11 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, but he was the son of an unchaste woman,—yet Gilead was the father of Jephthah.
2 And the wife of Gilead bare him sons,—and when the wife’s sons grew up, they thrust out Jephthah and said unto him—Thou shalt not inherit with the house of our father, for son of an alien woman art thou.
3 So Jephthah fled from the face of his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob,—and there gathered about Jephthah unemployed men, who went forth with him.
4 And so it came to pass, after a time,—that the sons of Ammon made war with Israel.
5 When, therefore, it came to pass that the sons of Ammon made war with Israel, then went the elders of Gilead, to summon Jephthah out of the land of Tob.
6 And they said to Jephthah, Oh! come and be our commander,—that we may do battle with the sons of Ammon.
7 But Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, Have not ye hated me, and thrust me out from the house of my father? Wherefore then are ye come unto me, now, when ye are in distress?
8 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah—Therefore, have we now returned unto thee, that if thou go with us, and do battle with the sons of Ammon, then shalt thou become our head, for all the inhabitants of Gilead.
9 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead—If ye do bring me back to do battle with the sons of Ammon, and Yahweh deliver them up before me, shall I myself become your head?
10 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah—Yahweh himself will be hearkening between us, if according to thy word so we do not.
11 Then went Jephthah with the elders of Gilead, and the people set him over them as head and commander,—and Jephthah spake all his words before Yahweh in Mizpah.
12 So then Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the sons of Ammon, saying,—What occasion is there between us, that thou shouldst have come unto me to fight against my land?
13 And the king of the sons of Ammon said unto the messengers of Jephthah—Because Israel took away my land when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even unto the Jabbok and unto the Jordan,—now, therefore, restore them in peace.
14 And Jephthah yet once more sent messengers unto the king of the sons of Ammon;
15 and said unto him, Thus saith Jephthah,—Israel took not away the land of Moab, or the land of the sons of Ammon;
16 for when they came up out of Egypt, and Israel journeyed through the desert as far as the Red Sea, and came in unto Kadesh,
17 then did Israel send messengers unto the king of Edom, saying—Let me pass, I pray thee, through thy land, but the king of Edom hearkened not, unto the king of Moab also sent they, but he would not consent,—so Israel abode in Kadesh.
18 Then journeyed they through the desert, and went round the land of Edom and the land of Moab, and so came from the rising of the sun to the land of Moab, but encamped beyond Arnon,—and entered not within the boundary of Moab, for Arnon is the boundary of Moab.
19 Then did Israel send messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, king of Heshbon,—and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land as far as my own place.
20 But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his boundary, so Sihon gathered together all his people, and encamped in Jahaz,—and fought against Israel.
21 Then did Yahweh, God of Israel, deliver up Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them,—so Israel took possession of all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that land.
22 Yea they took possession of all the territory of the Amorites,—from Arnon, even as far as the Jabbok, and from the desert, even as far as the Jordan.
23 Now, therefore, it was Yahweh God of Israel that dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel,—and shalt thou possess it?
24 What Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess, that wilt thou not possess? and whatsoever Yahweh our God hath set before us to possess, that shall we not possess?
25 Now, therefore, art thou really better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Hath there been any striving at all with Israel, or any fighting at all with them,
26 all the time that Israel hath been dwelling in Heshbon and in her towns, and in Aroer and in her towns, and in all the cities that are on the banks of Arnon,—for three hundred years? Wherefore, then, have ye not made a rescue within that time?
27 I, therefore, have not sinned against thee; but thou art doing me a wrong in fighting against me,—Let Yahweh, the Judge, give judgment to-day, between the sons of Israel and the sons of Ammon!
28 But the king of the sons of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Jephthah which he sent unto him.
29 Then came upon Jephthah the spirit of Yahweh, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh,—and passed through Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed through [unto] the sons of Ammon.
30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto Yahweh, and said,—If thou wilt deliver the sons of Ammon into my hand,
31 then shall it be, that whosoever cometh forth out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return successful from the sons of Ammon, shall belong unto Yahweh, and I will offer him up as an ascending-sacrifice.
32 So then Jephthah passed over unto the sons of Ammon to fight against them,—and Yahweh delivered them into his hand;
33 and he smote them from Aroer even till thou enterest in to Minnith, even twenty cities, and as far as Abel-keramim, with an exceeding great smiting,—and thus were the sons of Ammon subdued before the sons of Israel.
34 Then came Jephthah towards Mizpah unto his own house, and lo! his daughter coming forth to meet him, with timbrels and with dances,—and she was none other than his only child, he had not besides her, either son or daughter.
35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes and said—Alas! my daughter, Thou hast brought me low, Even thou hast come to be among them who trouble me,—Yet, I opened wide my mouth unto Yahweh, and cannot go back.
36 And she said unto him—My father! Thou hast opened wide thy mouth unto Yahweh, Do with me, according to that which hath gone forth out of thy mouth,—After that Yahweh hath exacted for thee an avenging from thine enemies, From the sons of Ammon.
37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me,—Let me alone two months, that I may depart and go down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my companions.
38 And he said—Depart. So he let her go for two months,—and she departed, she and her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.
39 And it came to pass, at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, and he fulfilled on her his vow which he had vowed,—she not having known man. And it became a statute in Israel:—
40 From year to year departed the daughters of Israel, to lament aloud for the daughter of Jephthah, the Gileadite, four days in the year.