What does Jephthah mean in the Bible?

Greek / Hebrew Translation Occurance
יִפְתָּח֙ a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. 9
יִפְתָּ֖ח a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. 3
יִפְתָּ֗ח a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. 3
יִפְתָּ֑ח a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. 3
יִפְתָּ֛ח a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. 2
ἰεφθάε son of Gilead 1
וְיִפְתָּ֣ח a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. 1
יִפְתָּֽח a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. 1
לְיִפְתָּ֔ח a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. 1
יִפְתָּ֜ח a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. 1
יִפְתָּ֧ח a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. 1
יִפְתָּ֔ח a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. 1
יִפְתָּ֥ח a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. 1
יִפְתָּ֣ח a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. 1
לְיִפְתָּ֜ח a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. 1

Definitions Related to Jephthah

H3316


   1 a son of Gilead and a concubine and the judge who defeated the Ammonites; after the victory because of a vow taken before the battle he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering.
   2 a city in Judah.
   Additional Information: Jephthah or Jiphtah = “he opens”.
   

G2422


   1 son of Gilead, and a judge in Israel.
   Additional Information: Jephthah = “whom God sets free”.
   

Frequency of Jephthah (original languages)

Frequency of Jephthah (English)

Dictionary

Holman Bible Dictionary - Jephthah
(jehf' thuh) Personal name meaning, “he will open.” One of Israel's judges about 1100 B.C. (Judges 11:1-12:7 ). A Gileadite, he was driven from his home because he was “the son of an harlot” (Judges 11:1 ). He lived and raided in the land of Tob with a band of outlaws, becoming known as a “mighty warrior.” When the Ammonites moved against Israel, Jephthah's people asked him to return and lead them. His victory over the Ammonites came about because of a vow he made to offer as a burnt offering the first living thing he saw upon his return from the battle. Although it was his daughter who greeted him, Jephthah did fulfill his vow. Considered as one of Yahweh's “chief” deliverers of his people (1 Samuel 12:11 ), Jephthah is hailed by the author of Hebrews as a hero of faith (Hebrews 11:32 ). See Judges; Ammon; Human Sacrifices. Darlene R. Gautsch
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Jephthah
(Ἰεφθάε)
Jephthah, the Gileadite warrior who became the conqueror of the Ammonites, and whose vow compelled him to sacrifice his own daughter (Judges 11-12), is named among the men of the OT who achieved great things by faith (Hebrews 11:32). He is mentioned after Samson, though he was historically earlier, the author probably trusting his memory, or not being over-studious of minute accuracy.
James Strahan.
People's Dictionary of the Bible - Jephthah
Jephthah (jĕph'thah), whom God sets free. A judge about b.c. 1143-1137. His history is contained in Judges 11:1 to Judges 12:8. He was a Gileadite, the son of Gilead and a concubine. Driven by the other sons from his father's inheritance, he went to Tob and became the head of a marauding party in a debatable land, probably belonging to Ammon. 2 Samuel 10:6. When a war broke out between the children of Israel and the Ammonites, he signalized himself for courage and enterprise. This led the Israelites to seek his aid as their commander-in-chief; and though he objected at first on the ground of their ill-usage of him, yet, upon their solemn covenant to regard him as their leader, in case they succeeded against the Ammonites, he took command of their army. After some preliminary negotiations with the Ammonites, in which the question of the right to the country is discussed with great force and ingenuity, and finding every attempt to conciliate them vain, the two armies met; the Ammonites were defeated with great loss of life, and their country scoured by the Israelites. On the eve of the battle Jephthah made a vow, that if he obtained the victory, he would devote to God whatever should come forth from his house to meet him on his return home. His daughter, an only child, welcomed his return with music and dancing. Jephthah was greatly afflicted by this occurrence; but his daughter cheerfully consented to the performance of his vow, which took place at the expiration of two months; and the commemoration of the event by the daughters of Israel was required by a public ordinance. Whether Jephthah actually offered up his daughter as a burnt-offering is a question that continues to be much disputed. Those who maintain the negative allege, that by translating the Hebrew prefix or, rendered and in our version, all difficulty will be removed. His vow will then read, "shall surely be the Lord's, or, I will offer a burnt-offering;" and not unfrequently the sense requires that the Hebrew should be thus rendered. Moreover, when Jephthah made this vow, he could not have intended to insult the Lord by promising a sacrifice of which he had expressed the utmost abhorrence, Leviticus 20:2-5; Deuteronomy 12:31; especially as it is recorded that the Spirit of the Lord was upon him when he uttered his vow. Suppose a dog had come out of the house of Jephthah, can any one suppose that he would have offered this unclean animal as a burnt-offering to the Lord? And why, then, should we suppose that he would offer a human sacrifice, which would have been so much more abominable? It is, moreover, argued that no mention is made of any bloody sacrifice of the young woman. But merely that he did with her according to his vow which he had vowed; and she knew no man; or, "she had not known man." R. V. These last words seem to convey, not obscurely, the idea that Jephthah devoted his daughter to the Lord, by consecrating her to a life of celibacy. And it should not be forgotten, that in the Epistle to the Hebrews (ch. 11), Jephthah is placed among the worthies who were distinguished for their faith. Now can we suppose that such a man would be guilty of the crime of sacrificing his own daughter? Compare Hebrews 11:32 with 2 Samuel 12:9; 1 Kings 11:5; 1 Kings 11:7. Hence, against the view that he offered his daughter as a burnt-offering, the sums of the argument are: 1. Jephthah must have known that human sacrifices were contrary to God's law. 2. That, being under the influence of the Spirit, Judges 11:29, he would be prevented from slaying his child, as Abraham was. 3. The law allowed him to redeem his daughter for 30 shekels. Leviticus 27:4. 4 No account of the bloody sacrifice is given, but another disposition of her case is intimated. 5. Jephthah is in the list of worthies named in Hebrews 11:1-40 for their faith. Those who urge the strict literal interpretation think these arguments inconclusive; and urge that Jephthah was a wild character in a rude period, and that there is not a particle of evidence that God approved his rash vow, or this part 'of his conduct. In the early period there are instances of persons guilty of some great sins, yet who were generally eminent for their piety. Josephus says: "Such an oblation was neither conformable to the law, nor acceptable to God." His next act was one of severity in dealing with the Ephraimites, who were not invited to war against the Ammonites, hence had a battle with the Gileadites, and were defeated; and the latter, seizing the fords of the Jordan, slew every Ephraimite who attempted to escape by crossing the river; and the method employed to ascertain whether they belonged to Ephraim was, to cause them to pronounce the word "shibboleth," which they sounded "sibboleth;" for, it seems that, by this time, a difference in the manner of pronouncing at least one Hebrew letter had arisen between the inhabitants on the different sides of the Jordan. On this occasion 42,000 men of Ephraim were slain; which was a punishment for commencing a war with so small a provocation. Judges 11:1-40; Judges 12:1-15. Jephthah died after judging six years, and was buried among his people, the Gileadites, in one of their cities. Judges 12:7.
Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jephthah, Jephthae
Son of Gilead by a 'strange woman.' Being turned out by his half-brothers he went into the land of Tob, where 'vain men' joined him, and went out with him, apparently as freebooters. But when the Ammonites attacked Israel, the men of Gilead called in the aid of this 'mighty man of valour.' He covenanted with them that if he was successful in the war he should be their head. After vainly seeking to divert the Ammonites from their unjust aggression, by maintaining that the Lord God of Israel had given them the land which Ammon now sought to possess, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he prepared for the war; but before the battle, he vowed that if the Lord would deliver the Ammonites into his hand he would on returning devote to the Lord whatever should first come out of his house to meet him.
The Ammonites were smitten with very great slaughter: he conquered twenty cities, for the Lord delivered them into his hand. On returning to his house, his daughter, his only child, came out to meet him. He rent his clothes, and was in deep trouble; but said he had opened his mouth to the Lord, and could not go back. His daughter coincided with this view, seeing that the Lord had taken vengeance on their enemies. Two months were occupied by her and her companions bewailing her virginity.
As to his daughter being really offered as a sacrifice, the vow was "I will offer it up for a burnt offering;" and at the end of the two months "she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed:" which seems to imply that she was offered up as a sacrifice. If so, such a sacrifice would have been contrary to the law, only certain clean beasts and birds being eligible. One of these may have been offered for her in the spirit of Exodus 13:13 and Leviticus 26 : and she have been devoted to perpetual virginity. This to an Israelite would have been a sufficient calamity to account for Jephthah's grief. Judges 11 .
The men of Ephraim then gathered themselves together and complained that Jephthah had not called them to the war, beginning a quarrel, which ended with the death of 42,000 of the Ephraimites. Jephthah judged Israel six years. Judges 12:1-7 .
The history of Jephthah shows how Israel had fallen in having recourse to the captain of a troop of 'vain men.' Jephthah suffered severely through his rash vow, and he had not wisdom and humility to appease the anger of Ephraim. God did not desert His people, but their low state is very manifest. 1 Samuel 12:11 . The faith of Jephthae is spoken of in Hebrews 11:32 . He maintained the title of God's people to the inheritance God had given them.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Jephthah
JEPHTHAH . Spoken of simply as ‘the Gileadite,’ and as being a ‘mighty man of valour.’ In Judges 11:1 it is said that he was ‘the son of a harlot,’ for which cause he was driven out from his home in Gilead by his brethren. Hereupon he gathers a band of followers, and leads the life of a freebooter in the land of Tob. Some time after this, Gilead is threatened with an attack by the Ammonites, and Jephthah is besought to return to his country in order to defend it; he promises to lead his countrymen against the Ammonites on condition of his being made chief (king?) if he returns victorious. Not only is this agreed to, but he is forthwith made head of his people ( Judges 11:4-11 ).
In the long passage which follows, Judges 11:12-28 , Israel’s claim to possess Gilead is urged by messengers who are sent by Jephthah to the Ammonite king; the passage, however, is concerned mostly with the Moabites (cf. Numbers 20:1-29 ; Numbers 21:1-35 ), and is clearly out of place here.
The ‘spirit of the Lord’ comes upon Jephthah, and he marches out to attack the Ammonites. On his way he makes a vow that if he returns from the battle victorious, he will offer up, as a thanksgiving to Jahweh, whoever comes out of his house to welcome him. He defeats the Ammonites, and, on his return, his daughter, an only child, comes out to meet him. The father beholds his child, according to our present text, with horror and grief, but cannot go back upon his word. The daughter begs for two months’ respite, in order to go into the mountains to ‘bewail her virginity.’ At the end of this period she returns, and Jephthah fulfils his vow (an archæological note is here appended, Judges 11:40 , concerning which see below). There follows then an episode which recalls Judges 8:1-3 ; the Ephraimites resent not having been called by Jephthah to fight against the Ammonites, just as they resented not being called by Gideon to fight against the Midianites; in the present case, however, the matter is not settled amicably; a battle follows, in which Jephthah is again victorious; the Ephraimites flee, but are intercepted at the fords of Jordan, and, being recognized by their inability to pronounce the ‘sh’ in the word Shibboleth , are slain. Jephthah, after continuing his leadership for six years, dies, and is buried in Gilead, but the precise locality is not indicated.
Whether the story of the sacrifice of Jephthah’s daughter be historical or not, its mention is of considerable interest, inasmuch as it bears witness to the prevalence among the early Israelites of practices which were widely recognized among ancient peoples as belonging to the essentials of religion. In the story before us we obviously must not expect to see the original form; it is a compilation from more than one source, and has been worked over in the interests of later religious conceptions; that two totally distinct practices have, therefore, got mixed up together need cause no surprise. The first of these practices was the sacrifice of a human being at times of special stress (the sacrifice of the firstborn belongs to a different category); the second is that known as the ‘Weeping for Tammuz.’ Among early peoples there were certain rites which represented the death and resurrection of vegetation, in connexion with which various myths arose. In their original form (in which human sacrifice played a part) these rites were intended, and believed, to be the means of assisting Nature to bring forth the fruits of the earth. Among such rites was that known as ‘the Weeping for Tammuz’ (= Adonis), cf. Ezekiel 8:14 ; the rite was based on the myth that Tammuz, a beautiful youth, was killed by a boar; Tammuz was the personification of the principle of vegetation, and represented the Summer, while the boar represented the Winter. This death of Tammuz was celebrated annually with bitter wailing, chiefly by women ( Judges 11:40 ); often (though not always, for the rite differed in different localities) his resurrection was celebrated the next day, thus ensuring by means of imitative magic the re-appearance of fresh vegetation in its time.
The ‘bewailing of virginity’ (Judges 11:37 ), and the note, ‘she had not known a man’ ( Judges 11:39 ), are inserted to lay stress on the fact that if Jephthah’s daughter had had a husband, or had been a mother, her father would have had no power over her; since, in the one case, her husband would have been her possessor, and in the other, she could have claimed protection from the father of the child, whether the latter were alive or not.
W. O. E.Oesterley.
Chabad Knowledge Base - Jephthah
A Gileadite renowned for his valor, the sixth of the Judges, he judged the Israelites for six years (988-982 BCE). Though a prophet, he is considered the least worthy of the Judges. He successfully led the Israelites in battle against the oppressing Amonites.
Whyte's Dictionary of Bible Characters - Jephthah And His Daughter
IT IS GOOD FOR A MAN THAT HE BEAR THE YOKE IN HIS YOUTH
'PROSPERITY,' says Bacon, 'is the blessing of the Old Testament, but adversity is the blessing of the New.' 'How many saints,' exclaims Law, 'has adversity sent to heaven! And how many poor sinners has prosperity plunged into everlasting misery! This man had never been debauched, but for his fortune and advancement; that had never been pious, but through his poverty and disgrace. She that is envied for her beauty may perchance owe all her misery to it, and another may be for ever happy for having no admirers of her person. One man succeeds in everything, and so loses all; another meets with nothing but crosses and disappointments, and thereby gains more than all the world is worth.' 'Adversity,' says Albert Bengel, 'transfers our affections to Christ. 'Caius Martius,' says Plutarch, 'being left an orphan of his father, was brought up under his mother, a widow, and he has taught us by his experience that orphanage brings many disadvantages to a child, but does not hinder him from becoming an honest man, or from excelling in virtues above the common sort.'
Jephthah the Gileadite was the most ill-used man in all the Old Testament, and he continues to be the most completely misunderstood, misrepresented, and ill-used man down to this day. Jephthah's ill-usage began before he was born, and it has continued down to the last Old Testament Commentary and the last Bible Dictionary that treats of Jephthah's name. The iron had entered Jephthah's soul while yet he lay in his mother's womb; and both his father and his brothers and the elders of Israel helped forward Jephthah's affliction, till the Lord rose up for Jephthah and said, It is enough; took the iron out of His servant's soul, and poured oil and wine into the lifelong wound. Born, like his great Antitype, under a cloud, Jephthah, like his great Antitype also, was made perfect through suffering. Buffeted about from his birth by his brothers; trampled upon by all men, but most of all by the men of his father's house; called all manner of odious and exasperating names; his mother glad to get the servants' leavings for herself and her son; when a prophet came to dine, sent away to the fields to be out of sight; My son, his mother said, as she died on her bed of straw among Gilead's oxen-My son, shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And from that day, if earth had been hell to Jephthah before, the one drop of water that had hitherto cooled his tormented heart was now spilt to him for ever, never to be gathered up again. For his mother was dead.
If at the death of his father Jephthah had got his proper portion of his father's goods, then Jephthah might have become as great a prodigal as his brothers became. But the loss of an earthly inheritance was to Jephthah, as it has been to so many men since his day, the gaining of an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, eternal in the heavens.
And Gilead's wife bore him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, 'Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house, for thou art the son of a strange woman.' Then Jephthah fled from his brethren and dwelt in the land of Tob; and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, who went out with him. 'Vain men'; yes; no doubt. But, then, we must remember that misery has always acquainted even the best of men with strange bedfellows. David's misery acquainted him with every one that was in debt, and with every one that was in distress, and with every one that was discontented, and he became a captain over them, as did Jephthah long before David's day. You must not sit in your soft chair and shake your head over Jephthah and David. They were not all highwaymen; they were not all unmitigated freebooters either in Adullam or in Tob. They were not unlike those Armenians or Greeks who have taken to the hills in our day against the Turks. Still, we must stand to the text; and it is to Jephthah's advantage that we do so stand. Yes; fill the mountain-fastnesses of Tob as full as they can hold of vain men, and their captain's true character will only all that the better come out. Debtors, broken men, injured and outcast men, orphan and illegitimate sons, prodigal sons, and sons with whom their fathers were wearied out; with, no doubt, a sprinkling of salt here and there, as there always is among the most corrupt characters and the most abandoned men. But, bad as they were, Jephthah turned none of them away, but took them all the more into his own hand. I told you Whose type Jephthah was, and Who was his Antitype. And thus it was that he took that great rabble of refuse and of offscourings, and year after year gradually chastised them into an army of obedient and capable men. He took them to his own cave man by man, to sup with himself and to talk with himself. He listened to their story, and they listened to his. He told them what he would give them to do, and what he would give them for doing it. He made them captains over tens and over fifties and over hundreds. He trusted them, he praised them, he promoted them. And then he hurled them like a stone cut out of the mountain against the enemies of the King of Tob; till the elders of Israel in their absolute despair were compelled to approach and to beseech Jephthah to come down from his fastness and rid them of their enemies also.
It was a bitter pill to those elders of Israel. Some of the prouder stomachs among them would have died rather than swallow it. The stone which the builders had refused was become the head stone of the corner; and it broke every bone in their body to lift that stone up into its place. You know how you hate and fear and shrink back from meeting, not to speak of being beholden for your life to, the man or woman you once greatly injured. You will know, then, what it was to be an elder in Israel in that day and among the hills of Tob. Their hearts were as black as hell with remorse and with terror as they approached Jephthah's dreadful den and saw his naked savages glowering at them through their spears. Look at that poor elder of Israel of eighty. His old face is as white as his old hair. An old man like that should not be out on an errand like this. He drinks at every stream. He falls down with fear at every breath of wind. Who, you ask, is that so venerable figure they have placed at the head of the sacred deputation? Oh, that, you must know, is the ruling elder, to whose door Jephthah went in his despair when his mother was dying in Gilead's stable. That is the hand, so helpless today, that shut the door so sternly in Jephthah's face that day. That is the mouth, so dry today, that was so full of such evil names at Jephthah that day. And he would never have got through his mission to Tob that day unless Jephthah had made his daughter spread out some venison on a shelf of a rock and pour out some of the old wine of their mountains. That old elder's sin found him out that day, when the sweetest woman-child he had ever seen washed his feet, and anointed his head, and kissed his outstretched and deprecating hand, Jephthah's daughter shall never wash my feet! the old man had said; but she both washed his feet and kissed them too, in her beautiful honour to old age. Jephthah would have been more than a mere man, as, indeed, he sometimes was, if he had not reminded those elders of the old days. Only, if the deputation had had any sense; if they had not been so many idiots; if all their tongues had not been cleaving to the roofs of their months over Jephthah's hospitality and his daughter's devotion, they would surely have taken the upbraiding words out of his mouth. What a pity it is that Jephthah did not hold himself in to the end of the interview! What a lesson he would then have been to us in the New Testament art of taming an injured tongue! But let him who has always tamed his own tongue in Jephthah's opportunity cast the first stone at Gilead's disinherited and cast-out son. At the same time, Jephthah soon put a bridle on his mouth, and that lest his old wrongs should set sudden fire to what he knew was only waiting the match in the hearts of his men. And he was very glad when he got all those elders of Israel safely out of Tob and back again within the borders of their own land. He was angry with himself all down the long hill-road that he had ever told those wild men one word about the days of his youth. But by quick marchings and by strict orders Jephthah got his bodyguard held in till all danger was past.
The Lord dwelt in those days at Mizpeh; The Lord had a house and an altar at Mizpeh; and Jephthah opened all that was in his heart; past injury, present opportunity, and future surrender and service before the Lord at Mizpeh, This is what we mean by masterly writing, sacred or profane. This: 'Jephthah uttered all his words before the Lord in Mizpah.' The truly masterly part was in Jephthah himself. But it is not every masterly part that gets such a masterly reporter, 'Before the Lord,' I am much afraid, is only so much pen and ink to you even when it stands in these reader-arresting capitals. But, to Jephthah, Mizpeh was all that the Mount was to Moses when the Lord descended there with His great Name. Tob, and Mizpeh, and all, were full of the Lord and all His Attributes to Jephthah. I expect to read in The Athenæum or The Academy some Saturday night soon that the land of Tob has been discovered and identified, and Jephthah's headquarters in it, with Exodus thirty-fourth and sixth and seventh still legible on its doorpost. Perhaps Dryasdust will then begin to open his eyes over his ordered article on Jephthah. Only, if they had been made to open they would surely have opened long ago at the last clause of the eleventh verse of the eleventh chapter of Jephthah's history. Time has failed me to make an exhaustive induction over the whole of the Old Testament, but I have a conviction that The Name of the Lord occurs oftener in Jephthah's history than it does in the history of any other Old Testament saint, at any rate between the days of Moses and those of David. If the Name and Presence of the Lord is the supreme distinction in any man's life and history, Old Testament or New, prosperity or adversity, then he that runs might surely have read in that Jephthah's character and Jephthah's standing in the true Israel. How I wish this fine narrator had taken time to tell us down to every jot and tittle all that Jephthah said and did when he uttered all his words before the Lord at Mizpeh! Were this sacred writer on the earth in our day, and were he recasting his Judges in the light of the New Testament, I feel sure he would give us all Jephthah's words before the Lord at Mizpeh, and that verbatim too, even if he had to leave out the Levite and his concubine. But this sacred writer knew his own business, and I can well believe it of him that he buried Jephthah's words before the Lord at Mizpeh out of sight in order that we might have to dig for those words as for hid treasure-the hid treasure of the kingdom of heaven, as Jephthah had been taught by his mother about that kingdom, and had already taken, and will soon still more take, that kingdom by force.
Along with Jephthah we have Jephthah's father, and his mother, and his brothers, and the elders of Israel, and the King of Ammon, and Jephthah's daughter, and the daughters of Israel-but we have not one word about Jephthah's wife. Richard Owen, the great anatomist, from a few inches of fossil bone constructed a complete creature of a long past and forgotten world, and made it live and go about again before us. And from a few words of her daughter I can see and understand that nameless princess of the land of Tob better than I can see and understand some men and women who live next door to me. I conclude the long-dead mother from a single glimpse of her noble daughter. I see the mother of Jephthah's daughter the light of Jephthah's eyes in the dark cave of Tob. Those terrified elders owed their life that day to her. It was her love and her life and her death that so softened and so reconciled her husband, 'Yes,' she said to her father, after Jephthah had delivered her father's city,-'Yes, I will go with this man.' And when her daughter was born in Adullam that finished her work on her husband's savage soldiers. Always lions in war, they were now lambs in peace. 'My father,' said her daughter, long after her mother was dead and buried among her father's hills,-'My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth,' No, there can be no doubt at all about the mother of Jephthah's daughter. Moses had laid down a law that Jephthah was never to get a wife out of any family in Israel, nor was he ever to be let worship God in the same house with the virtuous elders of Israel. But men like Jephthah are above all such laws, and they break through them all as a lion breaks through a hedge. For Jephthah got of the Lord in Tob a better wife and a better daughter too, than were to be seen in all Israel from Dan to Beersheba. And as for their tabernacle, he took it by storm, or, if not it, then that temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Pericles' mother dreamed one night that she was brought to bed of a lion. And Jephthah's mother again and again had the same dream.
After all that, it does not at all upset me to read that Jephthah built an altar and offered up his daughter. That was their terrible way sometimes in those twilight, uncivilised, and unevangelical ages. What God bade Abraham and Isaac do on Moriah, that Jephthah and his daughter actually did at Mizpeh. No doubt, had God sent an angel and provided a ram, Jephthah and his daughter would have returned home together willingly enough. But God did better for Jephthah and his daughter than He did for Abraham and Isaac, and both Abraham and Isaac in their old age would have been the first to admit it. The finished work of this earthly life of fathers, and mothers, and sons, and daughters, is to hold them all as not ours but God's. It is really of little consequence in what age of the world, or in what dispensation of providence, patriarchal, Mosaic, pagan, or Christian, or just in what way, and just among what things, the mind and the heart and the will of Jephthah and Jesus Christ are worked out within us-If only they are worked out within us.
The one question is, Am I or am I not my own? Am I bought with a price or am I not? In all that do I not sin, nor charge God foolishly? In all that do I say, Lo, I come, in the volume of the book it is written of me? You take a right step. You take up a holy calling. You enter a holy covenant. You open your mouth to the Lord, and you put your hand to His holy plough. And, come what may, you never go back. You only all the more say, I will pay my vow. Thy will be done. My times are in Thy hand. The cup, shall I not drink it? All I have is Thine, said Jephthah. I had nothing. I had not even a name to be known by. No man would let me sit at his table. No mother would let me look at her daughter. No elder in Israel but spat in my face. It is all Thine. I am Thy servant, and the son of Thine handmaid; Thou hast loosed my bonds. Take it all back again if Thou seest good; only let me redeem Thy people Israel. And God took Jephthah at his word, till wherever the Book of the Judges of Israel is read this that Jephthah and his daughter did shall be told for a memorial of them. And it was a custom in Israel that the daughters of Israel went to that altar once every year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year. And they came back from that altar to be far better daughters than they went out. They came back softened, and purified, and sobered at heart. They came back ready to die for their fathers, and for their brothers, and for their husbands, and for their God. Weep not for me, Jephthah's daughter said to them from off her altar and from out of heaven. Weep for yourselves and for your children.
And that the very fragments of such a history may be gathered up, and may not be lost, we are let read this on the margin-That though Jephthah had neither wife, nor son, nor daughter of his own any more, yet his palace at Mizpeh was only all that the more replenished and full of people. Old soldiers from the fastnesses of Tob were pensioned in that palace; prodigal sons worked in its fields; illegitimate sons sat at its table; foundling children played upon its doorsteps; nephews of its owner, the debauched sons of the rich brothers of his youth, became honest men-what between their uncle's house and the house of the Lord beside it. Long ago, when Jephthah first uttered his words before the Lord at Mizpeh, he read these words on the wall of that altar. These words: The Lord your God regardeth not persons, nor taketh rewards. He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and the widow; He loveth the stranger, and giveth him food and raiment. Love ye, therefore, the stranger, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. And many of the sons of the elders of Israel ate the fat and drank the sweet at Jephthah's orphaned table, because of what Jephthah had read long ago on the Lord's wall at Mizpeh. For six years this life for others went on with Jephthah. He buried his grief as much as he might in warfare for Israel and in labours in her seat of judgment and among her outcasts, till he died in Mizpeh in midtime of his days. For he said, They shall not return to me, but I shall go to them, and so died.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jephthah
one of the judges of Israel, was the son of Gilead by a concubine, Judges 11:1-2 . His father having several other children by his lawful wife, they conspired to expel Jephthah from among them, insisting that he who was the son of a strange woman should have no part of the inheritance with them. Like Ishmael, therefore, he withdrew, and took up his residence beyond Jordan, in the land of Tob, where he appears to have become the chief of a banditti, or marauding party, who probably lived by plunder, Judges 11:3 . In process of time, a war broke out between the Ammonites and the children of Israel who inhabited the country beyond Jordan; and the latter, finding their want of an intrepid and skilful leader, applied to Jephthah to take the command of them. He at first reproached them with the injustice they had done him, in banishing him from his father's house; but he at length yielded to their importunity, on an agreement that, should he be successful in the war against the Ammonites, the Israelites should acknowledge him for their chief, Judges 11:4-11 .
As soon as Jephthah was invested with the command of the Israelites he sent a deputation to the Ammonites, demanding to know on what principle the latter had taken up arms against them. They answered that it was to recover the territory which the former had taken from them on their first coming out of Egypt. Jephthah replied that they had made no conquests in that quarter but from the Amorites; adding, "If you think you have a right to all that Chemosh, your god, hath given you, why should not we possess all that the Lord our God hath conferred on us by right of conquest?" Jephthah's reasoning availed nothing with the Ammonites; and as the latter persisted in waging war, the former collected his troops together and put himself at their head. The Spirit of the Lord is said to have now come upon Jephthah; by which we are here to understand, that the Lord endowed him with a spirit of valour and fortitude, adequate to the exigence of the situation in which he was placed, animating him with courage for the battle, and especially inspired him with unshaken confidence in the God of the armies of Israel, Judges 11:17 ; Hebrews 11:32 ; 1 Samuel 11:6 ; Numbers 24:2 . Jephthah at this time made a vow to the Lord that if he delivered the Ammonites into his hand, whatever came forth out of the doors of his house to meet him when he returned should be the Lord's; it is also added in our English version, "and I will offer it up for a burnt- offering," Judges 11:31 . The battle terminated auspiciously for Jephthah; the Ammonites were defeated, and the Israelites ravaged their country. But on returning toward his own house, his daughter, an only child, came out to meet her father with timbrels and dances, accompanied by a chorus of virgins, to celebrate his victory. On seeing her, Jephthah rent his clothes, and said, "Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low; for I have opened my mouth to the Lord, and cannot go back." His daughter intimated her readiness to accede to any vow he might have made in which she was personally interested; only claiming a respite of two months, during which she might go up to the mountains and bewail her virginity with her companions. Jephthah yielded to this request, and at the end of two months, according to the opinion of many, her father offered her up in sacrifice, as a burnt-offering to the Lord, Judges 11:34-39 . It is, however, scarcely necessary to mention, that almost from the days of Jephthah to the present time, it has been a subject of warm contest among the critics and commentators, whether the judge of Israel really sacrificed his daughter, or only devoted her to a state of celibacy. Among those who contend for the former opinion, may be particularly mentioned the very learned Professor Michaelis, who insists most peremptorily that the words, "did with her as he had vowed," cannot mean any thing else but that her father put her to death, and burned her body as a burnt-offering. On this point, however, the remarks of Dr. Hales are of great weight:—When Jephthah went forth to battle against the Ammonites "he vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou wilt surely give the children of Ammon into my hand, then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall either be the Lord's, or I will offer it up [1] a burnt-offering,"
Judges 11:30-31 . According to this rendering of the two conjunctions, ו , in the last clause, either, or, which is justified by the Hebrew idiom, the paucity of connecting particles in that language making it necessary that this conjunction should often be understood disjunctively, the vow consisted of two parts,
1. That what person soever met him should be the Lord's, or be dedicated to his service.
2. That what beast soever met him, if clean, should be offered up for a burnt-offering unto the Lord. This rendering, and this interpretation, is warranted by the Levitical law about vows. The נדר , or vow in general, included either persons, beasts, or things, dedicated to the Lord for pious uses; which, if it was a simple vow, was redeemable at certain prices, if the person repented of his vow, and wished to commute it for money, according to the age and sex of the person, Leviticus 27:1-8 . This was a wise regulation to remedy rash vows. But if the vow was accompanied with חרם , devotement, it was irredeemable, as in the following cases:
"Notwithstanding, no devotement which a man shall devote unto the Lord, [2] of man, or of beast, or of land of his own property, shall be sold or redeemed. Every thing devoted is most holy unto the Lord," Leviticus 27:28 . Here the three vaus in the original should necessarily be rendered disjunctively, or, as the last actually is in our public translation, because there are three distinct subjects of devotement, to be applied to distinct uses; the man, to be dedicated to the service of the Lord, as Samuel by his mother, Hannah, 1 Samuel 1:11 ; the cattle, if clean, such as oxen, sheep, goats, turtle doves, or pigeon's, to be sacrificed; and if unclean, as camels, horses, asses, to be employed for carrying burdens in the service of the tabernacle or temple; and the lands, to be sacred property. This law, therefore, expressly applied, in its first branch, to Jephthah's case, who had devoted his daughter to the Lord, or opened his mouth unto the Lord, and therefore could not go back; as he declared in his grief at seeing his daughter, and his only child, coming to meet him with timbrels and dances. She was, therefore, necessarily devoted, but with her own consent, to perpetual virginity, in the service of the tabernacle, Judges 11:36-37 . And such service was customary; for in the division of the spoils taken in the first Midianite war, of the whole number of captive virgins, "the Lord's tribute was thirty-two persons," Numbers 31:35-40 . This instance appears to be decisive of the nature of her devotement. Her father's extreme grief on this occasion, and her requisition of a respite of two months to bewail her virginity, are both perfectly natural: having no other issue, he could only look forward to the extinction of his name or family; and a state of celibacy, which is reproachful among women every where, was peculiarly so among the Israelites; and was therefore no ordinary sacrifice on her part, who, though she generously gave up, could not but regret the loss of becoming "a mother in Israel." "And he did with her according to his vow which he had vowed, and she knew no man," or remained a virgin all her life, Judges 11:34-40 . There was also another case of devotement which was irredeemable, and follows the former: "No one devoted, who shall be devoted of man, shall be redeemed, but shall surely be put to death," Leviticus 27:29 . This case differs materially from the former:
1. It is confined to persons devoted, omitting beasts and lands.
2. It does not relate to private property, as in the foregoing.
3. The subject of it was to be utterly destroyed, instead of being "most holy unto the Lord."
This law, therefore, related to aliens or public enemies devoted to destruction, either by God, by the people, or by the magistrate. Of all these we have instances in the Scriptures:
1. The Amalekites and Canaanites were devoted by God himself. Saul, therefore, was guilty of a breach of this law for sparing Agag, the king of the Amalekites, as Samuel reproached him, 1 Samuel 15:23 : and "Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord," not as a sacrifice, according to Voltaire, but as a criminal, "whose sword had made many women childless." By this law the Midianite women, who had been spared in battle, were slain, Numbers 31:14-17 .
2. In Mount Hor, when the Israelites were attacked by Arad, king of the southern Canaanites, who took some of them prisoners, they vowed a vow unto the Lord, that they would utterly destroy these Canaanites, and their cities, if the Lord should deliver them into their hand; which the Lord ratified. Whence the place was called Hhormah, because the vow was accompanied by cherem, or devotement to destruction, Numbers 21:1-3 . And the vow was accomplished,
Judges 1:17 .
3. In the Philistine war, Saul adjured the people, and cursed any one that should taste food until the evening. His own son, Jonathan, inadvertently ate a honey comb, not knowing of his father's oath, for which Saul sentenced him to die. But the people interposed, and rescued him, for his public services; thus assuming the power of
dispensing, in their collective capacity, with an unreasonable oath, 1 Samuel 14:24-45 . This latter case, therefore, is utterly irrelative to Jephthah's vow, which did not regard a foreign enemy, or a domestic transgressor, devoted to destruction, but, on the contrary, was a vow of thanksgiving, and therefore properly came under the former case.
And that Jephthah could not possibly have sacrificed his daughter, according to the vulgar opinion, founded on incorrect translation, may appear from the following considerations:
1. The sacrifice of children to Moloch was an abomination to the Lord, of which in numberless passages, he expresses his detestation; and it was prohibited by an express law, under pain of death, as "a defilement of God's sanctuary, and a profanation of his holy name," Leviticus
Judges 20:2-3 . Such a sacrifice, therefore, unto the Lord himself, must be a still higher abomination. And there is no precedent of any such under the law, in the Old Testament.
2. The case of Isaac before the law, is irrelevant; for Isaac was not sacrificed; and it was only proposed for a trial of Abraham's faith.
3. No father, merely by his own authority, could put an offending, much less an innocent, child to death, upon any account, without the sentence of the magistrates, Deuteronomy 21:18-21 , and the consent of the people, as in Jonathan's case.
4. The Mischna, or traditional law of the Jews, is pointedly against it: "If a Jew should devote his son or daughter, his man or maid servant, who are Hebrews, the devotement would be void; because no man can devote what is not his own, or of whose life he has not the absolute disposal."
These arguments appear to be decisive against the sacrifice; and that Jephthah could not even have devoted his daughter to celibacy against her will, is evident from the history, and from the high estimation in which she was always held by the daughters of Israel, for her filial duty, and her hapless fate, which they celebrated by a regular anniversary commemoration four days in the year, Judges 11:40 . We may, however, remark, that, if it could be more clearly established that Jephthah actually immolated his daughter, there is not the least evidence that his conduct was sanctioned by God. Jephthah was manifestly a superstitious and ill-instructed man, and, like Samson, an instrument of God's power, rather than an example of his grace.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jephthah
The son of Gilead, was a judge of Israel, and successor to Jair. His history is told in Judges 11:1-12:15 . A most affecting incident in it is his devoting his daughter to God as a sacrifice, in consequence of a rash vow.
The arguments on the question whether Jephthah's daughter was actually sacrificed or not, cannot here be cited. The natural repugnance we feel to such a vow and its fulfillment has led many interpreters to adopt the less obvious theory that she was only condemned to live and die unmarried. There is no intimation in Scripture that God approved of his vow, whatever it was. Paul numbers Jephthah among the saints of the Old Testament distinguished for their faith, Hebrews 11:32 .
Easton's Bible Dictionary - Jephthah
Whom God sets free, or the breaker through, a "mighty man of valour" who delivered Israel from the oppression of the Ammonites (Judges 11:1-33 ), and judged Israel six years (12:7). He has been described as "a wild, daring, Gilead mountaineer, a sort of warrior Elijah." After forty-five years of comparative quiet Israel again apostatized, and in "process of time the children of Ammon made war against Israel" (11:5). In their distress the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob, to which he had fled when driven out wrongfully by his brothers from his father's inheritance (2), and the people made him their head and captain. The "elders of Gilead" in their extremity summoned him to their aid, and he at once undertook the conduct of the war against Ammon. Twice he sent an embassy to the king of Ammon, but in vain. War was inevitable. The people obeyed his summons, and "the spirit of the Lord came upon him." Before engaging in war he vowed that if successful he would offer as a "burnt-offering" whatever would come out of the door of his house first to meet him on his return. The defeat of the Ammonites was complete. "He smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards [1], with a very great slaughter" (Judges 11:33 ). The men of Ephraim regarded themselves as insulted in not having been called by Jephthah to go with him to war against Ammon. This led to a war between the men of Gilead and Ephraim (12:4), in which many of the Ephraimites perished. (See SHIBBOLETH .) "Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead" (7).
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jephthah
Born of a prostitute and cast out by his family, Jephthah grew up in a tough and bitter world (Judges 11:13). When the people of his tribe decided to overthrow the Ammonites (who had oppressed them for eighteen years; Judges 10:7-8; Judges 10:17-18), Jephthah was the man they asked to be their leader. Jephthah accepted only after the tribal elders had agreed to his conditions, which were that after he had defeated the enemy, he would remain their leader and rule them as a civil governor (Judges 11:4-10).
Jephthah had sufficient faith to believe that God would give Israel victory (Hebrews 11:32-34). He was, however, only a recently reformed bandit, and he had little knowledge of the character of God or the law of God. By vowing, and then offering, his daughter as a human sacrifice in return for God’s help towards victory, he was following the religion of the false gods whom Israel worshipped (Judges 11:29-40; cf. 2 Kings 3:27). He was certainly not following the teachings of Yahweh (cf. Leviticus 18:21; Deuteronomy 12:31).
When Jephthah attacked the enemy, he did not invite soldiers from the tribe of Ephraim to join in the main battle. The Ephraimites were offended and threatened him with violence. Jephthah responded in typically uncompromising fashion. He launched a furious attack and slaughtered the Ephraimites in thousands (Judges 12:1-6). He then settled down to the civilian rule that he had wanted, but after only six years rule he died (Judges 12:7).
Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Jephthah
Son of Gilead by an harlot, the father bearing the same name as the famous Gilead his ancestor. Gilead's sons by his wife drove Jephthah out from share of the father's inheritance as being "son of a strange woman," just as Ishmael and Keturah's sons were sent away by Abraham, so as not to inherit with Isaac (Genesis 21:10, etc.; Genesis 25:6). Jephthah went to the land of Tob, N.E. of Persea, between Syria and Ammon (2 Samuel 10:6-8, Ιsh Τob , "man of Tob"), and there gathered about him a band of loose (1 Samuel 22:2) men, whom be led in marauding Bedouin-like expeditions. Meantime, through Jehovah's anger at Israel's apostasy to Baalim, Ashtaroth, the gods of Ammon, etc, he sold them (compare Romans 7:14, gave them up to the wages that their sin had earned) into the hands of those very people whose gods they chose (Judges 10:7; Judges 10:17-18), the instrument of their sin being made the instrument of their punishment (Proverbs 1:31; Jeremiah 2:19).
Then the princes ("elders") of Gilead with Israel encamped at Mizpeh (Judges 10:17-18; Judges 11:5-11), having resolved to make "head" (civil) and "captain" (military) over all Israelite Gilead (the Israelites in Persea) whatever warrior they could find able to lead them against Ammon, applied to Jephthah in Tob. Jephthah, whose temper seems to have been resentful (compare Ecclesiastes 5:2-506), upbraided them with having hated and expelled him out of his father's house; yet it was not just to charge them all with what was the wrong of his brethren alone, except in so far as they connived at and allowed his brethren's act. Passion is unreasoning. They did not reason with him the matter, but acknowledged the wrong done him and said, "therefore (to make amends for this wrong) we turn again to thee now, and if thou go with us and fight against Ammon thou shalt be our head, namely over all Gilead."
Jephthah accepted the terms, and "uttered all his words (repeated the conditions and obligations under which he accepted the headship) before Jehovah (as in His presence; not that the ark or any altar of Jehovah was there; simply Jephthah confirmed his engagement by an oath as before Jehovah) in Mizpeh," where the people were met in assembly, Ramoth Mizpeh in Gilead, now Salt. Jephthah before appealing to the sword sent remonstrances to the Ammonite king respecting his invasion of Israel. The marked agreement of Jephthah's appeal with the Pentateuch account proves his having that record before him; compare Judges 11:17; Judges 11:19-22 agreeing almost verbatim with Numbers 20:1; Numbers 21:21-25. He adds from independent sources (such as the national lays commemorating Israel's victories, quoted by Moses Numbers 21:14; Numbers 21:17; Numbers 21:27) that Israel begged from the king of Moab leave to go through his land (Numbers 21:17).
The Pentateuch omitted this as having no direct bearing on Israel's further course. The Ammonite king replied that what he claimed was that Israel should restore his land between the Arnon, Jabbok, and Jordan. This claim was so far true that Israel had taken all the Amorite Sihon's land (because of his wanton assault in answer to Israel's peaceable request for leave to pass through unto "his place," i.e. to Israel's appointed possession), including a portion formerly belonging to Moab and Ammon, but wrested from them by Sihon (Numbers 21:26; Numbers 21:28-29); for Joshua 13:25-26 shows that Sihon's conquests must have included, besides the Moabite land mentioned in the Pentateuch, half the Ammonite land E. of Moab and Gilead and W. of the upper Jabbok. But Israel, according to God's prohibition, had not meddled with Edom, Moab, or Ammon (Deuteronomy 2:5; Deuteronomy 2:9; Deuteronomy 2:19), i.e. with the land which they possessed in Moses' time.
What was no longer Ammon's, having been taken from them by Sihon, the prohibition did not debar Israel from. Israel, as Jephthah rejoindered, went round Edom add Moab, along the eastern boundary by Ije Abarim (Numbers 21:11-13), on the upper Arnon, the boundary between Moab and the Amorites. (See IJE ABARIM.) Jephthah reasons, Jehovah Elohim of Israel has dispossessed the Amorites, and transferred their land to Israel; Ammon therefore has no claim. Ammon can only claim what his god Chemosh gives him to possess; so Israel is entitled to all that land which Jehovah gives, having dispossessed the previous owners. Further, Jephthah reasons, Balak did not strive against Israel for the once Moabite land taken by the Amorites then transferred to Israel; he bribed Balaam indeed to curse them, but never fought against them. Moreover, it was too late now, after Israel's prescriptive right was recognized for 300 years, for Ammon to put forward such a claim. "I (says Jephthah, representing Israel) have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me."
Ammon having rejected his remonstrances, Jephthah gathered his army out of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh (northern Gilead and Bashan), and went to (translated Judges 11:29 "passed over to") Mizpeh Gilead, the encampment and rendezvous of Israel (Judges 10:17), and thence to Ammon. He smote them from Aroer to Minnith, 20 cities, "with a very great slaughter," so that Ammon was completely subdued. Jephthah had vowed, in the event of Jehovah giving him victory, to "offer as a burnt offering whatsoever (rather whosoever) should come forth from the doors of his house to meet him"; certainly not a beast or sheep, for it is human beings not brutes that come forth from a general's doors to meet and congratulate him on his victory. Jephthah intended a hard vow, which the sacrifice of one animal would not be. He left it to Providence to choose what human being should first come forth to meet him.
"In his eagerness to smite the foe and thank God for it Jephthah could not think of any particular object to name, great enough to dedicate. He shrank from measuring what was dearest to God, and left this for Him to decide" (Cassel in Herzog Encyclopedia). He hoped (if he thought of his daughter at the time) that Jehovah would not require this hardest of sacrifices. She was his only child; so on her coming out to meet him with timbrels and dances (Exodus 15:20) Jephthah rent his clothes, and exclaimed: "Thou hast brought me very low, for I have opened my mouth (vowing) unto the Lord, and I cannot go back" (Numbers 30:2-3; Joshua 13:27; Psalms 15:4 end, Psalms 66:14). Her filial obedience, patriotic devotion, and self sacrificing piety shine brightly in her reply: "My father (compare Isaac's reverent submission, Genesis 22:6-7; Genesis 22:10), do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth, forasmuch as the Lord hath taken vengeance for thee of ... Ammon."
She only begged two months to bewail with her fellows her virginity, amidst the surrounding valleys and mountains (margin 37). Afterward he did with her according to his vow, namely, doomed her forever to "virginity," as her lamentation on ibis account proves, as also what follows, "she knew no man." So it became "a custom in Israel that the daughters of Israel went yearly to praise (timah ; Judges 5:11, not 'to lament') the daughter of Jephthah ... four days in a year." Jephthah contemplated evidently a human sacrifice. A literal human sacrifice was forbidden as an abomination before Jehovah (Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:2-5). It was unknown until introduced by the godless Ahaz and Manasseh. Leviticus 27:28-29 is not in point, for it refers to a forced devoting of the wicked to God's glory in their destruction; God alone could so devote any. Nor was Jephthah otherwise impetuous and hasty; he had not recourse to the sword until negotiation with Ammon proved of no avail.
His vow was made, not in the heat of battle without weighing his words, but before he set out. Jephthah, though a freebooter (the godly David was one too), was one who looked to Jehovah as the only Giver of victory, and uttered all his words of engagement with the princes of Gilead "before Jehovah." He showed in his message to Ammon his knowledge of the Pentateuch, therefore he must have known that a human sacrifice was against the spirit of the worship of Jehovah. "The Spirit of Jehovah came upon Jephthah" moreover, which shows he was no Moloch worshipper. Above all Jephthah is made an instance of FAITH for our imitation, in Hebrews 11:32. Therefore the sense in which he fulfilled his vow was "she knew no man," words adverse to the notion of a sacrificial death. He dedicated her life to Jehovah as a spiritual "burnt offering" in a lifelong "virginity." Her willingness to sacrifice herself and her natural aspirations as a virgin, who as the conqueror's daughter might have held the highest place among Israel's matrons, to become like a Gibeonite menial of the sanctuary (Joshua 9:23), as the price of her country's deliverance, is what the virgins used yearly to come to celebrate in praises.
They would never have come to praise a human sacrifice; Scripture would never have recorded without censure an anti-theocratic abomination. Moreover literal burnt offerings could only be offered at the altar of the tabernacle. This spiritual burnt offering answers somewhat to Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac (Hebrews 11:17) in will though not in deed, and to the Israelites redeeming their firstborn belonging to Jehovah instead of sacrificing them (Exodus 13:1-13; Numbers 18:15-16), and to Aaron's offering the Levites to the Lord for an offering for Israel (Numbers 8:10-16), and redeeming vowed persons at an estimation (1 Samuel 1:11-20; 1 Samuel 1:22; 1 Samuel 1:28; 1 Samuel 2:20; Leviticus 27:1, etc.). After the victory was won over Ammon, the tribe of Ephraim, ever jealous of any rival and claiming the supremacy, threatened Jephthah.
"Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against ... Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? We will burn thine house upon thee with fire." Jephthah did not show Gideon's magnanimity in dealing with their perversity. He did not give the "soft answer" that "turneth away wrath," but let their "grievous words stir up strife" (Proverbs 15:1). Herein Gideon was superior, for "he that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city" (Proverbs 16:32). (For "Ephraim gathered ... and went northward." Keil translated it "went to Zaphon, the city of Gad in the Jordan valley": 1619165887_5; Judges 12:1). Jephthah however answered truly that he had "called them" but they had refused, doubtless because the Gileadites had made Jephthah their commander without consulting Ephraim. They fared as they richly deserved.
Besides threats of destroying Jephthah they insultingly had called the Gileadites whom Jephthah led "fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites and Manassites," i.e. a mob of runaway Ephraimites in the midst of the two noblest tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh (compare 1 Samuel 25:10). They who began the strife paid the bitter penalty (Proverbs 17:14). "Shibboleth," a stream, was the test whereby the Gileadites detected the fugitive Ephraimites when trying to cross the Jordan fords, in the hands of their conquerors; 42,000 were slain who betrayed their birth by saying Sibboleth (compare on the Galilean dialect Matthew 26:73; Luke 22:59; Acts 2:7). They who first flung the taunt "fugitives" perished as fugitives at the hands of those they taunted (Proverbs 26:17). Jephthah judged Israel E. of the Jordan six years, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

Sentence search

Jephthae - (jehf' tee) KJV transliteration of Greek for Jephthah (Hebrews 11:32 ). See Jephthah
Jephthah - Born of a prostitute and cast out by his family, Jephthah grew up in a tough and bitter world (Judges 11:13). When the people of his tribe decided to overthrow the Ammonites (who had oppressed them for eighteen years; Judges 10:7-8; Judges 10:17-18), Jephthah was the man they asked to be their leader. Jephthah accepted only after the tribal elders had agreed to his conditions, which were that after he had defeated the enemy, he would remain their leader and rule them as a civil governor (Judges 11:4-10). ...
Jephthah had sufficient faith to believe that God would give Israel victory (Hebrews 11:32-34). ...
When Jephthah attacked the enemy, he did not invite soldiers from the tribe of Ephraim to join in the main battle. Jephthah responded in typically uncompromising fashion
Jeph'Thae - (whom God sets free ), ( Hebrews 11:32 ) the Greek form of the name Jephthah
Abel-Cheramim - , "plain of the vineyards"), a village of the Ammonites, whither Jephthah pursued their forces
ib'Zan - (illustrious ), a native of Bethlehem of Zebulun, who judged Israel for seven years after Jephthah
Tob - A district beyond Jordan, where Jephthah took refuge when expelled from Gilead, Judges 11:3,5
Abelcarmaim - Meadow of vineyards; a village of the Ammonites, six miles from Rabbath-Ammon; in the history of Jephthah it is called "the plain of the vineyards," Judges 11:33
Minnith - A town of the Ammonites in the time of Jephthah, Judges 11:33 , four miles northeast of Heshbon
Jephthah And His Daughter - '...
Jephthah the Gileadite was the most ill-used man in all the Old Testament, and he continues to be the most completely misunderstood, misrepresented, and ill-used man down to this day. Jephthah's ill-usage began before he was born, and it has continued down to the last Old Testament Commentary and the last Bible Dictionary that treats of Jephthah's name. The iron had entered Jephthah's soul while yet he lay in his mother's womb; and both his father and his brothers and the elders of Israel helped forward Jephthah's affliction, till the Lord rose up for Jephthah and said, It is enough; took the iron out of His servant's soul, and poured oil and wine into the lifelong wound. Born, like his great Antitype, under a cloud, Jephthah, like his great Antitype also, was made perfect through suffering. Buffeted about from his birth by his brothers; trampled upon by all men, but most of all by the men of his father's house; called all manner of odious and exasperating names; his mother glad to get the servants' leavings for herself and her son; when a prophet came to dine, sent away to the fields to be out of sight; My son, his mother said, as she died on her bed of straw among Gilead's oxen-My son, shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And from that day, if earth had been hell to Jephthah before, the one drop of water that had hitherto cooled his tormented heart was now spilt to him for ever, never to be gathered up again. ...
If at the death of his father Jephthah had got his proper portion of his father's goods, then Jephthah might have become as great a prodigal as his brothers became. But the loss of an earthly inheritance was to Jephthah, as it has been to so many men since his day, the gaining of an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, eternal in the heavens. ...
And Gilead's wife bore him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, 'Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house, for thou art the son of a strange woman. ' Then Jephthah fled from his brethren and dwelt in the land of Tob; and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, who went out with him. David's misery acquainted him with every one that was in debt, and with every one that was in distress, and with every one that was discontented, and he became a captain over them, as did Jephthah long before David's day. You must not sit in your soft chair and shake your head over Jephthah and David. Still, we must stand to the text; and it is to Jephthah's advantage that we do so stand. But, bad as they were, Jephthah turned none of them away, but took them all the more into his own hand. I told you Whose type Jephthah was, and Who was his Antitype. And then he hurled them like a stone cut out of the mountain against the enemies of the King of Tob; till the elders of Israel in their absolute despair were compelled to approach and to beseech Jephthah to come down from his fastness and rid them of their enemies also. Their hearts were as black as hell with remorse and with terror as they approached Jephthah's dreadful den and saw his naked savages glowering at them through their spears. Who, you ask, is that so venerable figure they have placed at the head of the sacred deputation? Oh, that, you must know, is the ruling elder, to whose door Jephthah went in his despair when his mother was dying in Gilead's stable. That is the hand, so helpless today, that shut the door so sternly in Jephthah's face that day. That is the mouth, so dry today, that was so full of such evil names at Jephthah that day. And he would never have got through his mission to Tob that day unless Jephthah had made his daughter spread out some venison on a shelf of a rock and pour out some of the old wine of their mountains. That old elder's sin found him out that day, when the sweetest woman-child he had ever seen washed his feet, and anointed his head, and kissed his outstretched and deprecating hand, Jephthah's daughter shall never wash my feet! the old man had said; but she both washed his feet and kissed them too, in her beautiful honour to old age. Jephthah would have been more than a mere man, as, indeed, he sometimes was, if he had not reminded those elders of the old days. Only, if the deputation had had any sense; if they had not been so many idiots; if all their tongues had not been cleaving to the roofs of their months over Jephthah's hospitality and his daughter's devotion, they would surely have taken the upbraiding words out of his mouth. What a pity it is that Jephthah did not hold himself in to the end of the interview! What a lesson he would then have been to us in the New Testament art of taming an injured tongue! But let him who has always tamed his own tongue in Jephthah's opportunity cast the first stone at Gilead's disinherited and cast-out son. At the same time, Jephthah soon put a bridle on his mouth, and that lest his old wrongs should set sudden fire to what he knew was only waiting the match in the hearts of his men. But by quick marchings and by strict orders Jephthah got his bodyguard held in till all danger was past. ...
The Lord dwelt in those days at Mizpeh; The Lord had a house and an altar at Mizpeh; and Jephthah opened all that was in his heart; past injury, present opportunity, and future surrender and service before the Lord at Mizpeh, This is what we mean by masterly writing, sacred or profane. This: 'Jephthah uttered all his words before the Lord in Mizpah. ' The truly masterly part was in Jephthah himself. But, to Jephthah, Mizpeh was all that the Mount was to Moses when the Lord descended there with His great Name. Tob, and Mizpeh, and all, were full of the Lord and all His Attributes to Jephthah. I expect to read in The Athenæum or The Academy some Saturday night soon that the land of Tob has been discovered and identified, and Jephthah's headquarters in it, with Exodus thirty-fourth and sixth and seventh still legible on its doorpost. Perhaps Dryasdust will then begin to open his eyes over his ordered article on Jephthah. Only, if they had been made to open they would surely have opened long ago at the last clause of the eleventh verse of the eleventh chapter of Jephthah's history. Time has failed me to make an exhaustive induction over the whole of the Old Testament, but I have a conviction that The Name of the Lord occurs oftener in Jephthah's history than it does in the history of any other Old Testament saint, at any rate between the days of Moses and those of David. If the Name and Presence of the Lord is the supreme distinction in any man's life and history, Old Testament or New, prosperity or adversity, then he that runs might surely have read in that Jephthah's character and Jephthah's standing in the true Israel. How I wish this fine narrator had taken time to tell us down to every jot and tittle all that Jephthah said and did when he uttered all his words before the Lord at Mizpeh! Were this sacred writer on the earth in our day, and were he recasting his Judges in the light of the New Testament, I feel sure he would give us all Jephthah's words before the Lord at Mizpeh, and that verbatim too, even if he had to leave out the Levite and his concubine. But this sacred writer knew his own business, and I can well believe it of him that he buried Jephthah's words before the Lord at Mizpeh out of sight in order that we might have to dig for those words as for hid treasure-the hid treasure of the kingdom of heaven, as Jephthah had been taught by his mother about that kingdom, and had already taken, and will soon still more take, that kingdom by force. ...
Along with Jephthah we have Jephthah's father, and his mother, and his brothers, and the elders of Israel, and the King of Ammon, and Jephthah's daughter, and the daughters of Israel-but we have not one word about Jephthah's wife. I see the mother of Jephthah's daughter the light of Jephthah's eyes in the dark cave of Tob. It was her love and her life and her death that so softened and so reconciled her husband, 'Yes,' she said to her father, after Jephthah had delivered her father's city,-'Yes, I will go with this man. 'My father,' said her daughter, long after her mother was dead and buried among her father's hills,-'My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth,' No, there can be no doubt at all about the mother of Jephthah's daughter. Moses had laid down a law that Jephthah was never to get a wife out of any family in Israel, nor was he ever to be let worship God in the same house with the virtuous elders of Israel. But men like Jephthah are above all such laws, and they break through them all as a lion breaks through a hedge. For Jephthah got of the Lord in Tob a better wife and a better daughter too, than were to be seen in all Israel from Dan to Beersheba. And Jephthah's mother again and again had the same dream. ...
After all that, it does not at all upset me to read that Jephthah built an altar and offered up his daughter. What God bade Abraham and Isaac do on Moriah, that Jephthah and his daughter actually did at Mizpeh. No doubt, had God sent an angel and provided a ram, Jephthah and his daughter would have returned home together willingly enough. But God did better for Jephthah and his daughter than He did for Abraham and Isaac, and both Abraham and Isaac in their old age would have been the first to admit it. It is really of little consequence in what age of the world, or in what dispensation of providence, patriarchal, Mosaic, pagan, or Christian, or just in what way, and just among what things, the mind and the heart and the will of Jephthah and Jesus Christ are worked out within us-If only they are worked out within us. The cup, shall I not drink it? All I have is Thine, said Jephthah. And God took Jephthah at his word, till wherever the Book of the Judges of Israel is read this that Jephthah and his daughter did shall be told for a memorial of them. And it was a custom in Israel that the daughters of Israel went to that altar once every year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year. Weep not for me, Jephthah's daughter said to them from off her altar and from out of heaven. ...
And that the very fragments of such a history may be gathered up, and may not be lost, we are let read this on the margin-That though Jephthah had neither wife, nor son, nor daughter of his own any more, yet his palace at Mizpeh was only all that the more replenished and full of people. Long ago, when Jephthah first uttered his words before the Lord at Mizpeh, he read these words on the wall of that altar. And many of the sons of the elders of Israel ate the fat and drank the sweet at Jephthah's orphaned table, because of what Jephthah had read long ago on the Lord's wall at Mizpeh. For six years this life for others went on with Jephthah
Jephthah - Gilead's sons by his wife drove Jephthah out from share of the father's inheritance as being "son of a strange woman," just as Ishmael and Keturah's sons were sent away by Abraham, so as not to inherit with Isaac (Genesis 21:10, etc. Jephthah went to the land of Tob, N. ...
Then the princes ("elders") of Gilead with Israel encamped at Mizpeh (Judges 10:17-18; Judges 11:5-11), having resolved to make "head" (civil) and "captain" (military) over all Israelite Gilead (the Israelites in Persea) whatever warrior they could find able to lead them against Ammon, applied to Jephthah in Tob. Jephthah, whose temper seems to have been resentful (compare Judges 11:12), upbraided them with having hated and expelled him out of his father's house; yet it was not just to charge them all with what was the wrong of his brethren alone, except in so far as they connived at and allowed his brethren's act. "...
Jephthah accepted the terms, and "uttered all his words (repeated the conditions and obligations under which he accepted the headship) before Jehovah (as in His presence; not that the ark or any altar of Jehovah was there; simply Jephthah confirmed his engagement by an oath as before Jehovah) in Mizpeh," where the people were met in assembly, Ramoth Mizpeh in Gilead, now Salt. Jephthah before appealing to the sword sent remonstrances to the Ammonite king respecting his invasion of Israel. The marked agreement of Jephthah's appeal with the Pentateuch account proves his having that record before him; compare Judges 11:17; Judges 11:19-22 agreeing almost verbatim with Numbers 20:1; Numbers 21:21-25. Israel, as Jephthah rejoindered, went round Edom add Moab, along the eastern boundary by Ije Abarim (Numbers 21:11-13), on the upper Arnon, the boundary between Moab and the Amorites. ) Jephthah reasons, Jehovah Elohim of Israel has dispossessed the Amorites, and transferred their land to Israel; Ammon therefore has no claim. Further, Jephthah reasons, Balak did not strive against Israel for the once Moabite land taken by the Amorites then transferred to Israel; he bribed Balaam indeed to curse them, but never fought against them. "I (says Jephthah, representing Israel) have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me. "...
Ammon having rejected his remonstrances, Jephthah gathered his army out of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh (northern Gilead and Bashan), and went to (translated Judges 11:29 "passed over to") Mizpeh Gilead, the encampment and rendezvous of Israel (Judges 10:17), and thence to Ammon. Jephthah had vowed, in the event of Jehovah giving him victory, to "offer as a burnt offering whatsoever (rather whosoever) should come forth from the doors of his house to meet him"; certainly not a beast or sheep, for it is human beings not brutes that come forth from a general's doors to meet and congratulate him on his victory. Jephthah intended a hard vow, which the sacrifice of one animal would not be. ...
"In his eagerness to smite the foe and thank God for it Jephthah could not think of any particular object to name, great enough to dedicate. She was his only child; so on her coming out to meet him with timbrels and dances (Exodus 15:20) Jephthah rent his clothes, and exclaimed: "Thou hast brought me very low, for I have opened my mouth (vowing) unto the Lord, and I cannot go back" (Numbers 30:2-3; Ecclesiastes 5:2-5; Psalms 15:4 end, Psalms 66:14). " So it became "a custom in Israel that the daughters of Israel went yearly to praise (timah ; Judges 5:11, not 'to lament') the daughter of Jephthah . " Jephthah contemplated evidently a human sacrifice. Nor was Jephthah otherwise impetuous and hasty; he had not recourse to the sword until negotiation with Ammon proved of no avail. Jephthah, though a freebooter (the godly David was one too), was one who looked to Jehovah as the only Giver of victory, and uttered all his words of engagement with the princes of Gilead "before Jehovah. "The Spirit of Jehovah came upon Jephthah" moreover, which shows he was no Moloch worshipper. Above all Jephthah is made an instance of FAITH for our imitation, in Hebrews 11:32. After the victory was won over Ammon, the tribe of Ephraim, ever jealous of any rival and claiming the supremacy, threatened Jephthah. " Jephthah did not show Gideon's magnanimity in dealing with their perversity. Jephthah however answered truly that he had "called them" but they had refused, doubtless because the Gileadites had made Jephthah their commander without consulting Ephraim. ...
Besides threats of destroying Jephthah they insultingly had called the Gileadites whom Jephthah led "fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites and Manassites," i. Jephthah judged Israel E
Shibboleth - ) The Ephraimites, unable to pronounce the aspirate (as indeed the Greeks also have no "sh" sound), said Sibboleth, and so were detected by the Gileadites under Jephthah at the passage of Jordan (Judges 12:6)
Bedan - Judge of Israel, between Gideon and Jephthah, mentioned in 1 Samuel 12:11 ; but not found in the book of Judges
Abel-Cheramim or Abel-Keramim - ” Jephthah, the judge, extended his victory over the Ammonites as far as Abel-cheramim (Judges 11:33 ), whose location east of the Jordan is not known precisely
Tob - The place or district beyond the Jordan to which Jephthah fled, Judges 11:3; Judges 11:5; also called Ish-tob
Jephthah - Jephthah (jĕph'thah), whom God sets free. On the eve of the battle Jephthah made a vow, that if he obtained the victory, he would devote to God whatever should come forth from his house to meet him on his return home. Jephthah was greatly afflicted by this occurrence; but his daughter cheerfully consented to the performance of his vow, which took place at the expiration of two months; and the commemoration of the event by the daughters of Israel was required by a public ordinance. Whether Jephthah actually offered up his daughter as a burnt-offering is a question that continues to be much disputed. Moreover, when Jephthah made this vow, he could not have intended to insult the Lord by promising a sacrifice of which he had expressed the utmost abhorrence, Leviticus 20:2-5; Deuteronomy 12:31; especially as it is recorded that the Spirit of the Lord was upon him when he uttered his vow. Suppose a dog had come out of the house of Jephthah, can any one suppose that he would have offered this unclean animal as a burnt-offering to the Lord? And why, then, should we suppose that he would offer a human sacrifice, which would have been so much more abominable? It is, moreover, argued that no mention is made of any bloody sacrifice of the young woman. These last words seem to convey, not obscurely, the idea that Jephthah devoted his daughter to the Lord, by consecrating her to a life of celibacy. 11), Jephthah is placed among the worthies who were distinguished for their faith. Jephthah must have known that human sacrifices were contrary to God's law. Jephthah is in the list of worthies named in Hebrews 11:1-40 for their faith. Those who urge the strict literal interpretation think these arguments inconclusive; and urge that Jephthah was a wild character in a rude period, and that there is not a particle of evidence that God approved his rash vow, or this part 'of his conduct. Jephthah died after judging six years, and was buried among his people, the Gileadites, in one of their cities
Bedan - In 1 Samuel 12:11 the name of this judge stands between Jerubbaal, or Gideon, and Jephthah, but probably it is a copyist's error for Barak
Tob, the Land of - A district on the east of Jodan, about 13 miles south-east of the Sea of Galilee, to which Jephthah fled from his brethren (Judges 11:3,5 )
Ishtob - ' It was to 'the land of Tob' that Jephthah fled from his brethren
be'Dan -
Mentioned in (1 Samuel 12:11 ) as a judge of Israel between Jerubbaal (Gideon) and Jephthah
Jephthah - ” When the Ammonites moved against Israel, Jephthah's people asked him to return and lead them. Although it was his daughter who greeted him, Jephthah did fulfill his vow. Considered as one of Yahweh's “chief” deliverers of his people (1 Samuel 12:11 ), Jephthah is hailed by the author of Hebrews as a hero of faith (Hebrews 11:32 )
Bedan - Mentioned with Jerubbaal, Jephthah, and Samuel as one of the deliverers of Israel ( 1 Samuel 12:11 )
Tob - ” Syrian city in southern Hauran to which Jephthah fled from his brothers (Judges 11:3-5 )
Beth-Barah - It was probably the chief ford of the Jordan in that district, and may have been that by which Jacob crossed when he returned from Mesopotamia, near the Jabbok (Genesis 32:22 ), and at which Jephthah slew the Ephraimites (Judges 12:4 )
Ibzan - Judged Israel for seven years after Jephthah (Judges 12:8; Judges 12:10)
Ibzan - One of the minor judges, following Jephthah ( Judges 12:8-10 )
Jephthah, Jephthae - After vainly seeking to divert the Ammonites from their unjust aggression, by maintaining that the Lord God of Israel had given them the land which Ammon now sought to possess, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he prepared for the war; but before the battle, he vowed that if the Lord would deliver the Ammonites into his hand he would on returning devote to the Lord whatever should first come out of his house to meet him. This to an Israelite would have been a sufficient calamity to account for Jephthah's grief. ...
The men of Ephraim then gathered themselves together and complained that Jephthah had not called them to the war, beginning a quarrel, which ended with the death of 42,000 of the Ephraimites. Jephthah judged Israel six years. ...
The history of Jephthah shows how Israel had fallen in having recourse to the captain of a troop of 'vain men. ' Jephthah suffered severely through his rash vow, and he had not wisdom and humility to appease the anger of Ephraim
Jephthah - (Ἰεφθάε)...
Jephthah, the Gileadite warrior who became the conqueror of the Ammonites, and whose vow compelled him to sacrifice his own daughter (Judges 11-12), is named among the men of the OT who achieved great things by faith (Hebrews 11:32)
Jephthah - Jephthah . Some time after this, Gilead is threatened with an attack by the Ammonites, and Jephthah is besought to return to his country in order to defend it; he promises to lead his countrymen against the Ammonites on condition of his being made chief (king?) if he returns victorious. ...
In the long passage which follows, Judges 11:12-28 , Israel’s claim to possess Gilead is urged by messengers who are sent by Jephthah to the Ammonite king; the passage, however, is concerned mostly with the Moabites (cf. ...
The ‘spirit of the Lord’ comes upon Jephthah, and he marches out to attack the Ammonites. ’ At the end of this period she returns, and Jephthah fulfils his vow (an archæological note is here appended, Judges 11:40 , concerning which see below). There follows then an episode which recalls Judges 8:1-3 ; the Ephraimites resent not having been called by Jephthah to fight against the Ammonites, just as they resented not being called by Gideon to fight against the Midianites; in the present case, however, the matter is not settled amicably; a battle follows, in which Jephthah is again victorious; the Ephraimites flee, but are intercepted at the fords of Jordan, and, being recognized by their inability to pronounce the ‘sh’ in the word Shibboleth , are slain. Jephthah, after continuing his leadership for six years, dies, and is buried in Gilead, but the precise locality is not indicated. ...
Whether the story of the sacrifice of Jephthah’s daughter be historical or not, its mention is of considerable interest, inasmuch as it bears witness to the prevalence among the early Israelites of practices which were widely recognized among ancient peoples as belonging to the essentials of religion. ...
The ‘bewailing of virginity’ (Judges 11:37 ), and the note, ‘she had not known a man’ ( Judges 11:39 ), are inserted to lay stress on the fact that if Jephthah’s daughter had had a husband, or had been a mother, her father would have had no power over her; since, in the one case, her husband would have been her possessor, and in the other, she could have claimed protection from the father of the child, whether the latter were alive or not
Jephthah - In their distress the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob, to which he had fled when driven out wrongfully by his brothers from his father's inheritance (2), and the people made him their head and captain. The men of Ephraim regarded themselves as insulted in not having been called by Jephthah to go with him to war against Ammon. ) "Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead" (7)
Tob - ) Where Jephthah was expelled by his stepbrothers; here he gathered to him a band of freebooters; from Tob the elders of Gilead brought him to oppose Ammon
Jair - He succeeded Tola in the judicature or government of the Israelites, and was himself succeeded by Jephthah
Bastard - From the history of Jephthah we learn that there were bastard offspring among the Jews (Judges 11:1-7 )
Jephthah's Vow - After a crushing defeat of the Ammonites, Jephthah returned to his own house, and the first to welcome him was his own daughter. But was it so? Did Jephthah offer up his daughter as a "burnt-offering"? This question has been much debated, and there are many able commentators who argue that such a sacrifice was actually offered. We are constrained, however, by a consideration of Jephthah's known piety as a true worshipper of Jehovah, his evident acquaintance with the law of Moses, to which such sacrifices were abhorrent (Leviticus 18:21 ; 20:2-5 ; Deuteronomy 12:31 ), and the place he holds in the roll of the heroes of the faith in the Epistle to the (Hebrews 11:32 ), to conclude that she was only doomed to a life of perpetual celibacy
Bethbarah - ) Grove supposes Bethbarah to be the ford Jacob crossed in returning from Mesopotamia, and at which Jephthah slew the Ephraimites
Minnith - MINNITH marks the direction in which Jephthah pursued the defeated Ammonites from Aroer ( Judges 11:33 ), i
Gileadites - The Ephraimites accused the Gileadites and Jephthah with being fugitives from them, but they were severely punished for their arrogance
Ephraim, Wood of - Grotius thinks, less probably, that the name was derived from the slaughter of Ephraim at the Jordan fords by Jephthah (Judges 12:1-5); the city Mahanaim and wood of Ephraim were miles off from the Jordan
Shibboleth - As the men fled from the victorious Jephthah and approached the ford of the river, they were thus tested, and the Ephraimites, who had brought the conflict on themselves, were slain
Tob - To this district Jephthah retired, when he was driven away by his brethren, Judges 11:3 ; Judges 11:5
Jephthah - His father having several other children by his lawful wife, they conspired to expel Jephthah from among them, insisting that he who was the son of a strange woman should have no part of the inheritance with them. In process of time, a war broke out between the Ammonites and the children of Israel who inhabited the country beyond Jordan; and the latter, finding their want of an intrepid and skilful leader, applied to Jephthah to take the command of them. ...
As soon as Jephthah was invested with the command of the Israelites he sent a deputation to the Ammonites, demanding to know on what principle the latter had taken up arms against them. Jephthah replied that they had made no conquests in that quarter but from the Amorites; adding, "If you think you have a right to all that Chemosh, your god, hath given you, why should not we possess all that the Lord our God hath conferred on us by right of conquest?" Jephthah's reasoning availed nothing with the Ammonites; and as the latter persisted in waging war, the former collected his troops together and put himself at their head. The Spirit of the Lord is said to have now come upon Jephthah; by which we are here to understand, that the Lord endowed him with a spirit of valour and fortitude, adequate to the exigence of the situation in which he was placed, animating him with courage for the battle, and especially inspired him with unshaken confidence in the God of the armies of Israel, Judges 11:17 ; Hebrews 11:32 ; 1 Samuel 11:6 ; Numbers 24:2 . Jephthah at this time made a vow to the Lord that if he delivered the Ammonites into his hand, whatever came forth out of the doors of his house to meet him when he returned should be the Lord's; it is also added in our English version, "and I will offer it up for a burnt- offering," Judges 11:31 . The battle terminated auspiciously for Jephthah; the Ammonites were defeated, and the Israelites ravaged their country. On seeing her, Jephthah rent his clothes, and said, "Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low; for I have opened my mouth to the Lord, and cannot go back. Jephthah yielded to this request, and at the end of two months, according to the opinion of many, her father offered her up in sacrifice, as a burnt-offering to the Lord, Judges 11:34-39 . It is, however, scarcely necessary to mention, that almost from the days of Jephthah to the present time, it has been a subject of warm contest among the critics and commentators, whether the judge of Israel really sacrificed his daughter, or only devoted her to a state of celibacy. Hales are of great weight:—When Jephthah went forth to battle against the Ammonites "he vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou wilt surely give the children of Ammon into my hand, then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall either be the Lord's, or I will offer it up [1] a burnt-offering,"...
Judges 11:30-31 . This law, therefore, expressly applied, in its first branch, to Jephthah's case, who had devoted his daughter to the Lord, or opened his mouth unto the Lord, and therefore could not go back; as he declared in his grief at seeing his daughter, and his only child, coming to meet him with timbrels and dances. This latter case, therefore, is utterly irrelative to Jephthah's vow, which did not regard a foreign enemy, or a domestic transgressor, devoted to destruction, but, on the contrary, was a vow of thanksgiving, and therefore properly came under the former case. ...
And that Jephthah could not possibly have sacrificed his daughter, according to the vulgar opinion, founded on incorrect translation, may appear from the following considerations:...
1. "...
These arguments appear to be decisive against the sacrifice; and that Jephthah could not even have devoted his daughter to celibacy against her will, is evident from the history, and from the high estimation in which she was always held by the daughters of Israel, for her filial duty, and her hapless fate, which they celebrated by a regular anniversary commemoration four days in the year, Judges 11:40 . We may, however, remark, that, if it could be more clearly established that Jephthah actually immolated his daughter, there is not the least evidence that his conduct was sanctioned by God. Jephthah was manifestly a superstitious and ill-instructed man, and, like Samson, an instrument of God's power, rather than an example of his grace
Tob - It was in Tob that Jephthah lived as an outlaw ( Judges 11:3 ; Judges 11:5 )
Shibboleth - (a stream ), ( Judges 12:6 ) is the Hebrew word which the Gileadites under Jephthah made use of at the passage of the Jordan, after a victory over the Ephraimites, to test the pronunciation of the sound sh by those who wished to cross over the river
Bedan - Bedan is a son of Gilead in 1 Chronicles 7:17 and could be another name for Jephthah, a son of Gilead ( Judges 11:1 )
Jephthah - ...
The arguments on the question whether Jephthah's daughter was actually sacrificed or not, cannot here be cited. Paul numbers Jephthah among the saints of the Old Testament distinguished for their faith, Hebrews 11:32
Shibboleth - In the strife that arose between the Gileadites, under Jephthah, and the Ephraimites, an episode occurred which is recounted in Judges 12:1-6
Aroer - It was famous in the history of Jephthah (Judges 11:33 ) and of David (2 Samuel 24:5 )
Bastards - Yet Jephthah, son of a strange woman, and therefore driven out by the legitimate children, was called to be a judge to Israel (Judges 11:1-2)
Gilead - The father of Jephthah. Jacob fled toward Gilead, Genesis 31:21; it was conquered by Israel, Numbers 21:24; Judges 10:18; Joshua 12:2; Deuteronomy 2:36; was given to Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, Joshua 17:6; under Jephthah it defeated the Ammonites, Judges 10:18; was a refuge for Saul's son and for David, 2 Samuel 2:9; 2 Samuel 17:22; 2 Samuel 17:24; the home of Elijah, 1 Kings 17:1; taken in part by Syria, 2 Kings 10:33; by Assyria, 2 Kings 15:25-29; referred to in the minor prophets, Hosea 6:8; Hosea 12:11; Amos 1:3; Amos 1:13; Obadiah 1:19; Micah 7:14; Zechariah 10:10
Tob - (good ), The land of, a place in which Jephthah took refuge when expelled from home by his half-brother, ( Judges 11:3 ) and where he remained, at the head of a band of freebooters, till he was brought back by the sheikhs of Gilead
Shibboleth - Thus when the Ephraimites from the west invaded Gilead, and were defeated by the Gileadites under the leadership of Jephthah, and tried to escape by the "passages of the Jordan," the Gileadites seized the fords and would allow none to pass who could not pronounce "shibboleth" with a strong aspirate
Captivity - Six captivities are reckoned during the government by judges: the first, under Chushanrishathaim, king of Mesopotamia, which continued about eight years; the second, under Eglon, king of Moab, from which the Jews were delivered by Ehud; the third, under the Philistines, from which they were rescued by Shamgar; the fourth, under Jabin, king of Hazor, from which they were delivered by Deborah and Barak; the fifth, under the Midianites, from which Gideon freed them; and the sixth, under the Ammonites and Philistines, during the judicatures of Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, Eli, Samson, and Samuel
Timbrel - The daughter of Jephthah came to meet her father with timbrels and other musical instruments, Judges 11:34
Ammonites - They oppressed Israel in the time of Jephthah, and were defeated by him with great slaughter, Judges 11:1-40
Arnon - The king of the Ammonites tried to retake the Arnon in Jephthah's day, but God's Spirit led Jephthah to victory (Judges 11:12-33 )
Shibboleth - In a war between the Ephraimites and the men of Gilead under Jephthah, the former were discomfited, and fled towards the fords of the Jordan
Mizpah or Mizpeh - A town in Gilead, Hosea 5:1 ; so named from the stone-heap cast up by Jacob and Laban, Genesis 31:49 ; supposed by many to be the place mentioned in the history of Jephthah, Judges 10:17 11:11,29,34
Jeph'Thah - ) 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. " The tribe of Ephraim challenged Jephthah's right to go to war as he had done, without their concurrence, against Ammon. That the daughter of Jephthah was really offered up to God in sacrifice is a conclusion which it seems impossible to avoid
Bedan - A judge of Israel between Jerubbaal and Jephthah, in 1 Samuel 12:11
Gil'e-ad - (Numbers 26:29,30 ) ...
The father of Jephthah
Mizpah, Mizpeh - Mizpah was also the name of the hometown of Jephthah, the Gileadite (Judges 11:1 ). See Watchtower ; Samuel ; Jephthah ; Gedaliah
Judges - Ninth judge: Jephthah—6 years; tenth judge: Ibzan—7 years; eleventh judge: Elon—10 years: twelfth judge: Abdon—8 years
Guilt - The Bible is alive to the psychological effects of guilt, as can be seen, for instance, in characters like Jephthah and David: Jephthah in his horrifying violence against fellow Israelites after his daughter's death, and David in his supine attitude toward the sins of his sons
Sisera - So in the case of Gideon, Samson, Jephthah, God in approving their faithful zeal in executing His will gives no sanction to the alloy of evil which accompanied their faith (Hebrews 11:32)
Aroer - This may be the Aroer where Jephthah defeated the Ammonites (Judges 11:33 )
Vow - Jephthah devoted his daughter, Judges 11:30-40 ; and Samuel was vowed and consecrated to the service of the Lord, 1 Samuel 1:11,27,28
Judges - Ninth judge: Jephthah; 6 years
Ammon - The Israelites dispossessed the Amorites of land which afterward Ammon occupied, between Arnon and Jabbok, but did not, as Jephthah reasons, dispossess Ammon of it, though now claiming it as theirs (Numbers 21:24; Numbers 21:26; Numbers 21:29). Previously to David, Jephthah and Saul had sorely punished them (Judges 11:33; 1 Samuel 11:11; 1 Samuel 14:47)
Ephraim - Again they complained to Jephthah that he had gone without them to fight the Ammonites, though Jephthah declared that he had called them, and they had not responded
Ephraim - Again they complained to Jephthah that he had gone without them to fight the Ammonites, though Jephthah declared that he had called them, and they had not responded
Heshbon - Apparently, the Ammonites claimed the region as well, as implied by the exchange of messages between Jephthah and the Ammonite king related in Judges 11:12-28
Gad - Jephthah and Barzillai were of this tribe
Ammonite - Jephthah waged war against them, and "took twenty cities with a very great slaughter" (Judges 11:33 )
Ammonites - The Ammonites made war on the Israelites of Gilead, leading the Israelites to appeal to Jephthah, chief of a local band of renegade raiders, to organize and lead their resistance. Jephthah accepted the challenge, but only after extracting a promise from the elders of Gilead that, if he indeed succeeded in defeating the Ammonites, they would recognize him as ruler of Gilead. Jephthah was victorious, and the Gileadites submitted to his rule; but then his little daughter greeted him upon his return (1619165887_94:40 )
Pekah - Became king by the help of 50 Gileadites of the king's bodyguard; perhaps Pekah was a Gileadite himself; energy for good or evil characterized the hardy highlanders of Gilead, as Jephthah and Elijah
Mizpah - Here, also, the Israelites assembled to fight against the Ammonites, Judges 10:17; and here Jephthah was met by his daughter
Mizpah - ...
...
A town in Gilead, where Jephthah resided, and where he assumed the command of the Israelites in a time of national danger
Manasseh - The people were powerful and brave, taking a leading part in the wars of Gideon, of Jephthah, and of David
Judges, Theology of - The accounts of the major judges (Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson) are among the most familiar stories in the Bible. ...
Jephthah is the next major figure in the book. Full of self-interest Jephthah negotiates his way to power from his position as an outcast (11:1-11). Although God's Spirit had already come upon him for the battle with Ammon (11:29), as if more were needed to secure the victory Jephthah makes a rash vow (11:30). For it was in faith that Gideon, Barak, Jephthah, and Samson "conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised" (Hebrews 11:32-33 )
Judges, the Book of - Of the 13 judges, the account of six (Ehud, Deborah and Barak, Gideon, Abimelech, Jephthah, Samson) is full, that of the remaining seven very brief. Each only delivered one part of Israel: Shamgar the region toward Philistia; Deborah and Barak northern Israel (Judges 4:10); so Gideon (Judges 6:35), Jephthah, eastern Israel; Samson, Judah, Dan and the region adjoining Philistia. Gideon corrupted the worship of God, Samson yielded to lust, Jephthah made a rash vow and took revenge upon Ephraim. Ephraim fought with Jephthah and the eastern tribes to its own sore loss. The period between the division of the land and Jephthah was 300 years (Judges 11:26), which alone disproves the view of the Speaker's Commentary as to the period of the judges being only 160 or 140 years
Ammonites - Previous to the time of Jephthah, B. The Israelites resisted the invader; and, assembling at Mizpeh, chose Jephthah for their general, and sent an expostulatory message to the king of the Ammonites, Judges 10:11 . The king replied, that those lands belonged to the Ammonites, who had been unjustly dispossessed of them by the Israelites, when they came out of Egypt, and exhorted Jephthah to restore them peaceably to the lawful owners. ...
Jephthah remonstrated on the injustice of his claim; but finding a war inevitable, he fell upon the Ammonites near Aroer, and defeated them with great slaughter
Miz'Pah - (Judges 10:17 ) There the fatal meeting took place between Jephthah and his daughter on his return from the war
Human Sacrifice - ...
In the Old Testament, Jephthah sacrificed his daughter as a fulfillment of a vow, although the incident is clearly not normative (Judges 11:30-40 )
Gilead - ...
One prominent peak is still called Jebel Jil'ad, "mount Gilead," the probable site of Ramath Mizpeh (Joshua 13:26), and the "Mizpeh of Gilead" from whence Jephthah passed over to Ammon (Judges 11:29), an admirable place for assembling forces for war
Ammon, Ammonites, Children of Ammon - On Israel crying to Jehovah the children of Ammon were defeated under Jephthah
Judges - Thus it was chiefly the land east of the Jordan that Ehud, Jephthah, Elon, and Jair delivered and governed; Barak and Tola governed the northern tribes; Abdon the central; and Ibzan and Samson the southern
Judges, Book of - Jephthah delivers from Ammon (Judges 10:6-12:7 ). ” The major judges are Ehud, Deborah (the only woman among the judges), Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson
Vows - Jephthah vows to offer to Jahweh the first person he sees coming out of his house on his return from battle, provided he is victorious ( Judges 11:30-31 )
Army - The bands that followed a Gideon or a Jephthah were hastily improvised levies from his own and neighbouring clans, whose members returned with their share of the spoil to their ordinary occupations when the fray was at an end
Gilead - Another Judge, Jephthah ( Judges 11:1-40 ), was a Gileadite, whose prowess delivered Israel from Ammon
Sam'Son - The divine inspiration which Samson shared with Othniel, Gideon and Jephthah assumed in him the unique form of vast personal strength, inseparably connected with the observance of his vow as a Nazarite: "his strength was in his hair
Salim - Going on for some time ‘per vallem Jordanis super ripam fluminis ipsius,’ the traveller sees after a little the town of the holy prophet Elia, ‘id est Thesbe,’ where his cave is, and also ‘memoria sancti Gethae,’ of whom we read in the Books of the Judges (this is, of course, Jephthah, and not Gad, as has been suggested by Mommert)
Prostitution - Jephthah was the son of a harlot (Judges 11:1 )
Judges (1) - ...
The Book of Judges itself is comprised in Judges 2:6 to Judges 15:18-20 ; and here it is to be noticed, first of all, that a certain artificiality is observable in the structure; the exploits of twelve men are recounted, and the idea seems to be that each represents one of the twelve tribes of Israel, thus: Judah is represented by Othniel, Benjamin by Ehud, the two halves of the tribe of Manasseh by Gideon (West) and Jair (East), Issachar by Tola, Zebulun by Elon, Naphtali by Barak, Ephralm by Abdon, Gad by Jephthah, and Dan by Samson; besides these ten there are Shamgar and Ibzan, two unimportant Judges, but against them there are the two tribes Reuben and Simeon, who, however, soon disappear; while the tribe of Levi, as always, occupies an exceptional position. (4) The history of Jephthah is prefaced by Judges 10:17-18 , which tells of the Ammonite oppression; Jephthah’s exploits are recounted in Judges 11:1-32 to Judges 12:7 ; a biographical note ( 1619165887_50 ) introduces the hero, and a long passage ( Judges 11:4-29 ) follows, describing how the conflict with the Ammonites arose; it is a question concerning the ownership of the lands between the Jabhok and the Arnon, which are claimed by the Ammonites, but which the Israelites maintain have been in their possession for three hundred years. A section, which is of great interest archæologically ( 1619165887_7 ), tells then of a vow which Jephthah made to Jahweh, to the effect that if he returned victorious from the impending struggle with the Ammonites, he would offer up in sacrifice the first person whom he met on his return coming out of his dwelling. The next passage ( Psalms 12:1-8 ), which tells of a battle between Jephthah and the Ephraimites, in which the latter are worsted, reminds one forcibly of Psalms 8:1-3 , and the two passages are clearly related in some way. The Jephthah story ( Judges 11:1 to Judges 12:7 ), again, contains a great deal that is of high value historically; the narrative does not all come from one source, and the Deuteronomist’s hand is, as usual, to be discerned here and there, but that it contains ‘genuine historical traits’ (Kuenen) is universally acknowledged
Virgin, Virgin Birth - The more common word, bethulah , (used about 60 times) is used in a literal way to refer to such virgins as Rebekah (Genesis 24:16 ), the daughter of Jephthah (Judges 11:37-38 ), and Tamar (2 Samuel 13:2 )
Angel - The introductory formula of the message borne by the mal'âk often contains the phrase “Thus says … ,” or “This is what … says,” signifying the authority of the messenger in giving the message of his master: “Thus saith Jephthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon” ( Mizpah - ...
Jephthah passed Mizpah on his way from Gilead to fight Ammon (Judges 10:16-17; Judges 11:29)
Gad (1) - ...
Jephthah is called "the Gileadite," being a native of Mizpeh of Gad (Judges 11:31; Judges 11:34; Joshua 13:26)
Save - ...
Yâsha‛ is used in other situations as when Jephthah tells the Ephraimites that they had been summoned to the war at a crucial time but did not respond and “delivered me not out of their [1] hands” ( Judges, Book of - }...
Oppression by the | Oppression by the }...
Philistines, during which | Ammonites Judges 10:8 18 }...
Samson was judge, and | Jephthah Judges 12:7 6 }...
Samuel after Eli
Manasseh (1) - Gideon, the greatest of the judges, and one whose son all but established hereditary monarchy in their line, and Jephthah, were samples of their warriors
Gad - ...
After the conquest, in the time of the Judges, the people of Gilead were overrun by the Ammonites until Jephthah finally wrought their deliverance
Ammon, Ammonites - During the period of the Judges the Ammonites assisted Eglon of Moab in his invasion of Israel ( Judges 3:13 ), and attempted to conquer Gilead, but were driven back by Jephthah the judge ( Judges 11:4-9 ; Judges 11:30-36 , Judges 12:1-3 )
Ammon - Therefore, when the Ammonites tried to repossess the area during the time of the judges, God used Jephthah to drive them out (Judges 10:6-9; Judges 11:32-33)
Ephraim (1) - So toward Gideon, Jephthah and David (Judges 8:1; Judges 12:1; 2 Samuel 19:41-43)
Elder - The elders' position of authority was also clear from their asking Jephthah to lead them in the fight against the Ammonites (Judges 11:4-11 ), from their seeking a king from Samuel (1 Samuel 8:4-5 ), and from their anointing David king over all Israel (2 Samuel 5:3 ; 1 Chronicles 11:3 ; cf
Genealogy - Gilead has become the ‘son’ of Manasseh, and in Judges 11:1 ‘begets’ Jephthah
Jordan - Lot, for example, is said to have chosen ‘all the circle of the Jordan’ because ‘it was well watered everywhere’ ( Genesis 13:10 ); Joshua and all Israel crossed over the Jordan on dry ground ( Joshua 3:17 ); Ehud seized the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites, cutting off their retreat ( Judges 3:28 ); Gideon, Jephthah, David, Elijah, and Elisha were all well acquainted with the Jordan; Naaman the Syrian was directed to go wash in the Jordan seven times, that his leprosy might depart from him ( 2 Kings 5:10 )
Gideon - Contrast the unyielding temper of Jephthah (Judges 12:1, etc
Chronology - ...
Jephthah makes 300 years elapse between his time and Joshua's division of Canaan (Judges 11:26)
War - Such were Joshua, Caleb, Gideon, Jephthah, Samson, David, Josiah, and the Maccabees, whose names alone are their own sufficient encomiums
Sacrifice And Offering - One of the most fruitful occasions of sacrifice was undoubtedly the discharging of a vow, of which those of Jacob ( Genesis 28:20-22 ), Jephthah (see 5 ), Hannah ( 1 Samuel 1:11 ), and Absalom ( 2 Samuel 15:7 ) may be cited as typical specimens, just as in Syria to-day, among fellahin and bedouin alike, similar vows are made to the welys of the local shrines by or on behalf of sick persons, childless women, or to avert or remove plague or other threatened calamity
Tribes of Israel, the - According to the blessing of Jacob the tribe of Gad perhaps experienced numerous raids (Genesis 49:19 ) especially from groups like the Ammonites as reflected in the story of Jephthah (Judges 11:1 )
Leadership - , Jephthah and Samson, Judges 10:7 )
Holy Spirit - Four judges are so characterized (Othniel Judges 3:10 ; Gideon 6:34; Jephthah 11:29; Samson 14:19; cf
Sanhedrin - , Leviticus 24:12); and speak of its existence under Joshua, Jabez, Jerubbaal, Boaz, Jephthah, Samuel, David, and Solomon, and until the time of the captivity by Nebuchadnezzar (Bâbâ bathrâ, 121b; Yômâ, 80a; Mak