Judges 11:31

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Chet, Feb 3, 2002.

  1. Chet

    Chet
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    ESV = then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering."

    NIV = whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the LORD's, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering."

    NKJV = 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 the LORD's, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering."

    KJV = 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.

    NASU = then it shall be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the sons of Ammon, it shall be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering."

    In the footnotes on this verse Charles C. Ryrie states, <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The latter part of the verse may be translated: "shall surely be the Lord’s (if human being comes first) or I will offer it up for a burnt offering (if an animal appears first)."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If Ryrie is right, then this would make understanding this event better. Is there anyway that this verse could be translated this way? Could the words and I will be translated OR?

    Comments please [​IMG]

    [ February 03, 2002: Message edited by: Chet ]
     
  2. Barnabas H.

    Barnabas H.
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    Charles C. Ryrie is a respected theologian, and for that reason I cannot understand why he would say such a thing in light of what follows in verses 32-40?! [​IMG]
     
  3. Ransom

    Ransom
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    Chet said:

    In the footnotes on this verse Charles C. Ryrie states,

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The latter part of the verse may be translated: "shall surely be the Lord’s (if human being comes first) or I will offer it up for a burnt offering (if an animal appears first)."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    . . . Could the words and I will be translated OR?


    I don't get Ryrie's spin on this verse. The flow of the story seems pretty straightforward to me: Jephthah makes a rash vow to God to offer up the first thing out his door. Little does he know that will be his daughter and only child! The moral of the story: Don't make reckless vows.

    If Ryrie is right, that he was actually saying that if the first thing out the door was a person it would simply be dedicated to the Lord, then he has to explain why Jephthah was so horrified that he rent his clothes and lamented(v. 35); such a reaction seems a bit much if his daughter was merely to become a nun, as it were, but it's in keeping with someone who's just realized the consequences of a foolish oath.

    Nor does it explain why Jephthah's daughter asked for two months to mourn for her virginity before he fulfilled his vow; if she was to remain celibate in the service of God, she had her whole life ahead of her to regret never having any offspring.

    It sounds to me like Ryrie is trying to get around the implication that a leader of Israel was engaging in human sacrifice, and I think thereby he misses the point. That being said, this interpretation isn't exclusive to him. In fact, it goes back a few years: Jamieson, Fausset and Brown mention it, and Adam Clarke is also favourable to it.
     
  4. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Nor does it explain why Jephthah's daughter asked for two months to mourn for her virginity before he fulfilled his vow; if she was to remain celibate in the service of God, she had her whole life ahead of her to regret never having any offspring.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    But I think the virginity thing is partly what fuels it. If she was being offered to service to the Lord, she would never marry, therefor she would mourn her viginity. Otherwise, don't you think she would be mourning the loss of her life instead.

    Perhaps what she means by mourning her viginity is that she never had any sons to carry on her and her people's heritage, so that even though she was going to die she was most mournfull of that. Perhaps that would explain this strange verse.
     
  5. Ransom

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    Pete Richert said:

    But I think the virginity thing is partly what fuels it. If she was being offered to service to the Lord, she would never marry, therefor she would mourn her viginity.

    Right, but that only begs the question: Why set aside two months for this when you've got a whole life of celibacy ahead of you?

    Otherwise, don't you think she would be mourning the loss of her life instead.

    No, she seemed pretty resigned to that (v. 36). But if she were going to die without ever having children, that would be a thing worth mourning in the Jewish culture of the time - as you say:

    Perhaps what she means by mourning her viginity is that she never had any sons to carry on her and her people's heritage, so that even though she was going to die she was most mournfull of that. Perhaps that would explain this strange verse.

    Exactly.
     
  6. Chet

    Chet
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    Thanks for the responses. More thoughts on this:

    First of all God promised deliverance, Jephthah made an unnecessary vow. Why would
    you make such a vow believing that God would deliver? As he is recorded in the hall of
    faith - Heb 11:32. And in Vs 29 it states that the Spirit of the Lord was upon him. What exactly was Jephthah thinking? Could his wife, or friend have walked out that door? And whoever was to walk out that door, do they have a say in the matter? That is one reason I asked if Ryrie had any evidence for his notes. I have read others say it could be translated OR. Like Ransom I wonder if this is an easy way out, or if there is something to it.

    Then Deuteronomy 12:31 says:

    You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshipping their
    gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons
    and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
    NIV

    So would not God have intervened when he went to offer his daughter as a sacrifice as he did with Abraham and Isaac?

    Yet if this was simply a sorrowful event because she would not have children, then it
    seems much that Israel young women would go out for four days to commemorate the
    daughter of Jephthah. Vs 40.

    Eccl 5:1-7
    - Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the [temple] messenger, "My vow was a mistake." Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands?
    NIV


    Incidentally the NLT translates this passage plainly saying she was killed.

    If the moderators feel it best to move this to the Baptist discussions, that might be a better place for this?

    Chet

    [ February 06, 2002: Message edited by: Chet ]
     

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