1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, and he was the son of a harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah. 2 And Gilead's wife bore him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, you shall not inherit in our father's house; for you are the son of another woman. 3 Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered worthless men to Jephthah, and went out with him.
4 And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel. 5 And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah out of the land of Tob: 6 And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.
7 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not you hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? and why are you come unto me now when you are in distress?
8 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to you now, that you may go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.
9 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If you bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head?
10 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to your words. 11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpah.
12 And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What have you to do with me, that you are come against me to fight in my land?
13 And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably.
14 And Jephthah sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon: 15 And said unto him, Thus says Jephthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon: 16 But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and came to Kadesh; 17 Then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray you, pass through your land: but the king of Edom would not listen. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel abode in Kadesh.
18 Then they went along through the wilderness, and went around the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and encamped on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab.
19 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray you, through your land into my place. 20 But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his territory: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and encamped in Jahaz, and fought against Israel. 21 And the LORD God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they defeated them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country. 22 And they possessed all the territory of the Amorites, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan.
23 So now the LORD God of Israel has driven out the Amorites from before his people Israel, and should you possess it? 24 Will you not possess that which Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So whomsoever the LORD our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess. 25 And now are you anything better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them, 26 While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are along by the borders of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did you not recover them within that time? 27 Therefore I have not sinned against you, but you do me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon. 28 However the king of the children of Ammon heeded not unto the words of Jephthah which he sent him.
29 Then the spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon. 30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If you shall without fail deliver the children of Ammon into my hands, 31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever comes forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.
32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands. 33 And he crushed them from Aroer, even till you come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
34 And Jephthah came to Mizpah unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! you have brought me very low, and you are one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back.
36 And she said unto him, My father, if you have opened your mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which has proceeded out of your mouth; since the LORD has taken vengeance for you of your enemies, even of the children of Ammon. 37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and lament my virginity, I and my companions.
38 And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and lamented her virginity upon the mountains. 39 And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel, 40 That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.