11:28 But the Ammonite king disregarded 1 the message sent by Jephthah. 2
11:29 The Lord’s spirit empowered 3 Jephthah. He passed through Gilead and Manasseh and went 4 to Mizpah in Gilead. From there he approached the Ammonites. 5 11:30 Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, saying, “If you really do hand the Ammonites over to me, 11:31 then whoever is the first to come through 6 the doors of my house to meet me when I return safely from fighting the Ammonites – he 7 will belong to the Lord and 8 I will offer him up as a burnt sacrifice.” 11:32 Jephthah approached 9 the Ammonites to fight with them, and the Lord handed them over to him. 11:33 He defeated them from Aroer all the way to Minnith – twenty cities in all, even as far as Abel Keramim! He wiped them out! 10 The Israelites humiliated the Ammonites. 11
1 tn Heb “did not listen to.”
2 tn Heb “Jephthah’s words which he sent to him.”
3 tn Heb “was on.”
4 tn Heb “passed through.”
5 tn Heb “From Mizpah in Gilead he passed through [to] the Ammonites.”
6 tn Heb “the one coming out, who comes out from.” The text uses a masculine singular participle with prefixed article, followed by a relative pronoun and third masculine singular verb. The substantival masculine singular participle הַיּוֹצֵא (hayyotse’, “the one coming out”) is used elsewhere of inanimate objects (such as a desert [Num 21:13] or a word [Num 32:24]) or persons (Jer 5:6; 21:9; 38:2). In each case context must determine the referent. Jephthah may have envisioned an animal meeting him, since the construction of Iron Age houses would allow for an animal coming through the doors of a house (see R. G. Boling, Judges [AB], 208). But the fact that he actually does offer up his daughter indicates the language of the vow is fluid enough to encompass human beings, including women. He probably intended such an offering from the very beginning, but he obviously did not expect his daughter to meet him first.
7 tn The language is fluid enough to include women and perhaps even animals, but the translation uses the masculine pronoun because the Hebrew form is grammatically masculine.
8 tn Some translate “or,” suggesting that Jephthah makes a distinction between humans and animals. According to this view, if a human comes through the door, then Jephthah will commit him/her to the
9 tn Heb “passed over to.”
10 tn Heb “with a very great slaughter.”
11 tn Heb “The Ammonites were humbled before the Israelites.”