About Jesus Steve Sweetman
verses 1 through 3 we see a "mighty warrior" named Jephthah.
His father's name wasGilead. His mother's name is not
known because she was a prostitute.
Again, as we have seen throughout Old Testament history, men,
including Israeli men, often had prostitutes.
It seems one of the most common sins in human history.
Jephthah was born from this prostitute that made his half
brothers not like him. They
literally drove him out of town and he gained a small following of men
around him in his new location.
don't know if Jephthah's mother was Jewish or Gentile.
There is a good chance she was a gentile because Jewish men often
had gentile prostitutes.
we see from verses 4 to 6, Jephthah must have gained a reputation of
being a "mighty warrior" because "after some time had
past", the men of
Genesis 19:30 to 38 you will read the story of
response to this request is natural.
He asked the men of
text does not give us any real answer from the men of
verses 9 through 11 Jephthah wants to know if he wins the battle for the
see in verse 12 that before Jephthah did anything drastic, he went the
diplomatic rout. He sent a
messenger to the king of the Ammonites to ask why they wanted to
attack Israel. He said it was for taking
their land way back when
verses 14 to 27 Jephthah gives the king of the Ammonites a history
lesson that is relevant today concerning Israel
and the Palestinians. The main points to the history lesson was that 300
years had now past since Israel left Egypt and possessed the land in
question by the Ammonites.
would suggest the same holds true today in the disputed
in verse 24 Jephthah asks, "will you not take what your god Chemosh
has given you"? Some
might think that Jephthah might be acknowledging the existence of
another god, and maybe he was. But,
this might also be a matter of tongue and cheek.
Maybe Jephthah is simply acknowledging that the Ammonites believe
in another god, and if he is really a god, then they should be happy
with what their god gives them. This
might simply be a matter of sarcasm.
the Palestinians are doing today concerning the
in verse 29 that the Spirit of the Lord cam on Jephthah.
Whenever the Spirit of the Lord comes on anyone, both in the Old
Testament and the New Testament, something dramatic happens.
In this case it was a victory of war.
though the war was won, a great tragedy came from this war which is hard
to understand. Jephthah
promised the Lord to kill and sacrifice whatever came out of the door of
his house first when he returned from the victory of war.
He had only one daughter and no sons. It was his daughter that
first came out of the door of his home.
His heart sank.
amazing thing, and that which liberals scholars say proves this is a
story, not a historical event, is that the daughter was willing to die.
The only request she has was to have her life spared for two
months so she and her friends could weep over the fact that she would
never be married. Jephthah
did kill her as he promised the Lord.
liberal, and even conservative scholars, don't take this portion of
Scripture literally. They
can't believe that Jephthah actually killed his daughter, his only
child. In Hebrews 11:32
Jephthah is mentioned in the great men of history, otherwise known as
the 'hall of faith'. But, if
you look at the list of people in Hebrews 11, most were far from
perfect. King David, one of
the most celebrated men of God in
say that Jephthah knew the Law of Moses and the portion that said
"don't kill'. But, on
the other hand, this was not a killing from anger.
It was a killing to maintain a vow to the Lord.
say that Jephthah was "anointed by the Holy Spirit" and
therefore couldn't kill his daughter.
The text does not say that he was continually anointed by the
Holy Spirit. Normally in the
Bible such anointing comes and goes from a person.
scholars say that what really happened was that she did not get killed.
She was simply judged to a life of not being married.
hermeneutical mistake we often make is to impose our modern way of
thinking, our modern cultural tendencies, and our modern behaviour on
old civilizations as this. People
who lived back then shouldn't be compared to people today.
Yes, there are similarities. We sin as they did.
But our cultural influences are so different that what takes
place here in these verses, even though makes no sense to us, made
since back then.
one thing this does prove is that this man kept his promise no matter
how hard it was to keep.
there any significance to this event?
It's hard to say. Verse 40 tells us that this event turned into a
yearly memorial. This might well be proof that this was an
historical event, not just a rabbinical sotry.