Judges 11 ©

Jephthah, as an illegitimate, being rejected by his brethren, goes to dwell in the land of Tob, where he, with some few people, exercises himself in expeditions, v. 1, etc. Is afterward called by the elders of Gilead to be commander in chief against the Ammonites, 5. Which he accepts but with a certain condition, 9. Sends twice messengers to the king of the Ammonites, to move him to desist from war, but all in vain, 12. Wherefore Jephthah moved by the Spirit of God, marches up against him, and makes a rash vow, 29. He smites the Ammonites, 32. And performs his vow on his daughter, 34.


NOW Jephthaha the 1Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an 2harlot: and 3Gilead begat Jephthah.


And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and 4his 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 5strange woman.


Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of 6Tob: and there were gathered 7vain men to Jephthah, and 8went out with him.


9And it came to pass 10in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel.


And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the 11elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of 12Tob:


And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our 13captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.


And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? and why are ye come unto me 14now when ye are in distress?


And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.


And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head?


And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be 15witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words.


Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his 16words 17before the LORD in Mizpeh.


¶And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, 18saying, 19What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight 20in my land?


And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from 21Arnon even unto Jabbok, and 22unto Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably.


And Jephthah 23sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon:


And 24said unto him, Thus saith Jephthah, Israelb took not away the land of 25Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon:


But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and came to 26Kadesh;


Then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Letc me, I pray thee, pass through thy land: but the king of Edom would not hearken thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the king of 27Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel abode in Kadesh.


Then 28they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and 29pitched on the other side of 30Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab.


Andd Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel 31said unto him, Lete us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into 32my place.


But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his 33coast: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and pitched in Jahaz, and fought against Israel.


And the LORD God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country.


And they possessed all the 34coasts of the Amorites, fromf Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan.


So now the LORD God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest 35thou possess it?


Wilt not thou possess that which 36Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomsoever the LORD our God shall drive out from before us, them will 37we possess.


And nowgart thou 38any thing better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever 39strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them,


While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, 40three hundred years? why therefore did ye not 41recover them within that time?


Wherefore 42I have not sinned against thee, but thou 43doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.


Howbeit the king of the children of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Jephthah which he 44sent him.


¶Then the Spirit of the LORD 45came upon Jephthah, and he passed over 46Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh 47of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.


And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt 48without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,


Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be 49the LORD’S, 50and I will 51offer it up for a burnt offering.


¶So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands.


And he smote them from 52Aroer, even till thou come to 53Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto 54the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.


¶And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; 55beside her he had neither son nor daughter.


And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast 56brought me very low, and thou art 57one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot 58go back.


And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, 59do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken 60vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.


And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: 61let me alone two months, that I may go up and down 62upon the mountains, and 63bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.


And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.


And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who 64did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she 65knew no man. And it was a 66custom in Israel,


That the daughters of Israel went 67yearly to 68lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.