Judges 10.1-18 tells us about two judges and how during their days Israel enjoyed peace. After they died, however, Israel turns against God again and were oppressed by their enemies for 18 years. The Ammonites invade and Israel confesses their sins and and the chapter ends with Israel preparing for battle. These judges will be picture of Yeshua.
After Abimelech died a man named Tola arose. His name is very prophetic and alludes to worm that secretes a red dye called “tolat shanni” that is used in the Mishkan. Psalm 22 is called the crucifixion psalm, and in Psa 22.6 it says, “But I am a worm (tola) and not a man, a reproach of men, and despised by the people.” This has clear allusions to Yeshua who was despised and placed on the cross. The female tola worm attaches itself to a tree and makes a hard shell. She cannot be detached from the tree without killing her. This worm lays her eggs under her shell and when the eggs hatch, they stay under that shell. The mother’s body gives protection and food.
After a few days the young ones are able to take care of themselves, and the mother dies. She oozes a scarlet red dye which stains the tree and her young ones, and they are red for the rest of their lives. After three days the dead mother’s body loses her scarlet color and turns into a white wax which falls to the ground. It is this red dye that is used to create the “tolat shanni” color that was used in the Mishkan and garments. So, in this psalm, it says, “I am a worm (tola)” and alludes to that fact that Yeshua is alluding to this worm and he has attached himself to a tree and gave up his life so that we be washed in his blood and “though your sins be as scarlet, they will be as white as snow (Isa 1.18).” Now, Tola was the son of Puah (“utterance/speech”), the son of Dodo (“his beloved”). He was from the tribe of Issachar (“my hiring”). He ruled for 23 years and died and was buried in Shamir (“to keep/guard”) in Ephraim (“fruitful”). Yeshua died as the first fruits (1 Cor 15.20) and he keeps us (Shamir) by his word or utterance, and we are his beloved.
After that Jair (“he will enlighten”) the Gileadite (“heap of witness”) arose and judged Israel for 22 years. Yeshua will enlighten us by his word and he died on Golgotha, the heap of witness. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Jair died and was buried in Kamon, meaning “to rise up” and this alludes to the resurrection of not only the Messiah, but our resurrection, too. Clearly, these two judges allude to Yeshua.
But the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of Yehovah and served the Baals (“Master”) and the Ashtaroth (“mind readers”) the gods of the Syria (“elevated”), the gods of Sidon (“hunter/fisher”), the gods of Moab (“seed of the father”), the gods of the sons of Ammon (“seed of the people”) and the gods of the Philistines (“wallower”). The spiritual battle we fight is one of the mind and our enemy (the False Messiah is the “seed of the his father” the serpent-Gen 3.15) is hunting for those who will follow him from the world who think they have replaced Israel with the false doctrines of Replacement Theology Christianity (2 Pet 2.22) and other false religions.
As a result, Yehovah gave them over to the Philistines and Ammon and they crushed for 18 years. After the Lord had dealt with them, Israel cried out to Yehovah after the consequences of their sin came upon their own heads. Their cry seemed a little empty and the Lord told them that their hearts were not in a good place even thought they said the right words. After the Lord reminded them of all the good he had done for them he told them to call upon the gods they had been worshiping to help them. They answered and said, “Do to us whatever seems good to you; only please deliver us this day.”
It seems that Israel finally came to the place where where they totally surrendered to Yehovah and wanted to be delivered from the hands of men and into the hands of God, however he saw fit to deal with them. They showed the Lord evidence of the truth of their teshuvah (repentance) and that their humiliation was for real by putting away the foreign gods from among them and served Yehovah. As a result, it says that “his soul could bear the misery of Israel no longer.” This is stated in this way for us to understand that God decided to stop afflicting Israel and that he had good will towards them.
Ammon had crossed over the Jordan to fight against Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim (10.9), and then crossed back over the Jordan and camped in Gilead on the east side. Israel gathered together and camped in Mizpah (“watchtower”) in the territory of Manasseh (“to forget”). Although the forces had been gathered, there was no “man” to command them against the Ammonites. To encourage someone to come forth, they said that the man who does come forward shall be the judge or governor over all the people of Gilead (where Elijah was from).
God will always raise up a person to carry out the work that needs to be done. This is a clear set up for the rise of Yiftach (Jephtah) meaning “he will open” in the next chapter. He will be a picture of Yeshua who will open up the way of salvation for his people. There will also be allusions to the story of Joseph in who Yiftaach was and what he did, so we will look for that. A great work needed to be done and God prepared the Messiah to come and to accomplish that great work. The story of Yiftach will be very similar to the story of Joseph and Yeshua.
For example, Israel was looking for man to lead them, a Messiah (anointed one) to come and deliver them, much like Israel was during the first century. Yiftach was rejected by his brothers and driven out, gathered around him the undesirables and social misfits. He tells the king of the Ammonites that no one will take away what the Lord has given (Judges 11.21-27; John 10.28). We will touch on all of this and more in Part 10.