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Judges 11:29-40Common English Bible (CEB)

Jephthah’s promise

29 Then the Lord’s spirit came on Jephthah. He passed through Gilead and Manasseh, then through Mizpah in Gilead, and from there he crossed over to the Ammonites. 30 Jephthah made a solemn promise to the Lord: “If you will decisively hand over the Ammonites to me, 31 then whatever comes out the doors of my house to meet me when I return victorious from the Ammonites will be given over to the Lord. I will sacrifice it as an entirely burned offering.” 32 Jephthah crossed over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord handed them over to him. 33 It was an exceptionally great defeat; he defeated twenty towns from Aroer to the area of Minnith, and on as far as Abel-keramim. So the Ammonites were brought down before the Israelites.

34 But when Jephthah came to his house in Mizpah, it was his daughter who came out to meet him with tambourines and dancing! She was an only child; he had no other son or daughter except her. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, “Oh no! My daughter! You have brought me to my knees! You are my agony! For I opened my mouth to the Lord, and I can’t take it back.”

36 But she replied to him, “My father, you’ve opened your mouth to the Lord, so you should do to me just what you’ve promised. After all, the Lord has carried out just punishment for you on your enemies the Ammonites.” 37 Then she said to her father, “Let this one thing be done for me: hold off for two months and let me and my friends wander the hills in sadness, crying over the fact that I never had children.”

38 “Go,” he responded, and he sent her away for two months. She and her friends walked on the hills and cried because she would never have children.

39 When two months had passed, she returned to her father, and he did to her what he had promised. She had not known a man intimately. But she gave rise to a tradition in Israel where 40 for four days every year Israelite daughters would go away to recount the story of the Gileadite Jephthah’s daughter.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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