27 May. Judges 12:7-15,13:1

27 May. Izban, Elon and Abdon lead Israel

“Jephthah was a judge for Israel for six years. Then Jephthah, the man from Gilead, died and was buried in the town of Gilead.”

“After Jephthah died, Ibzan from Bethlehem was a judge for Israel. He had 30 sons and 30 daughters. He let his daughters marry men who were not in his family group, and he brought 30 women who were not in his tribe to be wives for his sons. Then he died and was buried in Bethlehem.”

After Izban died, Elon from the tribe of Zebulun was a judge for Israel. He judged Israel for ten years. Then Elon, the man of Zebulun, died and was buried in the city of Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.”

“After Elon died, Abdon son of Hillel from the city of Pirathon was a judge for Israel. He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons, who rode on 70 donkeys. He judged Israel for eight years. Then Abdon son of Hillel died and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mountains where the Amalekites lived.”

“Again the people of Israel did what the LORD said was wrong. So he handed them over to the Philistines for 40 years.”

          (Judges 12:7-15, 13:1)



Ibzan (c.1102 - c.1097BC), Elon (c.1097 - c.1088BC) and Abdon (c.1088 - c.1081BC) led Israel for seven, ten and eight years respectively, at the beginning of the 10th century BC.

What more is there to say about this particularly low point in Israel’s history?

Not a lot! Izban had 60 children. That tells us something about him! He married them all to partners who were from other tribes or from ‘foreign’ religions who didn’t follow the God of Israel.

Elon was… well… Elon.

Abdon had 40 sons and 30 grandsons who all rode donkeys – a sign of prestige as only the wealthy could afford to ride an expensive beast of burden (even Jesus had to hire or borrow a donkey to ride into Jerusalem on ‘Palm Sunday’ (see Mark 11:1-3). We’re not told about his daughters or his granddaughters as they were not considered to be of any importance in ancient Israel!

And, once again, “the people of Israel did what the LORD said was wrong.” So the Philistines (from the cities of the coastal plain) invaded the hill country and ruled over the tribes of Israel for the next two generations (for forty years).

Tomorrow, we’ll discover how the Israelites suffered under the Philistine’s rule.

The photo (by Maysa Al Shaer) shows Bethlehem, where Ibzan lived.

You can read more about the Judges @ The Bible Journey | Jephthah defeats the Ammonites

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