Jephthah, a man of his word: 

Chapter 12



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(Prov 1:18,19)  And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily [hide secretly (in ambush)] for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which [ways] taketh away the life of the owners thereof.  

Overview: Jephthah was “a mighty man of valour” (Judg 11:1 & Judg 6:12), and “the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah” (Judg 11:29) for the purpose of empowering him to lead the Gileadites (symbolizing the children of the kingdom) in a successful war against the invading unsaved Ammonites (symbolizing the children of the wicked one). Thereafter, the Ephraimites (symbolizing nominal Christians greedy of gain) “gathered themselves together” (Judg 12:1) and came up and presented their army against Jephthah and the Gileadites, whereupon the Ephraimites contrived, made-up, fabricated an exceedingly thin excuse for war (Jud 12:1-3). Why did the Ephraimites seek an unjust unrighteous war with their own brothers the Gileadites? Because the Ephraimites coveted the spoils of the war that Jephthah had just fought, the material goods and valued things of this world that Jephthah’s warriors had captured and gained from the defeated Ammonites who had been oppressing all of Israel for the past eighteen years. But the Lord had given the Gileadites the victory over the Ammonites (Judg 12:3), and was still and eternally on the side of Jephthah and the Gileadites.

(Judg 12:1-3)  And the men of Ephraim [double fruit] gathered themselves together, and went northward [into gloom and doom; in contrast to being sent by the Lord], and said unto Jephthah [he will open], Wherefore passedst thou over [used very widely of any transition] to fight against the children of Ammon [tribal, i.e. inbred; a son of Lot through incest (symbol of unsaved peoples)], and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire [prophetic of their own doom]. And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife [i.e. Great Tribulation, the fifth seal] with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me?


            (Mat 22:1-14)  And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants (1) to call them that were bidden to the wedding: (2) and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. (3) But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, (4) and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? (5) And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, (6) Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (7) For many are called, but few are chosen.

(Judg 12:4-7)  Then Jephthah gathered together [under the command of the Holy Spirit] all the men of Gilead [heap of testimony, heap of witness (i.e. men of the cross)], and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they [the Ephraimites] said, Ye Gileadites are fugitives [paliyt, paw-leet'; a refugee: (that have) escaped] of Ephraim among the Ephraimites [double fruit], and among the Manassites [causing to forget]. And the Gileadites took the passages [crossing places: fords] of Jordan [symbol of the Holy Spirit guarding the Promised Land] before the Ephraimites: and it was so that when those Ephraimites which were escaped [paliyt, paw-leet'; fugitives] said, Let me go over [into the Promised Land]; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay [lying for entrance]; Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth [a stream (as flowing); also an ear of grain (as growing out)]: and he said Sibboleth [an ear of grain]: for he could not frame to pronounce it right [a type of not being able to speak God’s language: Mat 22:12]. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite [heap of testimony, heap of witness (the cross)], and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

1.       (Psa 7:14-16) Behold, he travaileth [writhe in pain (childbirth)] with iniquity [unrighteousness, wickedness], and hath conceived [to be (or become) pregnant: be with child] mischief, and brought forth [to bear young, to beget] falsehood. He made a pit [a pit hole (espec. one used as a cistern or prison): dungeon], and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch [a pit (espec. as a trap); fig. destruction:--corruption, destruction, grave] which he made. His mischief [symbolic child] shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate [the crown of the head, scalp].

2.       mischief = Heb: toil, i.e. wearing effort [“And he (they)… shall wear out the saints of the most High” Dan 7:25]; hence worry, whether of body or mind: grievousness, iniquity, labour, mischief, miserable (-sery), pain (-ful), perverseness, sorrow, toil, travail, trouble, wearisome, wickedness /// to toil, i.e. work severely and with irksomeness:--[take] labour (in).

3.       (Psa 9:15)  The heathen [a foreign nation; hence a Gentile; also (fig.) a troop of animals [Eccl 3:18], or a flight of locusts: Gentile, heathen, nation, people] are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.

4.       (Eccl 3:18)  I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them [make apparent to them], and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

5.       (Psa 10:2)  The wicked in his pride [arrogance or majesty: excellency, haughtiness, highness, swelling] doth persecute the poor [depressed, in mind or circumstances: afflicted, humble, lowly, needy]: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.

6.       (Psa 57:6)  They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

7.       (Prov 26:27)  Whoso diggeth a pit [a pit (espec. as a trap); fig. destruction:--corruption, destruction, ditch, grave] shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.


Commentary: The tribe of Ephraim is not listed as one of the sealed twelve tribes of the 144,000 in Rev 7:4-8.

1.       (Rev 7:4)  And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

2.       sealed = Gk: to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation; by impl. to keep secret, to attest:--(set a, set to) seal up /// a signet (as fencing in or protecting from misappropriation); by impl. the stamp impressed (as a mark of privacy, or genuineness): seal /// to fence or inclose, i.e. (spec.) to block up (fig. to silence):--stop /// (to rein in or curb); the midrif (as a partition of the body), (by impl. of sympathy) the feelings (or sensitive nature; by extens. the mind or cognitive faculties): understanding.

3.       (Job 1:10)  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

4.       hedge = Heb: to entwine, i.e. shut in (for formation, protection and restraint):--fence. (make an) hedge (up).

5.       The “hedge-seal” about us is the wedding garment, the blood of Christ, the white robe of righteousness, the Shekinah Glory of God. During the Old Testament, the “hedge” was a covering outside around us, whereas in the New Testament the “hedge-seal (permanent)” not only covers the outside of us, but penetrates deep inside us (to the bottom) as well. Hallelujah!

6.       Why are the Ephraimites not sealed?


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