Judges - 12:8

8 After him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel.

Verse In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of Judges 12:8.

Differing Translations

Compare verses for better understanding.
And after him Ibzan of Beth-lehem judged Israel.
After him Abesan of Bethlehem judged Israel:
And after him Ibzan of Beth-Lehem judgeth Israel,
And after him, Ibzan of Beth-lehem was judge of Israel.

*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

Ibzan of Bethlehem - Some have fancied him the same as Boaz Ruth 2:1 of Bethlehem-Judah. Others, from the juxtaposition of Elon the Zebulonite Judges 12:11, understand Bethlehem in the tribe of Zebulon Joshua 19:15.

And after him Ibzan - It appears that during the administration of Jephthah, six years - Ibzan, seven years - Elon, ten years - and Abdon, eight years, (in the whole thirty-one years), the Israelites had peace in all their borders; and we shall find by the following chapter that in this time of rest they corrupted themselves, and were afterwards delivered into the power of the Philistines.
1. We find that Ibzan had a numerous family, sixty children; and Abdon had forty sons and thirty grandsons; and that they lived splendidly, which is here expressed by their riding on seventy young asses; what we would express by they all kept their carriages; for the riding on fine asses in those days was not less dignified than riding in coaches in ours.
2. It does not appear that any thing particular took place in the civil state of the Israelites during the time of these latter judges; nothing is said concerning their administration, whether it was good or bad; nor is any thing mentioned of the state of religion. It is likely that they enjoyed peace without, and their judges were capable of preventing discord and sedition within. Yet, doubtless, God was at work among them, though there were none to record the operations either of his hand or his Spirit; but the people who feared him no doubt bore testimony to the word of his grace.

And after him (f) Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel.
(f) Some think that this was Boaz the husband of Ruth.

And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. There were two Bethlehems, one in the tribe of Zebulun, Joshua 19:15 of which some think this man was; and another in the tribe of Judah, the city of Jesse and David, and of the Messiah; and Josephus says (x), Ibzan was of the tribe of Judah, of the city of Bethlehem; and because Boaz was of the same place, and lived in the times of the judges, the Jewish Rabbins (y) are of opinion that he is the same with Ibzan; so Jarchi and Ben Gersom.
(x) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 7. sect. 13. (y) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 91. 1.

We have here a short account of three more of the judges of Israel. The happiest life of individuals, and the happiest state of society, is that which affords the fewest remarkable events. To live in credit and quiet, to be peacefully useful to those around us, to possess a clear conscience; but, above all, and without which nothing can avail, to enjoy communion with God our Saviour while we live, and to die at peace with God and man, form the substance of all that a wise man can desire.

Of these three judges no particular deeds are related, just as in the case of Tola and Jair (see the remarks on Judges 10:1). But it certainly follows from the expression אחריו ויּשׁפּט (Judges 12:8, Judges 12:11, Judges 12:13) that they were one after another successors of Jephthah, and therefore that their office of judge also extended simply over the tribes on the east of the Jordan, and perhaps the northern tribes on this side.

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