11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of
valor, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
11:23 So now the LORD God of Israel hath dispossessed the
Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou
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?
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
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
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.
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
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.