Jephthah's daughter

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Robert J Hutton, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. Robert J Hutton

    Robert J Hutton
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    Bearing in mind the strong condemnation of human sacrifices in the Bible, did Jephthah really kill his own daughter (Judges 11)? If not, what did he do?

    Bob

    PS If this has been discussed before please accept my apologies and give details of the thread. Thank you.
     
  2. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    What a sad, sad story. But it is more a story of making a promise and keeping your word, rather than of human sacrifice. It could just as likely been a dog or other animal that might have greeted him as he returned home. Also it is a story to remind us of the trouble we can get into when we bargain with God.
    The bright, but bittersweet part of the story is his daughter's willingness to allow her father to carry out his oath. Reminds me a little of Isaac, but in that instance, God made the request as a test, and provided a substitute.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    I have always believed this tragic story to be about we as children of God learning to keep our fat mouths shut.

    He didn't kill his daughter in the same manner as pagans who deliberately and in the name of false gods sacrificed their children, but he is nonethless solely responsible for her death. His boasting of his willingness to sacrifice anything got him in trouble.

    Will we sacrifice anything?

    Or do we just like to puff up and brag about what we would do if given the opportunity?

    Jephthah was given the opportunity alright......

    Peace-

    YSIC
    Scarlett O. [​IMG]
    <><
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    Bible says he did. Settles it for me.

    Certainly not in MY sensibilities or what I would do. But he made a terrible vow and kept it.

    As would have Avra'am with his son Y'itsak who also knew all about the evils of human sacrifice.
     
  5. rsr

    rsr
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    The difference between the story of Abraham and Isaac and this story is that God asked for the sacrifice in the first case; in the second, God did not ask and the text never said He wanted it.

    I suspect, but I surely have no proof, that Jephthah, though a judge, was modeling his behavior on Canaanite practices.

    This, BTW, is an excellent example of the reliability of scripture. Why on earth would such a case of human sacrifice — not sanctioned by God — be put in writing as the word of God when a divine sanction could have easily been manufactured?
     
  6. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
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    Good point. Had the Bible been written by man, this would definitely be one story that would have been left out. I believe that it also shows the total depravity of man and what he is capable of when God is left out.
     
  7. JonathanDT

    JonathanDT
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    I'm not so sure.

    1. Because God abhors human sacrifice.
    2. Because it never actually says he killed her.
    3. Because she went to the mountains to weep for her virginity, not her life.

    I think it's possible she was offered as a sacrifice to God in much the same way Samuel was, or a nun is today.
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    Did a study on it, Jonathan, and that is the view of many who want to think "sacrifice" does not mean "sacrifice". Term here is blood offering - death.

    Wept that she did not have children to carry on the name and family (her 'virginity' is a euphemism for not being married and having a family - no children was the greatest CURSE of Jewish women).

    Maybe it shows how important our vows - though foolish - truly are.
     
  9. lindell dunning1

    lindell dunning1
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    Friend Robert,
    The man Jephthah's vow was to sacrifice As a burnt offering or sacrifice whatever came out of the house to meet him. So making a vow wasn't hasty nor was it out of line with the religious crowd.It was a common practise that men did so in the Old Testament. He seems to have been a man who walked with the Lord. He spent time in prayer,he gave the adversary a short history lesson,and the Spirit of the Lord was on him. You would think that these were pretty good credentials.
    So now all of a sudden,he is going to break the Ten Commandments by killing,or having his daughter killed contrary to the Lord whom he worships. So now he must bring her before the Levites and the sons of Aaron to prepare her for the altar. Either he or one of the Levites must slay her,dismember her parts,take certain ones out,wash her entrails with water,and burn her on the altar. So Jephthah has to have others involved in carrying out his oath if his intent is to bring her life to a close. I suppose the priests would have no quarrel in carrying out this request,or would they?
    Then when you look at Hebrews 11,you would find this supposed fiend listed among the cream of the crop of faithful men,so perhaps the Lord sanctioned his act or just winked an eye.
    Jonathan appears to have the correct conclusion to the matter for it brought his posterity to an end. Is it a sad situation? I don't think so. It shows me that both he and the girl had a relationship with the Lord that they wanted to maintain in spite of the cost.
    The writer of Judges does tell of a horrendous event in Chapter 19 that knocked the socks off all Israel. He says that nothing like this event in Chapter 19 had ever happened in Israel since the exodus,so if he believed that Jephthah had hacked up his own daughter or had her hacked up, it seems like he or some of the people would have been appalled then,and he would have mentioned it. Perhaps not,but you'd think so.
     

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