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The revelation of Tola speaks of the feast of Passover (Christ’s death) and the wave-sheaf offering (His resurrection).
The battle of Gideon shows prophetically how the feast days give us revelation about the end-time overthrow of God’s enemies through the feast days—in particular, the second set of feasts, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. The revelation of the feasts is the specific “sword of the Spirit” that will send confusion into the ranks of the ungodly and will overcome them.
However, lest some should misunderstand, let it be clear that we are not advocating any kind of violent overthrow of God’s enemies (real or perceived). The physical sword was used under the Old Covenant only because the Israelites had rejected the sword of the Spirit when they refused to hear the word at Mount Horeb under Moses (Exodus 19:18-21). By failing to experience Pentecost, they were left only with a physical sword that conquers enemies by killing them.
Our weapon is the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17), for “our struggle is not against flesh and blood” (Eph. 6:12). The results are far different and give much greater glory to God, because instead of killing enemies, we ask them to “crucify the flesh,” so that a new self (identity) may come forth according to the New Covenant. Enemies are destroyed by turning them into friends.
The main battle of Gideon killed 120,000 Midianites and their allies, but under the New Covenant we see 120,000 being saved by putting to death the “old self” (Rom. 6:6). The number 120,000 is an important prophetic number as well, for it is the biblical number associated with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (2 Chron. 5:12; Acts 1:15; 2:1, 2).
So we read in Jonah 4:11 that the number of citizens living in Nineveh who repented was 120,000. Nineveh was the great enemy that was destined to swallow up the House of Israel (Hosea 8:8, 9). Jonah, being a nationalist, did not want to preach in Nineveh, for he wanted them to be destroyed, not converted (Jonah 4:1, 2). The story shows God’s compassion for His enemies.
The name Jair comes from the Hebrew word owr, “light.” Jair can mean “he enlightens,” or “he who is enlightened,” or “one who enlightens.” The central meaning has to do with portraying light. That, of course, ties back to the battle of Gideon, which was won by breaking the pitchers (Atonement) and shining forth the light (Tabernacles).
In fact, both Jair and Gideon were from the tribe of Manasseh. Jair was from Gilead (Judges 10:3) in the territory of Manasseh. The original man named Gilead was the grandson of Manasseh, the son of Joseph, for we read in Num. 26:29,
29 The sons of Manasseh: Of Machir, the family of the Machirites; and Machir became the father of Gilead: of Gilead, the family of the Gileadites.
Jair's tribe may suggest also that the feast of Tabernacles was to be a forgotten feast. Jair's name suggests one who is enlightened, as well as one who is transfigured. His name thus adds the revelation of Tabernacles to the sequence of Judges' names, while at the same time showing how most people would forget this revelation.
The purpose of Christ’s first coming was to shed His blood on the cross for the sin of the world to fulfill the feast of Passover and prepare for Pentecost. The purpose for His second coming is to fulfill the second set of feasts that will culminate with the transfiguration (enlightenment), bringing us into the fullness of our inheritance in Christ. This was foreshadowed when Jesus was transfigured on Mount Hermon in Matt. 17:2, for then “His face shone as the sun, and His garments became white as light.”
As we will see later, this progression sets us up for the revelation of Samson, “like the sun,” whose name is derived from shemesh, “the sun.” Shemesh comes from an unused Hebrew root word that means “to be brilliant.” This is precisely how Matthew describes the transfiguration of Jesus, when “His face shone as the sun.”
Tola and Jair, then, contribute their names to the sequence of Judges in order to portray the purpose of the two comings of Christ. Tola speaks of His death and resurrection, while Jair speaks of His transfiguration. By extension, we too, as members of His body, must also be crucified with Christ in order that we may be transfigured at the time of His second coming.
Judges 10:3 says,
3 And after him, Jair the Gileadite arose and judged Israel twenty-two years.
Even as 23 is the biblical number of death and resurrection, so also is 22 the biblical number of the sons of light. (See The Biblical Meaning of Numbers from One to Forty.)
Jair’s name means enlightenment, and so God raised him up to judge Israel for precisely 22 years. This makes him a “son of light.” So we may now add Jair to the revelation of the Judges’ names:
“The voice of God united in His sons (in an orderly manner that is subject to God’s Word) will fell the enemy by the power of the blood of Christ and by the light of transfiguration and will open the Ark to show forth the light of the Sun.”
The first work of Christ was accomplished by Jesus Himself, but the second work of Christ will include the sons of God. In Matt. 17:2 Jesus was the only One transfigured on the Mount, but in the second work of Christ, all of the overcomers (sons of light) will experience the same bodily “change” (as Paul calls it in 1 Cor. 15:51).