11Now Jephthah of Gilead was a great warrior. He was the son of Gilead, but his mother was a prostitute.H3316H1569H1368H2428H1121H802H2181H1568H3205H3316 2Gilead's wife also had several sons, and when these half brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land. "You will not get any of our father's inheritance," they said, "for you are the son of a prostitute."H1568H802H3205H1121H802H1121H1431H1644H3316H559H5157H1H1004H1121H312H802 3So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. Soon he had a band of worthless rebels following him.H3316H1272H6440H251H3427H776H2897H3950H7386H582H3316H3318 4At about this time, the Ammonites began their war against Israel.H3117H1121H5983H3898H3478 5When the Ammonites attacked, the elders of Gilead sent for Jephthah in the land of Tob. The elders said,H1121H5983H3898H3478H2205H1568H3212H3947H3316H776H2897 6"Come and be our commander! Help us fight the Ammonites!"H559H3316H3212H7101H3898H1121H5983 7But Jephthah said to them, "Aren't you the ones who hated me and drove me from my father's house? Why do you come to me now when you're in trouble?"H3316H559H2205H1568H8130H1644H1H1004H935H6887 8"Because we need you," the elders replied. "If you lead us in battle against the Ammonites, we will make you ruler over all the people of Gilead."H2205H1568H559H3316H7725H1980H3898H1121H5983H7218H3427H1568 9Jephthah said to the elders, "Let me get this straight. If I come with you and if the LORD gives me victory over the Ammonites, will you really make me ruler over all the people?"H3316H559H2205H1568H7725H3898H1121H5983H3068H5414H6440H7218 10"The LORD is our witness," the elders replied. "We promise to do whatever you say."H2205H1568H559H3316H3068H8085H6213H1697 11So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him their ruler and commander of the army. At Mizpah, in the presence of the LORD, Jephthah repeated what he had said to the elders.H3316H3212H2205H1568H5971H7760H7218H7101H3316H1696H1697H6440H3068H4709 12Then Jephthah sent messengers to the king of Ammon, asking, "Why have you come out to fight against my land?"H3316H7971H4397H4428H1121H5983H559H935H3898H776 13The king of Ammon answered Jephthah's messengers, "When the Israelites came out of Egypt, they stole my land from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River and all the way to the Jordan. Now then, give back the land peaceably."H4428H1121H5983H559H4397H3316H3478H3947H776H5927H4714H769H2999H3383H7725H7965 14Jephthah sent this message back to the Ammonite king.H3316H7971H4397H3254H4428H1121H5983 15"This is what Jephthah says: Israel did not steal any land from Moab or Ammon.H559H559H3316H3478H3947H776H4124H776H1121H5983 16When the people of Israel arrived at Kadesh on their journey from Egypt after crossing the Red Sea,H3478H5927H4714H3212H4057H5488H3220H935H6946 17they sent messengers to the king of Edom asking for permission to pass through his land. But their request was denied. Then they asked the king of Moab for similar permission, but he wouldn't let them pass through either. So the people of Israel stayed in Kadesh.H3478H7971H4397H4428H123H559H5674H776H4428H123H8085H7971H4428H4124H14H3478H3427H6946 18"Finally, they went around Edom and Moab through the wilderness. They traveled along Moab's eastern border and camped on the other side of the Arnon River. But they never once crossed the Arnon River into Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab.H3212H4057H5437H776H123H776H4124H935H4217H8121H776H4124H2583H5676H769H935H1366H4124H769H1366H4124 19"Then Israel sent messengers to King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled from Heshbon, asking for permission to cross through his land to get to their destination.H3478H7971H4397H5511H4428H567H4428H2809H3478H559H5674H776H5704H4725 20But King Sihon didn't trust Israel to pass through his land. Instead, he mobilized his army at Jahaz and attacked them.H5511H539H3478H5674H1366H5511H622H5971H622H2583H3096H3898H3478 21But the LORD, the God of Israel, gave his people victory over King Sihon. So Israel took control of all the land of the Amorites, who lived in that region,H3068H430H3478H5414H5511H5971H3027H3478H5221H3478H3423H776H567H3427H776 22from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River, and from the eastern wilderness to the Jordan.H3423H1366H567H769H2999H4057H3383 23"So you see, it was the LORD, the God of Israel, who took away the land from the Amorites and gave it to Israel. Why, then, should we give it back to you?H3068H430H3478H3423H567H6440H5971H3478H3423 24You keep whatever your god Chemosh gives you, and we will keep whatever the LORD our God gives us.H3423H3645H430H3423H3068H430H3423H6440H3423 25Are you any better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he try to make a case against Israel for disputed land? Did he go to war against them?H2896H1111H1121H6834H4428H4124H7378H7378H3478H3898H3898 26"Israel has been living here for 300 years, inhabiting Heshbon and its surrounding settlements, all the way to Aroer and its settlements, and in all the towns along the Arnon River. Why have you made no effort to recover it before now?H3478H3427H2809H1323H6177H1323H5892H3027H769H7969H3967H8141H5337H6256 27Therefore, I have not sinned against you. Rather, you have wronged me by attacking me. Let the LORD, who is judge, decide today which of us is right—Israel or Ammon."H2398H6213H853H7451H3898H3068H8199H8199H3117H1121H3478H1121H5983 28But the king of Ammon paid no attention to Jephthah's message.H4428H1121H5983H8085H1697H3316H7971 29At that time the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he went throughout the land of Gilead and Manasseh, including Mizpah in Gilead, and from there he led an army against the Ammonites.H7307H3068H3316H5674H1568H4519H5674H4708H1568H4708H1568H5674H1121H5983 30And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD. He said, "If you give me victory over the Ammonites,H3316H5087H5088H3068H559H5414H5414H1121H5983H3027 31I will give to the LORD whatever comes out of my house to meet me when I return in triumph. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering."H3318H3318H1817H1004H7125H7725H7965H1121H5983H3068H5927H5930 32So Jephthah led his army against the Ammonites, and the LORD gave him victory.H3316H5674H1121H5983H3898H3068H5414H3027 33He crushed the Ammonites, devastating about twenty towns from Aroer to an area near Minnith and as far away as Abel-keramim. In this way Israel defeated the Ammonites.H5221H6177H935H4511H6242H5892H58H3754H64H3966H1419H4347H1121H5983H3665H6440H1121H3478 34When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter came out to meet him, playing on a tambourine and dancing for joy. She was his one and only child; he had no other sons or daughters.H3316H935H4709H1004H1323H3318H7125H8596H4246H3173H1121H176H1323 35When he saw her, he tore his clothes in anguish. "Oh, my daughter!" he cried out. "You have completely destroyed me! You've brought disaster on me! For I have made a vow to the LORD, and I cannot take it back."H7200H7167H899H559H162H1323H3766H3766H3766H5916H6475H6310H3068H3201H7725 36And she said, "Father, if you have made a vow to the LORD, you must do to me what you have vowed, for the LORD has given you a great victory over your enemies, the Ammonites.H559H1H6475H6310H3068H6213H834H3318H6310H310H3068H6213H5360H341H1121H5983 37But first let me do this one thing: Let me go up and roam in the hills and weep with my friends for two months, because I will die a virgin."H559H1H1697H6213H7503H8147H2320H3212H3381H2022H1058H1331H7464H7474 38"You may go," Jephthah said. And he sent her away for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never have children.H559H3212H7971H8147H2320H3212H7464H1058H1331H2022 39When she returned home, her father kept the vow he had made, and she died a virgin. So it has become a custom in IsraelH7093H8147H2320H7725H1H6213H5088H5087H3045H376H2706H3478 40for young Israelite women to go away for four days each year to lament the fate of Jephthah's daughter.H1323H3478H3212H3117H3117H8567H1323H3316H1569H702H3117H8141
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