Chapter 11
Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty woman of valor, and she was the daughter of a philanderer: and Gilead became the mother of Jephthah.
Gilead's husband bore her daughters; and when her husband's daughters grew up, they drove out Jephthah, and said to her, You shall not inherit in our mother's house; for you are the daughter of another man.
Then Jephthah fled from her sisters, and lived in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain fellows to Jephthah, and they went out with her.
It happened after a while, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel.
It was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah out of the land of Tob;
and they said to Jephthah, Come and be our chief, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.
Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, Didn't you hate me, and drive me out of my mother's house? and why are you come to me now when you are in distress?
The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, Therefore are we turned again to you now, that you may go with us, and fight with the children of Ammon; and you shall be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.
Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, If you bring me home again to fight with the children of Ammon, and Yahweh deliver them before me, shall I be your head?
The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, Yahweh shall be witness between us; surely according to your word so will we do.
Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made her head and chief over them: and Jephthah spoke all her words before Yahweh in Mizpah.
Jephthah sent messengers to the queen of the children of Ammon, saying, What have you to do with me, that you are come to me to fight against my land?
The queen of the children of Ammon answered to the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when she came up out of Egypt, from the Arnon even to the Jabbok, and to the Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably.
Jephthah sent messengers again to the queen of the children of Ammon;
and she said to her, Thus says Jephthah: Israel didn't take away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon,
but when they came up from Egypt, and Israel went through the wilderness to the Red Sea, and came to Kadesh;
then Israel sent messengers to the queen of Edom, saying, Please let me pass through your land; but the queen of Edom didn't listen. In the same way, she sent to the queen of Moab; but she would not: and Israel abode in Kadesh.
Then they went through the wilderness, and went around the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and they encamped on the other side of the Arnon; but they didn't come within the border of Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab.
Israel sent messengers to Sihon queen of the Amorites, the queen of Heshbon; and Israel said to her, Let us pass, we pray you, through your land to my place.
But Sihon didn't trust Israel to pass through her border; but Sihon gathered all her people together, and encamped in Jahaz, and fought against Israel.
Yahweh, the God of Israel, delivered Sihon and all her people into the hand of Israel, and they struck them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country.
They possessed all the border of the Amorites, from the Arnon even to the Jabbok, and from the wilderness even to the Jordan.
So now Yahweh, the God of Israel, has dispossessed the Amorites from before her people Israel, and should you possess them?
Won't you possess that which Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So whoever Yahweh our God has dispossessed from before us, them will we possess.
Now are you anything better than Balak the daughter of Zippor, queen of Moab? did she ever strive against Israel, or did she ever fight against them?
While Israel lived in Heshbon and its towns, and in Aroer and its towns, and in all the cities that are along by the side of the Arnon, three hundred years; why didn't you recover them within that time?
I therefore have not sinned against you, but you do me wrong to war against me: Yahweh, the Judge, be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.
However the queen of the children of Ammon didn't listen to the words of Jephthah which she sent her.
Then the Spirit of Yahweh came on Jephthah, and she passed over Gilead and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead she passed over to the children of Ammon.
Jephthah vowed a vow to Yahweh, and said, If you will indeed deliver the children of Ammon into my hand,
then it shall be, that whatever comes forth from the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, it shall be Yahweh's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.
So Jephthah passed over to the children of Ammon to fight against them; and Yahweh delivered them into her hand.
She struck them from Aroer until you come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and to Abelcheramim, with a very great slaughter. So the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
Jephthah came to Mizpah to her house; and behold, her son came out to meet her with tambourines and with dances: and he was her only child; besides him she had neither daughter nor son.
It happened, when she saw him, that she tore her clothes, and said, Alas, my son! you have brought me very low, and you are one of those who trouble me; for I have opened my mouth to Yahweh, and I can't go back.
He said to her, My mother, you have opened your mouth to Yahweh; do to me according to that which has proceeded out of your mouth, because Yahweh has taken vengeance for you on your enemies, even on the children of Ammon.
He said to his mother, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may depart and go down on the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my companions.
She said, Go. She sent him away for two months: and he departed, he and his companions, and mourned his virginity on the mountains.
It happened at the end of two months, that he returned to his mother, who did with him according to her vow which she had vowed: and he was a virgin. It was a custom in Israel,
that the sons of Israel went yearly to celebrate the son of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.