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Jair a Judge In Israel

Jair the Gileadite was judged over Israel for twenty-two years. He is found on the Biblical Timeline around 1200 BC.   His rule over Israel was fairly a long one. The Scripture doesn’t state that Jair did anything wrong while he was in office. The unique quality of the life of Jair was the fact that he had 30 sons that had 30 cities. According to the book of Judges, the cities were named Havothjair. In the Bible Havothjair was a group of villages that consisted of at least 30 different units. They were previously owned by various Israeli rulers in the past starting with Jair, the son of Manasseh. Hezron was the father of Caleb, and he had a son named Segub who had 23 towns in Gilead. He eventually lost some of these territories to Geshur and Aram. These two men were descendants of Machir, the father of Gilead. Jair’s sons had come to control the various towns and settlements of Havothjair. Jair, the judge, was connected to the line of Machir through his father, Segub. His sons held had probably inherited one of the many different cities of Havothjair from him.

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Owning a donkey was a sign of wealth

Most people in ancient Israel did not ride donkeys or horses as a form of transportation. Owning a donkey or a horse in ancient Israel was the same as a person having a vehicle for personal transportation today. The fact that Jair’s sons had 30 donkeys was also an indication of his wealth and status. Since his sons held thirty cities, they apparently had servants and were men of means and status. Jair being their father must have been a well-respected city member that was chosen by the elders to become a judge. The history of Havothjair is usually ascribed to the various Israelites who ruled the area at the time of Manasseh. The name Jair also appears all throughout the Old Testament, and it was all connected to various events that happened in or near Havothjair during its time of importance. Jair was also used sometimes to describe Havothjair.

Biblical References to Jair

  • Judges 10:3 Jair the Gileadite becomes the next judge of Israel after Abimelech. He judged Israel for 22 years before he died
  •  Judges 10:4 He had 30 sons who rode on thirty donkeys and held 30 cities.
  •  Judges 10:5 Jair died and was buried in Camon.