Jephthah, a man of his word: 

Chapter 10



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(Judg 11:29)  Then the spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah [he will open], 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 [tribal, i.e. inbred; Ammon, a son of Lot].


(Judg 11:30,31)  And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, 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 [i.e. wholly dedicated (syn: devoted, committed) to the LORD].

1.       (Num 30:1,2)  And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded. If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

2.       (Eccl 5:4,5)  When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it [loiter not; procrastinate not: defer not, delay not, be late not, tarry not]; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

3.       (Prov 20:25)  It is a snare [trap] to the man who devoureth that which is holy [the consecrated (thing), dedicated (thing), hallowed (thing)], and after vows to make inquiry.

4.       (Prov 20:25 Amplified)  It is a snare to a man to utter a vow (of consecration) rashly and (not until) afterward inquire (whether he can fulfill it).

5.       (Acts 5:1-11)  But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it, at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife [Sapphira], not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt [test] the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

6.       “If thou shalt without fail… Then it shall be” = There is more than a little doubt and unbelief in this statement. Jephthah is making a deal with God for his own reassurance, and according to his own understanding, a “phileo” understanding: you do something for me and I will do something for you.

7.       Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary = Burnt Offering: This kind of offering was described as “that which goes up (to God).” It was termed “whole” (Lev 6:22) because the entire offering was to be burnt upon the altar. The burnt offering spoke of Christ’s passive obedience and His submission to the penalty required by man’s sinfulness. It also refers to His perfect obedience to God’s law by which He did for us what we are unable to do for ourselves.


(Judg 11:32-34)  So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands. 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. And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels [a tambourine] and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter [i.e. she was his “firstfruits”].


(Judg 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 [Jephthah, a man of his word].

1.       (Heb 11:32)  And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon [Gideon], and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae [Jephthah]; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:


(Judg 11:36-38)  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 [Christ-like “passive obedience”]; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon. 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 [bemoan: make lamentation, mourn, X sore, X with tears, weep] my virginity [virginal chastity, maidenhood /// to separate (Nazarite)], I and my fellows [female companions]. 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.

1.       (Mat 16:24)  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

2.       Commentary: His daughter sacrificed her-self. His daughter is a type of us – the true church who prepared to sacrifice her present earthly life-style and all aspirations for a future earthly life-style she might have vicariously enjoyed through the lineage of her earthly children. 

3.       What did Jephthah sacrifice?


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 [Christ-like “submission to the penalty required by man’s sinfulness”]: and she knew no man [i.e. she was perfect and undefiled – a perfect lamb]. And it was a custom in Israel, That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

  1. (Rev 14:1-5)  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads [the 777 Company]. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

Commentary: Jephthah’s (Jesus Christ’s) only child and daughter is “us,” the bride of Christ, the 2000 year old Christ generation of Matthew 1:16,17, the progeny (syn: offspring, children, descendants) of Jesus, whom the Lord has wholly dedicated to His work. We are the burnt offering “For we are unto God a sweet savour [fragrance, odor] of Christ” (2 Cor 2:15). When Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming, we shall meet Him as Jephthah’s daughter with joy, singing and dancing, as we emerge through the door (1 Thes 4:17) of  “His house” (the church) and walk with Him eternally in Heaven.


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