SV: The daughter of Jeftah died?

Christian M. M. Brady cbrady at tulane.edu
Sat Jun 1 23:04:51 EDT 2002


On 6/1/02 7:47 PM, "Lawrence May" <lgmay at mindspring.com> wrote:

> Jdg 11:29-40 - Several important lessons are to be learned from Jephthah's
> vow. 
>     1. There may be remainders of distrust and doubting, even in the hearts of
> true and great believers.
>     2. Our vows to God should not be as a purchase of the favor we desire, but
> to express gratitude to him.
>     3. We need to be very well advised in making vows, lest we entangle
> ourselves. 
>     4. What we have solemnly vowed to God, we must perform, if it be possible
> and lawful, though it be difficult and grievous to us.
>     5. It well becomes children, obediently and cheerfully to submit to their
> parents in the Lord. It is hard to say what Jephthah did in performance of his
> vow; but it is thought that he did not offer his daughter as a burnt offering.
> Such a sacrifice would have been an abomination to the Lord; it is supposed
> she was obliged to remain unmarried, and apart from her family. Concerning
> this and some other such passages in the sacred history, about which learned
> men are divided and in doubt, we need not perplex ourselves; what is necessary
> to our salvation, thanks be to God, is plain enough. If the reader recollects
> the promise of Christ concerning the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and places
> himself under this heavenly Teacher, the Holy Ghost will guide to all truth in
> every passage, so far as it is needful to be understood.

Well, avoiding the doctrinal and faith issues raised in 5b (such things are
against list rules) I will offer a couple of comments, following the numbers
above: 

1. Is Jephthah a ³true and great believer²? I rather thank that he was not a
nice man, nor a very ³godly² man by biblical standards. Remember, just
because the Bible tells us a story doesn¹t mean that the Bible is endorsing
the actions of the central figures.

5a. I don¹t think that it is very hard to say what he did at all. 11.30
says, 
> And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD, and said, ³If you will give the Ammonites
> into my hand,  31 then whoever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me,
> when I return victorious from the Ammonites, shall be the LORD¹S, to be
> offered up by me as a burnt offering.²
And 11.39 says
> 39 At the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her
> according to the vow he had made.
> 
It is reasonable to assume that, as far as the narrator is concerned,
Jephthah did as he had vowed he would. That is, he offered his daughter up
the Lord as a burnt offering. It may not be a pleasant thought to us, some
might even say it is inexplicable, but the simple and most logical reading
of the text is that he sacrificed his daughter.

-- 
Cb
cbrady @ tulane.edu

(Below is a quote that was randomly selected by Entourage.)

Of making many books there is no end,
and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
                         Ecclesiastes 12:12 

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