1After Abimelech's death Tola, the son of Puah and grandson of Dodo, came to free Israel. He was from the tribe of Issachar and lived at Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. 2He was Israel's leader for 23 years. Then he died and was buried at Shamir.
3After Tola came Jair from Gilead. He led Israel for 22 years. 4He had thirty sons who rode thirty donkeys. They had thirty cities in the land of Gilead, which are still called the villages of Jair. 5Jair died and was buried at Kamon.
6Once again the Israelites sinned against the LORD by worshipping the Baals and the Astartes, as well as the gods of Syria, of Sidon, of Moab, of Ammon, and of Philistia. They abandoned the LORD and stopped worshipping him. 7So the LORD became angry with the Israelites, and let the Philistines and the Ammonites conquer them. 8For eighteen years they oppressed and persecuted all the Israelites who lived in Amorite country east of the River Jordan in Gilead. 9The Ammonites even crossed the Jordan to fight the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim. Israel was in great distress.
10Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD and said, “We have sinned against you, for we left you, our God, and worshipped the Baals.”
11The LORD gave them this answer: “The Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites oppressed you in the past, and you cried out to me. Did I not save you from them? 13But you still left me and worshipped other gods, so I am not going to rescue you again. 14Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them rescue you when you get into trouble.”
15But the people of Israel said to the LORD, “We have sinned. Do whatever you like, but please, save us today.” 16So they got rid of their foreign gods and worshipped the LORD; and he became troubled over Israel's distress.
17Then the Ammonite army prepared for battle and made camp in Gilead. The people of Israel came together and camped at Mizpah in Gilead. 18There the people and the leaders of the Israelite tribes asked one another, “Who will lead the fight against the Ammonites? Whoever does will be the leader of everyone in Gilead.”