NOBODY today knows her name. She is known now only by the name of her father, Jephthah. Let’s look into the Bible and learn about the two of them. We will find that Jephthah’s daughter was loved both by God and by her friends.
We can read about Jephthah and his daughter in the Bible in Judges chapter 11. Since Jephthah was a faithful servant of God, he no doubt regularly discussed the Scriptures with his daughter.
Jephthah lived before God’s people, the Israelites, had asked for a human king to rule over them. Jephthah was a strong man with the ability to fight. So the Israelites asked him to lead them against the Ammonites, a neighbor nation that had been fighting the Israelites.
Jephthah wanted God’s help to defeat the Ammonites, so he made a promise. Jephthah said that if Jehovah gave him the victory, he would give to Jehovah the first one who came out of his house when he returned home. That person would serve for the rest of his or her life at God’s tabernacle—the place where the people worshipped God in those days. Do you know who came out first?— *
Yes, Jephthah’s daughter! Jephthah was very sad. He had only one child. But he had made a promise to Jehovah and had to keep it. Right away, his daughter said: “My father, if you have opened your mouth to Jehovah, do to me according to what has gone forth from your mouth.” Then she asked to be left alone for two months so that she could go into the mountains to weep. Why the sadness? Because by keeping her father’s vow, she would be giving up the right to marry and have children. Even so, she did not view her own desires as the most important thing. She wanted to obey her father and to be loyal to Jehovah. Do you think that she made Jehovah and her father happy?—
So Jephthah sent his daughter away for two months with her girl companions. When she returned, her father carried out his vow by sending her to God’s tabernacle at Shiloh for the rest of her life. Every year, the young women of Israel would go to Shiloh and encourage Jephthah’s daughter.
Do you know young ones who obey their parents and love Jehovah?— It is good to get to know those children better and to become their friend. If you imitate Jephthah’s daughter and are obedient and loyal, you will have good friends. You will make your parents happy, and Jehovah will love you too.
^ par. 6 If you are reading with a child, the dash provides a reminder to pause and encourage the child to express himself.