These were the Judges: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Abimelech, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan
, Elon, Abdon, and Samson.
After him [Jephthah], Ibzan from Bethlehem led Israel.
Ibzan, the tenth judge of Israel, ruled for seven years (approximately 1094-1087 BCE), following Jephthah's eventful and turbulent reign.
The Sages identify Ibzan with Boaz (Ruth's husband in the Book of Ruth) because Boaz, like Ibzan, came from Bethlehem (TB Bava Batra 91a) which, they assume, is the Bethlehem in Judah.
To account for the discrepancy between what is stated in Judges (that Boaz had sixty children) and the Book of Ruth (where they are never mentioned), the Sages further speculate that when Ibzan married off his sixty children, he refused to invite Samson's parents who were childless at the time, thus humiliating them.
With all due respect to the midrashic interpretation of the Sages, the weight of textual evidence is that Ibzan came from Bethlehem-Zebulun, not Bethle hem-Judah.
The judges immediately before and after Ibzan are from the northern tribal territories; not one of them is from the southern tribal regions.
Since the narrative descriptions of these two judges are so brief, and as it is most unusual for Ibzan's tribal affiliation not to be mentioned, the text may have been written sparingly on the assumption that there was no need to identify Ibzan as a Zebulunite because Elon, his immediate successor, was so identified.
Another narrative element connecting Ibzan with Zebulun may be found in the parallels between the Hebrew root origin of Zebulun's name, detailed in Genesis, and Ibzan's actions which further illuminate his tribal identity:
Leah's dream of "dwelling" with her husband never materializes in her lifetime, but through Ibzan her wistful hopes are realized centuries later in the shape of Zebulun's descendants.