- ¶ NOW Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, but he was the son of a harlot;
and Gilead begat Jephthah.
- And Gilead’s wife bore him sons;
and when his wife’s sons grew up, they expelled Jephthah, saying, He shall not inherit in our father’s house, because he is the son of another woman.
- Then Jephthah fled from his brothers, and dwelt in the land of Tobtha;
and there were gathered worthless men to Jephthah, and they went raiding with him.
- ¶ And it came to pass after a time, the children of Ammon made war against Israel.
- And when the children of Ammon made war against the children of Israel, the elders of Gilead went to bring Jephthah from the land of Tobtha;
- And they said to Jephthah, Come and be our leader, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.
- And Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, Did you not hate me and expel me from my father’s house?
And why have you come to me now when you are in distress?
- And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, That is why we have come to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the children of Ammon and be the leader over all the inhabitants of Gilead.
- And Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, If you bring me back to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your chief?
- And the elders of Gilead said to him, The LORD shall be witness between us, if we do not so according to your words.
- Then Jephthah went with the eiders of Gilead, and the people made him chief and ruler over them;
and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh.
- ¶ And Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What have we against each other, that you have come against me to fight in my land?
- And the king of the children of Ammon said to the messengers of Jephthah, Because the children of Israel took away my land when they came up out of the land of Egypt from Arnon even to Jabbok and to the Jordan, now therefore restore these lands to me peaceably.
- And Jephthah sent letters and messengers again to the king of the children of Ammon;
- And said to him, Thus says Jephthah, Israel did not take away the land of Moab nor the land of the children of Ammon;
- Because when the children of Israel came up from Egypt, Israel journeyed through the wilderness as far as the Red Sea, and came to Rakim;
- Then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, Let me pass through your land;
but the king of Edom would not listen.
And they sent also to the king of Moab;
but he would not consent;
so Israel stayed in Rakim.
- Then they journeyed through the wilderness, and went around the land of Edom and the land of Moab, and they encamped on the other side of Arnon, but they did not enter the territory of Moab;
for Arnon was the border of Moab.
- And Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon;
and Israel said to him, Let us pass through your land until we come to our land.
- But Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his territory;
so Sihon gathered all his people together and encamped at Jahaz and fought against Israel.
- And the LORD our God delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and Israel destroyed the land of the Amorites.
- And they possessed all their territory, from Arnon as far as Jabbok, and from the wilderness even to the Jordan.
- So now after the LORD God of Israel has destroyed the Amorites from before his people Israel, are you to possess their land?
- Will you not possess that which Chemosh your god gives you to possess?
So whomever the LORD our God has destroyed from before us, their land will we possess.
- And now are you any better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab.
Did he ever strive against Israel?
Or did he ever fight against them?
- While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and its villages, and in Adoer and its villages, and in all the cities that are along the banks of Arnon, three hundred years?
Why did you not recover them within that time?
- Now therefore I have not sinned against you, but you do me wrong to make war against me;
let the LORD judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.
- But the king of the children of Ammon did not listen to the words of Jephthah which he sent him.
- ¶ 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 to the children of Ammon.
- And Jephthah vowed a vow to the LORD, and said, If thou wilt surely deliver the children of Ammon into my hands,
- Then whosoever comes forth of the door of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the children of Ammon shall be the LORD’S, and I will offer him up for a burnt offering.
- So Jephthah passed over to the children of Ammon to fight against them;
and the LORD delivered them into his hands.
- And he smote them from Adoer, as far as the entrance of Machir, twenty cities, and as far as Abel Karmin, the plain of vineyards, with a very great slaughter.
Thus the children of Ammon were defeated before the children of Israel.
- Then Jephthah came to Mizpeh to his house, and, behold, his daughter carne out to meet him with timbrels and with dances;
and she was his only child;
besides her he had neither son nor daughter.
- And when he saw her, he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter!
You have brought me very low, and you have become today one of those that ruin me;
for I have made a promise to God, and I cannot go back on it.
- And his daughter said to him, My father, if you have made a promise to God, do to me according to that which has proceeded out of your mouth;
since the LORD has taken vengeance for you on your enemies, even of the children of Ammon.
- And she said to her father, Grant me this thing only: let me alone two months that I may go and wander on the mountains and bewail my virginity, I and my companions.
- And he said, Go.
And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity on the mountains.
- And at the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow;
and she knew no man.
And it became a custom among the children of Israel,
- That the daughters of Israel went yearly to weep and lament over the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.