Concerning Vows

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Graybeard, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. Graybeard

    Graybeard
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    I've read the Bible through several times and every time I get to Judges the question pops into my mind: Why would Jephthah make such a vow as he did in Judges 11, verses 30 & 31:

    30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,

    31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

    After making the vow, he delivered on it, even though it was his daughter, his only child.

    "Whatsoever cometh forth"......"I will offer it" - Was he expecting an animal to come forth from his house?

    I am reminded of how Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son but God stopped him. I know that didn't involve a vow to do that on Abraham's part and I can't know the mind of God in letting Jephthah fulfill his vow.

    I guess I'm just looking for the rationale behind all this.


    Respectfully, Ellis
     
    #1 Graybeard, Aug 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2009
  2. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    That's a good question. There is some debate about whether Jephthah actually sacrificed his daughter or whether she was going to remain a virgin and childless. There are some good men on both sides.

    I tend to think she was to remain a virgin and his lineage was at an end because of Judges 11:39 -
    But I certainly wouldn't bet more than a penny on it. :tongue3:
     
  3. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Jephthah's foolish vow in a big struggle for me in reading the text of the Old Testament.

    Perhaps the best way I have reconciled this passage is placing the emphasis on taking foolish agreements and vows. In reading, exegeting, and translating the text the only conclusion, imho, that it leads to is that Jephthah did execute his daughter. I think Judges 11:39 is clear on that.

    It is a horrifying scene nonetheless. I don't understand it.

    Yet in the midst of the crisis we can see the power of a vow/agreement, the foolishness of thinking that God demands blood, and the power of purity in life. Think about the power of Jephthah's daughter's testimony about the absolute purity in her life. I think verse 40 demonstrates that.

    Sometimes we ask God for things we cannot handle. We must be vigilant to trust God for His provision and not force a decision that is not in His will. Just my thoughts. This is an incredibly difficult passage. :smilewinkgrin:

    This should bring good conversation...hopefully. :praying:
     
  4. Marcia

    Marcia
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    The account of Jephthah's vow does not mean God endorsed it. This vow is unbiblical. God let him and the daugther suffer the consequences of the vow - this is something that God did in many cases (just look at the exodus and what happened to the families of Korah and those who rebelled with him).

    It seems to me that the vow was a testing of God; maybe Jephthah should have trusted God without making this vow.
     
  5. donnA

    donnA
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    God allows us to suffer our consequences, He does not remove consequences.
    I agree with Marcia.
     
  6. Graybeard

    Graybeard
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    For "donnA" and "Marcia, I don't know how to address a reply to two people at the same time:

    I had concluded about the same thing, examples do abound of God allowing, or I should say, not interfering with, people who do things that are contrary to His will.

    I was talking about this with my 36 year old son and he used the example of "battle field vows", Let me live through this battle God and I will become a Minister". In saying that you are trying to limit God's options. It could just be that His plans for you were neither death nor the ministry.

    Thank you both for your replies. Ellis
     

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