Jephthah Gives a History Lesson
11:12 Jephthah sent messengers to the Ammonite king, saying, “Why have22 you come against me to attack my land?” 11:13 The Ammonite king said to Jephthah’s messengers, “Because Israel stole23 my land when they24 came up from Egypt—from the Arnon River in the south to the Jabbok River in the north, and as far west as the Jordan.25 Now return it26 peaceably!”
11:14 Jephthah sent messengers back to the Ammonite king 11:15 and said to him, “This is what Jephthah says, ‘Israel did not steal27 the land of Moab and the land of the Ammonites. 11:16 When they left28 Egypt, Israel traveled29 through the desert as far as the Red Sea and then came to Kadesh. 11:17 Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, “Please allow us30 to pass through your land.” But the king of Edom rejected the request.31 Israel sent the same request to the king of Moab, but he was unwilling to cooperate.32 So Israel stayed at Kadesh. 11:18 Then Israel33 went through the desert and bypassed the land of Edom and the land of Moab. They traveled east of the land of Moab and camped on the other side of the Arnon River;34 they did not go through Moabite territory (the Arnon was Moab’s border). 11:19 Israel sent messengers to King Sihon, the Amorite king who ruled in Heshbon, and said to him, “Please allow us to pass through your land to our land.”35 11:20 But Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his territory. He36 assembled his whole army,37 camped in Jahaz, and fought with Israel. 11:21 The Lord God of Israel handed Sihon and his whole army over to Israel and they defeated them. Israel took38 all the land of the Amorites who lived in that land. 11:22 They took all the Amorite territory from the Arnon River on the south to the Jabbok River on the north, from the desert in the east to the Jordan in the west.39 11:23 Since40 the Lord God of Israel has driven out41 the Amorites before his people Israel, do you think you can just take it from them?42 11:24 You have the right to take what Chemosh your god gives you, but we will take the land of all whom the Lord our God has driven out before us.43 11:25 Are you really better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he dare to quarrel with Israel? Did he dare to fight with them?44 11:26 Israel has been living in Heshbon and its nearby towns, in Aroer and its nearby towns, and in all the cities along the Arnon for three hundred years! Why did you not reclaim them during that time? 11:27 I have not done you wrong,45 but you are doing wrong46 by attacking me. May the Lord, the Judge, judge this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites!’ ” 11:28 But the Ammonite king disregarded47 the message sent by Jephthah.48
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