The Diligent Woman is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. His daughter rightly encouraged her father to keep his vow. no prophet spoke God’s anger 11:30-40). When Jephthah fulfilled his vow, it is noted that she never had sexual relations with a man (Judges 11:39). 28 0 obj <> endobj Later, when he was on the point of immolating his daughter, she inquired, “Is it written in the Torah that human beings should be brought as burnt offerings?” He replied, “My daughter, my vow was, ‘whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house. This is the book of Judges — a relentlessly bloody collection of tales of slaughter, rape, terror and even a suicide bombing. Genesis records 2 occasions when Abraham puts his wife Sarah, as well as God’s promise, in serious jeopardy by lying about her to foreign dignitaries (Gen. 12:10-20; chapter 20). Everything else becomes most holy and belongs to God (Leviticus 27:28). However, Jephthah thought it necessary to require of himself a sacrifice to God in exchange for victory (Judg. The substantival masculine singular participle הַיּוֹצֵא; (hayyotse', "the one coming out") is used elsewhere of inanimate objects (such as a desert [Num 21:13] or a word [Num 32:24]) or persons (Jer 5:6; 21:9; 38:2). Before going off to battle, Jephthah makes a vow to God. Why would God allow Jephthah to win a battle after vowing to offer up a human being to Him? She just asked for two … Yes, if a contract is established, the parties can be made to keep their part. Jephthah devoted his daughter to the sanctuary of the Lord as a perpetual virgin, or secluded her away with no hope of marrying and bearing children. Ancient testimony is uniform (both rabbinic and church fathers) in understanding that Jephthah did indeed offer his daughter as a burnt sacrifice. But in Targ. Questions: What promise did Jephthah make? %PDF-1.7 %���� Clearly, both acts are alarming, but Judges 12 is evidence that “godly” Jephthah is capable of great sin. If so, why would God allow that, since He abhored the sacrifice of children? Because she was his first child, he would not be able to redeem her. h�b```�,�� cb� �{��7��N\�Q�x������!���!�� (���4=H�Xy CE���@�Շ2���0Mb���� S��}L��@:��! The actual sacrifice of his daughter is the most natural way to interpret the context. By implication, firstborn children also could not be redeemed if they are vowed because they already belong to God (Exodus 13:2, 12-15). The Bible Project When the vow was fulfilled, the offering had to be made (Deuteronomy 23:21-23; Ecclesiastes 5:1-4). Those of us who are Christians could also testify to the fact that, although we have the Holy Spirit, we are capable of doing terrible things. When his delighted daughter—and only child—heard that her father was outside the door, she came dancing out to greet him. Jephthah’s Promise, Publication download options Out of a desire to either defend Jephthah, the Scripture, or both, a misguided attempt is made to explain away the clear meaning of the text. xxvii. David knew that his vows to God were binding as. Encouragement and Confidence in Being A Woman of God. But Jephthah was proud: “I, a judge of Israel, will not humiliate myself to my inferior.” Neither was Phinehas, the high priest, willing to go to Jephthah. Possible Considerations. Yer. In each case context must determine the referent. His daughter rightly encouraged her father to keep his vow. amzn_assoc_linkid = "b679855a316002d255a59b19f64a4cec"; How could Jephthah know that an unblemished cow, goat, or lamb would be the first to greet him? “Whoever has greater affection for son or daughter … The Spirit does not automatically make us perfect people, nor does the Spirit take our free will away from us. Though Leviticus 27 allows for vowed children to be redeemed, a firstborn child already belongs to God and hence cannot be redeemed. To keep it, I must send you to serve at the tabernacle in Shiloh.’ But his daughter said to him: ‘Father, if you made a promise to Jehovah, you must keep it. 0 It was offered at first harvest and in combination with other sacrifices, perhaps to show thankfulness for forgiven sins. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Most people shrug it off as no big deal if we don’t follow through. 6:1-3; Deut. Apparently, he was expecting an animal to be the first thing he would see. Please also opt me in for Exclusive Offers from Patheos’s Partners, TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian. Peace offerings were to show fellowship between the worshiper and God (Leviticus 3). Exodus 38:8 mentions women serving at the sanctuary, as does 1 Samuel 2:22, and the young Samuel is an example of someone who was dedicated to God’s service through the pronouncement of a vow (1 Sam. But, just promising to do this or that. 16:14); and David who committed adultery and murder, but pleaded with the Lord not to remove His Spirit (Ps. Note that this tradition assumes that Jephthat’s daughter “was killed.” That is undeniably what this story suggests — a sacrifice to God “as a burnt-offering.” Barenblatt’s powerful poem reflects on this. ", Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Should the church help a family that is constantly in financial difficulties? She simply says that he should do what he promised the Lord he would. Because Jepthah is mentioned in a positive light in both 1 Samuel 12:11 and Hebrews 11:32, it is therefore argued that he could not possibly have committed such a despicable sin. I will begin with what I believe to be one of the greatest weaknesses of the proposal that Jephthah did not offer his daughter as a burnt offering. “Whatever comes out of my house to meet me…shall surely be the Lord’s, Those who advocate proposal 2 note that when Jephthah’s daughter asks for 2 months, it is in regard to weeping for her virginity (Judg. Second, could it be that Jephthah didn’t really sacrifice his daughter as a burnt offering; he simply condemned her to a life of perpetual virginity. 2, even when Jephthah made the vow God was irritated against him: “What will Jephthah do if an unclean animal comes out to meet him?”. The Mosaical Law contained a variety of offerings (Leviticus 7:37). Jephthah offered up his daughter as a whole burnt offering. Would love your thoughts, please comment. Capital Importance: Ancient Judean Capitals Discovered! The following lengthy quote is taken from Keil and Delitzsch’s Old Testament commentary on Judges:”With regard to Jephthah’s vow, the view expressed so distinctly by Josephus and the Chaldee was the one which generally prevailed in the earlier times among both Rabbins and fathers of the church, viz., that Jephthah put his daughter to death and burned her upon the altar as a bleeding sacrifice to Jehovah. In my opinion (you’re free to disagree), I believe that this is what motivates and underlies the proposal that Jephthah did not offer up his daughter as a burnt offering. "When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? Notice that she did not grieve over her short life because her life wasn't coming to an end. endstream endobj startxref If you recall that offerings which were burnt were said to be a sweet-smelling aroma to the Lord (Leviticus 1:17; 2:2; 3:16), you can see then that the Lord's death was also a "burnt offering" even though he was not burnt (Ephesians 5:2). 3:21-25), or an enemy general having a tent peg driven through his skull (Judg. They went away to mourn the family she will never have, and they returned so Jephthah could fulfill his vow. 4:21; 5:26-27), make many people, understandably, uneasy. When the Ammonites attacked and fought the Israelites, those false gods did nothing to help them. Finally, I have already cited David (see #4 above), a man after God’s own heart, and yet guilty of adultery and murder. His only child, his daughter, comes to meet him with excitement over his victory over Ammon (Judg. Be careful what you promise, because you may have to keep it. �W. I will then follow up with another post suggesting the strengths of proposal 1. endstream endobj 29 0 obj <>>>/Metadata 14 0 R/Pages 26 0 R/Type/Catalog>> endobj 30 0 obj <>/Font<>/ProcSet[/PDF/Text]>>/Rotate 0/TrimBox[0.0 0.0 612.0 792.0]/Type/Page>> endobj 31 0 obj <>stream This is how Samuel, the firstborn son of a Levite (I Chronicles 6:16, 28), came to serve the Lord (I Samuel 3:1). Calvary Chapel York mydigitalseminary Lev. 6:34-40); Samson, who received the Spirit on numerous occasions, but frequently ignored his Nazirite vow (Judg. The problem with this assertion is that none of these passages state that virginity was a part of this service. In Jeremiah 7:31-32 God not only said it wasn't commanded, but He also said that He never thought about asking for it. Yes, I want the Patheos Progressive Christian Newsletter as well, Identity Politics vs. Transactional Politics. 22); did he sacrifice any of his sons?” But Jephthah remained inflexible. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. They always touch others. The vow was not well thought out. The text uses a masculine singular participle with prefixed article, followed by a relative pronoun and third masculine singular verb. The rabbinical commentary on the story is fascinating: The Rabbis concluded also that Jephthah was an ignorant man, else he would have known that a vow of that kind is not valid; according to R. Johanan, Jephthah had merely to pay a certain sum to the sacred treasury of the Temple in order to be freed from the vow; according to R. Simeon ben Laḳish, he was free even without such a payment (Gen. R. It shows us the lethal ignorance and sinful pride of remaining “inflexible.” The story of Jephthah is the story of everyone who decides that vows and codes and rules must be absolute. What would Jephthah's daughter do in service to God? A warrior named Jephthah was chosen to lead the people in battle against the Ammonites. Most vowed offerings could be redeemed or bought back, and most of Leviticus 27 deals with how to determine the redemption price. She was dancing and playing the tambourine. He said to Jehovah: ‘If you help us win this battle, I promise that when I return home, I will give you the first person who comes out of my house to meet me.’ Jehovah listened to Jephthah’s prayer and helped him win the battle. Even words of praise were considered to be freewill offerings (Psalms 119:108). Jephthah does not question the seriousness of the situation, “…for I have given my word to the Lord, and I cannot take it back.”. James 5:12 says, “But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath; but, no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.”, Use the Bible to Teach the Hard Lessons to Your…, To Be a Man of God Waiting List Thank You Page, To Be a Man of God Bible Study Guide waiting list, « Service Out of Poverty: Lessons from the Widow with Two Mites, Face the Attacker: Lessons from Tamar, David’s Daughter ». The argument I consider the strongest for proposal 2 suggests that the Hebrew conjunction (waw) can be translated as “or” rather than “and” in Jephthah’s vow.