Judges 11

1 Now Yiftach the Giladite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of a harlot; and Gilad begat Yiftach.

2 And Gilad’s wife bare him sons; and his wife’s sons grew up, and they thrust out Yiftach, and said unto him, You shalt not inherit in our father’s house; for you are the son of a strange woman.

3 Then Yiftach fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob; and there were gathered vain men to Yiftach, and went out with him.

4 And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Yisrael.

5 And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Yisrael, the elders of Gilad went to fetch Yiftach out of the land of Tob.

6 And they said unto Yiftach, “Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.”

7 And Yiftach said unto the elders of Gilad, “Did not you hate me, and expel me out of my father’s house? And why are you come unto me now when you are in distress?”

8 And the elders of Gilad said unto Yiftach, “Therefore we turn again to you now, that you mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilad.”

9 And Yiftach said unto the elders of Gilad, “If you bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and יהוה deliver them before me, shall I be your head?”

10 And the elders of Gilad said unto Yiftach, “יהוה  be witness between

us, if we do not so according to your words.”

11 Then Yiftach went with the elders of Gilad, and the people made him head and captain over them; and Yiftach uttered all his words before יהוה in Mizpeh.

12 And Yiftach sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, “What have you to do with me, that you are come against me to fight in my land?”

13 And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Yiftach, “Because Yisrael took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt (Mitsrayim), from Arnon even unto Yabok, and unto Jordan (Yarden). Now therefore restore those lands again peaceably.”

14 And Yiftach sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon;

15 And said unto him, “Thus saith Yiftach: ‘Yisrael took not away the land of Moav, nor the land of the children of Ammon;

16 But when Yisrael came up from Egypt (Mitsrayim), and walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and came to Qadesh;

17 Then Yisrael sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, “Please let me pass through your land.” But the king of Edom would not hearken thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moav; but he would not consent; and Yisrael abode in Qadesh.

18 Then they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moav, and came by the east side of the land of Moav, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moav; for Arnon was the border of Moav.

19 And Yisrael sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Yisrael said unto him, “Please let us pass through your land into my place.”

20 But Sihon trusted not Yisrael to pass through his coast; but Sihon gathered all his people together, and pitched in Yahaz, and fought against Yisrael.

21 And יהוה God of Israel (Elohei Yisrael) delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Yisrael, and they smote them; so Yisrael possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country.

22 And they possessed all the coasts of the Amorites, from Arnon even unto Yabok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan (Yarden).

23 So now יהוה God of Israel (Elohei Yisrael) hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Yisrael, and shouldest you possess it?

24 Wilt not you possess that which Chemosh your God (Elohim) giveth you to possess? So whomsoever יהוה our God (Elohim) shall drive out from before us, them will we possess.

25 And now are you any thing better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moav? Did he ever strive against Yisrael, or did he ever fight against them,

26 While Yisrael 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 you not recover them within that time?

27 Wherefore I have not sinned against you, but you doest me wrong to war against me. יהוה the Judge be judge this day between the children of Yisrael and the children of Ammon.’”

28 Howbeit the king of the children of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Yiftach which he sent him.

29 Then the Spirit of יהוה came upon Yiftach, and he passed over Gilad, and Menashsheh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilad, and from Mizpeh of Gilad he passed over unto the children of Ammon.

30 And Yiftach vowed a vow unto יהוה, and said, “If you shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,

31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be יהוה’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”

32 So Yiftach passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and יהוה delivered them into his hands.

33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till you come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Yisrael.

34 And Yiftach came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances; and she was his only child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter.

35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you are one of them that trouble me; for I have opened my mouth unto יהוה, and I cannot go back.”

36 And she said unto him, “My father, if you have opened your mouth unto יהוה, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of your mouth; forasmuch as יהוה hath taken vengeance for you of your enemies, even of the children of Ammon.”

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 bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.”

38 And he said, “Go.” And he sent her away for two months; and she went with 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, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed; and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Yisrael,

40 That the daughters of Yisrael went yearly to lament the daughter of Yiftach the Giladite four days in a year.