Showing posts from October, 2017

The Curious Case of Jephthah's Daughter

What exactly did Jephthah do to his daughter? The usual —but by no means universal—view is that he literally sacrificed her (i.e., slit her throat and burned her on an altar ). This seems to be the implication of the text.  Jephthah made a vow to the L ord and said, “Whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the L ord ’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.” Then Jephthah came to his home in Mizpah. And behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances… And [he] did with her according to his vow that he had made (Judges 11:31, 34, 39) If he did indeed put her to death and burn her on the altar, then the episode is a tragic illustration of the morally chaotic period of the Judges. But I don’t think this is what Jephthah did. In the first place, in a variety of ways Jephthah showed himself to be a faithful man. He committed the outcome of his campaign against the Ammonite