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Bible Commentaries
Judges 10

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-18

  1. Intro: Shibboleth
    1. The Political Climate in the Early Iron Age [3 age system, to classify ancient societies: Stone - Bronze - Iron]
      1. In the Late Bronze Age (1550–1200 b.c.) there was an ongoing struggle between major political powers seeking control of Palestine.
      2. With the arrival of the Sea Peoples (Philistines) around 1200, all of the major powers were either wiped out (e.g., the Hittites) or neutralized (Egypt).
      3. Moving into the Iron Age (just about this point in the book of Judges), the power stalemate has been replaced by a power vacuum.
        1. The absence of major powers vying for control of the region allowed the smaller states to test their strength, develop and build regional empires.
        2. The Philistines were able to take advantage of this early in the period.
        3. Then David and Solomon were able to build a substantial empire in Syro-Palestine without needing to be concerned about political powers in Mesopotamia, Anatolia or Egypt. (Matthews, V. H., Chavalas, M. W., & Walton, J. H. (2000). The IVP Bible background commentary: OldTestament (electronic ed., Jdg 10:5). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.) [The IVP Bible background commentary]
    2. Jephthah’s judgeship is framed by a brief mention of the 5 so called minor judges
    3. Israel slides further and further down the slippery slope.
      1. Jephthah & Samson use their position for revenge & personal gain, adding to the sins of the previous generation.
  2. MINOR JUDGES (10)
    1. TOLA, 6th JUDGE (1,2)
    2. Tola, son of Puah, son of Dodo (just love the way that sounds)
    3. JAIR, 7th JUDGE (3-5)
    4. Known for 30 sons, who rode 30 donkeys, owned 30 villages who walked a crooked mile, He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile. He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse. And they all lived together in a little crooked house. :)
    5. Tola & Jair brought justice to Israel for over a generation.
    6. No great deeds of valor are recorded for either man, but they gave nation 45 yrs of peace.
      1. No foreign invaders are named, so these 2 judges served by solving the internal problems of the nation.
      2. They were administrators rather than generals; we need both.
        1. Maybe these men can be likened to the disciples of Jesus whom we know only by name. These judges provide an example of quiet but effective leadership in Israel.
        2. Their service was important enough to warrant mentioned in the Bible.
      3. But, when there’re no battles to fight, we tend to take our blessings for granted, which often leads us to sin. So it did.
    7. So God has to send an invasion of Ammonites to get their attention…
    8. ISRAEL’ OPPRESSION (6-18)
    9. So Israel again turns from God & falls under the hand of foreign invaders.
      1. This time the enemies were the Philistines on the coast (from West) & the Ammonites in Transjordan (from East). Caught in the middle?Judah, Benj & Ephraim
    10. (14) I love God’s divine Sarcasm.
    11. Ask: What is the difference between their confession of vs.10 & vs.15,16?
      1. Remorse(mind) & Regret(mind, heart) are different from Repentance(mind, heart, will)
      2. In vs10 it was insincere, born out of suffering. In vs.15,16 it was accompanied by repentance & the putting away of sin. God wants true repentance, not just lip service.
      3. Ask: Has God changed on this in the NT or does He desire the same from us?
      4. Ask: What do we learn about our God from 16b?
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Judges 10". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/judges-10.html. 2017.
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