<P><I>"On the other hand, I will admit to the Biblical narrator's propensity
<BR><I>writing a two-sided story. Few characters of Biblical narrative
<BR><I>positive role models, positive representations of the "text's moral</I>
<BR><I>viewpoint" from the beginning to the ending of their time on stage.
<BR><I>the narrator won't let the inconsistencies escape censure or penalty;
<BR><I>this way, even bad acts are used as good examples which present
<BR><I>viewpoint in negative relief. This we know is the Biblical
<BR><I>narration, but it is violated in the Jephthah episode *if* indeed
<BR><I>killed his daughter. "</I><I></I>
<P>If I understand you correctly, you are saying that in biblical narration,
the editor will comment if the the actor violated the editor's moral point
of view. In the case of Jephthah and his daughter, this does not
happen. The editor does not censure Jephthah or bring upon him some
kind of calamity---unless we consider that he had no descendants as the
implied retribution. Of course if he did not kill her, this
would be unnecessary.
<P>I think the issue is : What is this frame? What is the "text's
own moral viewpoint?" I see that the frame is limited. It does
not encompass all the deuteronomic guidelines for life. The frame
is limited to responses to two issues or questions:
<P>a. Why does everyone attack us? (remember this is late 7th
c. or later or even exilic).
<BR>The frame provides the lens through which to answer this question.
Israel forgot to worship Yhvh and joined in the worship of the god of her
neighbors. I don't think moral behavior is meant here but only service
to Yhvh---i.e. bringing offerings to Yhvh as opposed to bringing goodies
to other gods. If Yhvh does not receive his due, Yhvh withdraws support
and allows other nations to conquer the tribes. Thus for the editor
to comment on Jephthah's murder of his daughter is beyond the framework
he has established. We can and should, of course, question
the stance of the editor.
<P>Incidentally, the blame is usually placed on "Israel," who is said to
have done something offensive to cause Yhvh to withdraw from Israel---not
on the action of an individual. Anyway, Jephthah continues to enjoy
Yhvh's support as indicated in his victories over the Ephraimites (Chap
12) in internecine fighting suggesting, again, that for the editor, Jephthah's
sacrifice was not an issue.
<P>b. Why a monarchy or at least a centralized government?
<BR>This issue comes to the fore after Gideon's death when two themes
become prominent: Internecine warfare and legitimate kingship.
Abimelech <I>seizes</I> the throne (as opposed to Gideon who was <I>offered</I>
the throne by the "men" of Israel). The refrain in this part: There
was no king in Israel in those days, every man did as he chose.
<P>In the end, the two issues, a and b, intertwine.
<P>It is interesting to note that the dtr editor is not laying all of the
deuteronomic baggage onto Judges. He understand that this period
was different from his. There is no critique of home altars or statues
as long as these were dedicated to Yhvh. This also points to the
narrow limits of the frame within which the dtr. editor is re-shaping these
<P>Bryan, I've been reading your remarks and those of others about verbs
and discourse analysis, and I am now paying much more attention to the
sequence of verbs. However to help in phrasing I also use the accents,
disjunctive and conjunctive, to indicate relationship.