JUDGES 11 describes an event in Israel’s history that is difficult to reconcile with a loving God.
Jephthah, the son of man of the tribe of Manasseh by a prostitute, is called upon by the people of Gilead to lead them into battle against the kingdom of Ammon, which had invaded their territory. Jephthah, described as “a mighty warrior,” vowed to God that he would sacrifice as a burnt offering “whatever [or “whoever”] comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return.” (Judges 11:30–31).
This illustrates the foolishness of swearing a rash vow to God. It is also evidence that the Bible has not been edited over the centuries, for surely an event like this would have been deleted to remove any hint that Jephthah’s vow and subsequent sacrifice was acceptable to God.
However, not all scholars believe that Jephthah’s daughter became a burnt offering. The Septuagint translation suggests that she was instead dedicated to God through a vow of chastity. In that time, being childless was normally considered a mark of shame. For more on this, see “Did Jephthah Kill His Daughter?” by Solomon Landers at Biblical Archaeology Society Online (link: https://www.baslibrary.org/bible-review/7/4/15) and “Daughter of Jephthah: Bible” by Karla Bombach at the Jewish Women’s Archive (link: https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/daughter-of-jephthah-bible).
It appears the real sacrifice was the end of Jephthah’s patrimony, since his daughter was his only child. By dedicating her to God, the bloodline of Jephthah came to an end.
Get our new app! It’s free and connects you to these studies plus our weekly video programs, SciFriday, Unraveling Revelation, and A View from the Bunker. The app is available for iOS, Android, Roku, and Apple TV. Links to the app stores are at www.gilberthouse.org/app/.
Check out our new online store! www.GilbertHouse.org/store is a virtual book table with books and DVDs related to our weekly Bible study.
During September, we’re offering Derek’s all-too-timely novel The God Conspiracy plus a pair of two-DVD sets of video teachings, Unmasking the Ancient Gods and This is War.
That’s The God Conspiracy plus 12 hours of video, a $120 value for just $35 plus shipping and handling!
NEW DATES FOR OUR TOUR OF TURKEY: We’re planning a tour of the churches of Revelation, Göbekli Tepe, Abraham’s home town Harran, the “Gates of Hell,” Mount Nemrut, and more. Because of the political situation in Eastern Europe, however, we’ve moved the tour to October, 2023. More information is available at www.SkyWatchinTurkey.com.
JOIN US IN ISRAEL! We will lead our next tour through the Holy Land March 19 – 30, 2023, with an optional three-day extension to Jordan, with visits to Mount Nebo, Wadi Rum, and Petra. For more information, log on to www.SkyWatchinIsrael.com.
Click here for the complete archive of our New Testament Bible studies to date, and click here for the Old Testament studies to date. Or go to www.spreaker.com/show/gilbert-house-fellowship for all of the audio.