Judges 12:9
And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, whom he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years.
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(9) Thirty sons, and thirty daughters.—Implying polygamy, wealth, and state (Judges 8:30).

Whom he sent abroad—i.e., whom he gave in marriage “out of his house” (Vulg., quas emittens foras maritis dedit). The only reason for recording the marriage of his sons and daughters is to show that he was a great man, and sought additional influence by intermarriages with other families. It showed no little prosperity that he lived to see his sixty children married.

Jdg 12:9. Took in thirty daughters — That is, took them home for wives to his sons. What a difference between his and his predecessor’s family! Ibzan had sixty children, and all married; Jephthah but one, and she dies unmarried. Some are increased, others diminished; all is the Lord’s doing.

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.Ibzan of Bethlehem - Some have fancied him the same as Boaz Ruth 2:1 of Bethlehem-Judah. Others, from the juxtaposition of Elon the Zebulonite Judges 12:11, understand Bethlehem in the tribe of Zebulon Joshua 19:15. 7. Jephthah died—After a government of six years, this mighty man of valor died; and however difficult it may be for us to understand some passages in his history, he has been ranked by apostolic authority among the worthies of the ancient church. He was followed by a succession of minor judges, of whom the only memorials preserved relate to the number of their families and their state [Jud 12:8-15]. Took in thirty daughters, i.e. took them home for wives to his sons. See Genesis 24:67 31:50 Deu 21:12 2 Samuel 11:27.

And he had thirty sons and thirty daughters,.... Which was a very uncommon case for a man to have so many children, and those as to their sex to be equal. Between the former judge and him there was a great difference, in respect of this circumstance of children; he had but one daughter, an only child; and she, by reason of his vow, not suffered to marry. Such a difference does God, in his all wise Providence, make even among good men: nor is this any certain characteristic of a good man. Danaus had fifty daughters, and his brother Egyptus fifty sons, who were married to each other; and the husbands were all slain by their wives but one, on the wedding night, and so far from being happy in them: but it was otherwise with this judge:

whom he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons; his daughters he sent abroad, or married them, to persons not of another nation, nor of another tribe, but of another family of the same tribe, and these he dismissed from him to live with their husbands; and he took in daughters of families in the same tribe to be wives to his sons, and who seem to have dwelt together; it being the custom then for sons, though married, to abide with their father, and their wives with them; as Abarbinel says is the custom at Zenobia unto this day:

and he judged Israel seven years; and in his days the wars of Troy are said (z) to begin; but they began in the times of Jephthah his predecessor, and ended in his (a).

(z) Juchasin, fol. 136. 1.((a) Gerard. Vossii Isagoge Chron. dissert. 1. p. 4.

And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, whom he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years.
Verse 9. - He had thirty sons, etc. From no record of Ibzan's judgeship being preserved, except this domestic incident, we may infer, as in the case of Jair, that no important events took place in his time. Judges 12:9Of these three judges no particular deeds are related, just as in the case of Tola and Jair (see the remarks on Judges 10:1). But it certainly follows from the expression אחריו ויּשׁפּט (Judges 12:8, Judges 12:11, Judges 12:13) that they were one after another successors of Jephthah, and therefore that their office of judge also extended simply over the tribes on the east of the Jordan, and perhaps the northern tribes on this side.

Judges 12:8-10

Ibzan sprang from Bethlehem,-hardly, however, the town of that name in the tribe of Judah, as Josephus affirms (Ant. v. 7, 13), for that is generally distinguished either as Bethlehem "of Judah" (Judges 17:7, Judges 17:9; Ruth 1:2; 1 Samuel 17:12), or Bethlehem Ephratah (Micah 5:1), but probably Bethlehem in the tribe of Zebulun (Joshua 9:15). He had thirty sons and thirty daughters, the latter of whom he sent away החוּצה (out of his house), i.e., gave them in marriage, and brought home thirty women in their places from abroad as wives for his sons. He judged Israel seven years, and was buried in Bethlehem.

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