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Go to Bible: Judges 10
|Jdg 10:1||- (top)|
“in Shamir.” Tola was from the tribe of Issachar, but he was buried in Ephraim, in the town of Shamir.(top)
|Jdg 10:3||- (top)|
“donkey’s...cities.” The words in Hebrew are a word-play, being very close. E. Fox (The Schocken Bible) picks up the wordplay by saying that the men rode on burros and lived in boroughs.
“Havvoth.” Related to a tent encampment.(top)
|Jdg 10:5||- (top)|
“the Baals and the...and the...and the..and the.” The figure polysyndeton (“Many Ands”) emphasizes all the different pagan gods. Note that the gods are all plural, the many gods of the pagans, and the sharp contrast with the singular “Yahweh,” the one God of Israel and the singular pronoun “him.”(top)
|Jdg 10:7||- (top)|
|Jdg 10:8||- (top)|
|Jdg 10:9||- (top)|
|Jdg 10:10||- (top)|
|Jdg 10:11||- (top)|
“the Maonites.” Who these people are is not clear. The Septuagint has “Midianites,” and that could be possible.(top)
“Yet you have forsaken me.” Amazing that the people would forsake God who had done so much for them for so long.
“not continue to save you.” This phrase captures the thought of the Hebrew text. It is not that God says He will never again save Israel, but in these circumstances He will not continue to save them.(top)
“that you have chosen.” Here again, we see that God gives people the free will to choose who they will worship and serve.
“distress.” In this case, the Hebrew word the “distress” is due to an outside force.(top)
|Jdg 10:15||- (top)|
“was exasperated over the misery of Israel.” The Hebrew has an ambiguity that needs to be brought into English. Is God exasperated with the trouble Israel is causing Him by not worshipping Him or fulfilling His purposes, or is God exasperated with the trouble that Israel is in? The Hebrew text can be read both ways, and frankly, both are likely true, but the fact that God sends a deliverer in the person of Jephthah shows He was still willing to help Israel. Nevertheless, God is not fooled. He knows that Israel’s “repentance” was not a real change of heart, but only a way that they could get what they wanted at the time. That fact showed up in the fact that shortly after Israel was out of trouble they returned to their evil ways (Judg. 13:1).
This record is an important lesson for God’s people. Too often believers act like these Israelites. We make promises to God to get what we want or to get relief from problems, and often because of His love and mercy, God grants our requests. But just because it seems that God has heard our pleas and given us what we want does not mean that He is fooled into thinking we have had a heart-change and a genuine commitment to worship and obey Him. God has a long-term point of view and knows that there is a Day of Judgment coming in which people will be righteously judged. Believers should know that too, and not try to get short-term benefits from God apart from a genuine change of heart and a long-term commitment to serve God.(top)
“Then the children of Ammon.” Judges 10:17 begins a new episode in the history of Israel; the Ammonite attack in the Transjordan. Chapter 11 should have started here, and Judges 10:17 should have been Judges 11:1.
“were gathered together.” The leaders of Ammon gathered the people. At this point, the Ammonites had the advantage of effective leadership, while the Israelites did not, and so they haphazardly “assembled themselves together,” and the leadership did not direct the men, but instead spoke to one another about finding a leader (Judg. 10:18).
“encamped in Gilead.” The Ammonites were pressing into Gilead, Israelite territory in the Transjordan (east of the Jordan River).
“in Mizpah.” Likely the place where Jacob and Laban parted company (Gen. 31:49). Mizpah is a common name for a place, and the word “mizpah” means “lookout,” so it is a place with a wide view for protection.(top)
“He will be head over.” There is no mention of “king,” but the “head” might be the equivalent of a king, but the Abimelech episode may have caused people to avoid any idea of a king.(top)