Ibzan, the Eminent and Wondrous 9th Judge of Israel

Ibzan, the 9th Judge of Israel, succeeded Jephthah the Gileadite, a mighty warrior who won the battle against the Ammonites. Ibzan was from Bethlehem, and he had 30 sons and 30 daughters. His children gave him enormous clout as his sons and daughters married people outside his clan, thus creating many alliances with other Israelites. He led Israel for seven years (1081-1075 B.C.) and died, and was buried in his native town of Bethlehem. The events surrounding his life are mentioned in the Book of Judges, Chapter 12, verses 8 to 10.

The History of Ibzan

The name Ibzan is of Hebrew origin, meaning Illustrious or Splendid. However, according to Hitchcock’s Bible Names Dictionary, the name means father of a target or father of coldness. According to some biblical scholars, the Bethlehemite was a polygamist, and his marriages to many women cemented clan alliances and extended his political sphere of influence. His large family and the specific reference to the marriages of his children to other clans indicated his wealth and social status.

Some researchers that the Bethlehem referred to here is a place that was part of the territory occupied by the tribe of Zebulun and not the famed Bethlehem, which is in Judea, as Bethlehem here is not followed by “Ephratah” or by “Judah.” However, Titus Flavius Josephus, a first-century Romano-Jewish historian, affirms that Ibzan’s Bethlehem is in Judah.

Ibzan was one of the minor judges in the Bible whose activities included arbitration and dispute resolution since there were no military campaigns during his reign. His governance followed the eventful and turbulent reign of Jephthah. The other two minor judges who succeeded him, Elon and Abdon, were from the territories of Zebulun and Ephraim, respectively. Some of the other minor judges of Israel acted as deliverers from foreign rule.

Some historical experts believe that the extent of the rule of Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon was limited mainly to Transjordan (connected with the Ammonite oppression).

The Legacy of Ibzan

ibzan, judges of israel, judges in the bible
Ibzan vs. Jephthah

He is not remembered for his military success as there was no thrilling war story during his administration. Instead, he is noted for arranging the marriages of his children to people outside his clan, for extending his influence over the tribes of Israel to solidify his power and authority, and for uniting the tribes through family ties. Many compare his blessed life to Jephthah’s supposedly cursed life.

Ibzan’s seven years of judgeship is a mere blip on the timeline. However, his attempts to integrate the various tribes played a vital role in the political future of Israel as they came together to accomplish great things.

Meaning of Minor Judge

The classification of a minor judge is only suggestive of the short relative time of their appearance in the biblical narrative. It means that the Scriptures choose not to say much about them, though they were not minor in importance.

Our series on Bible heroes, who trusted God in the middle of difficult times, were powerfully used by the Almighty despite their faults and failings, will inspire you to believe the Supreme Being for the impossible.

One Response

  1. Rotkowski 16th September 2021

Add Comment

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons
Bible Reading Plans Bible Summaries Bible Verses by Topic Hymns Jesus on Earth Lent Season Praise Offerings Prayers Thought Pickers
bible verses about wives, wife scriptures, verses about wives, bible quotes about wives, biblical wife verses
35 Best Bible Verses About Wives to Encourage and Instruct
prayers for married couples, daily prayers for married couples,
25 Short and Powerful Prayers for Married Couples
bible verses about marriage, marriage quotes bible, marriage verses, marriage scriptures in the bible, christian marriage quotes
25 Awesome Bible Verses About Marriage
5 Minute Sermons Bible Facts Bible Heroes Bible in Pictures Classic Sermons Heroes of the Faith Historical Events Moral Stories Parables
Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders, wise and foolish builders, the parable of the two builders, parable of the builder, jesus parables
Famous Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders – 6 Valuable Lessons
the fox and the stork moral, fox and the crane, fox and the stork, fox and the crane story, fox and the stork story
The Fox and the Crane Story | 1 Enlightening and Famous Moral Story
easter sermon, easter message, easter sunday message
1 Dramatic and Blessed Easter Sermon | Rejoice for the Lord is Risen
Ask Bibilium Christian Living Christian Poems Christmas Season Contemporary Songs eBooks Festivals New Year Personal Development Quizzes Quotes Soft Skills Courses Women in Christ
duties of a wife in the bible, responsibilities of a wife in the bible, biblical wife duties, biblical roles of a wife, bible verses for wives
10 Magnificent Duties of a Wife in the Bible
prayers for married couples, daily prayers for married couples,
25 Short and Powerful Prayers for Married Couples
what is marriage in the bible, scriptures on marriage, what the bible says about marriage, what the bible says about marriage, wedding in the bible
What is Marriage in the Bible? 12 Powerful Truths About Marriage
Animated Bible Stories Factopedia Sunday School
christmas quiz, christmas quiz questions, christmas quiz questions and answers
The Spectacular Christmas Quiz | 12 Answers You Need to Know
in the arms of jesus, arms of jesus, jesus ark, safe in the arms of jesus
Safe in the Arms of Jesus | 1 Story of Redemption | Noah’s Ark
pitohui, hooded pitohui, poisonous birds
Hooded Pitohui | The Most Poisonous Bird in the World—10 Fascinating Facts