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Judges 11 - NIV

1 Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior. His father was Gilead; his mother was a prostitute.

2 Gilead’s wife also bore him sons, and when they were grown up, they drove Jephthah away. “You are not going to get any inheritance in our family,” they said, “because you are the son of another woman.”

3 So Jephthah fled from his brothers and settled in the land of Tob, where a gang of scoundrels gathered around him and followed him.

4 Some time later, when the Ammonites were fighting against Israel,

5 the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob.

6 “Come,” they said, “be our commander, so we can fight the Ammonites.”

7 Jephthah said to them, “Didn’t you hate me and drive me from my father’s house? Why do you come to me now, when you’re in trouble?”

8 The elders of Gilead said to him, “Nevertheless, we are turning to you now; come with us to fight the Ammonites, and you will be head over all of us who live in Gilead.”

9 Jephthah answered, “Suppose you take me back to fight the Ammonites and the Lord gives them to me—will I really be your head?”

10 The elders of Gilead replied, “The Lord is our witness; we will certainly do as you say.”

11 So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them. And he repeated all his words before the Lord in Mizpah.

12 Then Jephthah sent messengers to the Ammonite king with the question: “What do you have against me that you have attacked my country?”

13 The king of the Ammonites answered Jephthah’s messengers, “When Israel came up out of Egypt, they took away my land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, all the way to the Jordan. Now give it back peaceably.”

14 Jephthah sent back messengers to the Ammonite king,

15 saying:
“This is what Jephthah says: Israel did not take the land of Moab or the land of the Ammonites.

16 But when they came up out of Egypt, Israel went through the wilderness to the Red Sea[a] and on to Kadesh.

17 Then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, ‘Give us permission to go through your country,’ but the king of Edom would not listen. They sent also to the king of Moab, and he refused. So Israel stayed at Kadesh.

18 “Next they traveled through the wilderness, skirted the lands of Edom and Moab, passed along the eastern side of the country of Moab, and camped on the other side of the Arnon. They did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was its border.

19 “Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon, and said to him, ‘Let us pass through your country to our own place.’

20 Sihon, however, did not trust Israel[b] to pass through his territory. He mustered all his troops and encamped at Jahaz and fought with Israel.

21 “Then the Lord, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and his whole army into Israel’s hands, and they defeated them. Israel took over all the land of the Amorites who lived in that country,

22 capturing all of it from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the desert to the Jordan.

23 “Now since the Lord, the God of Israel, has driven the Amorites out before his people Israel, what right have you to take it over?

24 Will you not take what your god Chemosh gives you? Likewise, whatever the Lord our God has given us, we will possess.

25 Are you any better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever quarrel with Israel or fight with them?

26 For three hundred years Israel occupied Heshbon, Aroer, the surrounding settlements and all the towns along the Arnon. Why didn’t you retake them during that time?

27 I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me. Let the Lord, the Judge, decide the dispute this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites.”

28 The king of Ammon, however, paid no attention to the message Jephthah sent him.

29 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites.

30 And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands,

31 whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

32 Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into his hands.

33 He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.

34 When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter.

35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.”

36 “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised, now that the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites.

37 But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”

38 “You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never marry.

39 After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.
From this comes the Israelite tradition

40 that each year the young women of Israel go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.


a. Judges 11:16 Or the Sea of Reeds
b. Judges 11:20 Or however, would not make an agreement for Israel

Sermons on Judges 11 More sermons: Judges 11

Manny Salva Cruz avatar
Should Christians Make Vows?
Shared by: Manny Salva Cruz on Apr, 2016
Summary: We will learn from the life of Jephthah in the book of Judges that it is not not good to make foolish vows that we will eventually regret, but we are encouraged to deepen our commitment through godly vows made before God that we are able to fulfill.
Series: Judges
Scripture: Judges 11:29-40
Denomination: Nazarene
Views: 402
Manny Salva Cruz avatar
Overcoming the Spirit of Rejection
Shared by: Manny Salva Cruz on Apr, 2016
Summary: Rejection can have a devastating effect upon the lives of people with scars that they will carry as they mature. In this message, we will learn how Jephthah overcame rejection and rose up to be the next Judge of Isarel.
Series: Judges
Denn Guptill avatar
A Tough Promise to Keep
Shared by: Denn Guptill on Feb, 2016
Summary: This message looks at the story of the Vow of Jephthah, what he could learn looking back, and what we can learn looking ahead.
Scripture: Judges 11:29-40
Denomination: Wesleyan
Views: 703
W Pat Cunningham avatar
No One is More Understanding and Willing to Wait
Shared by: W Pat Cunningham on Aug, 2015
Summary: To prepare to witness to others, we should engage in the practice of lectio divina.
Christian Cheong avatar
Flaws, Failures and Faith
Shared by: Christian Cheong on Aug, 2015
Summary: Our past does not define us, God redeems us. Our mistakes do not define us, God teaches us. Our faith in God defines us, God uses us.
Craig Benner avatar
Jepthah-- a hero or a zero?
Shared by: Craig Benner on Mar, 2015
Summary: Have you ever had a person in your life who made you wander if he was a good influence or a bad influence? There are things that have to be weighed out to make a right judgment. Some things may not be as they seem to the casual observer. God knows.
Scripture: Judges 11:1-35
Denomination: Pentecostal
Views: 531
Rick Pendleton avatar
You Promised
Shared by: Rick Pendleton on Jan, 2015
Summary: From Jephthah the Gilead we learn an important lesson: Keeping Your Promises-- Even When It Costs You
Scripture: Judges 11:1-34
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 612
Jeff Strite avatar
The Rejected Warrior
Shared by: Jeff Strite on Nov, 2014
Summary: If Jephthah sacrificed his daughter... how did he end up in Hebrews 11 as one of the heroes of the faith? And if he didn't, why doesn't God tell us that?
Scott Bayles avatar
Judges (Jephthah)
Shared by: Scott Bayles on Oct, 2014
Summary: God uses imperfect people! That's the message of the book of Judges. In this last sermon in the series, we learn about Jephthah's Childhood, Jephthah's Courage, and Jephthah's Character.
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Judges 11:1-39
Denomination: Christian Church
Views: 1,144
Jeff Strite avatar
The Lion Of God
Shared by: Jeff Strite on Oct, 2014
Summary: Quick question: Who was Othniel? Give up? Most people would. He's not all that memorable to most believers... but he was to God. God chose him to be the very first judge of Israel. But why him, and why should we care?
Perry Greene avatar
A Regular Reminder
Shared by: Perry Greene on Oct, 2014
Summary: The Lord's Supper is a powerful, practical reminder of the Lord, the Mission, and the People of God.
bala samson avatar
Shared by: bala samson on Sep, 2014
Summary: God takes what’s in you and uses it for your advancement and the fulfillment of His purpose as in the case of Jephthah.
Scripture: Judges 11:1-6
Denomination: Pentecostal
Views: 507
allan kircher avatar
Shared by: allan kircher on Oct, 2013
Summary: What the word of God teaches us about this man should serve as an encouragement to every person in this room.
Scripture: Judges 11:1-11
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 1,462
William R. Nabaza avatar
Jephthah's accidental pledge
Shared by: William R. Nabaza on Jun, 2013
Summary: I. EXORDIUM: Are you like Jephthah? II. AUDIENCE PROFILE: Believers III. OBJECTIVES: To prove that we no longer need signs, wonders and miracles to convince us as believers, and we need to offer ourselves to GOD as living sacrifice, not someone else
Scripture: Judges 11:30
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Views: 428
Spencer Miller avatar
When Fathers Do The Right Thing
Shared by: Spencer Miller on Jun, 2013
Summary: What do you do when as a father you’ve made a terrible mistake and you don’t want to be irresponsible? This particular mistake bothers you so much and you just want to make things right. And the Lord does want you to do the right thing.
Scripture: Judges 11:1-2
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 1,789
Shared by: REV. RICHARD ADESOLA on Feb, 2013
Summary: The Lord appoints the rejected
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Judges 11:4-6
Denomination: Pentecostal
Views: 530
Peter Sapp avatar
Bad promises. Jepthath
Shared by: Peter Sapp on Jan, 2013
Summary: God does not want to bargain with us. He's looking for our faithfulness, not our deals.
based on 2 ratings
Scripture: Judges 11:4-37
Views: 1,365
James Kelly avatar
How Do You See Yourself?
Shared by: James Kelly on Aug, 2012
Summary: This sermon deals with how the spirit of shame can contribute to wrong choices.
Scripture: Judges 11:1-40
Denomination: Presbyterian/Reformed
Views: 1,113
Thomas Swope avatar
Don’t Be Too Quick To Make A Vow
Shared by: Thomas Swope on Aug, 2012
Summary: a study of the book of Judges chapter 11
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Judges 11:1-40
Denomination: Calvary Chapel
Views: 1,298
Timothy Enns avatar
The Son of a Prostitute
Shared by: Timothy Enns on Mar, 2012
Summary: A look at lessons we can learn from the life of Jephthah from the book of Judges
based on 2 ratings
Scripture: Judges 11:1-40
Denomination: Nazarene
Views: 2,246
Curtis E. Nester avatar
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Shared by: Curtis E. Nester on Dec, 2010
Summary: Jephthah's foolish vow and its consequences
based on 2 ratings
Scripture: Judges 11:1-11
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 841
Gordon Curley avatar
Who by faith…Jephthah
Shared by: Gordon Curley on Nov, 2010
Summary: Who by faith…Jephthah. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)
Scripture: Judges 11:1-33
Denomination: Brethren
Views: 1,077
Michael Stark avatar
Surviving a Lousy Start in Life
Shared by: Michael Stark on May, 2010
Summary: Jephthah had everything going against him from the beginning of his life, yet he become one of the Judges of Israel. A review of his life offers encouragement to anyone who imagines they have everything against them and nothing going for them.
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Judges 11:1-11
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 1,922
Jerry Shirley avatar
Jephthah for President
Shared by: Jerry Shirley on Mar, 2010
Summary: A statesman makes decisions based on what’s best for the next generation...a politician on what’s best for the next election. Jephthah-Character in the face of difficulty, and Courage in the face of danger. Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, PowerP
based on 101 ratings
Scripture: Judges 11:1-40
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 12,566
Bruce Rzengota avatar
Jephthah: Forcing the Hand of Deliverance
Shared by: Bruce Rzengota on Dec, 2009
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Judges 11:1-12:7
Views: 1,498
David Cook avatar
Jepthah: From Zero to Hero
Shared by: David Cook on Jun, 2009
Summary: God can raise great people up from the toughest of circumstances.
based on 32 ratings
Scripture: Judges 11:1-29
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 7,819
Scott Bayles avatar
By Faith Jepthah...
Shared by: Scott Bayles on Apr, 2009
Summary: Part of a series based on the heroes of faith from Hebrews 11. This sermon is expository and alliterated.
based on 8 ratings
Scripture: Judges 11:1-39
Denomination: Christian Church
Views: 4,480
Charles Jones avatar
The Tragedy of Jephthah's Daughter
Shared by: Charles Jones on Aug, 2008
Summary: The incident of Jephthah’s daughter may seem incredible and profoundly cruel to some modern-day Bible readers. But in reading this narrative, one must be careful to interpret events in the context of that day, not merely by the moral climate of one’s own.
based on 6 ratings
Scripture: Judges 11:39-40
Denomination: Pentecostal
Views: 3,257
Eric Ferguson avatar
Let's Make A Deal
Shared by: Eric Ferguson on May, 2008
Summary: What are you sacrificing in exchange of obedience? Do you make spiritual deals such as: Buy Now - Pay Later! Or Low-Interest-Refinancing Available! Or Lease To Own?
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Judges 11:1-40
Denomination: *other
Views: 656
Eric Ferguson avatar
Wild Thang: Jephthah
Shared by: Eric Ferguson on Apr, 2008
Summary: Wild people who God used for wild assignments.
Series: Wild Thang
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Judges 11:1-40
Denomination: *other
Views: 1,212