The conquering king returned to home to glory. [18] This view is put forward also by Christian scholars from the 14th century[19] and continues to be propounded today, as by Solomon Landers, who considers it most likely that the fate of Jephthah's daughter was perpetual virginity or solitary confinement. "(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV), Judges 11:10The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, "Yahweh shall be witness between us; surely according to your word so will we do. And he subsequently defeated a serious threat from Ephraimite armies too (Judges 12:1-6). If the man denied it, he was asked to say the word Shibboleth, a word that the Ephraimites pronounced as “Sibboleth.” If the man didn’t pronounce the word correctly, the Gileadites killed him. Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah. Jephthah also had to fight against the Ephraimites during a later period of his reign. Jephthah replied that the Israelites didn’t steal anything from them. Since Jephthah is depicted as one of the great heroes of the Old Testament era (Hebrews 11:32), some scholars feel that this involves the Bible in a moral difficulty. A warrior and prophetess, she's the only woman in the Hebrew Bible with hard political power who is portrayed positively. | His father's name is also given as Gilead, and, as his mother is described as a prostitute, this may indicate that his father might have been any of the men of that area. That the sacrifice was made seems certain from the narrative, although some critics choose to substitute for the actual death of the maiden the setting the girl apart for a life of perpetual virginity. He has been described as "a wild, daring, Gilead mountaineer, a sort of warrior Elijah." Jephthah then conquered the people of Ammon and became the leader or judge of Israel. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, Volume 2: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel (Grand Rapids, MI: 2009) 180-181. Learn more about Mikey at and He sent messengers to the Ammonite king, asking him why he was attacking them. Seeing [it is] one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Years later the people of Ammon made war against the Israelites, and they didn’t have anyone strong enough to repel them. and whatever [footnote: Or whoever] comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the LORD's, and I will offer it [footnote: Or him] up for a burnt offering. THE OLD TESTAMENT JEPHTHAH'S FOOLISH PROMISE. Easily See 6017 Years of Biblical and World History Together! According to him, the right translation of this passage is: "whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, or I will offer it up as a burnt offering." [26] Thus, Jephthah is not stating an alternative between dedicating something to God and offering it up as a burnt offering, but clearly linking the two. Traditionally, Jephthah is listed among major judges because of the length of the biblical narrative referring to him, but his story also shares features with those of the minor judges, such as his short tenure—only six years—in office. So, there is no indication that his words were Spirit-directed.3. Jephthah evidently expected an animal to exit, but this unexpected event caused him to tear his clothes in mourning. Jephthah is referenced once in the Epistle to the Hebrews 11:32 where he is commended for his faith. On behalf of Israel as a whole and in reliance on the might of God the Judge, Jephthah challenges the Ammonites. (whom God sets free), A judge about B.C. The elders of Gilead went to the land of Tob and asked Jephthah to lead their army against the Ammonites. God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. This is essentially an argument from silence, so it is impossible to either prove or refute. In his play Jephthas sive votum – Jeptha or the Vow, the Scottish scholar and dramatist George Buchanan (1506–1582) called Jephthah's daughter "Iphis", obviously alluding to Iphigenia,[32][33] and Handel's 1751 oratorio, Jephtha, based on Buchanan's play, uses the same name. The midrash (Tanhuma Bechukotai 7) asserts that if Jephthah had read the laws of vows in the Torah, he would not have lost his daughter. And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she [was his] only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. The story of Jephthah has influenced a number of literary works. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV), Judges 11:29Then the Spirit of Yahweh came on Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over to the children of Ammon. The men of Ephraim, offended because they had had no share in the victory over the Ammonites, made war upon Gilead, but were put to rout by the forces under Jephthah (Judges 12:1-6).C. Trying to correct what they saw as a 300-year wrong, the Ammonites invaded Israel to reclaim lands taken from their ancestors by Joshua and the Israelites of the Exodus. Jephthah then conquered the people of Ammon and became the leader or judge of Israel. And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head? Here was the home of Jephthah, to which he returned after the defeat of the Aremonites, only to realize how his rash vow had brought desolation to his house. And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? Although he eventually rose to become judge of Israel for six years, he had a very rough start in life. And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words. Bullinger goes on to give examples from the Bible where the same word has been translated as "or". [10] Solomon Landers believed that the absence of express judgement implies that the sacrifice was not acceptable to God, notwithstanding the fact that the sacrifice nevertheless happened. Jephthah waged war against them, and "took twenty cities with a very great slaughter" (Judges 11:33). This special reading for Tisha B'Av sets the tone for this tragic and mournful day. “Jephthah's Daughter: A Lament.” RitualWell. It was also a time where God wanted to instruct his people how to live and govern their lives according to his purposes. Judges 11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, and he was the son of a prostitute: and Gilead became the father of Jephthah. God sent his spirit over Jephthah who then made a vow to conquer the people of Ammon, and the Lord confirmed this vow. Josephus well says that "the sacrifice was neither sanctioned by the Mosaic ritual nor acceptable to God." Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. Her character is elaborated and emphasized;[12][13] "the author has done his utmost to put this woman on the same level as the patriarchs, in this case especially Isaac. ", Solomon Landers, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, "Jephthah's Daughter: Midrash and Aggadah", "Did Jephthah really sacrifice his daughter? Because she had a special relationship with the prophet Elisha, her child was miraculously conceived and miraculously resurrected. You have brought me down and I am devastated. A town in Gilead, where Jephthah resided, and where he assumed the command of the Israelites in a time of national danger.