Tola and Jair
1 After the time of Abimelech, another man came to save Israel. He was Tola, son of Puah, son of Dodo of the tribe of Issachar. He lived in Shamir, in the hills of Ephraim.
2 He led Israel for 23 years. Then he died and they buried him in Shamir.
3 After Tola, Jair of Gilead became leader of Israel. He ruled Israel for 22 years. 4 He had 30 sons, who rode on 30 donkeys. The sons ruled 30 towns in Gilead. These towns are still called Havvoth Jair (Jair's villages). 5 When Jair died, they buried him in Kamon.
The Ammonites fight against Israel
6 Again the Israelites did many bad things. The Lord saw this. Israel served the false gods Baal and Ashtoreth. And they served the gods of Aram, Sidon and Moab. They also served the gods of the Ammonites and the Philistines. They did not serve the Lord any more.
7 He became angry with them, because they had turned away from him. 8 The Lord let the Philistines and the Ammonites attack the people of Israel. He let them win the fight. They destroyed the Israelite armies in that year. The people of Israel served their enemies for 18 years. The enemies ruled the land on the east side of the river Jordan in Gilead. This was the land of the Amorites. 9 The Ammonites also crossed the river Jordan. They fought against Judah, Benjamin and the house of Ephraim. Israel was in bad trouble. 10 Then the Israelites called out to the Lord. They said, ‘We have left you and have served other gods. This was wrong’.
11 The Lord replied, ‘I have saved you many times when you called to me for help. I saved you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites and the Philistines. 12 I saved you from the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites (Midianites). They ruled you. You called to me for help and I saved you. 13 But you have left me to serve other gods. I will not save you again. 14 Call to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you from your trouble!’
15 The Israelites said to the Lord, ‘We have done very bad things. Do as you will with us, but please save us now’. 16 Then they destroyed all the foreign gods of wood and stone. They began to serve the Lord again. The Lord saw how sorry they were. He did not want them to be hurt any more.
17 The Ammonite army came to Gilead. They were there in their tents. The Israelite men came to Mizpah and put their tents there. 18 The leaders of the people of Gilead made a promise. They said, ‘The man who will lead the fight against the Ammonites will become our ruler. He will be the leader of all those living in Gilead’.
10:18The earlier fights of the people of Israel were in the north of the land. Now enemies were attacking the Israelites in the south.