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Judge Tola in the Bible: Lessons and Facts

In this series of articles we will look at the life of Tola in the Bible; a judge in the Old Testament.

As we continue our study of the Judges of the Bible we come across Tola. He is considered a minor judge since his story is very brief and not much is mentioned about him even in other books of the Bible.

Tola comes on the scene after Abimelech has passed away. Let’s take a look at what we can learn.

Tola in the Bible

Tola in The Bible: The Son of Puah

After Abimelech died, Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar, arose to save Israel; and he lived in Shamir, in the hill country of Ephraim. Tola judged Israel for twenty-three years; then he died and was buried in Shamir. – Judges 10:1-2

There is always a difficulty in studying characters in the Bible that have such short stories. And Tola falls into that category. We do see through the Book of Numbers and 1 Chronicles the name Tola and each time it is associated with the tribe of Issachar.

But in Jewish culture it was extremely common to use family names for generations. And this is a prime example since Issachar himself had a son named Tola.

Now, the name Tola is quite interesting as in the hebrew it means worm.

תּוֹלָע Tôwlâʻ, to-law’; the same as H8438; worm; Tola, the name of two Israelites:—Tola.

Now, it might seem weird to name your child, worm. But this was not some common little worm like an earthworm. But a very distinct worm known as the the Crimson Worm or Coccus Ilicis or as the Hebrew would call Tola’ath. I speak in depth on this on the Biblical meaning of the color Red. This little insect was used in ancient times to create dye that produced a crimson or scarlet color.

This dye was used in the temple and tabernacle and Jesus is even referred to be a Tola’ath. That His blood was poured out for us. So, you can see that name Tola wasn’t a degrading name, but one that represented sacrifice, and beauty.

We also learn from these two verses that Tola lived in Shamir, in the hill country of Ephraim. The Gospel and Spade has a short little video of the location. I find this helpful since it’s hard to picture some of these Biblical locations.

Tola ruled as judge for 23 years and when he passed Jair became Judge.

FAQ on Judge Tola

Below are a few key questions about Tola. If you happen to have a question about him, feel free to leave me a comment at the bottom with your question. I will do my best to answer it.

What tribe is Tola from?

Tola is from the tribe of Issachar.

What is the meaning of Tola in the Bible?

His name in Hebrew means worm (crimson worm or coccus ilicis)

How long did Tola judge Israel?

Tola led Israel 23 years.

Where did Tola live?

In Shamir, the hill country of Ephraim.

The Many Judges in the Bible

Are you curious about the other judges in the Bible?? Well, I got you covered. I have created a series on different judges. Some of them have incredible life stories that we can learn from. You can go through all of them by clicking the links.

Even though Tola in the Bible is a short story I hope you have enjoyed this look into his life. I pray it has encouraged you to dig deeper into God’s Word!

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