The Bible records him as the son of a harlot, so you can have humble beginnings and rise to greatness. Since at least the 12th or 13th century, Jewish scholars, among them the compiler and summarizer David Kimhi (1160–1235) and Levi Ben Gershon (1288–1344), have taken fulfilment of Jephthah's vow as meaning that he only kept her in seclusion. Jephthah settled further east, in a place called Tob, on the edge of the desert. On behalf of Israel as a whole and in reliance on the might of God the Judge, Jephthah challenges the Ammonites. The story of Jephthah has influenced a number of literary works. Wait a minute. This part of Jephthah’s story is similar to many of the other judges of Israel but where it differs is the vow that Jephthah made to God. After defeating the Ephraimites, Jephthah judged the Israelites for six more years and then passed away. He realized the foolishness of his vow when his daughter was the first to greet him. "Outlaws collected around Jephthah and went raiding with him. Judges 11:6-7 the people ask Jephthah to lead them into battle against the people of Ammon. Jephthah didn’t realize that he would have to sacrifice his daughter. Judges 11:39 says that Jephthah’s daughter never married, not that she died. Jephthah, having been born illegitimately, is driven out by his half-brothers and takes up his dwelling in Tob, east of Gilead. The Law of Moses expressly prohibited any Israelite from practicing human sacrifice, emphasizing it as something “the Lord hates” (see Deuteronomy 12:29-31). Click here to find out more about this unique and fun Bible study tool! Who’s Who and Where’s Where in the Bible (Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour Publishing, 2004) 127. , This article is about the Judge of Israel. This was a stretch of heavily forested land about 20 miles wide, east of the Jordan River, which today is located in the country of Jordan. Years later the people of Ammon made war against the Israelites, and they didn’t have anyone strong enough to repel them. This man also had a wife who bore him children. Mike Nappa is a big ol’ Bible Study Nerd, and an ongoing Bible commentary and theology writer for Christianity.com. Bullinger goes on to give examples from the Bible where the same word has been translated as "or". Now Jephthah had a small force, and they apparently were known for their feats of battle and bravery. Scripture makes no mention of anyone mourning his death, or of any other children born to him. Jephthah sacrificed his daughter and the virgins in the land of Israel to pay homage to her memory by mourning her loss every year. The midrash (Tanhuma Bechukotai 7) asserts that if Jephthah had read the laws of vows in the Torah, he would not have lost his daughter. Judges 11: 39 Jephthah makes good on his vow and sacrifices his virgin daughter to God. That ignorance cost his innocent daughter her life. Alicia Ostriker. Some writers have observed that the Israelites of the time were decidedly barbarous; that Mosaic law (which forbade human sacrifice) was at this time widely disrespected; and that there are several other examples of rash vows to God with similarly terrible consequences. He also says: In any case, it should have been unlawful, and repugnant to Jehovah, to offer a human being to Him as a burnt-offering, for His acceptance. Joan Comay and Ronald Brown. It may have been first written down in the 8th century BCE, when the Northern kingdom of Israel (Samaria) began to collect its heroic tales, royal stories, and foundation myths. A bargain was struck: Jephthah would lead an Israelite army against the Ammonites. Jephthah was born of a prostitute from a man named Gilead. Amazing Bible Timeline with World History, http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Jdg&c=11&t=KJV#29, http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Jdg&c=12&v=1&t=KJV#1, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Giovanni_Antonio_Pellegrini_001.jpg. Jephthah (pronounced / ˈ dʒ ɛ f θ ə /; Hebrew: יפתח Yiftāḥ), appears in the Book of Judges as a judge who presided over Israel for a period of six years (Judges 12:7).According to Judges, he … Jephthah also had to fight against the Ephraimites during a later period of his reign. Jephthah was angry with them and questioned them about their decision to seek his help after they forced him to leave his home. Required fields are marked *, Bible Charts and Maps, PO Box 171053, Austin, TX 78717 Jephthah’s little princess was given two months to mourn with her friends “because she would never marry” (Judges 11:38 NIV). The girl’s joyful welcome and the happy music of timbrels were quickly silenced when Jephthah saw her. For the oratorio by Handel, see. The Order of the Eastern Star refers to her as Adah. Jephthah and the Ammonites A. Jephthah negotiates with the Ammonites. How Long Was Joseph In Potiphars House? , Israel Finkelstein has suggested that behind multiple and large-scale Deuteronomistic and post-Deuteronomistic additions and redactions, there may lie an oral story which reflects a conflict on the boundary between Israelite and Ammonite settlements in Transjordan, around the towns of Gilead and Mizpah. Even though he was reluctant about offering his daughter as a sacrifice, he knew that he had to make good on his word. Jephthah then carried out his vow. 12:7: 'Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and he was buried in the towns of Gilead.' Jephthah then told the people of Israel that he would fight for them, and if he were to win the battle, he would be their new leader. The victorious Jephthah is met on his return by his only child, a daughter. Every year, her friends went to Shiloh to visit her. Jephthah tears his clothes and cries, "Alas, my daughter! . In the Bible, Hebrews 11 is a “Hall of Fame of Faith” that name-drops Old Testament rockstars such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Samson, David and, um … Jephthah? " The elders of Gilead ask him to be their leader in the campaign against the Ammonites, but he holds out for a more permanent and a broader position, and the elders agree that, provided Jephthah succeeds in defeating Ammon, he will be their permanent chieftain. In the ancient world people were thought to live on through their children.  Finkelstein has also suggested that the story of Jephthah's vow may have been added into the story as late as the Hellenistic period. He appears on the Biblical Timeline Poster around 1150 BC, Unique Circular Format – see more in less space. Jephthah's background before his rise to leadership. Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, but he was the son of a harlot; and Gilead You have brought me down and I am devastated. Three other chiefs named Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon rule Israel after Jephthah dies.