Judges 11 ©

1 Jephthah, the son of Gilead by a strange woman, is thrust out from home by his brethren. 4 At the breaking out of the war the elders of Gilead appeal to him to command them, and covenant to make him their head. 12 His embassy to the king of Ammon, which proveth fruitless. 29 His vow. 32 He overcometh the Ammonites. 34 His daughter cometh to meet him, with whom he doeth according to his vow.


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


And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they bthrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son cof a *strange woman.


Then Jephthah fled 2from his brethren, and dwelt in the dland of Tob: and there were gathered evain men to Jephthah, and went out with him.


¶And it came to pass 3in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel.


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


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


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


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


And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, jIf 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 4witness between us, if kwe do not so according to thy words.


Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him lhead and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all mhis words before the LORD in nMizpeh.

l v.6,8.

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


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


And Jephthah sent smessengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon:


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


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


Then vIsrael sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Let 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 Moab: but he would not consent : and wIsrael abode in Kadesh.


Then xthey 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, yand pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab.


And zIsrael sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place.


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


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


And they possessed call the *coasts of the Amorites, from 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 thou possess it?


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


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


While Israel dwelt in gHeshbon and her towns, and in hAroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the *coasts of Arnon, ithree hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?


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


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


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


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


Then it shall be, 5that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, oshall surely be the LORD's, 6and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

o Le. 27.2,3.

¶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 pAroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the 7plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.


¶And Jephthah came to qMizpeh unto his house, and, behold, rhis daughter came out to meet him swith *timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her 8he had neither son nor daughter.

q v.11.

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


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


And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may 9go up and down upon the mountains, and wbewail 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 xdid with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a 10custom in Israel,


That the daughters of Israel went 11yearly 12to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.