We see Jephthah not as many have portrayed him: a reckless, worthless brigand. Rather, in this passage we see evidence that he was a man concerned to fight the Lord’s battles, who did not bear grudges, who was concerned to avoid warfare and casualties whenever possible and who knew the Scriptures very well. He took his vow, which may have been ill-considered, after he had been clothed with the Holy Spirit. In the light of all these observations, the case is made that he did not offer his daughter as a burnt offering but rather devoted her to service for life at the Tabernacle.

We draw many challenges for ourselves from the example of this man, who is declared by the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 11 to be one of the heroes of faith.

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