What is Jephthah’s Vow?
What do you think about Jephthah’s vow to sacrifice whatever came out of his house in return for his victory in battle that resulted in the sacrificing of his daughter?
Excerpt From The Answer
Jephthah is the ninth Judge, a valiant warrior. But he is the son of a harlot, he comes from a broken home. His backstory in Judges 11 shows us that he’s been cast out. They call him back because the people need his skill in battle. More than likely this isn’t a physical home, he may have had some shelters or tent structures but this is more of a compound structure, so he likely anticipated an animal would be sacrificed. There is no perfect character in the Bible, everyone is flawed. Jonah was the most successful (Michael Easley’s opinion), and his story doesn’t end well either. At the end of the book he’s depressed and complaining.
The one thing about Scripture that is so unlike any other world religion is that the Bible records man in his sinful condition and God using us in spite of it. God recorded David’s sin and Jephthah’s rash vow for all eternity. Judges 11:34 is tragic. His one and only child is coming out to greet him with tambourines and dancing. When he saw her he tore his clothes.
There are two prominent views on this. For years, I have believed he killed her. In recent scholarship there is a view that Jephthah’s daughter vows to remain a virgin and be excluded in the tribe. We don’t know for sure whether he killed her, or whether she simply remained a virgin for the rest of her natural life. The text does say that he did to her according to the vow that he made, and the vow he made was that he would offer her up as a burnt offering.
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