human sacrifice by Israelites

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by slow to learn, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. slow to learn

    slow to learn
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    What do you think of this passage in Judges 11
    30And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, 31Then 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. 32So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands. 33And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel. 34And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. 35And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back. 36And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon. 37And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows. 38And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains. 39And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel, 40That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.
     
  2. OldRegular

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    Human sacrifice is not acceptable to God. If God had intended to allow Jephthah to sacrifice his daughter he either would not have given Jephthah the victory or allowed the daughter to come out of the house.

    This story demonstrates that care should be taken in making vows to God.
     
  3. Me4Him

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    Jews don't believe in a "Human Sacrifice" for sin either, as Jesus represented in the "Passover Lamb", they don't consider the Passover as an "Offering for sin", only the "ScapeGoat" and "Goat killed" in the day of atonement.

    A major problem for them in accepting Jesus as "Messiah".
     
  4. Helen

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    slow to learn: the Bible records things that happened. That does not always make what happened biblical, in the sense of being right, however. People can do some pretty horrid things, and some of them are recorded in the Bible. That does not make them God's will for people to do, though.
     
  5. Marcia

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    The passage shows what can happen when one makes a foolish vow.
     
  6. robycop3

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    Seems Jephthah was the most-troubled of the judges. He was Gilead's son by a whore, and when Gilead's wife had other sons, they chased Jephthah from their home.(As if HE had any say-so over the circumstances of his conception!) After his exile, he gathered other displaced men around him and became a mighty warrior and battle captain.But when the Ammonites made war with Israel, beginning with Gilead, his relatives went to him, begging his help because they knew of no one else suitable to lead them into battle.(Notice they didn't call upon GOD!)

    Jephthah was greatly troubled by the results of his rash vow. Although he appeared righteous to a degree, his faith was a little weak, as he didn't simply ask God for a battle plan w/o making any vow. Apparently his daughter was righteous because she simply submitted to her father's vow w/o any protest recorded in Scripture, since his vow was to GOD.

    Apparently the rest of Ephraim was wroth with Jephthah because he hadn't called upon them to help when he marched against Ammon, and they threatened him. But Jephthah reminded them that when Ammon had first attacked, it was Gilead who was their first target, and that Ephraim had failed to come help them then. Also, Ephraim had considered the clan of Gilead "fugitives" from their tribe. But die to this, and due to the threat against himself, Jephthah rallied Gilead and gave Ephraim a sound whupping, killing many of them.

    Then J judged Israel only 6 years before he died. There are stories I read long ago and far away that he never recovered from having to sacrifice his only child, and died of a broken heart.

    There are several lessons to be learned from this. First is the obvious one to not make foolish vows. Second is to not criticize someone of "illegitimate" birth...Such a person had ABSOLUTELY NO SAY-SO over the circumstances of his/her birth. Third is not to beard a lion in its den, kick a sleeping dog, etc. Had the Ephraimites simply left Jephthah alone, nothing else woulda happened...but THEY journeyed to HIM, reviling and THREATENING him in his own land, as well as all Gileadites in general. That was NOT a wise thing to do, as Gilead had just returned from a resounding defeat of Ammon, and were still fully prepared for war. The equivalent might be that Iran would threaten the USA immediately after the USA forces had just finished defeating Saddam's armies and were at Iran's doorstep fully ready to fight again if needed.

    And last...Jephthah was obviously a flawed and troubled man, but GOD still used him to accomplish His will.(I believe Ephraim had become quite sinful and proud, and that God had decided to humble them.)
     
  7. OldRegular

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    Jesus Christ was both God and man, a significant difference.
     
  8. Petrel

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    Next question: Should Jephthah have been executed for murder?
     
  9. slow to learn

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    it appears to me petrel that there is no evidence that anyone deemed his actions inappropriate. as a matter of fact he kept his job and place of authority
     
  10. Marcia

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    Keep in mind this is in the book of Judges, when men "did what was right in their own eyes." It's a book full of man's turning away from God and God intervening with a few people to remind them of Him.
     
  11. El_Guero

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    TWO things:

    First, a man and his wrong actions are not God's responsibility.
    Second, there is no record that I am aware of that the woman was cut up and burned.
     
  12. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Roby

    I think I understand your first point

    [1] I think I get this one
    [2] What does
    have to do with criticism?
    [3] let a sleeping dog lay - OK
    [4] the Ephraimites CAUSED Jephthah to rebell against God? I do not get that one.
     
  13. rjprince

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    First, re Jephthah, as noted by EG, there is no record that Jephthah’s sacrifice of his daughter involved her death. Some commentators believe that he sacrificed the right for her to be given in marriage and thereby give him grandchildren. This is by no means an easy passage.

    Second, re child sacrifice in Israel, the Jews most certainly did practice this abomination. It was known as “causing your child to pass through the fire to Molech” (Lev 18:21; Deut 18:10; 2Kings 16:3; 17:17; 21:6). It was a common practice among the inhabitants of the land prior to the partial conquest. Israel’s incomplete obedience in the matter of driving out and killing the Canaanites resulted in the Jews adopting and participating in the worship of the abominations of the heathen. In fact, it was Solomon who built “an high place” “for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon” (1Kings 11:7) because his wives had turned away his heart after other gods (1Kings 11:3-4).

    Josiah “defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech” (2Kings 23:10).

    If I recall correctly it is Josephus who tells of the legend still alive in his day that during the days of Israel’s worst idolatry, one could stand on the steps of Solomon’s Temple and hear the screams of the children being sacrificed, burned alive to Molech (aka Milcom, and Malcam).

    Child sacrifice in Israel? Sadly, yes. The Biblical record is clear on that. It is less clear on whether Jephthah slew his daughter as a result of his foolish vow, imho.
     

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