Jephthah, a man of his word:

Chapter 2



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(Judg 11:1-3)  Now Jephthah [he will open, he opens] the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour [the same was said of Gideon: Judg 6:12], and he was the son of an harlot [whore, prostitute (a woman not faithful)]: and Gilead [mound of stones, heap of testimony, heap of witness] begat Jephthah [i.e. the cross begat Jephthah, a type of salvation]. And Gilead's wife bare him sons [full Jews with no blemish]; and his wife's sons [half-brothers to Jephthah] grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah [just as Jacob’s sons thrust out Joseph their half-brother, a type of Christ], and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of a strange woman. Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered to Jephthah [to pick up, to glean] vain men [empty; fig. worthless men], and went out [raiding] with him.

1.       Commentary: First appeared Gideon (Judg chapters 6-8), then Jephthah (Judg chapters 10-12), then Samson (Judg chapters 13-16). Perhaps the order of their chronological appearance relates to the developmental evolution of their typology of Jesus Christ? In any case, Jephthah is an earlier type of Samson, who is a type of Jesus Christ. Whereas Samson “shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (Judg 13:5), Jephthah preceded Samson in that he “opened” the fight. Jephthah also rashly (unwisely) opened his mouth in a needless vow to God. After his rejection by his “brethren,” Jephthah became a raider, looting and pillaging the enemies of Israel. He and his band were well known and had established a reputation of successful forays against Israel’s oppressors.

2.       thrust out = Heb: to drive out from a possession; espec. to expatriate [Dict: to banish (a person) from his native country] or divorce:--cast up (out), divorced (woman), drive away (forth, out), expel, X surely put away, trouble, thrust out.

3.       Tob = Heb: good /// good in the widest sense; (good, a good or good thing, a good man or woman; the good, goods or good things, good men or women):--beautiful, best, better, bountiful, cheerful, at ease, X fair (word), (be in) favour, fine, glad, good (deed, -lier, liest, -ly, -ness, -s), graciously, joyful, kindly, kindness, liketh (best), loving, merry, X most, pleasant, + pleaseth, pleasure, precious, prosperity, ready, sweet, wealth, welfare, (be) well ([-favoured]).

4.       (1 Sam 22:1,2)  David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress [in a narrow place: confinement], and every one that was in debt [being dunned for debt], and every one that was discontented [bitter: X great, heavy], gathered themselves [assembled themselves] unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

5.       (Mat 13:30)  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather [collect] ye together first the tares [“were gathered together” the Ammonites: Jud 10:17], and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather [assemble (selves together)] the wheat [“assembled themselves together” the Isrealites: Jud 10:17] into my barn.

6.       strange = Heb: 'acher; hinder; gen. next, other, etc.:--(an-) other (man), following, next, strange /// to loiter (i.e. be behind); by impl. to procrastinate:--continue, defer, delay, hinder, be late (slack), stay (there), tarry (longer).


(Judg 11:4-11)  And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon [inbred; a son of Lot (infidels)] made war against Israel [he will rule as God, prince with God (Christians)]. 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: And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain [military leader (Savior)], that we may fight with the children of Ammon. 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 [tribulation]? 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 [ruler (King, Lord)] over all the inhabitants of Gilead. And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again [symbolically, with prayer] to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head? And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words. Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them [please note the order in which these two positions are rendered]: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh [watch tower].

1.       distress = Heb: to cramp:--adversary, (be in) afflict (-ion), besiege, bind (up), (be in, bring) distress, enemy, narrower, oppress, pangs, shut up, be in a strait (trouble), vex.

2.       tribulation = Gk: pressure:--afflicted, (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble /// to crowd:--afflict, narrow, throng, suffer tribulation, trouble..

Commentary: When, but not before (which is why we must be pressed by the Ammonites (the unsaved) through the winepress of the Great Tribulation), the hard-hearted inhabitants of Gilead (Christians) found themselves in great “distress” (great tribulation), they reluctantly bowed the knee, humbled themselves, submitted their pride, and cried out (prayed) for Jephthah (a type of Jesus Christ) to return (the Second Coming), and be their military “captain” and save them (Savior) from their enemy. They cried out for a Savior, but Jephthah (Jesus Christ) would not be their “captain” (Savior) unless he would also be their “head” (Lord). Why? Because the position of “captain” or military leader is a secondary position that is under the command of the “head” who is the King or Lord (Gk: kurios: supreme in authority). Due to their present urgent necessity, the hard-hearted inhabitants of Gilead were reluctantly willing to bow the knee somewhat, thereby humbling themselves, submitting some of their pride, and ask to be saved (salvation) by a hated man whom they had before rejected; but they were not yet willing to bend all the way and submit all their pride and be ruled (Lordship) by this same man.

1.       (Exo 20:3)  Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Commentary: However, the choice was clearly that either they humble themselves, submit and live, or remain erect, prideful and die. Under great pressure from the Ammonites, the people of Israel wisely bowed still lower and agreed (covenanted) with Jephthah (Jesus Christ) according to his terms and not according to their own terms. In contrast, the stiff unbending pride of the majority of people on this earth today restrains them from submitting to His terms, and they shall horribly die. How many “Christians” are you acquainted with who claim to know Jesus Christ in their heart as their Savior but do not acknowledge Him in their heart as their Lord? Do you think that this circumstance is acceptable to our Lord? His Lordship in our heart can be seen; it is plainly manifested as “the fruit of the Spirit” through our actions. Will Jesus Christ be your Savior without also being your Lord? The central point of this narrative is that Jephthah would not. Who is Jephthah? At the root of this inner conflict, we are talking about OBEDIENCE. Whom will you obey? Whom will you serve, your self or Jesus Christ? What would have happened to the Gileadites if they had not appealed to Jephthah? The Gileadites wisely chose to submit and follow Jephthah.

1.       (Gal 5:22,23)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering [patience], gentleness [kindness], goodness, faith, Meekness [humility], temperance [self-control]: against such there is no law.

2.       (Rom 10:9)  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord [kurios: supreme in authority] Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead [pointing to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ], thou shalt be saved [delivered, protected: healed, preserved, saved, be (made) whole].


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