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Bible Commentaries
Judges 10

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 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.

There arose, to defend Israel. — Heb., To save. He thrust not himself into the office, as Abimelech, that usurper, had done; but was raised up by God, and accordingly qualified.

A man of Issachar. — The men of this tribe are little memorised. Deborah, indeed, celebrateth them in her song, Judges 5:15 and David made great account of them, because "they had understanding of the time, to know what Israel ought to do." 1 Chronicles 12:32 This Tola, likely, was such a one, by a specialty.

Verse 2

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

And he judged Israel twenty and three years. — Appeasing the tumults at the end of Abimelech’s reign, restoring the true religion, and administering justice according to God’s laws. Dr May.

Verse 3

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

Jair, a Gileadite. — Of whom we may say as one doth of Jesse, the father of David, that he was Vir bonus et probus, sed minus clarus, a good honest man, but there is not much said of him.

Verse 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.

And he had thirty sons. — A happy man if they all proved towardly: otherwise he might be put to wish as Augustus did, Utinam aut caelebs vixissem, aut orbus periissem.

That rode on thirty ass colts. — Jair therefore was a man of quality, likely, for birth and wealth: and so fitter for government, ordinarily. See Ecclesiastes 10:17 . By the laws of England, noblemen may not be bound to the peace; because it is supposed that the peace is always bound to them, and that of their own accord they will both preserve and promote it.

Verse 5

And Jair died, and was buried in Camon.

And Jair died. — "It, is appointed for all men once to die, and after death judgment." Judges shall once say, -

"Do ye then speak righteousness? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of

men?" Psalms 58:1 "Behold, the Judge standeth before the

door." James 5:9

Verse 6

And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him.

And the children of Israel did evil again, — viz., After Jair’s death. Great is the loss of a good magistrate. Israel now did worse than ever; they did proficere in peius, as the apostle hath it. 2 Timothy 3:13 Now they affect a πολυθεσιης , such as the heathens round about them then had, and such as Socrates, an honest pagan, derided, and in despite of them swore by an oak, a goat, a dog, as holding these better gods than those. Cicero, albeit in his book, De Natura Deorum, he set forth the vanity of all those heathenish deities, yet in his oration for Flaccus he saith, that it became not the majesty of the Roman empire to worship one god only; they must have a multiplicity of gods, for reasons of state. But this was to speak and do evil things as they could. Jeremiah 3:5 Meanwhile they "forsook the Lord, and served not him," as it followeth in this verse. For when it was sometimes disputed among the Romans, - in the council using to deify great men, - whether Christ, having done many wonderful works, as Pilate witnessed before Tiberius, should be received into the number of the gods, and his image put in the Pantheon, the historian saith, that at length it was carried in the negative, for these two reasons: first, Because he persuaded poverty, and chose poor men; secondly, Because he had but few worshippers. Accordingly Peter Martyr giveth these two reasons here why the Israelites went so a whoring after these false gods of the several neighbour nations: (1.) Because they so flourished in wealth and honour, when themselves were so poor and contemptible; (2.) Because the worship of the true God was so severe, but the heathenish superstition licentious and pleasing to flesh and blood.

Verse 7

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.

He sold them into the hands of the Philistines,i.e., He abandoned them into the power, and left them to the pleasure of those very nations with whom they hoped to ingratiate by serving their gods.

Verse 8

And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that [were] on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which [is] in Gilead.

And that year they vexed and crushed the children, … — That year, quo scilicet desciverunt a cultu divino, Vatab. wherein they fell off from God’s true worship, Or, that year, that is, the last of the eighteen of their oppressing Israel their bonds were increased: the Ammonites before, and the Philistines behind, devoured Israel with open mouth. "For all this his anger was not turned away, but his hand was stretched out still." Isaiah 9:12 We read in the Turkish history, that when Solyman II saw a company of his Christian subjects, many thousands, fall down before him, and hold up the forefinger, as their manner of conversion to Mohammedanism is, he asked, What moved them to turn? They replied, It was to be eased of their heavy taxations. He, disdaining that baseness, or not willing to lose in tribute for an unsound accession in religion, rejected their conversion, and doubled their taxations.

Verse 9

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.

Moreover the children of Ammon. — Now that Jair was dead. Likens after the death of Hunniades, the Turks got further footing, and did great spoil in Christendom.

Verse 10

And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim.

And the children of Israel cried. — Cried they had before, as very brutes will do when they are hurt, but not with their whole heart; their cries were the fruits of the flesh for ease, not of faith for God’s favour.

Both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim. — Which are two such evils as make the heavens sweat, and the axle tree of the earth ready to crack. Jeremiah 2:12-13

Verse 11

And the LORD said unto the children of Israel, [Did] not [I deliver you] from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines?

Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians? — They instance their sins, and God’s benefits - teaching us to keep catalogues - for an aggravation of their sins. See Deuteronomy 32:5-6 Ezra 9:13-14 . There is here an angry aposiopesis; for these words, "I deliver you," are not in the original. Those that are angry use to utter imperfect speeches.

Verse 12

The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand.

The Zidonians also, … and the Maonites. — Hereby it appeareth that God had done more for this people than hitherto had been recorded. He keepeth count; should not we much more?

Verse 13

Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.

Wherefore I will deliver you no more,sc., " Except ye repent." Revelation 2:5 Deus ideo minatur ut non puniat: If sinners repent, God will do so too; Jeremiah 26:13 yea, he will pardon such sin as no man would pardon, Jeremiah 3:1 nor god neither. Micah 7:18

Verse 14

Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.

Go and cry unto the gods, … — He commandeth them not idolatry, but upbraideth them with it; layeth it in their dish, and showeth them how little they have profited by it. See the like in Deuteronomy 32:37-38 1 Kings 18:27 . And were we not ready to think in our late unnatural troubles, that God had even abandoned us, whatever he may do yet, and to say of England, as he once did of Rome, Nunquam magis, iustis iudiciis, approbatum est non esse curae Deo securitatem nostrum, esse vindictam? Tac., Hist., lib. i. cap. 11. That God had cast away the care of our safety, but not of our utter destruction?

Verse 15

And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day.

We have sinned: do thou unto us. — They do not yet despair, but put themselves into the hands of divine justice, in hope of mercy; they make a total resignation of all that they are and have to God; they pray on, and put away the evil of their doings from before his eyes. Judges 10:16 An excellent pattern of repentance for all to imitate.

Verse 16

And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.

And they put away the strange gods from among them. — This was it that completed their repentance. What is humiliation without reformation? Optima et aptissima poenitentia est nova vita, saith Luther. Ephraim never repented indeed till he said, "What have I to do any more with idols?" When these words once fell from him, then "God heard him, and observed him," Hosea 14:8 yea, God melted over him, and said, "I will surely have mercy upon him." Jeremiah 31:20 And the like he did here, for

His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel. — O gracious God, what could have been spoken more for the honour of thy goodness, and for the comfort of thy poor afflicted! God’s soul was shortened, he could hold in no longer; Postquam poenitentitiara egerunt, totus ipsorum factus est; now that they had repented, they might have but what they would of him.

Flectitur oratus voce rogante Deus. ” - Ovid.

Verse 17

Then the children of Ammon were gathered together, and encamped in Gilead. And the children of Israel assembled themselves together, and encamped in Mizpeh.

Then the children of Ammon were gathered together. — But, that they might be "broken in pieces" Isaiah 8:9

And the children of Israel assembled. — Now they have taken heart of grace, and can face their enemies; who before durst not mute or move against them. And although they had no answer or comfort from God, yet knowing his gracious disposition and dealing with the penitent, they take courage to encounter the Ammonites. "The righteous are bold as a lion," Proverbs 28:1 and "God hath not given to his the spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

Verse 18

And the people [and] princes of Gilead said one to another, What man [is he] that will begin to fight against the children of Ammon? he shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.

That will begin to fight. — That will be our leader in this expedition. They were not here, as in Alcibiades’s army, all leaders, no learners. They wanted one that would give the onset, and do some noble exploit against the enemy, promising to give him the principality of Gilead. Militaribus praemiis virtus excitatur. Lavat.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Judges 10". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/judges-10.html. 1865-1868.
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