NASB — Judges 11 — KJV

Jephthah the Ninth Judge

1 Now aJephthah the Gileadite was a Ivaliant warrior, but he was the son of a harlot. And Gilead IIwas the father of Jephthah. 2 Gilead’s wife bore him sons; and when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, “You shall not have an inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.” 3 So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of aTob; and worthless fellows gathered themselves Iabout Jephthah, and they went out with him.

[1] IOr mighty man of valor IILit begat aHe 11:32
[3] ILit to a2S 10:6, 8

4 ¶ It came about after a while that athe sons of Ammon fought against Israel. 5 When the sons of Ammon fought against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob; 6 and they said to Jephthah, “Come and be our chief that we may fight against the sons of Ammon.” 7 Then Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “aDid you not hate me and drive me from my father’s house? So why have you come to me now when you are in trouble?” 8 The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “For this reason we have now returned to you, that you may go with us and fight with the sons of Ammon and abecome head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.” 9 So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you take me back to fight against the sons of Ammon and the LORD gives them up Ito me, will I become your head?” 10 The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “aThe LORD is Iwitness between us; surely we will do IIas you have said.” 11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and chief over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD at aMizpah.

[4] aJg 10:9, 17
[7] aGn 26:27
[8] aJg 10:18
[9] ILit before
[10] ILit hearer IILit according to your word aGn 31:50; Jr 29:23; 42:5; Mi 1:2
[11] aJg 10:17; 11:29; 20:1; 1S 10:17

12 ¶ Now Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the sons of Ammon, saying, “What is between you and me, that you have come to me to fight against my land?” 13 The king of the sons of Ammon said to the messengers of Jephthah, “Because Israel atook away my land when they came up from Egypt, from the Arnon as far as the bJabbok and the Jordan; therefore, return them peaceably now.” 14 But Jephthah sent messengers again to the king of the sons of Ammon, 15 and they said to him, “Thus says Jephthah, ‘Israel did not take away the land of Moab nor the land of the sons of Ammon. 16 For when they came up from Egypt, and Israel awent through the wilderness to the IRed Sea and bcame to Kadesh, 17 then Israel asent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, “Please let us pass through your land,” but the king of Edom would not listen. bAnd they also sent to the king of Moab, but he would not consent. So Israel remained at Kadesh. 18 Then they went through the wilderness and aaround the land of Edom and the land of Moab, and came to the east side of the land of Moab, and they camped beyond the Arnon; but they bdid not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon [was] the border of Moab. 19 And Israel sent amessengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon, and Israel said to him, “Please let us pass through your land to our place.” 20 But Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his territory; so Sihon gathered all his people and camped in Jahaz and fought with Israel. 21 The LORD, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they Iadefeated them; so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country. 22 aSo they possessed all the territory of the Amorites, from the Arnon as far as the Jabbok, and from the wilderness as far as the Jordan. 23 Since now the LORD, the God of Israel, drove out the Amorites from before His people Israel, are you then to possess it? 24 Do you not possess what aChemosh your god gives you to possess? So whatever the LORD our God has driven out before us, we will possess it. 25 Now are you any better than aBalak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever strive with Israel, or did he ever fight against them? 26 aWhile Israel lived in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, three hundred years, why did you not recover them within that time? 27 I therefore have not sinned against you, but you are doing me wrong by making war against me; amay the LORD, the Judge, judge today between the sons of Israel and the sons of Ammon.’” 28 But the king of the sons of Ammon Idisregarded the message which Jephthah sent him.

[13] aNu 21:24 bGn 32:22
[16] ILit Sea of Reeds aNu 14:25; Dt 1:40 bNu 20:1, 4-21
[17] aNu 20:14-21 bJsh 24:9
[18] aNu 21:4; Dt 2:8 bDt 2:9, 18, 19
[19] aNu 21:21-32; Dt 2:26-36
[21] ILit smote aNu 21:24; Dt 2:32-34
[22] aDt 2:36, 37
[24] aNu 21:29; 1K 11:7
[25] aNu 22:2; Jsh 24:9; Mi 6:5
[26] aNu 21:25, 26; Dt 2:36
[27] aGn 16:5; 18:25; 31:53; 1S 24:12, 15
[28] ILit did not listen to the words

Jephthah’s Tragic Vow

29 ¶ Now athe Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, so that he passed through Gilead and Manasseh; then he passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he went on to the sons of Ammon. 30 Jephthah made a vow to the LORD and said, “If You will indeed give the sons of Ammon into my hand, 31 then it shall be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the sons of Ammon, it shall be the LORDS, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.” 32 So Jephthah crossed over to the sons of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD gave them into his hand. 33 He struck them with a very great slaughter from Aroer Ito the entrance of aMinnith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel-keramim. So the sons of Ammon were subdued before the sons of Israel.

[29] aJg 3:10
[33] ILit even until you are coming to aEzk 27:17

34 ¶ When Jephthah came to his house at aMizpah, behold, his daughter was coming out to meet him bwith tambourines and with dancing. Now she was his one [and] only child; besides her he had no son or daughter. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you are among those who trouble me; for I have Igiven my word to the LORD, and aI cannot take [it] back.” 36 So she said to him, “My father, you have Igiven your word to the LORD; ado to me IIas you have said, since the LORD has avenged you of your enemies, the sons of Ammon.” 37 She said to her father, “Let this thing be done for me; let me alone two months, that I may Igo to the mountains and weep because of amy virginity, I and my companions.” 38 Then he said, “Go.” So he sent her away for two months; and she left with her companions, and wept on the mountains because of her virginity. 39 At the end of two months she returned to her father, who did to her according to the vow which he had made; and she Ihad no relations with a man. Thus it became a custom in Israel, 40 that the daughters of Israel went yearly to Icommemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in the year.

[34] aJg 10:17; 11:11 bEx 15:20; 1S 18:6; Jr 31:4
[35] ILit opened my mouth aNu 30:2; Ec 5:4, 5
[36] ILit opened your mouth IILit according to what has proceeded from your mouth aNu 30:2
[37] ILit go and go down on aGn 30:23; Lk 1:25
[39] ILit knew no man
[40] ILit recount; ancient versions, lament


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The covenant between Jephthah and the Gileadites, that he should be their head.

1 ¶ Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he [was] the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah. 2 And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his 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 strange woman. 3 Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him.

[1] Jsh 2:1; Jg 6:12; 11:2; 2K 5:1; He 11:32.
[2] Gn 12:10; Dt 23:2; Pv 2:16; 5:3, 20; 6:24; Ga 4:30.
[3] Jg 9:4; 1S 22:2; 27:2; 30:22; 2S 10:6; Jb 30:1; Ac 17:5.

4 ¶ And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel. 5 And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob: 6 And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon. 7 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 now when ye are in distress? 8 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. 9 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? 10 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words. 11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh.

[4] Jg 11:4.
[5] Jg 10:9, 17; 1S 10:27; 11:6, 12; Ps 118:22; Ac 7:35; 1Co 1:27.
[7] Gn 26:27; 37:27; 45:4; Pv 17:17; Is 60:14; Ac 7:9; Rv 3:9.
[8] Ex 8:8, 28; 9:28; 10:17; Jg 10:18; 1K 13:6; Lk 17:3.
[9] Nu 32:20.
[10] Gn 16:5; 21:23; 31:50, 53; Ex 20:7; Dt 1:16; 1S 12:5; 24:12; Jr 29:23; 42:5; Zc 5:4; Mal 3:5; Ro 1:9; 2Co 11:31.
[11] Gn 31:49; Jsh 15:38; Jg 10:17; 11:8, 29; 20:1; 1S 10:17; 11:15; 23:9; 1K 3:7; 2Co 3:5; Jm 1:5, 17.

The treaty of peace between him and the Ammonites is in vain.

12 ¶ And Jephthah sent 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? 13 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 Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore restore those [lands] again peaceably. 14 And Jephthah sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon: 15 And said unto him, Thus saith Jephthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon: 16 But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and came to Kadesh; 17 Then Israel 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 Israel abode in Kadesh. 18 Then they 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 pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon [was] the border of Moab. 19 And Israel 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. 20 But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his coast: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and pitched in Jahaz, and fought against Israel. 21 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. 22 And they possessed all the coasts of the Amorites, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan. 23 So now the LORD God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou possess it? 24 Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomsoever the LORD our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess. 25 And now [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, 26 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, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover [them] within that time? 27 Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon. 28 Howbeit the king of the children of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Jephthah which he sent him.

[12] Nu 20:14; 21:21; Dt 2:26; 20:10; 2K 14:8; Pv 25:8; Mt 18:15.
[13] Gn 32:22; Nu 21:24; Dt 2:37; 3:16; Pv 19:5, 9.
[14] Ps 120:7; Ro 12:18; He 12:14; 1P 3:11.
[15] Nu 21:13, 27; Dt 2:9, 19; 2Ch 20:10; Ac 24:12.
[16] Gn 14:7; Nu 13:26; 14:25; 20:1; Dt 1:40, 46; Jsh 5:6.
[17] Nu 20:1, 14, 16; Dt 2:4, 9, 29.
[18] Nu 20:22; 21:4, 10, 11, 13; 22:36; 33:37; Dt 2:1.
[19] Nu 21:21; Dt 2:26; 3:1; Jsh 13:8.
[20] Nu 21:23, 24; Dt 2:32, 33; Jsh 13:15; Ne 9:22; Ps 135:10; 136:17.
[22] Dt 2:36.
[24] Nu 21:29; Dt 9:4; 18:12; Jsh 3:10; 1K 11:7; Ps 44:2; 78:55; Jr 48:7, 46; Mi 4:5.
[25] Nu 22:2; Dt 23:3; Jsh 24:9; Mi 6:5.
[26] Nu 21:25; Dt 2:24, 36; 3:2, 6; Jsh 11:18; 12:2, 5; 13:10; 23:1; Jg 3:11, 30; 5:31; 8:28; 9:22; 10:2, 8.
[27] Gn 16:5; 18:25; 31:53; 1S 2:10; 24:12, 15; Jb 9:15; 23:7; Ps 7:8, 11; 50:6; 75:7; 82:8; 94:2; 98:9; Ec 11:9; 12:14; Jn 5:22; Ro 14:10; 2Co 5:10; 11:11; 2Ti 4:8; He 12:23.
[28] 2K 14:11; Pv 16:18.

Jephthah's vow.

29 ¶ Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over [unto] the children of Ammon. 30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, 31 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 the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

[29] Nu 11:25; Jg 3:10; 6:34; 10:17; 13:25; 1S 10:10; 16:13; 1Ch 12:18.
[30] Gn 28:20; Nu 30:2; 1S 1:11; Ec 5:1, 4.
[31] Lv 27:2, 11, 28; Dt 23:18; 1S 1:11, 28; 2:18; 14:24, 44; Ps 66:13; Is 66:3.

His conquest of the Ammonites.

32 ¶ So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands. 33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, [even] twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.

[32] Jg 1:4; 2:18; 3:10.
[33] Dt 2:36; Ezk 27:17.

He performeth his vow on his daughter.

34 ¶ 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; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back. 36 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. 37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows. 38 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. 39 And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her [according] to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel, 40 [That] the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

[34] Ex 15:20; Jg 5:1; 10:17; 11:11; 1S 18:6; Ps 68:25; 148:11; 150:4; Jr 31:4, 13; Zc 12:10; Lk 7:12; 8:42; 9:38.
[35] Gn 37:29, 34; 42:36; Lv 27:28; Nu 30:2; Jg 21:1; 1S 14:44; 2S 13:30; 18:33; Jb 1:20; Ps 15:4; Ec 5:2; Mt 14:7; Ac 23:14.
[36] Jg 16:28; 2S 18:19, 31; 19:30; Ac 20:24; 21:13; Ro 16:4; Php 2:30.
[37] 1S 1:6; Lk 1:25.
[39] Lv 27:4, 28; Dt 12:31; Jg 11:29, 31; 1S 1:11, 22, 24, 28; 2:18; Is 66:3.
[40] Jg 5:11; 1K 9:25.


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