> In Judges 11:37-40 did Jepthath kill his daughter or did he commit her
> to celibacy?

Honestly, I don't know.  The text certain appears to indicate that he killed

The text says that Jephthah "carried out his vow which he had vowed" (Judges
11:39; cf. 11:31).  Some have concluded that this could be that he totally
surrendered his daughter to God as a "spiritual sacrifice."  Some suggest
that the annual memorial commemoration of his daughter supports the
conclusion that she was not put to death, only that she remained childless
all her days - something the daughters of Israel mourned.

It is extremely difficult for us to comprehend such an heinous act.  If it
did happen, it certainly did not have the approval of God (cf. Lev. 18:21;
Deut. 12:31).  Having been influenced by the ungodliness of the nations,
including Ammon, Jephthah rashly vowed that which he should never have
vowed.  If in fact he carried it out, it ended the seed of Jephthah upon the
earth (Judges 11:34, 37, 39; cf. Lev. 20:2-5).

Still, had Jephthah properly regarded the law he could have redeemed his
daugther (see Lev. 27:1-8).  But, there is no indication that he did so.

I hope this is of some help to you.

Joe Price

Joe R Price

Bible Answers

Mt. Baker church of Christ