Quiet and peaceable reigns, though the best to live in, are the worst to write of, as yielding least variety of matter for the historian to entertain his reader with. Such were the reigns of these two judges, Tola and Jair, who make but a small figure and take up but a very little room in this history. But, no doubt, they were both raised up of God to serve their country in the quality of judges, not pretending, as Abimelech had done, to the grandeur of kings nor, like him, taking the honor they had to themselves, but being called of God to it.
Considering Tola. . .God animated this good man to appear for the reforming of abuses, the putting down of idolatry, the appeasing of tumults, and the healing of the wounds given to the state by Abimelech’s usurpation. Thus, he saved them from themselves and guarded them against their enemies. He was of the tribe of Issachar, a tribe disposed to serve, for he bowed his shoulder to bear (Genesis 49.14-15), yet one of that tribe is here raised up to rule, for those who humble themselves shall be exalted. . .
Jair was a Gileadite. . .That which is chiefly remarkable concerning [him] is the increase and honor of his family: he had thirty sons (verse 4) and they had good preferments, for they rode on thirty ass colts, that is, they were judges itinerant who, as deputies to their father, rode from place to place in their several circuits to administer justice. We find, afterwards, that Samuel made his sons judges, though he could not make them good ones (1 Samuel 8.1-3). – Matthew Henry (1662-1714), commenting on Judges 10.1-5.