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Monday, March 3 2014

Judges 11: Jephthah's Vow

"Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress?"

Jephthah is a prime example of how the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) looks at what you do, your character, not who or where you happen to be, or the character or circumstances of your ancestors:

"11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah." (Judges 11:1 KJV)

Jephthah was an outcast - in the eyes of hypocrites ("3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:20-23 KJV). The greatest hypocrites of all were those who had the same father as Jephthah.

Jephthah's Daughter

"11:2 And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of a strange woman. 11:3 Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him." (Judges 11:2-3 KJV)

The Ammonites originated from Lot's son Ammon (Lot was a nephew of Abraham; see Genesis 13: The Parting of Abram and Lot and Why Did Lot's Wife Look Back?). The Ammonites were often allied with the Moabites, who together opposed Israel from time to time, including during the era of the Judges (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Judges) - according to the Will of the LORD.

When those who had treated Jephthah with contempt found themselves too weak in their own defense, they cried out to Jephthah to help them. It was actually the LORD who was calling Jephthah, so "Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands" (verse 32, below).

"11:4 And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel. 11:5 And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob: 11:6 And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.

11:7 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress?

11:8 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.

11:9 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head?

11:10 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words. 11:11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh.

11:12 And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land?

11:13 And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably.

11:14 And Jephthah sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon: 11:15 And said unto him,

Thus saith Jephthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon: 11:16 But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and came to Kadesh; 11:17 Then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land: but the king of Edom would not hearken thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel abode in Kadesh.

11:18 Then they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab [see also Numbers 32: The Israel Of East Jordan].

11:19 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place. 11:20 But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his coast: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and pitched in Jahaz, and fought against Israel.

11:21 And the LORD God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country. 11:22 And they possessed all the coasts of the Amorites, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan.

The Jabbok River 11:23 So now the LORD God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou possess it? 11:24 Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomsoever the LORD our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess. 11:25 And now art thou any thing better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them, 11:26 While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time? [see Numbers 22: Balak and Balaam, Numbers 23: Balaam's Parables, Numbers 24: Balaam's Blessing Of Israel and Numbers 25: The Moabite Seduction] 11:27 Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.

11:28 Howbeit the king of the children of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Jephthah which he sent him.

11:29 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 unto the children of Ammon. 11:30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, 11:31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

11:32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands. 11:33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel." (Judges 11:4-33 KJV)

As we read in verse 31 above, before Jephthah entered the battle, he vowed "that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering." Jephthah was obviously thinking of an animal when he made the vow; unfortunately, humans, including his own daughter, also may be defined as an "it."

"11:34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. 11:35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back.

11:36 And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon. 11:37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.

11:38 And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains. 11:39 And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man.

And it was a custom in Israel, 11:40 That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year." (Judges 11:34-40 KJV)

Fact Finder: When will Jephthah's daughter be resurrected from the ashes ("I will offer it up for a burnt offering")? Did the LORD ever command Abraham to offer a "burnt offering"?
See The Harvests Of Salvation and Isaac: Rising From The Ashes


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This Day In History, March 3

473: Gundobad nominated Glycerius as emperor of the Western Roman Empire (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

The Roman Empire
1284: The Statute of Rhuddlan incorporated Wales into England.

1575: Mughal Emperor Akbar of India defeated the Bengali army at the Battle of Tukaroi.

1847: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland.

1857: Britain and France declared war on China to begin the Second Opium War.

1861: Serfdom was abolished in Russia by Czar Alexander II.

1875: The first organized hockey game was played, in Montreal, Canada.

1878: The peace treaty at San Stefano was signed, ending the Russo-Turkish War and gaining independence for Serbia.

1904: Kaiser (the German form of "Caesar") Wilhelm II of Germany becomes the first person to make a sound recording of a political document, using Thomas Edison's phonograph cylinder.

1905: Czar Nicholas II of Russia created an elected representative assembly, known as the Duma.

1913: Thousands of women marched in Washington, D.C. demanding the right of women to vote in the land "where all men are created equal."

1918: Germany and its allies signed the treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Russia, ending hostilities between them in the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1919: The first international air mail was flown from Vancouver, British Columbia to Seattle, Washington.

1919: The world's financial cost for the First World War was estimated to be about $197 billion.

1921: Dr. Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best of Toronto announced the discovery of insulin.

1924: 5 months after Turkey was made a republic on October 29 1923, the Grand National Assembly abolished the caliphate of the Ottoman empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1938: Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.

1966: John Lennon set off an international protest when he was quoted in the London Evening Standard as saying that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus Christ."

1991: Latvia and Estonia voted for independence from the Soviet Union.

2002: The people of Switzerland narrowly voted in favor of becoming a member of the United Nations.





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Copyright © Wayne Blank