1Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, and he was
the son of a prostitute: and Gilead became the father of Jephthah.
2Gilead’s wife bore him sons; and when his wife’s sons grew up, they
drove out Jephthah, and said to him, You shall not inherit in our father’s
house; for you are the son of another woman.
3Then Jephthah fled from his
brothers, and lived in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain fellows
to Jephthah, and they went out with him.
4It happened after a while, that
the children of Ammon made war against Israel.
5It was so, that when the
children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get
Jephthah out of the land of Tob;
6and they said to Jephthah, Come and be
our chief, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.
to the elders of Gilead, Didn’t you hate me, and drive me out of my
father’s house? and why are you come to me now when you are in
8The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, Therefore are we turned
again to you now, that you may go with us, and fight with the children of
Ammon; and you shall be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.
9Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, If you bring me home again
to fight with the children of Ammon, and Yahweh deliver them before me, shall
I be your head?
10The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, Yahweh shall be
witness between us; surely according to your word so will we do.
Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and
chief over them: and Jephthah spoke all his words before Yahweh in Mizpah.
12Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the children of Ammon, saying,
What have you to do with me, that you are come to me to fight against my
13The king of the children of Ammon answered to the messengers of
Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when he came up out of Egypt,
from the Arnon even to the Jabbok, and to the Jordan: now therefore restore
those lands again peaceably.
14Jephthah sent messengers again to
the king of the children of Ammon;
15and he said to him, Thus says
Jephthah: Israel didn’t take away the land of Moab, nor the land of the
children of Ammon,
16but when they came up from Egypt, and Israel went
through the wilderness to the Red Sea, and came to Kadesh;
sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, Please let me pass through your
land; but the king of Edom didn’t listen. In the same way, he sent to the
king of Moab; but he would not: and Israel abode in Kadesh.
went through the wilderness, and went around the land of Edom, and the land
of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and they encamped on
the other side of the Arnon; but they didn’t come within the border of Moab,
for the Arnon was the border of Moab.
19Israel sent messengers to Sihon
king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said to him, Let us
pass, we pray you, through your land to my place.
20But Sihon didn’t
trust Israel to pass through his border; but Sihon gathered all his people
together, and encamped in Jahaz, and fought against Israel.
God of Israel, delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel,
and they struck them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the
inhabitants of that country.
22They possessed all the border of the
Amorites, from the Arnon even to the Jabbok, and from the wilderness even to
23So now Yahweh, the God of Israel, has dispossessed the
Amorites from before his people Israel, and should you possess them?
24Won’t you possess that which Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So
whoever Yahweh our God has dispossessed from before us, them will we possess.
25Now are you anything better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab?
did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them?
26While Israel lived in Heshbon and its towns, and in Aroer and its
towns, and in all the cities that are along by the side of the Arnon, three
hundred years; why didn’t you recover them within that time?
therefore have not sinned against you, but you do me wrong to war against me:
Yahweh, the Judge, be judge this day between the children of Israel and the
children of Ammon.
28However the king of the children of Ammon didn’t
listen to the words of Jephthah which he sent him.
29Then the Spirit of
Yahweh came on Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead and Manasseh, and passed
over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over to the
children of Ammon.
30Jephthah vowed a vow to Yahweh, and said, If you
will indeed deliver the children of Ammon into my hand,
31then it shall
be, that whatever comes forth from the doors of my house to meet me, when I
return in peace from the children of Ammon, it shall be Yahweh’s, and I will
offer it up for a burnt offering.
32So Jephthah passed over to the
children of Ammon to fight against them; and Yahweh delivered them into his
33He struck them from Aroer until you come to Minnith, even twenty
cities, and to Abelcheramim, with a very great slaughter. So the children of
Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
34Jephthah came to
Mizpah to his house; and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with
tambourines and with dances: and she was his only child; besides her he had
neither son nor daughter.
35It happened, when he saw her, that he tore
his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! you have brought me very low, and
you are one of those who trouble me; for I have opened my mouth to Yahweh,
and I can’t go back.
36She said to him, My father, you have opened your
mouth to Yahweh; do to me according to that which has proceeded out of your
mouth, because Yahweh has taken vengeance for you on your enemies, even on
the children of Ammon.
37She said to her father, Let this thing be done
for me: let me alone two months, that I may depart and go down on the
mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my companions.
38He said, Go.
He sent her away for two months: and she departed, she and her companions,
and mourned her virginity on the mountains.
39It happened at the end of
two months, that she returned to her father, who did with her according to
his vow which he had vowed: and she was a virgin. It was a custom in Israel,
40that the daughters of Israel went yearly to celebrate the daughter of
Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.