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)

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