(Show plain text in new window)
And Yiphtah the Gil'adite was a mighty brave one, but he was the son of a whore. And Gil'ad brought forth Yiphtah.
And the wife of Gil'ad bore sons. And when his wife's sons grew up, they drove Yiphtah out, and said to him, 'You shall not have an inheritance in the house of our father, for you are the son of another woman.'
And Yiphtah fled from his brothers and dwelt in the land of Tob. And worthless men banded together with Yiphtah and went out with him.
And it came to be, some time later, that the children of Ammon fought against Yisra'el.
And it came to be, when the children of Ammon fought against Yisra'el, that the elders of Gil'ad went to bring Yiphtah out of the land of Tob.
And they said to Yiphtah, 'Come, and you shall be our commander, and let us fight against the children of Ammon.'
But Yiphtah said to the elders of Gil'ad, 'Did you not hate me, and drive me from my father's house? Why have you come to me now when you are in trouble?'
And the elders of Gil'ad said to Yiphtah, 'That is the reason we have turned to you, that you shall go with us and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gil'ad.'
And Yiphtah said to the elders of Gil'ad, 'If you take me back home to fight against the children of Ammon, and YHWH gives them to me, am I to be your head?'
And the elders of Gil'ad said to Yiphtah, ' YHWH is witness between us, if we do not do according to your words.'
Then Yiphtah went with the elders of Gil'ad, and the people set him over them, as head and commander. And Yiphtah spoke all his words before YHWH in Mitspah.
And Yiphtah sent messengers to the sovereign of the children of Ammon, saying, 'What is between you and me, that you have come to fight against me in my land?'
And the sovereign of the children of Ammon said to the messengers of Yiphtah, 'Because Yisra'el took my land when they came up out of Mitsrayim, from the Arnon as far as the Yabboq, and to the Yarden. And now, give back those lands in peace.'
But Yiphtah again sent messengers to the sovereign of the children of Ammon,
and said to him, 'This is what Yiphtah said, 'Yisra'el did not take the land of Mo'ab, nor the land of the children of Ammon.
'For when they came up from Mitsrayim, and Yisra'el walked through the wilderness as far as the Sea of Reeds and came to Qadesh,
then Yisra'el sent messengers to the sovereign of Edom, saying, 'Please let me pass over, through your land.' But the sovereign of Edom would not listen. And they also sent to the sovereign of Mo'ab, but he refused, so Yisra'el stayed at Qadesh.
'Then they went through the wilderness and around the land of Edom and the land of Mo'ab, and came to the east side of the land of Mo'ab, and encamped beyond Arnon. But they did not enter the border of Mo'ab, for Arnon was the border of Mo'ab.
'And Yisra'el sent messengers to Sihon sovereign of the Amorites, sovereign of Heshbon, and Yisra'el said to him, 'Please let us pass over, through your land into our place.'
'But Sihon did not trust Yisra'el to pass over through his border, and Sihon gathered all his people together, and they encamped in Yahats, and fought against Yisra'el.
'And YHWH Elohim of Yisra'el gave Sihon and all his people into the hand of Yisra'el, and they smote them. So Yisra'el took possession of all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that land.
'Thus they took possession of all the border of the Amorites, from Arnon to the Yabboq and from the wilderness to the Yarden.
'And now, YHWH Elohim of Yisra'el has driven out the Amorites from before His people Yisra'el, should you then possess it?
`Whatever Kemosh your mighty one gives you to possess, do you not possess it? And all that which YHWH our Elohim takes possession of before us, we possess.
'And now are you any better than Balaq son of Tsippor, sovereign of Mo'ab? Did he ever strive against Yisra'el? Did he ever fight against them?
'While Yisra'el dwelt in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aro'er and its villages, and in all the cities along the banks of Arnon, for three hundred years, why did you not recover them within that time?
'So I have not sinned against you, but you are doing me evil by fighting against me. Let YHWH the Judge, judge today between the children of Yisra'el and the children of Ammon.''
But the sovereign of the children of Ammon did not listen to the words which Yiphtah sent him.
And the Spirit of YHWH came upon Yiphtah, and he passed through Gil'ad and Menashsheh, and passed through Mitspeh of Gil'ad. And from Mitspeh of Gil'ad he passed on toward the children of Ammon.
And Yiphtah made a vow to YHWH, and said, 'If You give the children of Ammon into my hands,
then it shall be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall belong to YHWH, and I shall offer it up as a burnt offering.'
Yiphtah then passed on toward the children of Ammon to fight against them, and YHWH gave them into his hands.
And he smote them from Aro'er as far as Minnith, twenty cities, and to Abel Keramim, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were humbled before the children of Yisra'el.
And Yiphtah came to his house at Mitspah, and saw his daughter coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing. Now except for her he had neither son nor daughter.
And it came to be, when he saw her, that he tore his garments, and said, 'Oh my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you are among those who trouble me! And I, I have given my word to YHWH, and I am unable to turn back.'
And she said to him, 'My father, if you have given your word to YHWH, do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, because YHWH has taken vengeance for you upon your enemies, the children of Ammon.'
And she said to her father, 'Let this be done for me: let me alone for two months, and let me go and wander on the mountains and bewail my maidenhood, my friends and I.'
Then he said, 'Go.' And he sent her away for two months. And she went with her friends, and bewailed her maidenhood on the mountains.
And it came to be at the end of two months that she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed, and she knew no man. And it became a statute in Yisra`el
that the daughters of Yisra'el went every year for four days to lament the daughter of Yiphtah the Gil'adite.