The second in what is becoming a series on Jephthah’s story (( I need to do another on “history” when I get back home and have better access to the literature. )) I examine the question my friend actually asked, which was whether or not we the people should find Jephthah guilty of killing his only child, an anonymous daughter.
Here’s the case so far…
Tags: daughter, Jephthah, Judges
[…] know if there is any evidence for virginal/celibate female monastic orders in ancient Palestine. Tim Bulkeley provides an explanation of this argument. Personally, I think it’s a bit of a stretch motivated by a desire to bring this story in […]
Surely the text is unequivocal: Jephthah vowed a burnt offering. The daughter became the unwitting object of the vow. Jepthah “did with her according to his vow which he had made”. Ergo: the daughter became the vowed burnt offering. This conclusion drawn from the text is not reliant upon the subtleties of possible alternative translations or interpretations.
If you read “literally” sure, it is unequivocal. However, real language use is seldom that literal, but rather littered with figures of speech. In English we often “sacrifice” someone or something, but seldom by killing them.
As you can hear in the podcast I am not sure which reading I would follow in this passage.