Wednesday 24th April 2019 Prayer Devotion
Scripture Reading:- Judges 11:29-40
Topic:- Did Jephthah Actually Sacrificed His Daughter?
Text:- Judges 11:30-31
The vow of Jephthah has caused much concern for many Bible Scholars. If no other considerations are brought into the discussion, the language of this passage would naturally lead one to believe that Jephthan actually did offer his daughter sacrifice to the Lord.
Most Conservative Commentators on the contrary, hold that Jephthah did not actually put his daughter to death, but dedicated her to the service of the Lord.
There are two major areas of discussion relative to the vow. The first deals with the whether Jephthah actually intended a human sacrifice when he made the vow. Some would attempt to prove by the choice of words used in the vow that he did intend a human sacrifice. However, it must be pointed out that this was only one of the possibilities according to the usage of the word ‘whatsoever’. Otherwise, if he had intended to a human sacrifice, why would he have been so surprised and distraught when his daughter became the object of the vow. See Judges 11:35.
Also, Jephthah knew the Law well enough that he could not have ignorant of the fact that God did not allow human sacrifice. Furthermore, he would have been doubly guilty since he had no other Children, and he knew that sacrifices to Jehovah were to be exclusively of the Male Gender. Jephthah’s apprehension concerning the coming battle with the Children of Ammon caused him to word his vow hastily and leave open the possibility of a human sacrifice. See Judges 11:34.
The second problem is whether Jephthah actually did take his own daughter’s life. It would have been next to impossible for Jephthah to have found a Priest who would perform such a sacrifice. The idea expressed by Conservative Scholars is that if this were true, Jephthah would not have been included in the Heroes of Faith. See Hebrews 11:32.
Furthermore, would it be proper to commend Jephthah if he had broken God’s Laws in such a serious matter? To say that his daughter spent her last two Months of life up in the Mountains with her Friends rather than with her Mourning Father would have been peculiar.
In addition to this, why is it that she bemoans her Virginity rather than with her short life? The phrase, “And she knew no man” would be meaningless if her life was taken. It would seem more logical to assume that she was to be wholly given to the Service of the Lord where she must continue in her Virginity. See Luke 2:36-38.
The most sensible explanation of these events then would be that Jephthah did not actually perform a human sacrifice because he knew and obeyed God’s Laws even though, according to His original vow, this would have been the result. The phrase stating that he, “Did with her according to his vow,” does not actually state that he took her life, but that Jephthah Dedicated her to the Lord.
Why the discussion on Jephthah and his vow, is for us to know that our vow must be redeemed once we vow. Also, God is much interested when you make a vow to Him, He will make sure He did His own bidding while expecting yours to be kept.
1. I command every battle confronting me, crash land and catch fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.
2. Oh Lord my God, let people know that the God that is alive is the God I’m serving, in the name of Jesus Christ.
3. Oh Lord my God! After settling me, I will return all glory unto You, in the name of Jesus Christ.