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Jephthah’s Foolish Vow

Today’s reading: Judges 10:6-13:25

Here we read about Jephthah, best known for his foolish vow that resulted in his offering his daughter as a human sacrifice. But there is an interesting account of his diplomatic negotiations with the Ammonites (Judges 11:12ff). The two sides discuss their opposing views of the history of their conflict. Jephthah sees the hand of God in the matter. The Ammonites, not surprisingly, do not.

Clearly, one’s world view affects one’s interpretation of history.  Even when there is no dispute over what happened there can be a dispute over why it happened and what we should conclude about it. Jephthah had the correct interpretation of what happened and in the end he was proven to be in the right.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

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