Can you see this? What a God he is?
The little girl just died for nothing.
Jephthah's daughter was not killed as a sacrifice. She was given up to holy service at the sanctuary in Shiloh. It would have been against the Law that God gave to Israel to sacrifice humans: "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire" - Deuteronomy 18:10. Parents could devote their children to holy service at the sanctuary: - 1 Samuel 1:11 Undoubtedly when Jephthah presented his daughter for service it was accompanied by an animal sacrifice just as Hannah brought an animal sacrifice when she took Samuel to the sanctuary: - 1 Samuel 1:24-25. When Jephthah told his daughter of his vow she cried over her virginity, not her life: "Let this thing be done for me: let me alone for two months, that I may go and wander on the mountains and bewail my virginity, my friends and I." - Judges 11:38. We are told that "she knew no man": - Judges 11:39. It would be pointless to make that statement in relation to the period up to that time for she is specifically stated to be a virgin. Her friends visited her each year following her dedication: - Judges 11:40.
no preaching please, objective discussions only...
It seems the man made a vow to god, but did he make it with god?
God, on the other hand, did give him the victory, but did god really care about the man’s vow or would god have helped him be victorious anyway? What I mean is, was this just another ‘loony’ who looks to the sky and makes a promise to the clouds, or did he and god actually cut a deal together?
"And the Lord sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you dwelt in safety." - 1 Samuel 12:11
"And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to fight the armies of the aliens." - Hebrews 11:32-34
Does that answer your question?
Did the man live up to his vow and burn the girl, no he didn't. If the first thing out of his door had been his pet goat, for example, would he have sent it off as he did his daughter, or would he have burned it as an offering?
I'm wondering just what exactly this individual expected to see coming out that door...
When he made his vow he was speaking about a person, not an animal, because he said "the one coming out of the doors of my house to meet me" - Judges 11:31. The Israelites did not keep animals suitable for sacrifice in their homes. Also it would hardly have shown great devotion to God if Jephthah had merely sacrificed an animal that was intended to be sacrificed in any case. Jephthah had asked God for the Ammonites to be given into his hand. An animal sacrifice would not have been of sufficient weight to reflect the significance of the vow. The nature of the vow shows that Jephthah did not have an animal in mind.
Jephthah knew that it might be his daughter who came out to meet him. Undoubtedly there were others who it might have been. When he made the vow he did not know who it would be. He was prepared to accept whatever might happen. When he saw her he was distressed, not because she would die, but because she was his only child. He would have no-one to carry on his name in Israel.
This is one of those times when the words "offer up as a burnt offering" are used symbolically. Giving up his daughter to serve at the sanctuary was the equivalent of sacrificing an animal but of much greater significance. He never promised to burn the girl or anyone else. That would have been against the Law that God gave to Israel.
What make sense to me are:
1) God of bible is false, just an object of worship by ancient religion.
2) Man did evil, tried to cover up their sin with an excuse using God's name.
3) Conclusion: bible's god is false god, just like idol of pagans, unable to stop evil.
Ok, lets us probe some more;
I was asking who exactly did this man think would be coming out the door. Since there were no animals in the house and he only had one child, was he secretly hoping that it would have been a servant, or someone else, who came out to greet him? Yes, I think he was. He was playing the odds in this gamble, in effect hoping to minimize his loss in exchange for something tangible. I think he was behaving ridiculously in this gamble, yet god could easily represent the gambling house that has the odds in its own favor.
As an aside, knowing what a devious entity this god is, It would have been wise of him to expect god to make the child come out first, and indeed this is exactly what happened.
But, back to the story. The man didn’t really want to surrender his daughter, and probably had no business using her as the stakes of a wager in the first place (unless we agree that is somehow ok to be owned by others), but he wanted that victory and was prepared to sacrifice another to get it. I think he was selfish, making a ‘chinsy’ gamble with god in which he hoped to avoid sacrificing something truly dear to him while at the same time having god fulfill his own desires, desires that would have been fulfilled anyway if god so favored it. But of course we dare not actually trust in god, instead we should cut deals and so forth, in order to have god bend the universe to suit our own desires…
Another aside; I wish he had joined his daughter. That way his unwillingness to entrust ‘fate’ to the will of god could have been even more complete. I see nothing pious in this man at all, though at least in his favor I can say he completes his agreements.
At any rate, I am willing to accept that what he meant was;
“…offer up as a burnt offering…” (symbolic)
as opposed to;
“…burn up as an offering..”
When the men of Gilead asked Jephthah to serve as their commander his response indicated that he was counting on God delivering the Ammonites into his hand. He later makes it clear that God would be the judge in the battle between Israel and Ammon. This quality of Jephthah helps us to understand why he made his vow. He was a man who constantly took notice of God's role in Israelite affairs. Shortly before he made the vow we are told that "the spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah." It is reasonable to conclude that the vow was in harmony with God's wishes.
I'm reading between the lines here but I think that Jephthah felt he should make a significant promise to God to reflect the great thing that he had asked for.
Though Jephthah was "a mighty man of valour" he tried to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Ammonites. His negotiations with the Ammonite king displays his knowledge of his people's history. We can see from his dealings with the Ammonites and the Ephraimites that he was a reasonable man, not prone to impetuosity, but careful and thoughtful in difficult situations. Jephthah is mentioned among other faithful men in the books of Samuel and Hebrews. If he had been an ignorant, man that carried out a foolish vow he certainly would not have been mentioned with these others.
When he made the vow he couldn't have known who would be the one that came out to meet him. He must have had in mind either a servant or a relative but also that it might be his daughter. Jephthah was prepared to accept the price regardless of who it might be if God would grant him the victory. Did he hope it would not be his daughter? Perhaps, but there is really no reason to impute such selfish thoughts to a man acknowledged as a faithful man. Isn't it also possible that he didn't think about it but was committed to fulfulling the vow whoever it might be? But even if he did hope it would not be his daughter is that such a terrible thing? He was after all an imperfect man like all of us.
His daughter's reaction tells us much about Jephthah. His example as a parent helped his daughter develop the faith and self-sacrificing spirit that she displayed in willingly undertaking a lifetime of service as a single woman at a time when a woman’s success in life was measured by her fruitfulness in having a family. She did not think the vow foolish nor did she censure her father for making it. This was a very real sacrifice for Jephthah as well. He gave up any prospect of seeing future grandchildren or the continuation of his name in Israel. At that time in Isreal a parent had the right to devote their children to God's exclusive service in connection with the sanctuary.
I get the feeling BoulderHead that it is very difficult to persuade you that someone has noble motives. When someone's actions are open to two differing interpretations do you always assume the worst? I note your comment about "what a devious entity this god is". Perhaps at some stage you would start another thread and set out your reasoned arguments for your conclusion that God is devious. I'd like a shot at answering those arguments (assuming they exist!).
Well, I suppose you could just consider me a bit of a Cynic.
The famous Cynic Diogenes was a cranky street-philosopher who would introduce himself by saying, "I am Diogenes the dog. I nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy and bite scoundrels." He'd use a lantern by daylight, explaining that he was searching for an honest man.
Taken from: http://www.i-cynic.com/whatis.asp
I think that sounds like a swell idea and I’ll give it definite consideration.
I haven’t read any more of your comments then the above, though I will do so when I’m feeling better. I have had a crushing migraine for the past two days that has made me physically ill and put me in a foul mood.
Separate names with a comma.