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An Outcast Becomes a General

10:17 The Ammonites assembled30 and camped in Gilead; the Israelites gathered together and camped in Mizpah. 10:18 The leaders31 of Gilead said to one another, “Who is willing to lead the charge32 against the Ammonites? He will become the leader of all who live in Gilead!”

11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a brave warrior. His mother was a prostitute, but Gilead was his father.1 11:2 Gilead’s wife also gave2 him sons. When his wife’s sons grew up, they made Jephthah leave and said to him, “You are not going to inherit any of our father’s wealth,3 because you are another woman’s son.” 11:3 So Jephthah left4 his half-brothers5 and lived in the land of Tob. Lawless men joined Jephthah’s gang and traveled with him.6

11:4 It was some time after this when the Ammonites fought with Israel. 11:5 When the Ammonites attacked,7 the leaders8 of Gilead asked Jephthah to come back9 from the land of Tob. 11:6 They said,10 “Come, be our commander, so we can fight with the Ammonites.” 11:7 Jephthah said to the leaders of Gilead, “But you hated me and made me leave11 my father’s house. Why do you come to me now, when you are in trouble?” 11:8 The leaders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “That may be true,12 but now we pledge to you our loyalty.13 Come with us and fight with the Ammonites. Then you will become the leader14 of all who live in Gilead.”15 11:9 Jephthah said to the leaders of Gilead, “All right!16 If you take me back to fight with the Ammonites and the Lord gives them to me,17 I will be your leader.”18 11:10 The leaders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “The Lord will judge any grievance you have against us,19 if we do not do as you say.”20 11:11 So Jephthah went with the leaders of Gilead. The people made him their leader and commander. Jephthah repeated the terms of the agreement21 before the Lord in Mizpah.


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