The Judge Elon [Judges 12.11-12.12]
Scripture: Judges 12.11-12(KJV)
11 And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years.
12 And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun.
11 And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years.—Judges 12.11(KJV)
11 And after him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years.—Judges 12:11 (ASV)
And after him Elon a Zebulonite judged Israel…
“After him” refers to Izban, the subject of the previous chapter. Elon was from the tribe of Zebulun, which makes him a Zebulonite, and his name means “Oak” or “Terebinth.” Josephus spelled the name “Helon.” His comment on this judge was, "Neither did Helon do anything remarkable."
Elon of Zebulun lived in the north of Canaan; he was raised up by God to preside in public affairs, to administer justice, and to reform abuses. The tribe of Zebulon had shown its bravery, patriotism, and prowess in the time of Barak (see Judges 4:10 and Judges 5:18).
and he judged Israel ten years;
As a judge, he would have ruled on disputes between family members, neighbors, and tribes; maintained the peoples focus on the true religion; and kept them from practicing idolatry. It does not appear that any enemies moved against Israel at this time, and therefore, Elon did not serve Israel as a deliverer. He continued to be a blessing to Israel for Ten years, and then died.
___________________________verse 11 notes_______________________
(Judges 4:10; ASV) “And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh; and there went up ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.” Ten thousand men at his feet—Ten thousand footmen. He had no chariots; his army was all composed of infantry.—Adam Clarke's Commentary
(Judges 5:18; ASV) “Zebulun was a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death, And Naphtali, upon the high places of the field.” Zebulun and Naphtali—jeoparded their lives—The original is very emphatic, חרף נפשו למות chereph naphsho lamuth, they desolated their lives to death—they were determined to conquer or die, and therefore plunged into the thickest of the battle. —Adam Clarke's Commentary
12 And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun.—Judges 12.2(KJV)
12 And Elon the Zebulunite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.—Judges 12:12 (ASV)
And Elon the Zebulonite died…
His death ended his ten years of government. Dr. Lightfoot computes that in the beginning of his time as judge, the forty years' of oppression by the Philistines began (spoken of in Judges 13:1), and about that time Samson was born. Probably, his residence was in the north, and the Philistines who bordered upon the southern parts of Canaan took the opportunity of making raids across the border and into Canaan.
and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun;
“the country of Zebulun” is added to distinguish it from another Aijalon in the tribe of Dan (Judges 1:35). This Aijalon has probably been preserved in the ruins of Jaln, about four hours' journey to the east of Akka, and half an hour to the S.S.W. of Mejdel Kerun.
_____________________________verse 12 notes______________________________
(Judges 13:1; ASV) “And the children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah; and Jehovah delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.” the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years -- The Israelites were represented (Judges 10:6, 7) as having fallen universally into a state of gross and confirmed idolatry, and in chastisement of this great apostasy, the Lord raised up enemies that harassed them in various quarters, especially the Ammonites and Philistines. The invasions and defeat of the former were narrated in the two chapters immediately preceding this; and now the sacred historian proceeds to describe the inroads of the latter people (which begins in chapter 60). The period of Philistine ascendency comprised forty years, reckoning from the time of Elon till the death of Samson.—Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
(Judges 1.35; NKJV) “and the Amorites were determined to dwell in Mount Heres, in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim; yet when the strength of the house of Joseph became greater, they were put under tribute.” The Amorites would dwell in Mount Heres—They perhaps agreed to dwell in the mountainous country, being unable to maintain themselves on the plain, and yet were so powerful that the Danites could not totally expel them; they were, however, laid under tribute, and thus the house of Joseph had the sovereignty. The Septuagint have sought out a literal meaning for the names of several of these places, and they render the verse thus: "And the Amorites began to dwell in the mount of Tiles, in which there are bears, and in which there are foxes." Thus they translate Heres, Aijalon, and Shaalbim.—Adam Clarke's Commentary
Scripture provides no specific information beyond that of his tribal connection, the length of his period of service, and the place where he was buried. If Izbans home was Bethlehem in Zebulun, then both he and Elon were Zebulunites. Aijalon may have been near Rimmon, but the LXX makes both name and burial place the same.