Jephthah; Jephthae

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(set free). A judge of Israel, B. C. 1143-1137 (Judg. 11, 12).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

Son of Gilead by a “strange woman.” Being turned out by his half-brothers he went into the land of Tob, where “vain men” joined him, and went out with him, apparently as freebooters. But when the Ammonites attacked Israel, the men of Gilead called in the aid of this “mighty man of valor.” He covenanted with them that if he was successful in the war he should be their head. After vainly seeking to divert the Ammonites from their unjust aggression, by maintaining that the Lord God of Israel had given them the land which Ammon now sought to possess, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he prepared for the war; but before the battle, he vowed that if the Lord would deliver the Ammonites into his hand he would on returning devote to the Lord whatever should first come out of his house to meet him.
The Ammonites were smitten with very great slaughter: he conquered twenty cities, for the Lord delivered them into his hand. On returning to his house, his daughter, his only child, came out to meet him. He rent his clothes, and was in deep trouble; but said he had opened his mouth to the Lord, and could not go back. His daughter coincided with this view, seeing that the Lord had taken vengeance on their enemies. Two months were occupied by her and her companions bewailing her virginity.
As to his daughter being really offered as a sacrifice, the vow was “I will offer it up for a burnt offering”; and at the end of the two months “she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed:” which seems to imply that she was offered up as a sacrifice. If so, such a sacrifice would have been contrary to the law, only certain clean beasts and birds being eligible. One of these may have been offered for her in the spirit of Exodus 13:1313And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem. (Exodus 13:13) and Leviticus 26; and she have been devoted to perpetual virginity. This to an Israelite would have been a sufficient calamity to account for Jephthah’s grief (Judg. 11).
The men of Ephraim then gathered themselves together and complained that Jephthah had not called them to the war, beginning a quarrel, which ended with the death of 42,000 of the Ephraimites. Jephthah judged Israel six years (Judg. 12:1-71And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. 2And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. 3And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the Lord delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? 4Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, and among the Manassites. 5And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; 6Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. 7And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead. (Judges 12:1‑7)).
The history of Jephthah shows how Israel had fallen in having recourse to the captain of a troop of “vain men.” Jephthah suffered severely through his rash vow, and he had not wisdom and humility to appease the anger of Ephraim. God did not desert His people, but their low state is very manifest (1 Sam. 12:1111And the Lord sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe. (1 Samuel 12:11)). The faith of Jephthae is spoken of in Hebrews 11:3232And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: (Hebrews 11:32). He maintained the title of God’s people to the inheritance God had given them.

Jackson’s Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names:

he will open