Judges part 5 Ch 10 Ė 12
Tonight we are continuing our study in the book of Judges and we will begin in chapter 10.
Judges 10:1 After
Abimelech there arose to save
This is all we know about these 3 men mentioned here. Now one commentator suggested that perhaps the reason some of the judges have very little said about them was because there wasnít much rebellion or fighting going on during their reign.
3 After him arose Jair, a Gileadite;
and he judged
Again we donít know very
much about this judge either other than him having these 30 sons who apparently
ruled over these 30 towns. Now as we continue on we will see once again that
the children of
Judges 10:6 Then
the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the
Baals and the Ashtoreths, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of
Moab, the gods of the people of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; and
they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him.†
7 So the anger of the LORD was hot against
Now you would think† that the children of
Judges 10:10 And the children of Israel cried out to the LORD, saying, "We have sinned against You, because we have both forsaken our God and served the Baals!"†
Here we see them admitting to the fact that† they had sinned but what I want to point out is that it took them 18 years to finally admit it. Sometimes Christians have the same stubbornness or pride about them that they simply donít want to admit that they have been sinning against God. As Christians there is great need for us not to be stubborn or prideful because it is not worth losing our soul over. If you have a sin in you life and you know in heart of hearts that you are denying that its there you need to stop trying to fool yourself and confess your sin to God so that it can be forgiven before its to late. Now notice Godís response to their plea.
Judges 10:11 So the LORD said to the children of Israel, "Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites and from the people of Ammon and from the Philistines?† 12 "Also the Sidonians and Amalekites and Maonites oppressed you; and you cried out to Me, and I delivered you from their hand.† 13 "Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods. Therefore I will deliver you no more.† 14 "Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in your time of distress."
God takes the time to remind his rebellious people that† he had already delivered them from 7 different enemies in the past and he is sick and tired of them turning their back on him. To drive the point home he tells them to cry out to their lifeless Godís and let them deliver them. God is making it clear to them and to us that there is only one true God. Now notice their response.
Judges 10:15 And the children of Israel said to the LORD,
"We have sinned! Do to us whatever seems best to You; only deliver us this
day, we pray."† 16 So
they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD. And His
soul could no longer endure the misery of
Here we see there great confession to God that had sinned and then we see that they truly repent because they put away their idols and they begin to serve God with whole heart, mind and soul. You see this is what true repentance is all about. Its not just saying I† am sorry because I got caught, no, it action that you put into place that shows that you are make a change in your life. This is what Paul taught everywhere,†
Acts 26:20 "but declared first to those in
You see its not enough just to say that your sorry for a sin you must have action on your part that brings about change so that you do not do that sin any longer and instead you should do works of righteousness and that is exactly what the children of Israel did because they didnít just confess their sin to God and stop there, no they put their repentance into action by putting away their idols and serving God and that is what we must do today. Once we confess our sin to God we must make changes so that we donít do that sin again.
One think I love about this section of scripture we are looking in Judges is that it really shows the love and the mercy of God and we can take great comfort from this today because if God could forgive them and deliver them from the enemies again even though they had failed him over and over again then surely we can see that if we truly repent even if we have messed up over and over again God will forgive us and deliver us from our sin.
the people of Ammon gathered together and encamped in
At this time they did not have a leader so now they would have to wait to see who lead them into victory over their enemy.†
Judges 11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of
valor, but he was the son of a harlot; and
Here we Jephthah was a mighty man but he was born from a harlot and when Gileadís legitimate sons were born from his wife they run Jephthah off and then he becomes a thug who raids people.
Judges 11:4 It came to pass after a time that the people of
Ammon made war against
Now at first they didnít want to have anything to do with them but now they want him to command their army but Jephthah had some questions for them.
Judges 11:7 So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead,
"Did you not hate me, and expel me from my father's house? Why have you
come to me now when you are in distress?"†
8 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, "That is
why we have turned again to you now, that you may go with us and fight against
the people of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of
You see the only reason they wanted him back was because they were in trouble and apparently they knew that he was a great warrior and that is why they came to him. So he uses this to his advantage and makes the promise before God that they would make him their ruler for commanding their army against Ammon. They agree to this. Now Jephthah first tries to be diplomatic with the King of Ammon.
Judges 11:12 Now Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the
people of Ammon, saying, "What do you have against me, that you have come
to fight against me in my land?"† 13
And the king of the people of Ammon answered the messengers of Jephthah,
So first he finds out what the problem is and once he finds out what the problem is then he sends word back to the King of Ammon and makes 4 different arguments showing that the children of Israel has every right to the land.
Judges 11:14 So Jephthah again sent messengers to the king of
the people of Ammon,† 15 and
said to him, "Thus says Jephthah: 'Israel did not take away the land of
Moab, nor the land of the people of Ammon;†
16 'for when Israel came up from Egypt, they walked through
the wilderness as far as the Red Sea and came to Kadesh.† 17 'Then
First of all as a side note I want to point out that this section of scripture proves in part that that the first 5 books of the Bible were already written and available for people to know what was in them because as part of Jephthahs argument he goes over the history that is found in these first 5 books. This does away with the theory that the first 5 books were just some fairy tale that written not that long ago.
Basically in this first argument Jephthah is saying we didnít take the land from you we defeated the Amorites and took it from them.
Judges 'And now
the LORD God of
Now Jephthah† is not claiming that their God Chemosh is some powerful God but what he is doing is making a logically argument. He is saying if you claim whatever land your God Chemosh gives you and it is yours then why cant you see that this land is ours since our God gave it to us. Who are you to claim it for your own?
Judges †'And now, are you any better than Balak
the son of Zippor, king of
Here is making a political argument that even though King of Moab claimed
to own part of this land he didnít fight against
This is what we call a statue of limitations today. He saying we have had this land for 300 years and now you want to dispute over it, that just not right so concludes saying.
'Therefore I have not sinned against you, but you wronged me by fighting
against me. May the LORD, the Judge, render judgment this day between the
So he is saying we have done nothing wrong you have. But unfortunately the
King did not listen to the logical arguments and decided to fight against the
Judges 11: 29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came
upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh, and passed through
Mizpah of Gilead; and from Mizpah of Gilead he advanced toward the
people of Ammon.† 30 And
Jephthah made a vow to the LORD, and said, "If You will indeed deliver the
people of Ammon into my hands,† 31
"then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet
me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the
LORD's, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering."† 32 So Jephthah advanced toward the
people of Ammon to fight against them, and the LORD delivered them into his
hands.† 33 And he defeated
them from Aroer <a-ro'-ear> as far as Minnith -- twenty cities -- and
to Abel Keramim, with a very great slaughter. Thus the people of Ammon were
subdued before the children of
So with Gods help Jephthah defeats his enemy. Now we need to keep in mind that he made a oath to offer up the first thing that came out of his as burnt offering to the lord. Now I will say this offering something as a burnt offering can either mean by fire like an animal sacrifice but it can also caring the meaning of dedicating something entirely over to God.
Judges 11:34 When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there
was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; 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 tore his clothes, and said, "Alas, my daughter! You have
brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my
word to the LORD, and I cannot go back on it."† 36 So she said to him, "My
father, if you have given your word to the LORD, do to me according to
what has gone out of your mouth, because the LORD has avenged you of your
enemies, the people of Ammon."† 37
Then she said to her father, "Let this thing be done for me: let me alone
for two months, that I may go and wander on the mountains and bewail my
virginity, my friends and I."† 38
So he said, "Go." And he sent her away for two months; and she
went with her friends, and bewailed her virginity on the mountains.† 39 And it was so at the end of two
months that she returned to her father, and he carried out his vow with her
which he had vowed. She knew no man. And it became a custom in
Now first thing comes out of his house is his only daughter and this makes him very sad because he knew that he would have to keep his vow. Now some commentators and some people think that Jephethah offered his daughter as burnt sacrifice to God. But I do not believe that is what this is teaching for several reasons.
1. Jephthah had the spirit of God upon him and certainly would not have been allowed to make a human sacrifice to God.
2. Jephthah had a working knowledge of Godís word and he would have know that it was against the law of Moses to sacrifice a human.
Deuteronomy 18:10 "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,
3. Heb. mentions his name among all those who were faithful to God, I certainly cant see him being mentioned if he had sacrificed his daughter to god.
4. His daughter went into the mountains bewail her virginity and not her impending death.
5. When it says that Jephthah fulfilled his vow then why it was it necessary to state that she knew no man after all someone who was dead certainly would not know a man.
The best solution that fits this is that Jephthah would dedicate his only daughter to God and should would be a virgin for the rest of her life. This would mean no grandkids for Jephthah. This is similar to vow that Hannan made with her son Samuel as she dedicated him to service of God.
Now in chapter 12 the men of Ephraim were mad because Jephthah didnít invite them to share in victory over Ammon so then they battled one another but the men of Ephraim lost the battle. Now some tried to escape and make it back home but Jephthah had a plan for taking care of them to.
Judges 12:5 The Gileadites seized the fords of the
This was a pretty neat trick and we should be able to understand this because we all know that people that come from different dialects cannot say some words from another language correctly and they took advantage of this to weed out the men of Ehphraim and so ends the 6 year reign of Jephthah as a judge. I want to finish our lesson by simply reading about the next 3 judges which little is said about.
Judges 12:8 After him, Ibzan of