29 Then the Spirit of the Eternal descended on Jephthah, and he traveled through Gilead and Manasseh, through Mizpah of Gilead to confront the Ammonite army.
30 Jephthah made a vow to the Eternal One.
Jephthah: If you will give me victory over the Ammonites, 31 then I will make a burnt offering of the first thing that comes out of my door to meet me when I return in victory.
32 Jephthah went to battle, and the Eternal gave him victory over the Ammonites. 33 His army conquered 20 towns, from Aroer to near Minnith all the way to Abel-keramim, and Israel defeated Ammon decisively.
34 But when Jephthah came home in triumph to Mizpah, who should rush out to meet him but his daughter, dancing and playing a tambourine? She was his only child; he had no other sons or daughters. 35 When Jephthah saw her, he tore his clothes in grief.
Jephthah: O, my daughter, no! You have just made me miserable; you have brought me to my knees! I have made a vow to the Eternal, and I cannot break it.
Daughter:36 My father, the Eternal God has given you victory over your enemies the Ammonites. If you have made a vow to Him, then do what you have promised to do to me.
37 But please give me two months to go and weep in the highlands with my friends, since I will never love a man and raise a family.
Jephthah:38 You may go.
She and her friends went away and wailed upon the mountains because she would never know the love of a man; 39 then when two months had passed, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. Since she had never slept with a man, a custom arose in Israel 40 that every year the young women in Israel would go out for four days to lament the fate of the daughter of Jephthah of Gilead.
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