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Judges 11:39-40

Context
11:39 After two months she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. She died a virgin. 1  Her tragic death gave rise to a custom in Israel. 2  11:40 Every year 3  Israelite women commemorate 4  the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite for four days. 5 

1 tn Heb “She had never known a man.” Some understand this to mean that her father committed her to a life of celibacy, but the disjunctive clause (note the vav + subject + verb pattern) more likely describes her condition at the time the vow was fulfilled. (See G. F. Moore, Judges [ICC], 302-3; C. F. Burney, Judges, 324.) She died a virgin and never experienced the joys of marriage and motherhood.

2 tn Heb “There was a custom in Israel.”

3 tn Heb “From days to days,” a Hebrew idiom for “annually.”

4 tn Heb “go to commemorate.” The rare Hebrew verb תָּנָה (tanah, “to tell; to repeat; to recount”) occurs only here and in 5:11.

5 tn The Hebrew text adds, “in the year.” This is redundant (note “every year” at the beginning of the verse) and has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.



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