34 When Jephthah went back home to Mizpah, there was his daughter coming out to meet him, dancing and playing the tambourine. She was his only child. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes in sorrow and said, “Oh, my daughter! You are breaking my heart! Why must it be you that causes me pain? I have made a solemn promise to the Lord, and I cannot take it back!”
36 She told him, “If you have made a promise to the Lord, do what you said you would do to me, since the Lord has given you revenge on your enemies, the Ammonites.” 37 But she asked her father, “Do this one thing for me. Leave me alone for two months, so that I can go with my friends to wander in the mountains and grieve that I must die a virgin.” 38 He told her to go and sent her away for two months. She and her friends went up into the mountains and grieved because she was going to die unmarried and childless. 39 After two months she came back to her father. He did what he had promised the Lord, and she died still a virgin.
This was the origin of the custom in Israel 40 that the Israelite women would go out for four days every year to grieve for the daughter of Jephthah of Gilead.
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