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Judges 11:8-9

Context
11:8 The leaders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “That may be true, 1  but now we pledge to you our loyalty. 2  Come with us and fight with the Ammonites. Then you will become the leader 3  of all who live in Gilead.” 4  11:9 Jephthah said to the leaders of Gilead, “All right! 5  If you take me back to fight with the Ammonites and the Lord gives them to me, 6  I will be your leader.” 7 

1 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 (lokhen).

2 tn Heb “we have returned to you.” For another example of שׁוּב אֶל (shuvel) in the sense of “give allegiance to,” see 1 Kgs 12:27b.

3 sn Then you will become the leader. The leaders of Gilead now use the word רֹאשׁ (rosh, “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.

4 tn Heb “leader of us and all who live in Gilead.”

5 tn “All right” is supplied in the translation for clarification.

6 tn Heb “places them before me.”

7 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.



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