• Welcome to Talk Jesus

    A true bible based, Jesus centered online community. Join over 11,000 members today

    Register Log In

Jephthah the Gileadite

Users who viewed this discussion (Total:0)

As I was reading through Hebrews 11, (the Faith chapter of the Bible). I was scrolling through the list of the hero's of the faith.

I got down to verse 32 and see a lot of familiar names.

Heb 11:32; And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets,

Ok, I know who Gideon is, I know who Barak is... Samson.. check. David and Samuel...no problem.
But who is Jephthah?

We find his story in Judges 11 and 12. It turns out he was a judge of Israel. It also turns out he was a son of a harlot. I know about Rahab the harlot who hid the spies in Jericho, she was also the mother of Boaz who married Ruth. (She was Jesus's great, great, great... (however many) grandmother). But I did not about this other harlot.

Gilead was the father of Jephthah. It seems that Jephthah was a great warrior.
However because he was "a son of a harlot" his brothers decide to kick him out of the family. They tell him he cannot have any of his father's inheritance. ( Jdg 11:2; )

However the Ammonites come up against Israel again and want to fight them. So they ask Jephthah to come lead them. ( Jdg 11:6; ) and he reminds them... didn't you kick me out of the family? Why are you asking me for help? ( Jdg 11:7; )

He eventually helps them. But he makes a vow to the Lord.... he ends up wishing he didn't.

Jdg 11:30; Jephthah made a vow to the LORD and said, "If You will indeed give the sons of Ammon into my hand,
Jdg 11:31; then it shall be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the sons of Ammon, it shall be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering."

He tells God, whoever the first person is, to walk out of my house... I will offer it up to you. (as a burnt offering)
So sure enough God causes Jephthah to have a mighty victory over the Ammonites. ( Jdg 11:32-33; )

However when he goes back home to see who is going to come out of his house....

Jdg 11:34; When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, behold, his daughter was coming out to meet him with tambourines and with dancing. Now she was his one and only child; besides her he had no son or daughter.
Jdg 11:35; When he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, "Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you are among those who trouble me; for I have given my word to the LORD, and I cannot take it back."

His daughter.. his only child is the one who comes out of the house.
He tells her what he told God he would do. She tells him go ahead and keep your promise to God. ( Jdg 11:36; )

We jump over the Judges chapter 12 and the sons of Ephraim are angry because Jephthah didn't ask them to come help him fight the Ammonites. They ask him, why didn't you ask us? ( Jdg 12:1; )
They even threaten to burn his house down.

So he ends up fighting them also. He wins this war also. ( Jdg 12:4; )

I find this next section very interesting. Have you ever met someone from another nationality or even another part of the country that couldn't pronounce certain words correctly? I know an Asian man who used to drive a "Shebalay". (Chevrolet). Before you accuse me of being prejudice and stereotyping and making fun of him, I assure you we are good friends. He doesn't mind me teasing him. But the point here is, some people simply cannot pronounce some words. He has given me some Asian words to pronounce. I do a much worse job saying them than he says Chevrolet. .... This is even in the Bible.

Jdg 12:5; The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan opposite Ephraim. And it happened when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, "Let me cross over," the men of Gilead would say to him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" If he said, "No,"
Jdg 12:6; then they would say to him, "Say now, 'Shibboleth.'" But he said, "Sibboleth," for he could not pronounce it correctly. Then they seized him and slew him at the fords of the Jordan. Thus there fell at that time 42,000 of Ephraim.

After Jephthah defeated the Ephraimites, some of them tried to run away. But of course they looked just like everyone else. So how do you tell them apart from everyone else? You ask them to say 'Shibboleth.'
If they pronounce it correctly. They are a good guy. If they can't pronounce it correctly, we killed you.
It seems 42,000 people were killed at this time because they couldn't pronounce a word correctly.

Jdg 12:7; Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

Jephthah was a judge of Israel for six years. Even though the Gileadites initially disowned him, he ends up being buried in one of their cities.
Matt 5:33; "Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.'