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The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Chapter Overview
 
1The covenant between Jephthah and the Gileadites, that he should be their head.
12The treaty of peace between him and the Ammonites is in vain.
29Jephthah's vow.
32His conquest of the Ammonites.
34He performs his vow on his daughter.
 
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Chapter 11

Verse 1
Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah.


Jephthah
Hebrews 11:32
called Jephthae
a mighty.
6:12; 2 Kings 5:1
an harlot
Heb. a woman, an harlot. Probably zonah should be rendered as in Jos 2:1, a hostess, or inn-keeper: so Targum of Jonathan, wehoo bar ittetha pundekeetha, "and he was the son of a woman, a tavern-keeper." She was very probably a Canaanite, as she is called, ver. 2, a strange woman, ishah achereth, "a woman of another race;" and on this account his brethren drove him from the family, as not having a full right to the inheritance.

Verse 2
And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of a strange woman.
thrust out
Genesis 12:10; Deuteronomy 23:2; Galatians 4:30
a strange
Proverbs 2:16; 5:3,20; 6:24-26

Verse 3
Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him.
from his brethren
Heb. from the face of. Tob. Probably the same as Ish-Tob; and appears to have been a part of Syria, near Zobah, Rehob, and Maachah, east of Jordan, and in the most northern part of the portion of Manasseh. If so, it could not be far from Gilead, the country of Jephthah. This country is called Tobie or Tubin, 1 Mac 5:13; and the Jews who inhabited this district Tubieni, 2 Mac 12:17. 2 Sa 10:6.
vain men
9:4; 1 Samuel 22:2; 27:2; 30:22-24; Job 30:1-10; Acts 17:5

Verse 4
And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel.
A. M. 2817. B.C. 1187. An. Ex. Is. 304. in process of time. Heb. after days

Verse 5
And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob:
made war
10:9,17,18
to fetch
1 Samuel 10:27; 11:6,7,12; Psalms 118:22,23; Acts 7:35-39; 1 Corinthians 1:27-29

Verse 7
And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress?
Did not ye hate
Genesis 26:27; 37:27; 45:4,5; Proverbs 17:17; Isaiah 60:14; Acts 7:9-14; Revelation 3:9

Verse 8
And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.
the elders
Exodus 8:8,28; 9:28; 10:17; 1 Kings 13:6; Luke 17:3,4
we turn
10:18

Verse 9
And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head?
If ye bring
Numbers 32:20-29

Verse 10
And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words.
The Lord
Genesis 21:23; 31:50; 1 Samuel 12:5; Jeremiah 29:23; 42:5; Romans 1:9; 2 Corinthians 11:31
be witness
be the hearer.
Genesis 16:5; 31:53; Deuteronomy 1:16; 1 Samuel 24:12
if we do
Exodus 20:7; Zechariah 5:4; Malachi 3:5

Verse 11
Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh.
head
uttered
1 Samuel 23:9-12; 1 Kings 3:7-9; 2 Corinthians 3:5; James 1:5,17
Jephthah uttered
That is, upon his elevation, he immediately retired to his devotion, and in prayer spread the whole matter before God, both his choice to the office, and his execution of the office, as one that had his eye ever toward the Lord, and would do nothing without him; that leaned not to his own understanding or courage, but depended on the Almighty God, and his favour. This is an ensample worthy of universal imitation; in All Our Ways, whether great or apparently subordinate, let us acknowledge God and seek his direction. So shall we make our way prosperous, and obtain that peace which passeth all understanding. Jephthah opened his campaign with prayer.
before
10:17; 20:1; 1 Samuel 10:17; 11:15
Mizpeh
This Mizpeh was east of Jordan in the mountains of Gilead (Ge 31:49); and hence called Mizpeh of Gilead (ver. 29), to distinguish it from another place of the same name, west of Jordan, in the tribe of Judah.
Joshua 15:38

Verse 12
And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land?
sent messengers
In this Jephthah acted in accordance with the law of Moses; and hence the justice of his cause would appear more forcibly to the people.
Numbers 20:14; 21:21; Deuteronomy 2:26; 20:10,11; Proverbs 25:8,9; Matthew 18:15,16
What hast
2 Kings 14:8-12

Verse 13
And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably.
Because Israel
Numbers 21:24-26; Proverbs 19:5,9
from Arnon
That is, all the land which had belonged to the Amorites and Moabites.
Jabbok
Genesis 32:22; Deuteronomy 2:37; 3:16

Verse 14
And Jephthah sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon:
again unto
Psalms 120:7; Romans 12:18; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 3:11

Verse 15
And said unto him, Thus saith Jephthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon:
Israel took
Numbers 21:13-15,27-30; Deuteronomy 2:9,19; 2 Chronicles 20:10; Acts 24:12,13

Verse 16
But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and came to Kadesh;
But when
The whole of these messages shew, Jephthah had well studied the book of Moses. His arguments also are very clear and cogent, and his demands reasonable; for he only required that the Ammonites should cease to harass a people who had neither injured them, nor intended to do so.
walked
Numbers 14:25; Deuteronomy 1:40; Joshua 5:6
came
Genesis 14:7; Numbers 13:26; 20:1; Deuteronomy 1:46

Verse 17
Then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land: but the king of Edom would not hearken thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel abode in Kadesh.
sent messengers
Numbers 20:14-21; Deuteronomy 2:4-8,29
the king
Deuteronomy 2:9
abode
Numbers 20:1,16

Verse 18
Then they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab.
went
Numbers 20:22; 21:10-13; 33:37-44; Deuteronomy 2:1-8
compassed
Numbers 21:4-9
came by
Numbers 21:11
pitched
Numbers 21:13; 22:36

Verse 19
And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place.
Numbers 21:21-35; Deuteronomy 2:26-34; 3:1-17; Joshua 13:8-12

Verse 20
But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his coast: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and pitched in Jahaz, and fought against Israel.
Numbers 21:23; Deuteronomy 2:32
Lord God
Nehemiah 9:22; Psalms 135:10-12; 136:17-21
they smote
Numbers 21:24,25; Deuteronomy 2:33,34
so Israel
Joshua 13:15-32

Verse 22
And they possessed all the coasts of the Amorites, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan.
And they
Deuteronomy 2:36
from the wilderness
From Arabia Deserta on the east, to Jordan on the west.

Verse 24
Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomsoever the LORD our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess.
Wilt not thou possess
This is simply an argumentum ad hominem; in which Jephthah argues on this principles recognized by the king of Ammon. As if he had said, "You suppose that the land which you possess was given you by your god Chemosh; and therefore will not relinquish what you believe you hold by a divine right. Now we know that Jehovah, our God, has given us the land of the Israelites; and therefore we will not give it up."
Chemosh
Numbers 21:29; 1 Kings 11:7; Jeremiah 48:7,46
whomsoever
Deuteronomy 9:4,5; 18:12; Joshua 3:10; Psalms 44:2; 78:55; Micah 4:5

Verse 25
And now art thou any thing better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them,
Balak
Numbers 22:2-21; Deuteronomy 23:3,4; Joshua 24:9,10; Micah 6:5

Verse 26
While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?
Heshbon
Numbers 21:25-30; Deuteronomy 2:24; 3:2,6; Joshua 12:2,5; 13:10
Aroer
Deuteronomy 2:36
three hundred
3:11,30; 5:31; 8:28; 9:22; 10:2,3,8; Joshua 11:18; 23:1

Verse 27
Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.
the Judge
Genesis 18:25; 1 Samuel 2:10; Job 9:15; 23:7; Psalms 7:11; 50:6; 75:7; 82:8; Psalms 94:2; 98:9; Ecclesiastes 11:9; 12:14; John 5:22,23; Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:8; Hebrews 12:23
be judge
Genesis 16:5; 31:53; 1 Samuel 24:12,15; Psalms 7:8,9; 2 Corinthians 11:11

Verse 28
Howbeit the king of the children of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Jephthah which he sent him.
2 Kings 14:11; Proverbs 16:18

Verse 29
Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.
the spirit
3:10; 6:34; 13:25; Numbers 11:25; 1 Samuel 10:10; 16:13-15; 1 Chronicles 12:18
Jephthah
"Jephthah seems to have been judge only of north-east Israel."
over Mizpeh
10:17

Verse 30
And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,
Genesis 28:20; Numbers 30:2-16; 1 Samuel 1:11; Ecclesiastes 5:1,2,4,5

Verse 31
Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.
whatsoever, etc
Heb. that which cometh forth, which shall come forth. shall surely.
Leviticus 27:2,3,28,29; 1 Samuel 1:11,28; 2:18; 14:24,44; Psalms 66:13,14
and I will
or, or I will, etc. Wehäâleetheehoo ôlah, rather, as Dr. Randolph and others contend, "and I will offer Him (or to Him, i.e., Jehovah) a burnt offering;" for hoo may with much more propriety be referred to the person to whom the sacrifice was to be made, than to the thing to be sacrificed. Unless understood in this way, or as the marginal reading, it must have been the vow of a heathen or a madman. If a dog, or other uncleaned animal had met him, he could not have made it a burnt offering; or if his neighbour's wife, sons, etc., his vow gave him no right over them.
Leviticus 27:11,12; Deuteronomy 23:18; Psalms 66:13; Isaiah 66:3

Verse 32
So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands.
the Lord
1:4; 2:18; 3:10

Verse 33
And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
Aroer
Deuteronomy 2:36
Minnith
Situated, according to Eusebius, four miles from Heshbon, towards Philadelphia or Rabbath.
Ezekiel 27:17
the plain
or, Abel.

Verse 34
And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.
Mizpeh
11; 10:17
his daughter
5:1-31; Exodus 15:20; 1 Samuel 18:6,7; Psalms 68:25; 148:11,12; 150:4; Jeremiah 31:4,13
beside her
or, he had not of his own either son or daughter. Heb. of himself. neither.
Zechariah 12:10; Luke 7:12; 8:42; 9:38

Verse 35
And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back.
rent his clothes
Genesis 37:29,30,34,35; 42:36-38; 2 Samuel 13:30,31; 18:33; Job 1:20
have opened
Leviticus 27:28,29; Numbers 30:2-5; Psalms 15:4; Ecclesiastes 5:2-6
I cannot
21:1-7; 1 Samuel 14:44,45; Matthew 14:7-9; Acts 23:14

Verse 36
And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.
forasmuch
16:28-30; 2 Samuel 18:19,31; 19:30; Acts 20:24; 21:13; Romans 16:4; Philippians 2:30

Verse 37
And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.
go up and down
Heb. go and go down. bewail.
1 Samuel 1:6; Luke 1:25

Verse 39
And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel,
did with
That Jephthah did not sacrifice his daughter, but consecrated her to the service of God in the tabernacle, in a state of celibacy, will we imagine be evident from the following consideration:--1. Human sacrifices were ever an abomination to Jehovah, of which Jephthah could not be ignorant; and consequently he would neither have made such a vow, nor carried it into execution. 2. We are expressly told (ver. 29) that Jephthah was under the influence of the Spirit of God, which would effectually prevent him from embruing his hands in the blood of his own child. 3. He had it in his power to redeem his daughter, (Le 27:4;) and surely his only child must have been of more value than thirty shekles. 4. Besides, who was to perform the horrid rite? Not Jephthah himself, who was no priest, and in whom it would have been most unnatural and inhuman; and the priests would certainly have dissuaded him from it. 5. The sacred historian informs us, that she bewailed her virginity, that she knew no man, and that the Israelitish women went yearly to comfort or lament with her.
31; Leviticus 27:28,29; Deuteronomy 12:31; Isaiah 66:3
to his vow
1 Samuel 1:11,22,24,28; 2:18
custom
or, ordinance.

Verse 40
That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.
yearly
Heb. from year to year. lament. or, to talk with.
5:11
four days
1 Kings 9:25


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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Judges 11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/tsk/view.cgi?book=jud&chapter=011>.  

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