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Judges 12:8-15 – Three Minor Judges: Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon


Another brief group of minor judges is listed.


We have even less information about this second set of "minor" judges, apart from their rather prodigious issue, unless the large numbers of "sons" represent lineages and thus testify to a degree of importance. "Bethlehem" (v. 8) probably does not refer to the Bethlehem associated with Jesus, since the setting is in the north. Again, their importance in the book of Judges lies in the framing of the Jephthah narrative that they provide with the notices of Tola and Jair (10:1-5).

Judges 12:8-15

Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon

After him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. 9He had thirty sons. He gave his thirty daughters in marriage outside his clan and brought in thirty young women from outside for his sons. He judged Israel for seven years. 10Then Ibzan died, and was buried at Bethlehem.

11 After him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel; and he judged Israel for ten years. 12Then Elon the Zebulunite died, and was buried at Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.

13 After him Abdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel. 14He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys; he judged Israel for eight years. 15Then Abdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried at Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.

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