Vow of Jephthah

I know of 2 instances. The danger of vows. One was recorded below.
Another was John the Baptist beheaded.

The key verse here “… for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back.”
(Judges 11:35)”

Read the context here:

Judges 11:30-39
And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD: “If you give the Ammonites into
my hands, 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.”

Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the LORD gave them
into his hands. He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity
of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.

When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to
meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of tambourines! She
was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter.
When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh! My daughter! You
have made me miserable and wretched, because I have made a vow to the
LORD that I cannot break.”

“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. 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.”

“You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and the
girls went into the hills and wept because she would never marry.
After the two months, she returned to her father and he did to her as
he had vowed.

“Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter
any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth:
therefore let thy words be few.” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

But on the topic of Jephthah who vowed to offer a burnt sacrifice, did he sacrifice his daughter?
As usual, “Googled”.
http://www.tektonics.org/gk/jepthah.html

Above URL clearly shows the explanation of the situation if a sacrifice did occur, which did not as
all references of sacrifices are against the requirement.
ie: Sacrifices MUST BE a male, usually for SIN and not for thanksgiving.
More IMPORTANTLY of all, GOD FORBIDS Human Sacrifice Deut 12:31

Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

So with all the context and references, it can be concluded that Jephthah did not sacrifice her daughter, but did “sacrifice” her daughter perhaps into the Lord’s service.

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~ by ymsim on 2009/11/08.

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