Judges 11:1-40

11  And Jephthah the Gileadite was a stalwart man who was the son of a prostitute. Gilead had begotten Jephthah, 2  and Gilead’s wife bore sons to him, and the wife’s sons, when they grew up, turned Jephthah out and said to him “You shall not inherit in our family, because you are the son of another woman.” 3  And Jephthah left the country on account of his brothers, and lived in the Tob country; and a set of riffraff drew together to Jephthah and went on expeditions with him 4  And after a while the Bene-ʽAmmon made war on Israel; 5  and when the Bene-ʽAmmon made war on Israel the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the Tob country. 6  And they said to Jephthah “Come and be our chieftain to make war with the Bene-ʽAmmon.” 7  And Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead “Why, you hated me and turned me out of my family; how is it you have come to me now when you are in a tight place?” 8  And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah “As for that, we have come back to you now, and you are to come with us and fight the Bene-ʽAmmon, and we will have you for head of all the population of Gilead.” 9  And Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead “If you bring me back to fight the Bene-ʽAmmon, and Jehovah gives them to be defeated before me, I shall be your head?” 10 * And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah “So help us Jehovah, we will do as you have said.” 11 * And Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people set him over them as head and chieftain; and Jephthah set forth the terms of the pledge before Jehovah at Mispah. 12  And Jephthah sent envoys to the king of the Bene-ʽAmmon to say “What business have you coming into my country to attack me?” 13 * And the king of the Bene-ʽAmmon said to Jephthah’s envoys Because Israel took my country when they came up out of Egypt, from the Arnon to the Jabbok and the Jordan; now restore it peaceably.” 14  And Jephthah again sent envoys to the king of the Bene-’Ammon 15  and said to him “Says Jephthah, Israel did not take the country of Moab nor that of the Bene-ʽAmmon, 16  but when they were coming up out of Egypt Israel went in the wilderness as far as the Red Sea, and came to Kadesh; 17  and Israel sent envoys to the king of Edom to say ‘Let us pass through your country,’ and the king of Edom did not listen to them; and they sent also to the king of Moab, and he was not willing; so Israel stayed at Kadesh. 18  And they went in the wilderness around the country of Edom and that of Moab, and came along east of the country of Moab and camped beyond the Arnon, and did not come within the boundary of Moab, because the Arnon is the boundary of Moab. 19  And Israel sent envoys to Sihon the king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon, and said to him ‘Let us pass through your country to our destination’; 20 * but Sihon refused to give Israel passage within his boundary, and Sihon brought together all his people and camped at Jahzah, and fought with Israel. 21  And Israel’s God Jehovah gave Sihon and all his people into Israel’s hands, and they defeated them; and Israel took possession of all the country of the Amorites who inhabited that country; 22  and they succeeded to all the territory of the Amorites, from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the wilderness to the Jordan. 23  Now, when Israel’s God Jehovah dispossessed the Amorites before his people Israel, are you to succeed to them? 24 * You succeed to what your god Kemosh gives you possession of, do you not? and whomever our God Jehovah dispossesses before us, we succeed to them. 25 * “And then, are you any better than Balak the son of Sippor, king of Moab? did he bring any claim against Israel, or wage any war with them? 26  When Israel settled in Heshbon and its dependencies, and in ʽAroʽer and its dependencies, and in all the cities along the banks of the Arnon, for three hundred years, how is it you did not recover them at that time? 27  And I have committed no offense against you, but you are doing wrong by me in making war on me. Jehovah the Judge give judgment today between the sons of Israel and the Bene-ʽAmmon.” 28  But the king of the Bene-ʽAmmon did not listen to the words Jephthah sent to him. 29  And the spirit of Jehovah came upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh, and through Mispeh-Gilead; and from Mispeh-Gilead he passed over to the Bene-ʽAmmon. 30  And Jephthah made a vow to Jehovah, “If you give the Bene-ʽAmmon into my hands, 31  then any that comes out of my house doors to meet me, when I come safe back from the Bene-ʽAmmon, shall belong to Jehovah, and I will offer that one as a burnt-offering.” 32  And Jephthah passed over to the Bene-ʽAmmon to fight them, and Jehovah gave them into his hands; 33  and he made havoc of them from ʽAroʽer till you come to Minnith, twenty cities, and to Abel-keramim, great havoc. And the Bene-ʽAmmon were humbled before the sons of Israel. 34  And Jephthah came to his home at Mispah, and found his daughter coming out to meet him with tambourines and dances; and she was his one only child, he had no son or daughter else. 35  And at seeing her he tore his clothes and said “O, O, my daughter, you have laid me low; you are down on me with the rest! and I have opened my mouth to Jehovah and cannot go back!” 36  And she said to him “Father, you have opened your mouth to Jehovah: do with me as went out of your mouth, so long as Jehovah has done vengeance on your enemies the Bene-ʽAmmon for you.” 37 * But she said to her father “Let this thing be done for me: let me be for two months to go and range on the mountains and weep for my maidenhood, I and my girl friends.” 38  And he said “Go,” and sent her off for two months; and she went, she and her girl friends, and wept for her maidenhood on the mountains. 39  And at the end of two months she came back to her father, and he did with her what he had made the vow to do, when she had not known man. 40  And it became a usage in Israel that year by year the Israelite girls should go to celebrate the memory of the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite, four days in a year.


11:10 Lit. Jehovah be hearer between us
11:11 Lit. Jephthah spoke all his words before
11:13 Lit. restore them
11:20 Lit. and they camped at Jahzah, and he fought
11:24 Conj. to those whom your god Kemosh dispossesses
11:25-26 Or with them, when . . . years?
11:37 Codd. to go off down on the mountains