And after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar…
Partly exhaustion, partly consciousness of Divine judgment, restrains the spirit of Israel. The punishment of its unfaithfulness had come from within itself, and was the more felt. The pendulum now swings slowly back.
I. IT WAS A "PEACE OF GOD." The hand of Jehovah was seen. The consciences even of the wicked had been touched. So in the lives of individuals and nations there are times given of God after judgments in which to repent and amend; and these are not of their own creation, but a result of a gracious Providence. But as they are each a calm after a storm, so, being unimproved, they may be but the portentous lulls before greater judgments. The enemy from without is restrained, as if to say that the real danger could only arise from within.
II. ITS CHARACTER. Undistinguished by great individual exploits; but showing a general advance in civilisation, the arts of peace, and external respect for government and religion. The solid monuments of the people's industry and foresight (the cities of the circle of Jair, etc.) remained. A happier generation lived and throve over the ashes of the guilty past; and some steps were taken towards the more settled and permanent type of government, the monarchy.
III. ITS IMPORT. God's punishments and judgments are intended to prepare for peace. The sinner can never say he has had "no room for repentance." But this was only external and temporary peace - a truce with an unreconciled Heaven. It is precious, therefore, only as making for and typifying the kingdom of Christ, and the peace of believers, which follow upon storm and overturning and Divine chastisements, but confer unspeakable blessings and make happy. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: And after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in mount Ephraim.