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Tola, the Judge

1After Abimelech died, God sent another judge to save the Israelites. His name was Tola. He was the son of Puah, who was the son of Dodo. Tola was from the tribe of Issachar and lived in the city of Shamir, in the hill country of Ephraim.

2Tola was a judge for the Israelites for 23 years. Then he died and was buried in the city of Shamir.

Jair, the Judge

3After Tola died, God sent another judge. His name was Jair, and he lived in the area of Gilead. He was a judge for the Israelites for 22 years.

4Jair had 30 sons who rode 30 donkeys. These 30 sons controlled 30 towns in the area of Gilead. These towns are called the Towns of Jair to this very day.

5Jair died and was buried in the city of Kamon.

The Ammonites Fight Against Israel

6Again the Israelites did what the LORD considered evil: They began worshiping the false gods Baal and the Ashtoreth. They also worshiped the gods of the people of Aram, the gods of the people of Sidon, the gods of the Moabites, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. The Israelites left the LORD and stopped serving him.

7So the LORD became angry with the Israelites and allowed the Philistines and the Ammonites to defeat them.

8In that same year those people destroyed the Israelites who lived on the east side of the Jordan River, in the area of Gilead. That is the land where the Amorites had lived. The Israelites suffered for 18 years.

9The Ammonites then went across the Jordan River to fight against the people of Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim. The Ammonites brought many troubles to the Israelites.

10So the Israelites cried to the LORD for help. They said, “God, we have sinned against you. We left our God and worshiped the false god Baal.”

11The LORD answered the Israelites, “You cried to me when the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, and the Philistines hurt you. I saved you from these people.

12You cried to me when the people of Sidon, the Amalekites, and the Midianites hurt you. I also saved you from those people.

13But you left me and started worshiping other gods, so I refuse to save you again.

14You like worshiping those gods, so go call to them for help. Let them save you when you are in trouble.”

15But the Israelites said to the LORD, “We have sinned. Do whatever you want to do to us, but please save us today.”

16Then the Israelites threw away the foreign gods and began to worship the LORD again. So he felt sorry for them when he saw them suffering.

Jephthah Is Chosen as a Leader

17The Ammonites gathered together for war. Their camp was in the area of Gilead. The Israelites gathered together. Their camp was at the city of Mizpah.

18The leaders of the people living in the area of Gilead said, “Whoever leads us in the attack against the Ammonites will become the head of all the people living in Gilead.”

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