1After Abimelech died, Tola the son of Puah and grandson of Dodo became the leader to rescue the Israeli people from their enemies. He belonged to the tribe of Issachar, but he lived in Shamir city in the hilly area where the descendants of Ephraim live.
2He ruled the Israeli people for 23 years. Then he died and was buried in Shamir.
3After Tola died, Jair, from the Gilead region, became the Israelis' leader, and he ruled them for 22 years.
4He had thirty sons, and each of them had his own donkey to ride on. They each controlled a different town in the Gilead region. That region is still named ❛The Towns of Jair❜.
5When Jair died, he was buried in Kamon city.
6Again the Israelis did things that Yahweh said were wrong/evil. They worshiped the idols of their god Baal and their goddess Astarte. They also worshiped the gods of the Aram, Sidon, Moab, and Ammon people-groups, and the gods of the Philistia people-group. They abandoned Yahweh and stopped worshiping him.
7So Yahweh was very angry with them, and he allowed the Philistia and Ammon people-groups to defeat IDM the Israelis.
8In that same year, those people started to oppress the Israelis who lived in the Gilead region on the east side of the Jordan River. That was where the Amor people-group also lived. were They caused the Israelis who lived in that region to suffer for eighteen years.
9Then the people of the Ammon people-group crossed the Jordan River to fight against the people of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim. They caused the Israelis' lives to be very miserable.
10So the Israelis cried out to Yahweh, saying “We have sinned against you. We have abandoned you, and we have been worshiping the idols of their god Baal.”
11Yahweh answered them, saying, “When the people of Egypt, and the Amor and Ammon and Philistia people-groups
12and the Sidon and Amalek and Maon people-groups were cruel to you, you cried out to me, and then I rescued you.
13But now you have abandoned me again, and you have been worshiping other gods. So I will not rescue you again.
14You have chosen those gods to be the ones that you worship. So call to them to help you. Allow them to rescue you when you have a lot of trouble!”
15But the Israeli people said to Yahweh, “Truly we have sinned. Punish us in whatever way you wish to, but please rescue us now!”
16Then the Israelis threw away the idols of the gods that belonged to other people-groups, and they worshiped Yahweh again. He saw that they were suffering very much, and he felt sorry IDM for them.
17The Ammon people-group gathered to fight against the Israelis, and they set up their tents in the Gilead region. The Israeli men also gathered and set up their tents at Mizpah, which was a city in Gilead.
18The Israeli leaders said, “Who will lead our soldiers to attack the Ammon people-group? The one who will lead us will become the leader of all us who live in this Gilead region.”