Tola and Jair
1 After Abimelech's death, another man became Israel's leader, to rescue them. He was Tola, the son of Puah and grandson of Dodo. He belonged to Issachar's tribe. He lived in Shamir, in the hill country of Ephraim.
2 Tola led Israel for 23 years. Then he died and they buried him in Shamir.
3 After Tola, Jair of Gilead became Israel's leader. He led Israel for 22 years. 4 He had 30 sons. They rode on 30 donkeys and they ruled 30 towns in Gilead. These towns are still called Havvoth-Jair (Jair's villages). 5 Then Jair died and they buried him in Kamon.
The Ammonites fight against Israel
6 The Israelites again did things that the Lord saw were evil. They worshipped idols of Baal and Ashtoreth. They also worshipped the gods of Syria, Sidon and Moab, as well as the gods of the Ammonites and the Philistines. They turned away from the Lord and they did not serve him any more.
10:6The Ammonites were the descendants of Ben-Ammi, who was the grandson of Lot. See Genesis 19:36-38.
7 The Lord became angry with the Israelites. He put them under the power of the Ammonites and the Philistines. 8 That year they attacked the Israelites who lived in the Gilead region, on the east side of the Jordan River. That was the land where the Amorites lived. They were cruel to the Israelites for 18 years. 9 Then the Ammonites went across the Jordan River to fight against the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim. The Israelites were in a lot of trouble.
10 Then the Israelites called out to the Lord for help. They said, ‘We have turned against you. We have worshipped the idols of Baal instead of you.’
11-12 The Lord replied, ‘I have saved you many times when you called to me for help. I saved you from the power of the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Midianites. 13 But now you have turned away from me and you worship other gods instead. So I will not rescue you again. 14 Go and ask those other gods to help you! They are the gods that you have chosen, so let them rescue you from your trouble!’
10:11-12‘Midianites’ or ‘Maonites’
15 But the Israelites said to the Lord, ‘We are guilty. Punish us in whatever way you think is right, but please rescue us now.’ 16 Then they threw away all the idols of foreign gods that they had been worshipping. They began to worship the Lord again. Finally, the Lord decided to help them, because he saw how upset they were.
17 The Ammonite army came to Gilead and they made their camp there. The Israelite army also came and they made their camp in Mizpah. 18 The leaders of the people of Gilead asked each other, ‘Who will lead us to attack the Ammonites? Any man who agrees to do that will become the leader of everyone who lives in Gilead.’