Sefer Shoftim-Chapter 10: The judges after Avimelech

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Chapter 10: The judges after Avimelech

1. The ruling of Tolah Ben Puah:

  • After the reign of Avimelech, Tolah Ben Puah Ben Dodo came to save the Jewish people. He was from the tribe of Yissachar.
  • He dwelled in Shamir, on the mountains of Efraim.
  • He judged the Jewish people for 23 years, and he died and was buried in Shamir.

2. The ruling of Yair Hagiladi:

  • After the reign of Tolah, Yair Hagiladi ruled judged the Jewish people for 22 years.
  • He had thirty sons riding on thirty young horses.
  • They had thirty cities. The cities, which were in the land of the Gilad, were called Chavos Yair until this very day.
  • Yair died and was buried in Kamon.

3. The Jewish people return to idolatry and are conquered by the Philistines and Amonim:

  • The idolatry: The Jewish people continued to perform evil in the eyes of G-d. They served the Baalim, the Ashtoros, the deities of Aram and Tzidon, and Moav, and Amon, and the Pilishtim. They left G-d and did not serve him.
  • The punishment: G-d became angry with the Jewish people and he sold them to the Pilishtim and to the hands of Amon. They oppressed all the Jewish people who lived across from the Jordon, who lived in the land of the Emorites, that year [when Yair died[1]], and continued to do so for eighteen years.
  • The people of Amon crossed the Jordon for the sake of waging war also against Yehuda and Binyamin, and Efraim and they oppressed the Jewish people tremendously.

4. The Jewish people repent:

  • The Jewish people turn to G-d: The Jewish people screamed towards God saying that they have sinned against Him and left their G-d for the sake of serving the Baalim.
  • G-d’s reply: G-d replied to the Jewish people saying that He has saved them from the Egyptians, Emories, Amonites, Pilishtim, Tzidonim, Amaleikim, Maonim who have oppressed them, after they screamed to Him for help. Despite all this, you have left Me and served other G-ds, and therefore I will no longer continue to save you. Go scream for help from the other deities that you chose, and let them save you in the time of your oppression.
  • The Jewish people reply to G-d: The Jewish people replied to G-d that indeed they have sinned, and therefore G-d may do to them as He sees fit, however He should save them today.
  • The Jewish people repent: The Jewish people removed from within their midst the idols that they had and turned to serve G-d.
  • As a result of their repentance, G-d rescinded his decision to cause them punishment.

5. Amon prepares for war and the Jewish people search for a leader:

  • Amon prepares for war: The people of Amon gathered together to wage war and they encamped amongst the Gilad. In return the Jewish people gathered and dwelled in Mitzpeh.
  • The Jewish people look for a leader: The people, the ministers of Gilad, said to each other that whoever is willing to lead the battle against Amon will be the head of all those who live in Gilad.


[1] Rashi 10:8

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