Highlights of Judges 11-14 - Theocratic Ministry School

Study information for Theocratic Ministry School

Bible reading: Judges 11-14 (8 min.)

(Judges 11:1)

Now Jeph′thah the Gil′e•ad•ite was a mighty warrior; he was the son of a prostitute, and Gil′e•ad was Jeph′thah’s father.

*** it-1 p. 1174 Illegitimate ***
Some commentators claim that Jephthah was an illegitimate son, but this is not correct. The Bible does not say that he was illegitimate; it says that “he was the son of a prostitute woman.” (Jg 11:1) Like Rahab, who had been a prostitute but who married the Israelite Salmon, Jephthah’s mother doubtless married honorably, and Jephthah was no more an illegitimate son than was the son of Salmon and Rahab, who was a fleshly ancestor of Jesus Christ. (Mt 1:5) Likely Jephthah’s mother was a secondary wife of Gilead, and Jephthah may even have been Gilead’s firstborn. He could not have been a member of the congregation of Israel had he been illegitimate, and his half brothers, who had driven him out, could not legally have asked him to become their head. (Jg 11:2, 6, 11) That Jephthah may have been the son of a secondary wife would not make him illegitimate. The son of a secondary wife had the same inheritance rights as the son of a favorite wife, as the Law states at Deuteronomy 21:15-17.

*** it-2 p. 27 Jephthah ***
They saw the need for proper leadership and direction. (Jg 10:18) They realized that they must be under the headship of a God-appointed man if they were to defeat Ammon. (Jg 11:5, 6, 10) Undoubtedly Jephthah and his men had been performing exploits in Tob, suggesting that he was God’s designated choice. (Jg 11:1) The men of Gilead decided to go to Jephthah, whom they had despised, to ask him to be their head.

*** it-2 p. 26 Jephthah ***
Jephthah a Legitimate Son. The mother of Jephthah was “a prostitute woman,” not meaning, however, that Jephthah was born of prostitution or was illegitimate. His mother had been a prostitute prior to her marriage as a secondary wife to Gilead, just as Rahab had once been a prostitute but later married Salmon. (Jg 11:1; Jos 2:1; Mt 1:5) That Jephthah was not illegitimate is proved by the fact that his half brothers by Gilead’s primary wife drove him out so that he would not share in the inheritance. (Jg 11:2) Additionally, Jephthah later became the accepted leader of the men of Gilead (of whom Jephthah’s half brothers seemed to be foremost). (Jg 11:11) Moreover, he offered a sacrifice to God at the tabernacle. (Jg 11:30, 31) None of these things would have been possible for an illegitimate son, for the Law specifically stated: “No illegitimate son may come into the congregation of Jehovah. Even to the tenth generation none of his may come into the congregation of Jehovah.”—De 23:2.

(Judges 11:2)

But Gil′e•ad’s wife also bore him sons. When the sons of his wife grew up, they drove Jeph′thah out and said to him: “You will have no inheritance in our father’s household, for you are the son of another woman.”

*** it-2 p. 26 Jephthah ***
That Jephthah was not illegitimate is proved by the fact that his half brothers by Gilead’s primary wife drove him out so that he would not share in the inheritance. (Jg 11:2)

(Judges 11:3)

So Jeph′thah fled from his brothers and settled in the land of Tob. And idle men joined company with Jeph′thah, and they followed him.

*** w07 5/15 p. 8 Jephthah Keeps His Vow to Jehovah ***
Meanwhile, Jephthah is having problems of his own. His greedy half brothers have driven him away in order to steal his inheritance. So Jephthah moves to Tob, a region east of Gilead and exposed to Israel’s enemies. “Idle men,” likely those who were put out of work by the oppressors or who rebelled against servitude to them, gather to Jephthah. They “go out with him,” perhaps meaning that they accompany Jephthah as he conducts raids against hostile neighbors.

*** it-2 p. 26 Jephthah ***
“Idle Men” Gather to Jephthah. When Jephthah was driven away by his half brothers he took up dwelling in the land of Tob, a region E of Gilead, apparently outside the borders of Israel. Here Jephthah would be on the frontier, exposed to Israel’s foreign enemies, particularly Ammon. “Idle men,” that is, men evidently made idle or put out of employment by Ammonite harassment, and revolting against servitude to Ammon, came to Jephthah and put themselves under his command. (Jg 11:3) The people living in the territory E of the Jordan River (the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh) were mainly cattle raisers, and the forays of the Ammonite raiders (who even crossed the Jordan at times) had apparently taken away the possessions and the means of livelihood from many of the inhabitants of Gilead.—Jg 10:6-10.

Download complete information into digital files for Computer, Tablet PC, Smartphone


Download information for the personal Studio for Computer, Tablet PC, Smartphone

Download information for the personal Studio for Computer, Tablet PC, Smartphone