Bible Articles on the Topic of Jephthah sacrificed his daughter

The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.

Jephthah’s Vow

As [Jephthah] approached his home [following his great victory] the maidens of the town came forth, according to the custom of the time, to greet the mighty man of valour with songs and dances. In this way, Miriam and the women of Israel had celebrated the destruction of Pharaoh’s host in the Red Sea (Exodus 15:20); and later, David’s victories over the Philistines were acclaimed in the same fashion (1 Samuel 18:6).

The Fate of Jephthah’s Daughter

Did Jephthah actually sacrifice his only daughter, or did here merely dedicate her to a celibate service, perhaps at the Tabernacle? What are the arguments, pro and con? The following is a summary of the more cogent points in favor of each side:

James Moffatt and Jephthah’s Vow

A Canadian reader sends us the following contribution to the examination of this subject, and we are glad to have this further view-point. He writes:—

Rethinking Jephthah’s Foolish Vow

Most Christians struggle to understand the narratives recorded in the book of Judges. Consider the opening account where Adonai Bezek is captured by the tribe of Judah, humiliated by having his thumbs and big toes cut off, and then dies in Jerusalem. What about Gideon’s fleece in Judges 6, or Samson’s repeated relationships with illicit women in Judges 14–16? How do we understand and explain such difficult texts? Do we ask, “Who are the Adonai Bezek’s in your life?” or “What would Samson do?” Maybe it would be better to “dare to be a Gideon,” but I don’t think so.