Chapter 11: Yephthah the Eighth Judge of the Book of Judges
1 Now Yephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor but he was the son of a harlot and Gilead begot Yephthah. 2 Gilead’s wife bore sons and when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove Yephthah out and said to him, “You shall have no inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman”. 3 Then Yephthah fled from his brothers and dwelt in the land of Tob and worthless men banded together with Yephthah and went out raiding with him.
4 It came to pass after a time that the people of Ammon made war against Ysrayl. 5 And so it was, when the people of Ammon made war against Ysrayl, that the elders of Gilead went to get Yephthah from the land of Tob. 6 Then they said to Yephthah, “Come and be our commander, that we may fight against the people of Ammon”. 7 So Yephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “Did you not hate me and expel me from my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress”? 8 And the elders of Gilead said to Yephthah, “That is why we have turned again to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the people of Ammon and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead”. 9 So Yephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you take me back home to fight against the people of Ammon and Yah delivers them to me, shall I be your head”? 10 And the elders of Gilead said to Yephthah, “Yah will be a witness between us, if we do not do according to your words”. 11 Then Yephthah went with the elders of Gilead and the people made him head and commander over them and Yephthah spoke all his words before Yah in Mizpah.
12 Now Yephthah sent messengers to the king of the people of Ammon saying, “What do you have against me, that you have come to fight against me in my land”? 13 And the king of the people of Ammon answered the messengers of Yephthah, “Because Ysrayl took away my land when they came up to the Yordan. Now therefore, restore those lands peaceably”. 14 So Yephthah again sent messengers to the king of the people of Ammon–15 And said to him, “Thus says Yephthah: ‘Ysrayl did not take away the land of Moab nor the land of the people of Ammon–16 For when Ysrayl came up from Egypt, they walked through the wilderness as far as the Red Sea and came to Kadesh’. 17 Then Ysrayl sent messengers to the king of Edom saying, ‘Please let me pass through your land’. But the king of Edom would not heed. And in like manner they sent to the king of Moab but he would not consent. So Ysrayl remained in Kadesh. 18 And they went along through the wilderness and bypassed the land of Edom and the land of Moab, came to the east side of the land of Moab and encamped on the other side of the Arnon. But they did not enter the border of Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab. 19 Then Ysrayl sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, king of Heshbon and Ysrayl said to him, ‘Please let us pass through your land into our place’. 20 But Sihon did not trust Ysrayl to pass through his territory. So Sihon gathered all his people together, encamped in Yahaz and fought against Ysrayl. 21 And Yah Father of Ysrayl delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Ysrayl and they defeated them. Thus Ysrayl gained possession of all the land of the Amorites, who inhabited that country. 22 They took possession of all the territory of the Amorites, from the Arnon to the Yabbok and from the wilderness to the Yordan. 23 And not Yah Almighty of Ysrayl has dispossessed the Amorites from before His people, Ysrayl. Should you then possess it? 24 Will you not possess whatever Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So whatever Yah our Power takes possession of before us, we will possess. 25 And now, are you any better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever strive against Ysrayl? Did he ever fight against them? 26 While Ysrayl dwelt in Heshbon and its villages, in Aroer and its villages and in all the cities along the banks of the Arnon, for three hundred years, why did you not recover them within that time? 27 Therefore, I have not sinned against you but you wronged me by fighting against me. May Yah, the Judge, render judgment this day between the children of Ysrayl and the people of Ammon”. 28 However, the king of the people of Ammon did not heed the words which Yephthah sent him.
Yephthah’s Vow and Victory
29 Then the Spirit of Yah came upon Yephthah and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh and passed through Mizpah of Gilead and from Mizpah of Gilead he advanced toward the people of Ammon. 30 And Yephthah made a vow to Yah and said, “If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands–31 Then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon shall surely be Yah’s and I will offer it up as a burnt offering”. 32 So Yephthah adavanced toward the people of Ammon to fight against them and Yah delivered them into his hands. 33 And he defeated them from Aroer as far as Minnith–twenty cities–and to Abyl Keramim (Literally Plain of Vineyards) with a very great slaughter. Thus the people of Ammon were subdued before the children of Ysrayl.
34 When Yephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 And it came to pass, when he saw her that he tore his clothes and said, “Alas, my daugther! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to Yah and I cannot go back on it”. 36 So she said to him, “My father, if you have given your word to Yah, do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth because Yah has avenged you of your enemies, the people of Ammon”. 37 Then she said to her father, “Let this thing be done for me. Let me alone for two months, that I may go and wander on the mountains and bewail my virginity, my friends and I”. 38 So he said, “Go”. And he sent her away for two months and she went with her friends and bewailed her virginity on the mountains. 39 And it was so at the end of two months that she returned to her father and he carried out his vow with her which he had vowed. She knew no man. And it became a custom in Ysrayl–40 That the daughters of Ysrayl went four days each year to lament the daughter of Yephthah the Gileadite.
Chapter 12: Yephthah’s Conflict with Ephraim
1 Then the men of Ephraim gathered together, crossed over toward Zaphon and said to Yephthah, “Why did you cross over to fight against the people of Ammon and did not call us to go with you? We will burn your house down on you with fire”! 2 And Yephthah said to them, “My people and I were in a great struggle with the people of Ammon and when I called you, you did not deliver me out of their hands. 3 So when I saw that you would not deliver me, I took my life in my hands and crossed over against the people of Ammon and Yah delivered them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me”? 4 Now Yephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead and fought against Ephraim. And the men of Gilead defeated Ephraim because they said, “You Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites and among the Manassites”. 5 The Gileadites seized the fords of the Yordan before the Ephraimites arrived. And when any Ephraimite who escaped said, “Let me cross over” the men of Gilead would say to him, “Are you an Ephraimite”? If he said, “No”.–6 Then they would say to him, “Then say, ‘Shibboleth‘!’ And he would say ‘Sibboleth‘ for he could not pronounce it right. Then they would take him and kill him at the fords of the Yordan. There fell at that time forty-two thousand Ephraimites. 7 And Yephthah judged Ysrayl six years. Then Yephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in among the cities of Gilead.
Ibzan: The Ninth Judge of the Book of Judges
8 After him, Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Ysrayl. 9 He had thirty sons. And he gave away thirty daughters in marriage and brought in thirty daughters from elsewhere for his sons. He judged Ysrayl seven years. 10 Ibzan died and was buried at Bethlehem.
Ylon: The Tenth Judge of the Book of Judges
11 After him, Ylon the Zebulonite judged Ysrayl. He judged Ysrayl ten years. 12 And Ylon the Zebulonites died and was buried at Aiyalon the country of Zebulon.
Abdon: The Eleventh Judge of the Book of Judges
13 After him, Abdon the son of Hilliyah the Pirathonite judged Ysrayl. 14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons who rode on seventy young donkeys. He judged Ysrayl eight years. 15 Then Abdon the son of Hilliyah the Pirathonite died and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mountains of the Amalekites.