Jephthah

Text: Judges 11-12

Jephthah is a great man.  He is wise of Israel’s history.  He is an incredible leader.  But his mistakes are costly mistakes.

Jephthah’s unwise obligations

  • Judges 11:29-31 – He is on a spiritual high.  He makes a rash vow to God.
  • They win that victory over the Ammonites handily.  And Jephthah returns home.  (Judges 11:34) The gates to his house swing open and his daughter is the first to greet him.  (Probably a great relationship between them.  Dad and daughter; she obviously loved him very much.
  • His daughter is noble.  She reasons that if a victory for her people means she will have to die, then so be it.  But that’s not true.
  • People question whether Jephthah sacrificed his daughter.
    • Verse 39 says he did according to his vow.
    • Verse 40 says the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah.  Why?  Because she survived?  No.  Because she is dead.
  • Unwise commitment to his career and accomplishment to the detriment of his child.

Jephthah’s ignorance of scripture

  • Leviticus 5:4-6

Jephthah’s bittersweet victories

  • Judges 12:7, Jephthah only judged Israel 6 years.  Bittersweet.  Other judges judged 20 years, 40 years, 80 years.
  • He would’ve taken a defeat by the Ammonites to get his daughter back.  His one and only child.