|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:8-15 We have here a short account of three more of the judges of Israel. The happiest life of individuals, and the happiest state of society, is that which affords the fewest remarkable events. To live in credit and quiet, to be peacefully useful to those around us, to possess a clear conscience; but, above all, and without which nothing can avail, to enjoy communion with God our Saviour while we live, and to die at peace with God and man, form the substance of all that a wise man can desire.
Verse 8. - Ibzan of Bethlehem. It is uncertain whether Bethlehem of Judah is meant, or Bethlehem in the tribe of Zebu-lun, mentioned in Joshua 19:15. Josephus says that Ibzan was of the tribe of Judah, and of the city of Bethlehem, and some have supposed a connection between the names of Boaz and Ibzan. ' But as Bethlehem of the tribe of Judah is generally called Bethlehem of Judah, or Bethlehem-Ephratah, and as Elon and Abdon were judges in North-East Israel, it is perhaps more probable that Bethlehem of Zebulun is meant. Dr. Robinson has identified it with a village - a "very miserable one" - called Beit Lahm, six miles west of Nazareth.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. There were two Bethlehems, one in the tribe of Zebulun, Joshua 19:15 of which some think this man was; and another in the tribe of Judah, the city of Jesse and David, and of the Messiah; and Josephus says (x), Ibzan was of the tribe of Judah, of the city of Bethlehem; and because Boaz was of the same place, and lived in the times of the judges, the Jewish Rabbins (y) are of opinion that he is the same with Ibzan; so Jarchi and Ben Gersom.
(x) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 7. sect. 13. (y) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 91. 1.
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