11 Jephthahz the Gileadite was a mighty warrior.a His father was Gilead;b his mother was a prostitute.c 2 Gilead’s wife also bore him sons, and when they were grown up, they drove Jephthah away. “You are not going to get any inheritance in our family,” they said, “because you are the son of another woman.” 3 So Jephthah fled from his brothers and settled in the land of Tob,d where a gang of scoundrelse gathered around him and followed him.
4 Some time later, when the Ammonitesf were fighting against Israel, 5 the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob. 6 “Come,” they said, “be our commander, so we can fight the Ammonites.”
7 Jephthah said to them, “Didn’t you hate me and drive me from my father’s house?g Why do you come to me now, when you’re in trouble?”
8 The elders of Gilead said to him, “Nevertheless, we are turning to you now; come with us to fight the Ammonites, and you will be headh over all of us who live in Gilead.”
10 The elders of Gilead replied, “The Lord is our witness;i we will certainly do as you say.” 11 So Jephthah went with the eldersj of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them. And he repeatedk all his words before the Lord in Mizpah.l
13 The king of the Ammonites answered Jephthah’s messengers, “When Israel came up out of Egypt, they took away my land from the Arnonm to the Jabbok,n all the way to the Jordan. Now give it back peaceably.”
“This is what Jephthah says: Israel did not take the land of Moabo or the land of the Ammonites.p 16 But when they came up out of Egypt, Israel went through the wilderness to the Red Seaa q and on to Kadesh.r 17 Then Israel sent messengerss to the king of Edom, saying, ‘Give us permission to go through your country,’t but the king of Edom would not listen. They sent also to the king of Moab,u and he refused.v So Israel stayed at Kadesh.
18 “Next they traveled through the wilderness, skirted the lands of Edomw and Moab, passed along the eastern sidex of the country of Moab, and camped on the other side of the Arnon.y They did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was its border.
19 “Then Israel sent messengersz to Sihon king of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon,a and said to him, ‘Let us pass through your country to our own place.’b 20 Sihon, however, did not trust Israelb to pass through his territory. He mustered all his troops and encamped at Jahaz and fought with Israel.c
21 “Then the Lord, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and his whole army into Israel’s hands, and they defeated them. Israel took over all the land of the Amorites who lived in that country, 22 capturing all of it from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the desert to the Jordan.d
23 “Now since the Lord, the God of Israel, has driven the Amorites out before his people Israel, what right have you to take it over? 24 Will you not take what your god Chemoshe gives you? Likewise, whatever the Lord our God has given us,f we will possess. 25 Are you any better than Balak son of Zippor,g king of Moab? Did he ever quarrel with Israel or fight with them?h 26 For three hundred years Israel occupiedi Heshbon, Aroer,j the surrounding settlements and all the towns along the Arnon. Why didn’t you retake them during that time? 27 I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me. Let the Lord, the Judge,k decidel the dispute this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites.m”
29 Then the Spiritn of the Lord came on Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpaho of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites.p 30 And Jephthah made a vowq to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, 31 whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumphr from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.s”
32 Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into his hands. 33 He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith,t as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.
34 When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancingu to the sound of timbrels!v She was an only child.w Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothesx and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.y”
36 “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised,z now that the Lord has avenged youa of your enemies,b the Ammonites. 37 But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”
38 “You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never marry. 39 After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.
About The New International Version
The NIV is the world’s most read and trusted contemporary English Bible translation. It follows the principle of "dynamic equivalence" to ensure crystal clear understandable English. The NIV is the most readable English Bible ever produced.
Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 Biblica, Inc.™
Used by Permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“New International Version” and “NIV” are registered trademarks of Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission.
The NIV® text may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio), up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without the express written permission of the publisher, providing the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.
Notice of copyright must appear on the title or copyright page as follows:
“Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.”
The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™
When quotations from the NIV® text are used by a local church in non-saleable media such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, overhead transparencies, or similar materials, a complete copyright notice is not required, but the initials (NIV®) must appear at the end of each quotation.
Any commentary or other biblical reference work produced for commercial sale, that uses the NIV® text must obtain written permission for use of the NIV® text.
Permission requests for commercial use within the USA and Canada that exceeds the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by The Zondervan Corporation, 5300 Patterson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49530, USA. www.Zondervan.com
Permission requests for commercial use within the UK, EU and EFTA that exceeds the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by Hodder & Stoughton Limited, 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH, United Kingdom. www.Hodder.co.uk
Permission requests for non-commercial use that exceeds the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by Biblica US, Inc., 1820 Jet Stream Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921, USA. www.Biblica.com
Any Internet addresses (websites, blogs, etc.) and telephone numbers printed in this Bible are offered as a resource. They are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement by Zondervan, nor does Zondervan vouch for the content of these sites and numbers for the life of the Bible.