Judges 11 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Judges 11)
11:2 And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou [art] the son of a a strange woman.

(a) That is, of a harlot as in (Judges 11:1).

11:3 Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of b Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and c went out with him.

(b) Where the governor of the country was called Tob.
(c) Joined with him, as some think, against his brethren.

11:5 And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the d elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob:

(d) Or, ambassadors, sent for that purpose.

11:6 And they said unto Jephthah, e Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.

(e) Men are often forced to ask for help from them, whom before they refused.

11:7 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and f expel me out of my father's house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress?

(f) Often those things which men reject, God chooses to do great enterprises by.

11:20 But Sihon g trusted not Israel to pass through his coast: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and pitched in Jahaz, and fought against Israel.

(g) He trusted them not to go through his country.

11:24 Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomsoever the h LORD our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess.

(h) For we should believe and obey God more than you your idols.

11:26 While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that [be] along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover i [them] within that time?

(i) Meaning their towns.

11:27 Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge k be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.

(k) To punish the offender.

11:29 Then the l Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over [unto] the children of Ammon.

(l) That is, the spirit of strength and zeal.

11:30 And Jephthah m vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,

(m) As the apostle commends Jephthah for his worthy enterprise in delivering the people, (Hebrews 11:32) so by his rash vow and wicked performance of the same, his victory was defaced: and here we see that the sins of the godly do not utterly extinguish their faith.

11:34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with n timbrels and with dances: and she [was his] only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.

(n) According to the manner after the victory.

11:35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he o rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back.

(o) Being overcome with blind zeal, and not considering whether the vow was lawful or not.

11:37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and p bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.

(p) For it was counted as a shame in Israel, to die without children, and therefore they rejoiced to be married.