Jephthah

   Whom God sets free, or the breaker through, a "mighty man of valour" who delivered Israel from the oppression of the Ammonites (Judg. 11:1-33), and judged Israel six years (12:7). He has been described as "a wild, daring, Gilead mountaineer, a sort of warrior Elijah." After forty-five years of comparative quiet Israel again apostatized, and in "process of time the children of Ammon made war against Israel" (11:5). In their distress the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob, to which he had fled when driven out wrongfully by his brothers from his father's inheritance (2), and the people made him their head and captain. The "elders of Gilead" in their extremity summoned him to their aid, and he at once undertook the conduct of the war against Ammon. Twice he sent an embassy to the king of Ammon, but in vain. War was inevitable. The people obeyed his summons, and "the spirit of the Lord came upon him." Before engaging in war he vowed that if successful he would offer as a "burnt-offering" whatever would come out of the door of his house first to meet him on his return. The defeat of the Ammonites was complete. "He smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards [Heb. Abel Keramim], with a very great slaughter" (Judg. 11:33). The men of Ephraim regarded themselves as insulted in not having been called by Jephthah to go with him to war against Ammon. This led to a war between the men of Gilead and Ephraim (12:4), in which many of the Ephraimites perished. (See Shibboleth.) "Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead" (7).

Easton's Bible Dictionary. . 1897.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • JEPHTHAH — (Heb. חָתְפִיּ), judge of Israel for six years and victor over the Ammonites (Judg. 11:1–12:7). According to Judges, Jephthah was the son of a harlot, and his father s name is given as Gilead. Jephthah is described as a Gileadite warrior. After… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Jephthah — (also spelled Jephtha; from Hebrew יפתח Yiftach / YipthaIPA|χ) is a character in the Hebrew Bible s Book of Judges, serving as a judge over Israel for a period of six years ( Judges 12:7). He lived in Gilead and was a member of the Tribe of… …   Wikipedia

  • Jephthah — biblical judge of Israel, from Gk. Iephthae, from Heb. Yiphtah, lit. God opens, imperf. of pathah he opened (Cf. pethah opening, entrance ) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Jephthah — [jef′thə] n. [Heb Yiphtáh, lit., God opens] Bible a judge who sacrificed his daughter in fulfillment of a vow: Judg. 11:30 40 …   English World dictionary

  • Jephthah — /jef theuh/, n. a judge of Israel. Judges 11, 12. * * * ▪ Hebrew leader       a judge or regent (often a hero figure) of Israel who dominates a narrative in the Book of Judges, where he is presented as an exemplar of faith for Israel in its… …   Universalium

  • Jephthah — An Israelite ‘Judge’ for six years, probably in the century before the establishment of the monarchy of Saul (c.1050 BCE). After a period of exile, Jephthah was recalled to Gilead by the elders and persuaded to lead an expedition against the… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • Jephthah — (fl. c. 12th cent, BCE)    Israelite judge. When Gilead was threatened by the Ammonites, he went to war against them. Before he engaged in battle, he vowed to sacrifice to God whatever came first from his house should he return safely. To his… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • JEPHTHAH —    one of the Judges of Israel, famed for his rash vow in the event of victory to offer in sacrifice the first object that came out of his house on his return, and which happened to be his daughter and only child, and whom it would seem he… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Jephthah — /ˈdʒɛfθə/ (say jefthuh) noun Bible a judge of Israel. Judges 11–14 …   Australian English dictionary

  • Jephthah — /jef theuh/, n. a judge of Israel. Judges 11, 12 …   Useful english dictionary

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