17 When the Ammonites were called to arms and camped in Gilead, the Israelites assembled and camped at Mizpah.(A) 18 The leaders of the people of Gilead said to each other, “Whoever will take the lead in attacking the Ammonites will be head(B) over all who live in Gilead.”

11 Jephthah(C) the Gileadite was a mighty warrior.(D) His father was Gilead;(E) his mother was a prostitute.(F) Gilead’s wife also bore him sons, and when they were grown up, they drove Jephthah away. “You are not going to get any inheritance in our family,” they said, “because you are the son of another woman.” So Jephthah fled from his brothers and settled in the land of Tob,(G) where a gang of scoundrels(H) gathered around him and followed him.

Some time later, when the Ammonites(I) were fighting against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob. “Come,” they said, “be our commander, so we can fight the Ammonites.”

Jephthah said to them, “Didn’t you hate me and drive me from my father’s house?(J) Why do you come to me now, when you’re in trouble?”

The elders of Gilead said to him, “Nevertheless, we are turning to you now; come with us to fight the Ammonites, and you will be head(K) over all of us who live in Gilead.”

Jephthah answered, “Suppose you take me back to fight the Ammonites and the Lord gives them to me—will I really be your head?”

10 The elders of Gilead replied, “The Lord is our witness;(L) we will certainly do as you say.” 11 So Jephthah went with the elders(M) of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them. And he repeated(N) all his words before the Lord in Mizpah.(O)

12 Then Jephthah sent messengers to the Ammonite king with the question: “What do you have against me that you have attacked my country?”

13 The king of the Ammonites answered Jephthah’s messengers, “When Israel came up out of Egypt, they took away my land from the Arnon(P) to the Jabbok,(Q) all the way to the Jordan. Now give it back peaceably.”

14 Jephthah sent back messengers to the Ammonite king, 15 saying:

“This is what Jephthah says: Israel did not take the land of Moab(R) or the land of the Ammonites.(S) 16 But when they came up out of Egypt, Israel went through the wilderness to the Red Sea[a](T) and on to Kadesh.(U) 17 Then Israel sent messengers(V) to the king of Edom, saying, ‘Give us permission to go through your country,’(W) but the king of Edom would not listen. They sent also to the king of Moab,(X) and he refused.(Y) So Israel stayed at Kadesh.

18 “Next they traveled through the wilderness, skirted the lands of Edom(Z) and Moab, passed along the eastern side(AA) of the country of Moab, and camped on the other side of the Arnon.(AB) They did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was its border.

19 “Then Israel sent messengers(AC) to Sihon king of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon,(AD) and said to him, ‘Let us pass through your country to our own place.’(AE) 20 Sihon, however, did not trust Israel[b] to pass through his territory. He mustered all his troops and encamped at Jahaz and fought with Israel.(AF)

21 “Then the Lord, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and his whole army into Israel’s hands, and they defeated them. Israel took over all the land of the Amorites who lived in that country, 22 capturing all of it from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the desert to the Jordan.(AG)

23 “Now since the Lord, the God of Israel, has driven the Amorites out before his people Israel, what right have you to take it over? 24 Will you not take what your god Chemosh(AH) gives you? Likewise, whatever the Lord our God has given us,(AI) we will possess. 25 Are you any better than Balak son of Zippor,(AJ) king of Moab? Did he ever quarrel with Israel or fight with them?(AK) 26 For three hundred years Israel occupied(AL) Heshbon, Aroer,(AM) the surrounding settlements and all the towns along the Arnon. Why didn’t you retake them during that time? 27 I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me. Let the Lord, the Judge,(AN) decide(AO) the dispute this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites.(AP)

28 The king of Ammon, however, paid no attention to the message Jephthah sent him.

29 Then the Spirit(AQ) of the Lord came on Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah(AR) of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites.(AS) 30 And Jephthah made a vow(AT) to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, 31 whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph(AU) from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.(AV)

32 Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into his hands. 33 He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith,(AW) as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.

34 When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing(AX) to the sound of timbrels!(AY) She was an only child.(AZ) Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes(BA) and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.(BB)

36 “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised,(BC) now that the Lord has avenged you(BD) of your enemies,(BE) the Ammonites. 37 But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”

38 “You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never marry. 39 After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.

From this comes the Israelite tradition 40 that each year the young women of Israel go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.

Jephthah and Ephraim

12 The Ephraimite forces were called out, and they crossed over to Zaphon.(BF) They said to Jephthah,(BG) “Why did you go to fight the Ammonites without calling us to go with you?(BH) We’re going to burn down your house over your head.”

Jephthah answered, “I and my people were engaged in a great struggle with the Ammonites, and although I called, you didn’t save me out of their hands. When I saw that you wouldn’t help, I took my life in my hands(BI) and crossed over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave me the victory(BJ) over them. Now why have you come up today to fight me?”

Jephthah then called together the men of Gilead(BK) and fought against Ephraim. The Gileadites struck them down because the Ephraimites had said, “You Gileadites are renegades from Ephraim and Manasseh.(BL) The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan(BM) leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead asked him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he replied, “No,” they said, “All right, say ‘Shibboleth.’” If he said, “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time.

Jephthah led[c] Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in a town in Gilead.

Footnotes

  1. Judges 11:16 Or the Sea of Reeds
  2. Judges 11:20 Or however, would not make an agreement for Israel
  3. Judges 12:7 Traditionally judged; also in verses 8-14

53 Who has believed our message(A)
    and to whom has the arm(B) of the Lord been revealed?(C)
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,(D)
    and like a root(E) out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance(F) that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering,(G) and familiar with pain.(H)
Like one from whom people hide(I) their faces
    he was despised,(J) and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,(K)
yet we considered him punished by God,(L)
    stricken by him, and afflicted.(M)
But he was pierced(N) for our transgressions,(O)
    he was crushed(P) for our iniquities;
the punishment(Q) that brought us peace(R) was on him,
    and by his wounds(S) we are healed.(T)
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,(U)
    each of us has turned to our own way;(V)
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity(W) of us all.

He was oppressed(X) and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;(Y)
he was led like a lamb(Z) to the slaughter,(AA)
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression[a] and judgment(AB) he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;(AC)
    for the transgression(AD) of my people he was punished.[b]
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,(AE)
    and with the rich(AF) in his death,
though he had done no violence,(AG)
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.(AH)

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will(AI) to crush(AJ) him and cause him to suffer,(AK)
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,(AL)
he will see his offspring(AM) and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper(AN) in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,(AO)
    he will see the light(AP) of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant(AQ) will justify(AR) many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.(AS)
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g](AT)
    and he will divide the spoils(AU) with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,(AV)
    and was numbered with the transgressors.(AW)
For he bore(AX) the sin of many,(AY)
    and made intercession(AZ) for the transgressors.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 53:8 Or From arrest
  2. Isaiah 53:8 Or generation considered / that he was cut off from the land of the living, / that he was punished for the transgression of my people?
  3. Isaiah 53:10 Hebrew though you make
  4. Isaiah 53:11 Dead Sea Scrolls (see also Septuagint); Masoretic Text does not have the light of life.
  5. Isaiah 53:11 Or (with Masoretic Text) 11 He will see the fruit of his suffering / and will be satisfied
  6. Isaiah 53:11 Or by knowledge of him
  7. Isaiah 53:12 Or many
  8. Isaiah 53:12 Or numerous

Bible Gateway Recommends