[15] Ambrose cited the story as an example of how it is "sometimes contrary to duty to fulfill a promise, or to keep an oath". Seeing [it is] one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Jephthah asked them, “You are the very people who rejected me and drove me out of my father’s house. This was a stretch of heavily forested land about 20 miles wide, east of the Jordan River, which today is located in the country of Jordan. --ED.) We will burn your house around you with fire! (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. It may have been first written down in the 8th century BCE, when the Northern kingdom of Israel (Samaria) began to collect its heroic tales, royal stories, and foundation myths. An analysis of Judges 11:31", "Killing the daughter: Judges' Jephthah and The Jew of Malta's Barabas", "Jephtha (Hewitt, John Hill) - IMSLP: Free Sheet Music PDF Download", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jephthah&oldid=979160186, Pages using infobox person with unknown parameters, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The story of Jephthah and his daughter is the subject of, This page was last edited on 19 September 2020, at 04:34.

“If you give the Ammonites into my hands,” he vowed, “whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering” (Judges 11:30-31). Jephthah Was an Outlaw King. It is of great interest, however, not only because of the fairness of the argument used (Judges 11:12-28), but also by virtue of the fact that it contains a history of the journey of the Israelites from Lower Egypt to the banks of the Jordan. A warrior and prophetess, she's the only woman in the Hebrew Bible with hard political power who is portrayed positively. What's the Story of Jephthah's Daughter? When his daughter was the first to come out of the house, he immediately regretted the vow, which would require him to sacrifice his daughter to God. Why have you come to me now when you are in distress? If diplomacy was tried, it failed to dissuade the Ammonites from seeking to invade Israel. Judges 11:9 Jephthah agrees to their request and becomes the leader of Israel. "[14] John Chrysostom held that God allowed Jephthah to kill his daughter in order to prevent similar rash vows being made in the future and that it was for that purpose that the annual bewailing of the event took place as a constant reminder. Jephthah then defeated the Ammonites and returned home to Mizpah (Judges 11:32–34). He realized the foolishness of his vow when his daughter was the first to greet him. [It is] God that justifieth. Jephthah prepared for battle, but before taking the field paused at Mizpeh of Gilead, and registered a vow that if he were successful in battle, he would offer as a burnt offering to Yahweh whatsoever should first come from his doors to greet him upon his return (Judges 11:29-31). ... destroyed these bold oppressors. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV), Judges 12:4Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim; and the men of Gilead struck Ephraim, because they said, "You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim, and in the midst of Manasseh. This judge and warrior led the Israelites in battle against the Ammonites. He triumphed over rejection, yet lost someone very dear to him because of a rash, unnecessary vow. This famous psalm is read on the eve of Tisha B'Av and sets the tone for an emotionally challenging holiday. [30], The 18th-century French philosopher Voltaire noted the similarities between Jepththa and the mythical Cretan general, Idomeneus, speculating whether one story had in fact imitated the other. And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob: And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon. Even though he was reluctant about offering his daughter as a sacrifice, he knew that he had to make good on his word. He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. ", Solomon Landers, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, "Jephthah's Daughter: Midrash and Aggadah", "Did Jephthah really sacrifice his daughter? [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. Who Are the Samaritans in the Bible? And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe. On behalf of Israel as a whole and in reliance on the might of God the Judge, Jephthah challenges the Ammonites. He has been described as "a wild, daring, Gilead mountaineer, a sort of warrior Elijah." After Jephthah was in power, he then sent messengers to the king of Ammon informing him to stop harassing the Israelites. This condition being accepted he returned to Gilead (Judges 11:7-11).

Reprinted with permission from Who’s Who in the Hebrew Bible (The Jewish Publication Society). Amazing Bible Timeline with World History, http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Jdg&c=11&t=KJV#29, http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Jdg&c=12&v=1&t=KJV#1, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Giovanni_Antonio_Pellegrini_001.jpg. The Ammonites were routed, and Jephthah returned victorious to his house in Mizpeh. And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? If he came back victorious, he’d be anointed “head”—a king-like position—over the Hebrews in Gilead. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. Jephthah ruled Israel for only six years (Judges 12:7). The Israelite laws concerning sacrifices and the language used in Judges 11:39 are the chief arguments for the latter interpretation. The Ammonites were routed with great slaughter; but as the conqueror returned to Mizpeh there came out to meet him his daughter, his only child, with timbrels and dancing. | GotQuestions.org, What is the importance of Mizpah in the Bible? Josephus well says that "the sacrifice was neither sanctioned by the Mosaic ritual nor acceptable to God." Then, in sham service to God, Gilead’s new king lit the flame that gruesomely burned his daughter to ashes in a pagan-style ritual of human sacrifice (Judges 11:39). Jephthah is a minor player in the Bible who reveals a major aspect of God’s character. The son of Gilead, was a judge of Israel, and successor to Jair. Idomeneus had asked the gods to calm a storm, promising in return that he would sacrifice the first living thing he saw upon his return, which turned out to be his son.[31]. He immediately tore his clothes and started wailing, “Oh no, my daughter! 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." Your email address will not be published. Can Nothing Really Separate Us from the Love of God? [11] The Book of Judges has been seen as teaching a cycle of pride associated with rejection of God's law and subsequent suffering of the people. ... Barak, Samson, Jephthah; of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths ... /.../the expositors bible the epistle to the hebrews/chapter xiii a cloud of.htm, The Judges. 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 king of Ammon claimed that the Israelites had stolen their lands from them when they left out of Egypt.

He sent messengers to the Ammonite king, asking him why he was attacking them.

He first defeated them, then intercepted the fugitives at the fords of Jordan, and there put forty-two thousand men to the sword. Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him. His fame as a bold and successful captain was carried back to his native Gilead; and when the time was ripe for throwing off the yoke of Ammon, Jephthah consented to become the captain of the Gileadite bands, on the condition, solemnly ratified before the Lord in Mizpeh, that int he event of his success against Ammon he should still remain as their acknowledged head. Jephthah swears an oath: ".

He first tried to solve the crisis peacefully, by diplomatic means. So, although we can’t know for sure this girl’s age, we can safely assume she was under 14, probably around 12 years or so. This history is distinguished from that of the Pentateuch chiefly by the things omitted. In light of that, some have suggested hopefully that perhaps the daughter’s life was spared, that she lived into adulthood “in perpetual virginity [as] a fulfillment of the vow.” Unfortunately, the hard truth is that Judges 11 (along with other textual and historical evidence) says otherwise—and says it plainly—whether our modern sensibilities like it or not. "(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV), Judges 11:9Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, "If you bring me home again to fight with the children of Ammon, and Yahweh deliver them before me, shall I be your head? A town in Gilead, where Jephthah resided, and where he assumed the command of the Israelites in a time of national danger. The Israelites "again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord ... they forsook the Lord and did not serve him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV), 1 Samuel 12:11Yahweh sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you lived in safety. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV), Judges 11:12Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the children of Ammon, saying, "What have you to do with me, that you have come to me to fight against my land? His history is told in Jud 11:1-12:15. Jephthah’s grief was real, to be sure … but he also had to have known that his vow meant a member of his family would die. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV), Judges 11:40that the daughters of Israel went yearly to celebrate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year. However, in the Hebrew Bible, the same word for 'burnt offering' (Hebrew, ʿōlāh) used in reference to Jepthah and his daughter in Judges 11:31 is also used in other Biblical stories alluding to human sacrifice, such as the story of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22) and Mesha of Moab and his son (2 Kings 3:27).



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