Jephthah and his daughter

Ita Sheres isheres at mail.sdsu.edu
Sun Sep 13 01:30:07 EDT 1998


If we assume that the Daughter fulfilled a ritual function (especially
when retreating or "going down" to the mountains) which was somehow
related to "virginity" - then indeed it is plausible to assume that she
was "dedicated" to God in a priestly sense rather than as a sacrifice
along the lines of the Greek Iphigenia. Other than that, Jeph. probably 
"did to her as he promised" which must mean sacrifice for which he was
derided by the Rabbis and the rest of the Jewish tradition; he is seen as
rash and particularly a "boor" who did not consult with the priest of his
time and therefore did a terrible thing.

On Sat, 12 Sep 1998, Bryan Rocine wrote:

> Dear B-Haverim,
> 
> I find it very difficult to believe Jephthah sacrificed his daughter by
> killing her(Judges 11).  Might he have put her away to a life of seclusion
> or celibacy?  We don't see blood, not even a smoking gun.  Are there
> answers either in legend, ancient Levantine anthropology or the Biblical
> text itself?
> 
> Then, never mind the historicity of the account.  How can we reconcile such
> an episode with the literary composition of the Book of Judges particularly
> and the Hebrew Bible generally?
> 
> Shalom,
> Bryan
> 
> 
> B. M. Rocine
> Associate Pastor
> Living Word Church
> 6101 Court St. Rd.
> Syracuse, NY 13208
> 
> 315-437-6744(w)
> 315-479-8267(h)
> 
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