They worshiped Baal and Ashtoreth, the gods of Aram, Sidon, Moab, and Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines. The Israelites left the Lord and stopped serving him. So the Lord was angry with them and handed them over to the Philistines and the Ammonites. In the same year those people destroyed the Israelites who lived east of the Jordan River in the region of Gilead, where the Amorites lived. So the Israelites suffered for eighteen years. The Ammonites then crossed the Jordan River to fight the people of Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim, causing much trouble to the people of Israel. 10 So the Israelites cried out to the Lord, “We have sinned against you. We left our God and worshiped the Baal idols.”

11 The Lord answered the Israelites, “When the Egyptians, Amorites, Ammonites, Philistines, 12 Sidonians, Amalekites, and Maonites were cruel to you, you cried out to me, and I saved you. 13 But now you have left me again and have worshiped other gods. So I refuse to save you again. 14 You have chosen those gods. So go call to them for help. Let them save you when you are in trouble.”

15 But the people of Israel said to the Lord, “We have sinned. Do to us whatever you want, but please save us today!” 16 Then the Israelites threw away the foreign gods among them, and they worshiped the Lord again. So he felt sorry for them when he saw their suffering.

17 The Ammonites gathered for war and camped in Gilead. The Israelites gathered and camped at Mizpah. 18 The leaders of the people of Gilead said, “Who will lead us to attack the Ammonites? He will become the head of all those who live in Gilead.”