Do you want to know the important lessons from the life of Jephthah? If yes, here’s Jephthah Bible study that you should read. Discover how the messages in Jephthah’s life and become a better Christian today!
Among the most difficult stories to understand in the Bible is the story of Jephthah. Though an obscure figure in the Bible, Jephthah attained honor to be mentioned in the heroes of faith. However, if we read Jephthah story summary and the seemingly harsh sacrifice of her daughter, we might immediately question the wisdom of Paul for having him listed in Hebrews 11. Some critics of the Bible would even seize the life of Jephthah as an example of God’s unreasonable sense of justice and mercy.
For these reasons, we need to take a deeper look at the story of Jephthah. Did Jephthah really have a very sinful life that should have disqualified him from entering the Kingdom of God? Did his story really reveal God as a God who is bloodthirsty and devoid of mercy? Let’s find out today as we learn the lessons from the life of Jephthah.
Lesson no. 1: Keeping your word
Jephthah’s story is found in Judges 11 to 12. He is a Gileadite mighty warrior and a son of a harlot. Because of the manner of his conception, he was driven out from his family and lived with a gang of worthless men.
There came a time when the Israelites are about to fight the Ammonites. The Israelites requested Jephthah to fight for them and Jephthah accepted their request.
Jephthah recognized the strength of the Ammonite army. Because of this, he made a vow to God. He said:
“And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, “If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering” (Judges 11:30-31).
God granted Jephthah’s request and the Israelites won against the Ammonites. Now, it is time for Jephthah to fulfill his vow to God.
When Jephthah arrived home, to his shock, his daughter is the first one who comes out of his house. Obviously, Jephthah did not expect his daughter to meet him. The decision to keep the vow has been very hard for Jephthah since his daughter is his only child. This means that his lineage would not continue anymore. This is a very tragic situation for any Israelite at that time.
Jephthah told his daughter:
“And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the Lord, and I cannot go back on it” (Judges 11:35).
As difficult and heartbreaking this has been to Jephthah, he still chose to keep his vow to God.
As Christians, there is a vital lesson that we must learn from this story. Many years later, King David talks about those characteristics of people who will dwell with the LORD.
“Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? … He who swears to his own hurt and does not change” (Psalms 15:4).
One of the characteristics of the people who would dwell with the LORD are the people who keep their words. This is certainly what describes Jephthah and this should also be the same thing that should be said about us, Christians.
Never make promises that you are not able to fulfill. When you don’t keep your word, you lose credibility.
God holds us accountable for the words we say. Jesus Christ strongly instructs us to seriously take the words we are going to say. He said:
“But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).
Christians are expected to be keepers of their word. Never make a promise that you are not able to keep. If you cannot keep it, then don’t make any promises at all. Jesus Christ said, “Let your ‘Yes’, be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’, ‘No’. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).
Can people trust us with our words?
Are they able to believe us when we say something?
Are we truthful with the words we say?
The Bible speaks about the importance of keeping our word. If you say you will do something, make sure you follow through. This is what you call being responsible and mature. No one will believe someone who cannot keep his words. If you want to be a Christian who wants to serve as a light of the world so that people will be driven to worship God the Father, then you have to become a man of your word.
Christians are supposed to be a living testimony and example to unbelievers and believers alike. If our words and actions do not coincide, how would we be able to influence others? How will they see the character that God wants us to develop? How will they seriously take the truths we say?
It is very clear that God expects us to truthful. Not keeping our word is tantamount to lying and you know what the Bible say about lying? Liars will not be part of God’s Kingdom (Revelation 21:8).
Therefore, before you speak, make sure you have thought about it. Just like Jephthah, though he made a hasty vow, he still has the faith to keep his word. Though it may hurt him and other people around him, he still kept his promise. The same resolve and tenacity are expected from us, Christians, today.
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Lesson no. 2: Jephthah did not sacrifice his daughter as a burnt offering
Most skeptics and enemies of the scripture use the story of Jephthah to prove that we are serving an illogical and unreasonable God. Not only that, but some people even have a hard time writing a Judges 11 commentary because of this difficult scripture.
The sad thing about this passage in Judges is that even believers of the Bible don’t even know how to explain this verse. They don’t have a clue and would rather skip this portion of the verse because of its difficulty.
However, we can be certain that not because a passage is difficult to explain doesn’t mean that we cannot really understand it. A quick examination and deeper investigation will reveal to us the real truth about Jephthah’s sacrifice. What we thought to be a story of human sacrifice is actually a story of a man full of faith in God’s mercy and justice.
The first point, Jephthah is a Gileadite, a branch of the tribe of Manasseh (Numbers 26:29). For this reason, Jephthah demonstrated a detailed knowledge of the history of Israel (Judges 11:12-28). Surely, he should have known about the prohibition against child sacrifice from the books of Moses (Leviticus 18:21; 20:2; Deuteronomy 12:31-32; 18:10-12).
The second point, we read in Judges 11:29 that “the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah”. Immediately after that, he made the vow to sacrifice her daughter (verse 30). So how could a man led by the Holy Spirit be able to make a vow that intends his daughter to be burned alive?
Third point, how can a man perform a manner of worship that God, Himself, called abomination and unacceptable?
Fourth point, Jephthah’s daughter encourages his father to keep the vow and didn’t even show any fear. But rather, she voluntarily went back to Jephthah after two months for her father to keep the vow (Judges 11:36).
Fifth point, child sacrifice is a great abomination to God. Surely, this type of sin could have prevented a person from entering the Kingdom of God. However, we have seen the name of Jephthah in Hebrews 11 for showing great faith.
With all these points, it is really illogical to assume that Jephthah sacrificed his daughter. If the traditional understanding of Jephthah’s vow is wrong, then what is the right explanation? Let us examine the vow of Jephthah.
The New King James Version renders verse 31 of Judges 11 in this way:
“Then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.”
An understanding of the original Hebrew rendering of this verse would give us the choice of writing the word “and” as “or”. We must remember that Jephthah is making a conditional vow here. So this gives us the option that Jephthah is saying the first one who will come out of his house to meet him will be given to the Lord. If there’s no one who will come out, Jephthah would give a burnt offering instead.
Therefore, this passage can be correctly translated as:
The one who comes forth to meet me I will consecrate to the LORD, or [if no one comes out] I will offer Him a burnt offering.”
Jephthah is found here to be acting, in some degree, in faith. Instead of making a vow that he has complete control of, he gives God the option to how he will keep his vow.
As the evidence shows, Jephthah really did NOT offer his daughter as a burnt offering. Instead, he offered his daughter for the service of God, just like Hannah devoting Samuel to the work of God.
The dedication of Jephthah’s daughter apparently meant that his daughter will remain a virgin as she serves in the tabernacle. This means that Jephthah will have no grandchildren.
So what can we learn from this? First of all, the Bible and its totality are the living Word of God. The Bible serves as the perfect guidebook to teach humans how to live this life. Since the Bible is the direct inspiration from God (II Timothy 3:16), we can be confident that it is perfect and has no error.
Though we might find some difficult scriptures, we can be assured that there is a way to explain them. The Bible does not contradict itself and it will always defend itself if we let it. The problem with skeptics is that they read the Bible with a biased mind, looking for loopholes rather letting the Bible transform their lives.
Finally, we must have the willingness and initiative to really open our Bibles and investigate. Let us not assume that since it is a difficult scripture then let’s just leave that to blind faith. It is our Christian duty to prove all things (I Thessalonians 5:21).
Lesson no. 3: Understanding the faithfulness of Jephthah
Now that we know that Jephthah facts that he did not burn his daughter as some would falsely assume, how did Jephthah really made it to the faith chapter?
When Jephthah made the vow to God, he was not expecting that his daughter would be the first person to come out of the door. He was more likely thinking of a servant. When Jephthah saw her daughter, he tore his clothes as a sign of deep remorse and regret. He states that the situation had brought him very low (verse 35).
The vow of Jephthah would mean that his daughter would be completely consecrated to the service of God. Since she is the only child of Jephthah, he would not be able to have grandchildren.
Not having a child carries a heavy social stigma. The Israelites view barrenness as a punishment and curse from God. To make it worse, this will be the end of Jephthah’s family line. At this point in time, we can clearly see why Jephthah is very grieved at the turn of events.
The vow’s effect is not just on Jephthah but to the many people around him. His daughter mourned her virginity for two months knowing that she will never have a child and become a mother in Israel. This also abolished the chance for her to possibly be the mother of the promised Messiah. Her friends mourn with her because they recognize the importance of having children in Israel. The whole of Israel also mourns because Jephthah, their hero, and deliverer, will not have any descendant.
So now we can see the depth of Jephthah’s vow. It is a very difficult vow to keep and this is where we can find the true demonstration of Jephthah’s faith.
While it is very obvious that Jephthah’s vow was hasty and unwise, he nevertheless kept his vow to God. Jephthah knows about the importance of paying one’s vow to God (Deuteronomy 23:21-23). As what was mentioned earlier, Jephthah kept his promise even it was to his own hurt (Psalm 15:4).
With this in mind, we can see that Jephthah’s keeping of his vow is an act of faith! He was willing to give up the hope of having grandchildren and perpetuate his lineage and endure the social stigma of having no descendants. All these for the sake of obeying God’s commandments.
We can see that Jephthah used his eyes of faith to capture the vision of a better hope of God’s promises which is GREATER than all what he had hoped for during his physical life. This is the true testimony of Jephthah’s faith and we can see here the reason why the Apostle Paul included him in the faith chapter.
Therefore, we can conclude that Jephthah lived a life of courage, faith, integrity, and vision.
Lesson no. 4: We may suffer because of the sins of others
Like what was mentioned above, Jephthah’s mother is a prostitute. This is certainly an act of infidelity on the part of his father. His father sinned and Jephthah came into the world with the fact that he is an illegitimate son. At a very young age, Jephthah has to deal with the result of his father’s sin.
When his half-brothers grew up and it was time to divide the inheritance of their father, Jephthah was was rejected by his brothers. His half-brothers considered him to be an illegitimate son and therefore, should not receive any inheritance.
This can be a very painful experience of Jephthah. Beginning from his childhood, he could have been the subject of ridicule from his brothers and the people around him. Just imagine how you would feel that even your own family has turned against you.
The main lesson here is that people can suffer because of the sins of others. It is wrong to automatically assume that people suffer because of their own sins. Sometimes, we become too judgmental and quick to conclude that a person is poor or sick because of his or her own wrongdoing. Of course, I don’t dismiss the possibility that it can also be their own sins or bad choices that led to the situation.
As Christians, we must always remember that our sins will not just affect us, but also the people around us. This is an important reason that should prevent us from committing a sin. We must realize that sin will lead to our own suffering and the sufferings of others.
Sometimes, God is more concern about the development of our character than our comfort.
But what will you do if you suffer because of the sin of others? God will not test us beyond our ability to overcome. God allows you to be in a position because He knows that you are able to bear that trial.
There are a lot of circumstances in our lives that we don’t have any control of. However, we can also control how we react to it.
As we look at the life of Jephthah, he did not let his past or the sin of his father direct his future. Instead of pitying himself and dreading the fact that he is an illegitimate son, he tried to compensate by accepting his weakness and building his strengths. He has become a mighty warrior and a man of valor. Most people recognize his strengths to the point that they look to him as their leader more than just a kid from a prostitute mother.
Similarly, we can all be Jephthah in this regard. Instead of lamenting the suffering we experience because of the sins of others, we need to realize that there is always hope. God allowed certain things to happen because He puts more importance on building your character instead of enjoying a comfortable life.
Let us all remember the words of the James:
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).
Lesson no. 5: We must be close to God not only during the bad times
We are called to develop an intimate and wonderful relationship with God. Our relationship must be constant and not conditional. We must be close to God both during the good and bad times of our lives.
In looking at the life of Jephthah, we can see how human nature works. Jephthah was an unwanted man in his family and the entire community. His brothers saw Jephthah as someone who would just decrease the potential inheritance they might acquire from their father. There is no doubt that they have treated Jephthah so bad that he was forced to leave the place he considered as home.
But when things went bad for the Gileadite, where did they turn to? That’s right. They turn to the same person whom they rejected. Just because they can’t see any benefit from having Jephthah around, they are more than happy to get rid of him. However, when the going got tough, they are so quick in calling the man who can deliver them from the hand of the Ammonites. We read their conversation in Judges 11:5-8.
“And so it was, when the people of Ammon made war against Israel, that the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob. Then they said to Jephthah, “Come and be our commander, that we may fight against the people of Ammon.”
So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “Did you not hate me, and expel me from my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?”
And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “That is why we have turned again to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the people of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.”
Sadly, the same attitude is very prevalent today. We see people who can easily forget God when they lack nothing. They are too proud to call on the Lord, bend their knees, and pray to God because of the many blessings they enjoy. But when things get too difficult and all else fail, they turn to God as the last resort.
God is not a spare tire that we only notice when we have a flat tire. We must have a close relationship with God to the point that He is the center of our lives. He is a powerful and majestic God and yet, He calls us His children and we can intimately cry out to Him, “Abba, Father!” This is the most magnificent and spectacular truth that we must all recognize.
It is better to live a life constantly close to God rather than just remembering Him when tragedies strike. Remember, time will come when you will seek God and He will no longer be found (Isaiah 55:6).
Jephthah was a rejected son of a prostitute woman. He stepped up to the challenge and became the judge of Israel. Though his life is not perfect and we can certainly list some of his faults, God still used him to fulfill His purpose. There are a lot of messages on Jephthah that we can learn from his story. We can be faithful like Jephthah and we can certainly be sure that God will be there in every step of the way!
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63 thoughts on “5 Powerful Lessons from the Life of Jephthah”
thank you for this wisdom of you from God. Now my questions answered. because my name was taken from jephthah and I thought it was bad character while I was searching the net until I found this. Thanks a lot. God bless you more!
Wow! Actually, I was also thinking of naming my firstborn son, Jephthah. 🙂 You’re welcome. I am glad that you found the truth behind Jephthah’s character. To God be the glory!
Wow great message it has really change me nw. Am just Still speechless cuz don’t knw d one to start and leave d other cuz his life life a lesson and blessing to learn. AMEN
Thank you Rosemary. 🙂
Amazing. I have just asked God to forgive me for the wrong things.
In fact I have got the truth of jephthah, before I thought he offered his daughter to burn as a sacrifice but now I can explain the true,glory to God.
Today Sunday, the 11th day of December 2016, my pastor preached on the topic, “You are making another promise. Text: Jephthah 11:30-36
I was happy but sad because I have made many promises that I don’t fulfill.
When returned home, I decided to do a research on Jephthah and I came across the five lessons. I will learn from them. Be my guide in Christ. Thank you.
Blessed Iam With These Lessons.
Amazing character study listed in heroes of faith. A challenging life for current christians..
Praise be to LORD.
I thank GOD for this powerful message on Jephthath. May GOD BLESS YOU.
Today God has charged my fully understanding about Jephthans’faith . Am really blessed, thanks a lot for sharing the knowledge and wisdom on this topic
Actually am learning my lessons against making promises and not fulfiling them. thanks
Thoroughly blessed. God the Holy Spirit is the interpreter of His own Word. “Enable us oh Lord to be doers of you Word”
Thank you pastor for this truth about Jephthah. God bless you
Oh, I’m not a pastor. But thanks for your comment. God bless you too. 🙂
I’m really blessed with this message.
Well analyzed and full of lessons.
More wisdom of God.
I think the part where you wrote “Jephthah told her daughter:” should be “Jephthah told his daughter:”
You are also wrong. Jephthah did sacrifice his daughter:
“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,”
Judges 11:39 KJV
The passage is a very clear statement. Why try to muddle it to keep atheist from attacking its truth? They’re going to attack it anyway.
Would a daughter who would be destined to be a virgin for the rest of her life only bewail her virginity for two months? What sense would that make?
And just because Jephthah carried out the vow doesn’t mean that it was acceptable to the Lord.
And where in Scripture does it say that if a man sacrifices his child that he can’t go to Heaven? That’s basing your salvation upon works instead believing on the finished work of Christ. Romans 6:23
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Thanks for taking the time to comment. By the way, thanks for pointing the grammar error. I already corrected it.
Regarding your comment, I hope you read the whole article. I believe I have explained clearly my point why Jephthah could have not possibly offered her daughter as a burned offering.
I don’t know with you but it makes sense to me and to others that she will bewail her virginity for two months.
Obviously, God won’t accept Jephthah’s offer if it was his burned and dead daughter. Jephthah perfect knew that, then why would he do it? Unless, he didn’t and that’s the point I’m making through this blog.
You won’t find in the Scirpture that a righteous man will go to heaven. Jesus/Yahshua Himself said no one ascended into heaven in John 3:13.
Salvation is a gift from God. We don’t earn it. But it doesn’t mean that we don’t do anything. We still need to follow God’s commandments and laws.
May God enlighten our hearts and minds.
That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year. Judges 11:40
So what does Lament mean? I thought it meant sorrow from the Death of someone… Forgot to justify that part. Basically this entire story is a coverup so we can view God how we want to.
lamenting isn’t always for the death of someone. A person can lament because of problems, trials, and challenges in life.
Your exposition of the Jephthah’s life events are very insightful.
Nevertheless can you offer more details on how you rephrase Judges 11:31 where Jephthah makes his vow, to mean an “and/or” situation? The NKJV, NIV, AMP etc., all make the verse read unequivocally as a “burnt offering” without giving any alternate rendering.
Sure enough when one reads verses 36-40, one is intrigued by the narration that Jephthah’s daughter seems to be more worried that she would remain a virgin, rather than being worried at the impending loss of her life at the sacrificial altar.
Further the verses only narrate that Jephthah kept his vow to the Lord. They are not crystal clear in what manner he kept his vow- whether by burnt offering or by some other way of dedication whereby virginity becomes the major issue, rather than human blood sacrifice.
Another aspect is that the vow was purely voluntary ( though foolish) of Jephthah’s & not demanded by the Lord, unlike Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac. God had greater plans about that though Jesus.
So your exposition does seem to have credence, which in any case is very insightful.
However I would benefit if you can give more information on the conjunctions “and/or” in Hebrew.
Thanks for getting in touch.
I appreciate sharing your thoughts as well. That’s a good point. Truly, the daughter of Jephthah is more worried about her virginity rather than her death.
Regarding the and/or, allow me to quote a portion from this page (http://bible.ucg.org/bible-reading-program/pdf/brp0210.pdf). It’s kind of long, but it’s worth the read. 🙂
The confusion can be cleared up by carefully examining Jephthah’s vow. Let us notice it in the
New King James Version: “If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it
will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from
the people of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering” (verses
30-31). First, notice that it is a conditional vow (if…then). Second, the phrase “whatever comes out
to meet me” is actually “the one who comes forth to meet me” in Hebrew, an apparent reference to
a person. The Nelson Study Bible concurs: “The phrase to meet me seems to refer more
appropriately to a human than to an animal” (note on 11:31).
How then are we to understand Jephthah’s vow? The Hebrew of verse 31 is the source of the
difficulty—or rather, the translation of the Hebrew text is the source of the difficulty. The next
phrase could just as well be translated, “…shall surely be the LORD’s, OR I will offer it a burntoffering.”
The Nelson Study Bible notes, “The conjunction in Jephthah’s pivotal statement in v. 31,
that whatever or whoever came out of the door ‘shall be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt
offering’ could be translated or. Thus, if a person came out first, he would dedicate that person to the
Lord, or if an animal came out first, he would offer the animal as a burnt sacrifice” (note on Judges
11:39). This explanation, however, has left out the possibility of an unclean animal, such as a dog,
coming out. Presumably, a clean animal in this scenario would be sacrificed while an unclean animal
would be dedicated like a person. But there is a possibility that this translation is not entirely correct
either, as it leaves out the possibility of nothing or no one coming out to meet Jephthah. This brings
us to the next apparent problem in translation.
The clause “or I will offer it up as a burnt offering” could also be rendered, “or I will offer Him a
burnt offering.” If that is correct, then we are left with Jephthah imagining a person coming out t o
meet him and stating, in a perhaps corrected rendering of verse 31, “The one who comes forth to
The Good News Bible Reading Program October 2002
meet me I will consecrate to the LORD, or [if no one comes out] I will offer Him [i.e., the Lord] a
burnt offering.” This changes the complexion of the difficulty entirely.
What emerges from a clear understanding of the Hebrew is significant. First, let’s note that
Jephthah was making a conditional vow with God. If God would give Jephthah the victory and bring
him safely home, then Jephthah would either dedicate a person of his household to God or he would
offer a burnt-offering to God if no one came out. Once God performed His part of the vow, Jephthah
was bound to fulfill his part.
Second, and most important however, Jephthah left the choice in God’s hands! Jephthah could
not control who would come out of the doors of his house to greet him (or whether anyone would),
just as Abraham’s servant had no control over who would give him drink (see Genesis 24:12-14). The
vow contained a choice to be made by God: either accept a consecrated person or a burnt offering.
Therefore, Jephthah was perhaps, to a degree, acting on faith, allowing God to choose how Jephthah
would fulfill his part of the covenant.
I am surprised that there is no reference to how God fulfilling every promise He ever made. Even prophesies of the Messiah and the story of Jephthah. Mirror
There are definitely more lessons, Cliff. 🙂
I fully agree – Jephtah did sacrifice his daughter. Samson continued to sin even after the Holy Spirit had come upon him mightily. The Bible is a true account of the history of God’s people describing accurately and faithfully their blemishes too – starkly, in black and white. God may not have approved of what Jephtah did with his daughter as He did not the fact that Moses disobeyed Him by striking the rock rather than speaking to it. But both are the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11.
I have already explained my point through this blog. It is up to you if you will accept the truth or not.
It’s an inspiring lesson but the image of the mountain on the background does not allow a better reading of the article. My question is this if she was not offered as a burnt offering how come she was never mention again in the Bible? considering the case of Samuel where Hannah said if you give me a male child i will give it back to you,and we know Samuel was given back to God cause he was mention to be working in the tabernacle.
Thanks for getting in touch.
The Bible does not have to mention Jephthah’s daughter again just to prove she is alive or she was dedicated to God’s work. In the same way that the Bible didn’t mention all details of the past events in the lives of God’s servant.
Before I mentioned:
That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year. Judges 11:40
lamenting isn’t always for the death of someone. A person can lament because of problems, trials, and challenges in life.
To lament is to weep, wail, sobbing in sorrow.
Why would the daughters litterally grieve, wail and sob in sorrow for four days every year because Jephthah’s daughter became a priestess or nun or woman of the faith? The loss of her future to have children? Wouldn’t becoming a special sanctified servant of God be a position of the highest honor?
Yet wemon from the entire nation of Israel mourn and weep and sob for her?
C’mon, anyone can see that she was sacrificed. It’s not uncommon for Old Testament God to demand human life/sacrifice.
You need to stop taking the Bible out of context. It’s very clear what is said, and only with significant twisting can you attempt to even suggest that Jephthas daughter wasn’t sacrificed.
I apologize for my late reply.
Please note the reason why his daughter were sad. Let’s read verse 38:
And he sent her away for two months; and she went with her friends, and bewailed her virginity on the mountains.
She bewailed her virginity. Why? Because she will know no man (verse 39).
That’s the main reason that she was wailing. Now, they are not wailing for her death. They are sad because Jephthah, a hero of Israel, won’t have a descendant and his daughter lost the chance to be a mother in Israel.
I agree, we must stop taking the Bible out of context and so, we must diligently read and study what the Bible really says.
Hello Joshua,Firstly I want to thank you for your effort through this teaching,really the Bible made it clear for everyone to underderstandt it’s context if we read it through the inspiration of the Holy spirit,Japhthah’s offered his daughter as a burnt offering (she died) not dedicated as a virgin to serve God,compare
(Judges 11:39 ) to the Good News translation. the King James version didn’t explain it clearly. God Bless you,
I believe there’s no point of discussing this, Nathan. We can simply agree to disagree. 🙂
The Good News translation got it wrong. All other translations mentioned “She knew no man” or “She remained as a virgin.”
I know you’re a good a man and a little disagreement on this subject should not make us enemies. I’m sure we have more things to agree with than the things we disagree in. 🙂
Peace and blessings be upon you, Nathan. 🙂
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Thanks. Be blessed for this insightful study.
God bless you for narrating the word.
Peace and blessings for you as well, Karanja. Feel free to read other blogs on this site. 🙂
I am by far a “scholar” of the word of God, therefore I respectfully will not take the word of God out of context. I would like to make a point that is not argued about (I say this in a light tone of voice). And it would be the point of Jephthah leaving the final word up to God. In looking a this I believe God is more interested in a living sacrifice then a dead one. In living, a living sacrifice we can wholeheartedly live our lives to please God, in holiness. Romans 12:1 We were created for the purpose of being, a living sacrifice.
I believe we have only begun to surface this text, I see so much more I compare with other saints of the Bible, New and Old. For example: ” For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…” (John 3:16a). Other version “one and only.” Although we make foolish vows, God is at work in the forefront pouring out grace.
I do agree in and/or!
For those out their that need God’s grace, what do you think he will bestow on you?
As a servant unto the Lord,
Living out our lives as a living sacrifice, we can still offer God a sweet aroma.
Thanks for dropping by your comment Carmen. 🙂
Thank God for this great lesson. I pray may Almighty God forgive me all my unfulfilled vow.
You’re welcome, Agbo. Yes, may we all have the right perspective before making a vow and ensuring we follow through.
Thanks i have been blessed by your interpretation on the story of Jephtah.
You’re welcome Lildet! Feel free to read other articles in this website. 🙂
Thank you Sir for the detail explanation from the incident of Jephthah’s vow to his personal life.
Your article has cleared my dilemma from every dimension of how to be like Jephthah.
Regards in Christ
The KJV English rendition of Shoftim (Judges) 11:40.
“the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.” is lacking accurate conveyance of the sense of the Hebrew text, in particular the word that is translated and incorrectly assumed as meaning “lament”.
The Hebrew word employed is “tanah” which occurs only twice within the Tanaka (Scriptures) and is properly translated as “rehearse” in Shoftim (Judges) 5:11 “there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of YHWH”. (Context bans ‘lament’, as no honest person “laments” the righteous acts of YHWH.)
The daughters of Israel did not go yearly to “lament”, but to yearly recount, rehearse, and recall her integrity, faith, and acceptance of perpetual virginity in service to YHWH her Elohim in solemn, and possibly even joyous annual memorial four day festival held in her honor.
Jephthah’s daughter lives and serves YHWH Elohi IsraEL to this day. May you also. Amen
Wow! I didn’t know this, Sheshbatzzar. Thank you for the additional insight.
As I read all the comments on the brothers artical up top im blessed by it… and thank you Joshua for allowing God to use you…Yet be encouraged and dont let any of these comments discourage you brother ….there are still (pharisees) amung us today as we walk with Christ….they challenge and judge and critisize yet they themselves dont follow Jesus obediantly because if they did they wouldnt be attacking a brother in such a way….Love would have its its perfect way even in coversation…..Theres too many theologians who really dont follow Jesus they look for disputes and arguments…..be aware Joshua and put on the whole armor of God……
Thank you so much for the encouragement. As human, it can be discouraging at times, but as long as we get our strength and help from the Most High, we can have the courage and faith go carry on.
I’ll surely strive to put on God’s whole armor. 🙂
So you’re saying that god hates child sacrifices. Then why did he order Abraham to sacrifice his son? Yes, he stopped Abraham, but then why was jeheptah not stopped?
I hope you were able to read my blog and understand well that Jephthah didn’t kill his daughter.
Fantastic interpretation. .i like and loved. Really God’s inspired and helped me to understand and let understand people. .may God bless you. .it was very hard to get real meaning but today morning I got the answer. .thanks a lot. .
Thank you, Pastor Golak Hial. You’re welcome!
A message to be delivered; correcting the errors of Ancestral Foundation
Thank you. Peace be with you!
Thank you as well and you’re welcome. Shalom!
Blessings Joshua loved your exposition on Jephthah , would love to use it in a session i’ll be doing.
I really appreciate you sir for the message it gives me more understanding about the life of jephtar, thanks 🙏
You’re welcome. 🙂
Thanks so much Sir
I am really blessed. I was looking for a character in the Bible to expound with fellow brethren in our monthly seminar, i was contemplating on Gideon/Jephthah and suddenly I stumbled on this narrative of Jephthah you made many years ago…this settles it
God bless you real good.
Thank you and you’re welcome. 🙂
I have wondered about this part of the scriptures, knowing that God does not approve of human sacrifice. Now, I understand. Thank you. You also brought other important points that have enriched my understanding of this portion of scripture. I appreciate it.
You’re welcome, Patricia! 🙂
My spirit has been lifted a knot higher, for have learnt a had scripture to understand in my life.Truely have been condemning Jephthah for too long,
God bless you big