Oppression by Philistines and Ammonites

10 Now after Abimelech died, Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar, (A)rose up to save Israel; and he lived in Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. He judged Israel for twenty-three years. Then he died and was buried in Shamir.

After him, Jair the Gileadite rose up and judged Israel for twenty-two years. And he had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkeys, and they had thirty cities [a]in the land of Gilead (B)that are called [b]Havvoth-jair to this day. And Jair died and was buried in Kamon.

Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, and (C)they served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, (D)the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; so (E)they abandoned the Lord and did not serve Him. And the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He (F)sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the sons of Ammon. And they [c]afflicted and oppressed the sons of Israel [d]that year; for eighteen years they oppressed all the sons of Israel who were beyond the Jordan, [e]in Gilead in the land of the Amorites. And the sons of Ammon crossed the Jordan to fight also against Judah, Benjamin, and the house of Ephraim, so that Israel was in great difficulty.

10 Then the (G)sons of Israel cried out to the Lord, saying, “We have sinned against You, for indeed, we have abandoned our God and served the Baals.” 11 And the Lord said to the sons of Israel, “Did I not save you (H)from the Egyptians, (I)the Amorites, (J)the sons of Ammon, and the Philistines? 12 And when the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites (K)oppressed you, you cried out to Me, and I saved you from their hands. 13 Yet (L)you abandoned Me and served other gods; therefore I will no longer save you. 14 (M)Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress.” 15 Then the sons of Israel said to the Lord, “We have sinned, (N)do to us whatever [f]seems good to You; only please save us this day.” 16 (O)So they removed the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord; and [g](P)He could no longer endure the misery of Israel.

17 Then the sons of Ammon were summoned, and they camped in Gilead. And the sons of Israel gathered together and camped in (Q)Mizpah. 18 And the people, the leaders of Gilead, said to one another, “Who is the man who will begin to fight against the sons of Ammon? He shall become head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.”

Jephthah, the Ninth Judge

11 Now (R)Jephthah the Gileadite was a [h]valiant warrior, but he was the son of a prostitute. And Gilead had fathered Jephthah. 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.” So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of (S)Tob; and worthless men gathered [i]around Jephthah, and they went [j]wherever he did.

Now it came about, after a while, that (T)the sons of Ammon fought against Israel. When the sons of Ammon fought against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob; and they said to Jephthah, “Come and be our leader, that we may fight against the sons of Ammon.” But Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “(U)Did 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?” The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “For this reason we have now returned to you, that you may go with us and fight the sons of Ammon, and (V)become our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.” So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you bring me back to fight against the sons of Ammon and the Lord gives them up [k]to me, will I become your head?” 10 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “(W)The Lord is [l]witness between us; be assured we will do [m]as you have said.” 11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and leader over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the Lord at (X)Mizpah.

12 So Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the sons of Ammon, saying, “What conflict do you and I have, that you have come to me to fight against my land?” 13 And the king of the sons of Ammon said to the messengers of Jephthah, “It is because Israel (Y)took my land when they came up from Egypt, from the Arnon as far as the (Z)Jabbok and the Jordan; so return them peaceably now.” 14 But Jephthah sent messengers once again to the king of the sons of Ammon, 15 and they said to him, “This is what Jephthah says: ‘Israel did not take the land of Moab nor the land of the sons of Ammon. 16 For when they came up from Egypt, and Israel (AA)went through the wilderness to the [n]Red Sea, and (AB)came to Kadesh, 17 then Israel (AC)sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, “Please let us pass through your land”; but the king of Edom would not listen. (AD)And they also sent messengers to the king of Moab, but he would not consent. So Israel remained at Kadesh. 18 Then they went through the wilderness and (AE)around 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 (AF)did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab. 19 And Israel sent (AG)messengers 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 And the Lord, the God of Israel, handed Sihon and all his people over to Israel, and they [o](AH)defeated them; so Israel took possession of all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country. 22 (AI)So 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 And now the Lord, the God of Israel, has driven out the Amorites from His people Israel; so should you possess it? 24 Do you not possess what (AJ)Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So whatever the Lord our God has dispossessed before us, we will possess it. 25 Now then, are you any better than (AK)Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever contend with Israel, or did he ever fight against them? 26 (AL)While Israel was living 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 So I have not sinned against you, but you are doing me wrong by making war against me. (AM)May 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 [p]disregarded the message which Jephthah sent him.

Jephthah’s Tragic Vow

29 Now (AN)the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and 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 And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, “If You will indeed hand over to me the sons of Ammon, 31 then whatever comes out the doors of my house to meet me when I return [q]safely 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 handed them over to him. 33 He [r]inflicted a very great defeat on them from Aroer [s]to the entrance of (AO)Minnith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel-keramim. So the sons of Ammon were subdued before the sons of Israel.

34 But Jephthah came to his house at (AP)Mizpah, and behold, his daughter was coming out to meet him (AQ)with tambourines and with dancing. And she was his one and only child; besides her he had no son or daughter. 35 So when he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, “Oh, my daughter! You have brought me disaster, and you are among those who trouble me; for I have [t]given my word to the Lord, and (AR)I cannot take it back.” 36 So she said to him, “My father, you have [u]given your word to the Lord; (AS)do to me just as [v]you have said, since the Lord has brought you vengeance on your enemies, the sons of Ammon.” 37 And she said to her father, “Let this thing be done for me; allow me two months, so that I may [w]go to the mountains and weep because of (AT)my virginity, I and my friends.” 38 Then he said, “Go.” So he let her go for two months; and she left with her friends, and wept on the mountains because of her virginity. 39 And at the end of two months she returned to her father, who did to her [x]what he had vowed; and she [y]had no relations with a man. And it became a custom in Israel, 40 that the [z]daughters of Israel went annually to [aa]commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite for four days in the year.

Jephthah and His Successors

12 Now the men of Ephraim were summoned, and they crossed [ab]to Zaphon; and (AU)they said to Jephthah, “Why did you cross over to fight against the sons of Ammon without calling us to go with you? We will burn your house down on you!” So Jephthah said to them, “I and my people were in a major dispute with the sons of Ammon; and I did call you, but you did not save me from their hand. When I saw that you were no deliverer, I [ac](AV)took my life in my hands and crossed over against the sons of Ammon, and the Lord handed them over to me. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me?” Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought Ephraim; and the men of Gilead [ad]defeated Ephraim, because they said, “You are survivors of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and in the midst of Manasseh.” And the Gileadites (AW)took control of the crossing places of the Jordan opposite Ephraim. And it happened whenever any of the survivors of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” that the men of Gilead would say to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” then they would say to him, “Just say, ‘Shibboleth.’” But he said, “Sibboleth,” for he was not [ae]prepared to [af]pronounce it correctly. Then they seized him and slaughtered him at the crossing places of the Jordan. So at that time forty-two thousand from Ephraim fell.

Jephthah judged Israel for six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

Now Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel after him. He had thirty sons, and thirty daughters whom he [ag]gave in marriage outside the family, and he brought in thirty daughters from outside for his sons. And he judged Israel for seven years. 10 Then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem.

11 Now Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel after him; he judged Israel for ten years. 12 Then Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried at Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.

13 Now Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel after him. 14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons who rode on seventy donkeys; and he judged Israel for eight years. 15 Then Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died and was buried at Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.


  1. Judges 10:4 Lit which are in
  2. Judges 10:4 I.e., the towns of Jair
  3. Judges 10:8 Lit destroyed
  4. Judges 10:8 Lit in that
  5. Judges 10:8 Lit which is in
  6. Judges 10:15 Lit the good in Your eyes
  7. Judges 10:16 Lit His soul became impatient with the misery
  8. Judges 11:1 Or mighty man of valor
  9. Judges 11:3 Lit to
  10. Judges 11:3 Lit out with him
  11. Judges 11:9 Lit before
  12. Judges 11:10 Lit listener
  13. Judges 11:10 Lit according to your word
  14. Judges 11:16 Lit Sea of Reeds
  15. Judges 11:21 Lit struck
  16. Judges 11:28 Lit did not listen to the words
  17. Judges 11:31 Or with success; lit in well-being
  18. Judges 11:33 Lit struck a...blow
  19. Judges 11:33 Lit even until you are coming to
  20. Judges 11:35 Lit opened my mouth wide
  21. Judges 11:36 Lit opened your mouth wide
  22. Judges 11:36 Lit has gone out of your mouth
  23. Judges 11:37 Lit go and go down on
  24. Judges 11:39 Lit his vow which he had vowed
  25. Judges 11:39 Lit knew no man
  26. Judges 11:40 I.e., women
  27. Judges 11:40 Lit recount; some ancient versions, lament
  28. Judges 12:1 Or northward
  29. Judges 12:3 Lit put my soul in my palm
  30. Judges 12:4 Lit struck
  31. Judges 12:6 Some Heb mss read able to
  32. Judges 12:6 Lit speak
  33. Judges 12:9 Lit sent outside

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