11:5 When the Ammonites attacked, 1 the leaders 2 of Gilead asked Jephthah to come back 3 from the land of Tob. 11:6 They said, 4 “Come, be our commander, so we can fight with the Ammonites.” 11:7 Jephthah said to the leaders of Gilead, “But you hated me and made me leave 5 my father’s house. Why do you come to me now, when you are in trouble?” 11:8 The leaders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “That may be true, 6 but now we pledge to you our loyalty. 7 Come with us and fight with the Ammonites. Then you will become the leader 8 of all who live in Gilead.” 9 11:9 Jephthah said to the leaders of Gilead, “All right! 10 If you take me back to fight with the Ammonites and the Lord gives them to me, 11 I will be your leader.” 12 11:10 The leaders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “The Lord will judge any grievance you have against us, 13 if we do not do as you say.” 14 11:11 So Jephthah went with the leaders of Gilead. The people made him their leader and commander. Jephthah repeated the terms of the agreement 15 before the Lord in Mizpah.
11:12 Jephthah sent messengers to the Ammonite king, saying, “Why have 16 you come against me to attack my land?” 11:13 The Ammonite king said to Jephthah’s messengers, “Because Israel stole 17 my land when they 18 came up from Egypt – from the Arnon River in the south to the Jabbok River in the north, and as far west as the Jordan. 19 Now return it 20 peaceably!”
1 tn Heb “When the Ammonites fought with Israel.”
2 tn Or “elders.”
3 tn Heb “went to take Jephthah.”
4 tn Heb “to Jephthah.”
5 tn Heb “Did you not hate me and make me leave?”
6 tn Heb “therefore”; “even so.” For MT לָכֵן (lakhen, “therefore”) the LXX has an opposite reading, “not so,” which seems to be based on the Hebrew words לֹא כֵן (lo’ khen).
8 sn Then you will become the leader. The leaders of Gilead now use the word רֹאשׁ (ro’sh, “head, leader”), the same term that appeared in their original, general offer (see 10:18). In their initial offer to Jephthah they had simply invited him to be their קָצִין (qatsin, “commander”; v. 6). When he resists they must offer him a more attractive reward – rulership over the region. See R. G. Boling, Judges (AB), 198.
9 tn Heb “leader of us and all who live in Gilead.”
10 tn “All right” is supplied in the translation for clarification.
11 tn Heb “places them before me.”
12 tn Some translate the final statement as a question, “will I really be your leader?” An affirmative sentence is preferable. Jephthah is repeating the terms of the agreement in an official manner. In v. 10 the leaders legally agree to these terms.
14 sn The
15 tn Heb “spoke all his words.” This probably refers to the “words” recorded in v. 9. Jephthah repeats the terms of the agreement at the
16 tn Heb “What to me and to you that…?”
17 tn Or “took”; or “seized.”
18 tn Heb “he” (a collective singular).
19 tn Heb “from the Arnon to the Jabbok and to the Jordan.” The word “River” has been supplied in the translation with “Arnon” and “Jabbok,” because these are less familiar to modern readers than the Jordan.
20 tc The translation assumes a singular suffix (“[return] it”); the Hebrew text has a plural suffix (“[return] them”), which, if retained, might refer to the cities of the land.
21 tn Or “take”; or “seize.”