Judges 11

Judges 11

 
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29 At that time the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he went throughout the land of Gilead and Manasseh, including Mizpah in Gilead, and led an army against the Ammonites.

30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD. He said, "If you give me victory over the Ammonites,

31 I will give to the LORD the first thing coming out of my house to greet me when I return in triumph. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering."

32 So Jephthah led his army against the Ammonites, and the LORD gave him victory.

33 He thoroughly defeated the Ammonites from Aroer to an area near Minnith--twenty towns--and as far away as Abel-keramim. Thus Israel subdued the Ammonites.

34 When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter--his only child--ran out to meet him, playing on a tambourine and dancing for joy.

35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes in anguish. "My daughter!" he cried out. "My heart is breaking! What a tragedy that you came out to greet me. For I have made a vow to the LORD and cannot take it back."

36 And she said, "Father, you have made a promise to the LORD. You must do to me what you have promised, for the LORD has given you a great victory over your enemies, the Ammonites.

37 But first let me go up and roam in the hills and weep with my friends for two months, because I will die a virgin."

38 "You may go," Jephthah said. And he let her go away for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never have children.

39 When she returned home, her father kept his vow, and she died a virgin. So it has become a custom in Israel

40 for young Israelite women to go away for four days each year to lament the fate of Jephthah's daughter.

Read Judges 12


New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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