Judges 10:1
And after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelled in Shamir in mount Ephraim.
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(1) After Abimelech.—his is merely a note of time. Abimelech is not counted among the judges, though it is not improbable that, evil as was the episode of his rebellions, he may have kept foreign enemies in check.

To defend Israel.—Rather, to deliver, as in the margin and elsewhere (Judges 2:16; Judges 2:18; Judges 3:9, &c).

There arose.—The phrase implies a less direct call and a less immediate service than that used of other judges (Judges 2:18; Judges 3:9).

Tola.—The name of a son of Issachar (Genesis 46:13) It means “worm” (perhaps the kermes -worm), and may, like Puah, be connected with the trade in purple dyes. He seems to have been the only judge furnished by this indolent tribe, unless Deborah be an exception. Josephus omits his name.

Puah.—Also a son of Issachar (1Chronicles 7:1).

The son of Dodo.—The LXX. render it “the son of his uncle,” but there can be little doubt that Dodo is a proper name, as in 1Chronicles 11:12; 2Samuel 23:9; 2Samuel 23:24. It is from the same root as David, “beloved.” Since Tola was of Issachar, he could not be nephew of Abimelech a Manassite.

He dwelt in Shamir.—The name has nothing to do with Samaria, as the LXX. seem to suppose. It may be Sanûr, eight miles north of Samaria.

In mount Ephraim.—As judge, he would have to fix his residence in a town more central than any in his own tribe. There was another Shamir in Judah (Joshua 15:48).

Jdg 10:1. There arose — Not of himself, but raised by God, as the other judges were. To defend — Or, to save, which he did, not by fighting against and overthrowing their enemies, but by a prudent and pious government of them, whereby he kept them from sedition, oppression, and idolatry. He dwelt in Shamir — Which was in the very midst of the land.10:1-5 Quiet and peaceable reigns, though the best to live in, yield least variety of matter to be spoken of. Such were the days of Tola and Jair. They were humble, active, and useful men, rulers appointed of God.Defend - The marginal reading "to deliver," is far preferable. The word is the same as in Judges 2:16, Judges 2:18; Judges 3:9, Judges 3:15, Judges 3:31, etc., and is the technical word applied to the judges. Compare Nehemiah 9:27 ("saviours who saved them," the King James Version).

The term "there arose," also marks Tola as one of the Judges, properly so called, raised by divine providence.

Tola and Puah - Both names of heads of houses in the tribe of Issachar 1 Chronicles 7:1; Genesis 46:13.

Shamir - Not the same as that mentioned in Joshua 15:48, which was in the hill country of Judah. Issaehar would seem from this to have extended into the northern part of mount Ephraim.


Jud 10:1-5. Tola Judges Israel in Shamir.

1. after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel, Tola—that is, "to save." Deliverance was necessary as well from intestine usurpation as from foreign aggression.

the son of Puah—He was uncle to Abimelech by the father's side, and consequently brother of Gideon; yet the former was of the tribe of Issachar, while the latter was of Manasseh. They were, most probably, uterine brothers.

dwelt in Shamir in mount Ephraim—As a central place, he made it the seat of government.Tola judgeth Israel; and Jair, whose thirty sons had thirty cities, Judges 10:1-5. The people’s idolatry, Judges 10:6. The Philistines and Ammonites oppress them, Judges 10:7-9. They cry to God, who sendeth them to their false gods; but upon their repentance pitieth them, Judges 10:10-11. The Ammonites and Israelites encamp against one another, Judges 10:17,18.

There arose; not of himself, but either chosen by the people; or rather, raised by God, as the other judges were. To defend Israel, or, to save, which he did not by fighting against and overthrowing their enemies, but by a prudent and pious government of them, whereby he kept them from sedition, and oppression, and tyranny, as also from idolatry, as may be gathered from Judges 10:6, which if not restrained and purged out, would have brought certain ruin upon them.

In Shamir in Mount Ephraim;

which was in the very heart and midst of the land.

And after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel,.... To save, deliver, and protect Israel; which does not necessarily imply that Abimelech did; for he was no judge of God's raising up, or the people's choosing, but usurped a kingly power over them; and was so far from saving and defending them, that he involved them in trouble and distress, and ruled over them in a tyrannical manner, and left them in the practice of idolatry: it only signifies that after his death arose a person next described to which this may well be attributed, that he was raised up as a judge by the Lord; and though we read of no enemies particularly, that he delivered the people from in his days, yet it is not impossible nor unlikely that there might be such, though not made mention of; besides, he might be said to save them, as the word signifies, in that he was an happy instrument of composing those differences and dissensions, which Abimelech had occasioned, and of recovering them from the idolatry they had fallen into in his times, and of protecting them in their liberties, civil and religious: and this was

Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; he was of the tribe of Issachar, and bore the same name as the eldest son of Issachar did, as his father Puah had the name of the second son of Issachar, 1 Chronicles 7:1 and as for Dodo his grandfather, this is elsewhere mentioned as the name of a man, as it doubtless is here, 2 Samuel 23:9 though some copies of the Targum, the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, render it, the son of his uncle, or father's brother; meaning that his father Puah was the son of Abimelech's uncle, or father's brother, and so was one of the family which was raised up to be a judge after his death; but it is not likely that Gideon, the father of Abimelech, and Puah, the father of this man, should be brethren, when the one was of the tribe of Manasseh, and the other of the tribe of Issachar:

and he dwelt in Shamir in Mount Ephraim: that is, when he became judge in Israel he removed to this place, as being in the midst of the tribes, and near the tabernacle of Shiloh, and so fit for a judge to reside in, to whom the people might apply from all parts to have justice and judgment administered to them. It is called Shamir in Mount Ephraim, to distinguish it from another of the same name in the mountain of Judah, Joshua 15:48 it seems to have its name from the thorns which grew about it.

And after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in mount Ephraim.
1. to save Israel] Cf. Jdg 2:16; Jdg 2:18, Jdg 3:9 f.

Tola the son of Puah] According to Genesis 46:13, Numbers 26:23 (P), 1 Chronicles 7:1, Tola and Puah were brothers, ‘sons,’ i.e. clans of Issachar. Tola means ‘the crimson worm,’ ‘cochineal,’ and Puah probably ‘madder,’ a plant from which a red dye was obtained, in Arab, fûh; the coincidence can hardly be accidental; see Deuteronomy 33:19.

the son of Dodo] The name again in 2 Samuel 23:9; 2 Samuel 23:24, 1 Chronicles 11:12; 1 Chronicles 11:26; varieties of it are David, Dodavahu, Eldad; the Babyl. form Dûdu occurs in the Amarna letters, e.g. 44 and 45; on the Moab. St. l. 12 Daudoh, apparently a local god worshipped by the Israelites E. of Jordan. Dod = lit. ‘loved one,’ then ‘kinsman,’ ‘uncle’; so LXX and Syr. render here ‘the son of his [Abimelech’s] uncle.’

in Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim] Site unknown; not the Shamir of Joshua 15:48, which was in Judah. LXX. A and Luc. read Samaria, replacing a strange name by a familiar one. In historical times the territory of Issachar lay to the N.E. of the Plain of Jezreel; from this verse we learn that at least one clan of the tribe had its seat further south. There may have been some connexion between Shamir and Shimron, a clan of Issachar (Genesis 46:13, Numbers 26:24).

Ch. Jdg 10:1-5. The Minor Judges: Tola and Jair

The five Minor Judges, Tola, Jair, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon (Jdg 12:8-15), are so called because, unlike the other Judges, they fill but a small place in the general history; no record of their exploits has been preserved. Sometimes Shamgar is grouped with them, but see the notes on Jdg 3:31. These five Judges are regarded as carrying on the succession (and after … there arose, Jdg 10:1; Jdg 10:3 etc.), and, according to the view adopted in the Introduction § 2 a, the 76 years assigned to them (with Jephthah’s 6) are included in the chronological scheme of the book. In each case the few bare particulars are cast into the same form, clearly by the same hand, which is not that of the Deuteronomic editor; the latter uses quite a different formula to conclude each period (Jdg 3:30, Jdg 5:31, Jdg 8:28). It seems probable that these notices were in existence before the Dtc. editor set to work; their general character is early rather than late; they appear to be founded on ancient traditions, like the somewhat similar details embedded in the genealogies of 1 Chron. (e.g. 1 Chronicles 1:46, 1 Chronicles 2:7; 1 Chronicles 2:22 f., 1 Chronicles 4:9 f., 1 Chronicles 4:27; 1 Chronicles 4:39 ff. etc). Out of the five names, three, Tola, Jair, Elon, occur elsewhere as the names of clans; the other two were probably clan-names also: but it would be rash to conclude that these names were never borne by individuals.Verse 1. - Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo. Nothing more is known of Tola than what is here told us, viz., his name, his parentage, his dwelling-place, his office, the length of time which he held it, and the place of his burial. Who were the enemies from whom Tola was raised up to save Israel we are not told. There was probably no great invasion or grievous servitude, but perhaps frequent border wars requiring an able and watchful chief to maintain the independence of Israel. Tola and Puah (otherwise written Puvah) were both names of families in Issachar (Genesis 46:13; Numbers 26:23). Shamir in mount Ephraim, to distinguish it from Shamir in the hill country of Judah (Joshua 15:48). Both are otherwise unknown. At length the fate predicted by Jotham (Judges 9:20) overtook Abimelech.

Judges 9:50-54

He went from Shechem to Thebez, besieged the town, and took it. Thebez, according to the Onom. thirteen miles from Neapolis (Shechem) on the road to Scythopolis (Beisan), has been preserved in the large village of Tubs on the north of Shechem (see Rob. Pal. iii. p. 156, and Bibl. Res. p. 305). This town possessed a strong tower, in which men and women and all the inhabitants of the town took refuge and shut themselves in. But when Abimelech advanced to the tower and drew near to the door to set it on fire, a woman threw a millstone down upon him from the roof of the tower and smashed his skull, whereupon he called hastily to the attendant who carried his weapons to give him his death-blow with his sword, that men might not say of him "a woman slew him." רכב פּלח, the upper millstone which was turned round, lapis vector (see Deuteronomy 24:6). תּריץ: from רצץ, with a toneless i, possibly to distinguish it from ותּרץ (from רוּץ). גּלגּלתּו, an unusual form for גּלגּלתּו, which is found in the edition of Norzi (Mantua, 1742).

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