The story of Commander Jephthah from Judges 11.
“Good night my sweet pea, see you in the morning,” said John as he tucked his daughter into her bed.
“Oh please, please tell me another Bible story Daddy, please?” Cried Amy, putting on her best puppy dog eyes for her father.
“Alright darling, but just the one OK?” John replied in a weary tone.
“Oh goodie goodie,” Amy squealed as she wriggled herself comfortably beneath her pink fluffy blanket.
“Tonight I am going to tell you the story of Commander Jephthah from the book of Judges.”
Once upon a time in a very hot place, full of sand and bearded Prophets called the Land of Tob, there lived a lovely family man called Jephthah. Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior and his mother was a prostitute.
“Whats a prostitute Daddy?” Amy said inquisitively.
“Oh, ah that’s a lady who sells cuddles to men.” John answered, embarrassed.
“Oh that’s nice,” said Amy getting comfortable beneath her cozy blanket.
“Ok, so one sunny day in Tob, an enemy of Israel came to invade and take their lands back from the Israelites, the people of Tob. The elders of Gilead asked Jephthah if he would like to be a Commander in their army; considering he was a mighty warrior and the rest of them were pathetic pansies. A brave leader was need to defeat the invading Ammonites. After a little negotiation Jephthah said “Yes I will do it” and forthwith sent out a messenger to meet with the Ammonite King to ask him why he was invading his country? The Ammonite King quickly replied with
“When Israel came out of Egypt they took away all of OUR land, so give it back, peacefully please?”
Do you like our work? Want to write for us? Get in touch right here »
Well, Jephthah wouldn’t have a bar of this since the Lord, the God of Israel had promised the Israelites this land and had driven the Ammorites out before him, so what right did the Ammorites have to ask for their land back this time?
“Let the Lord, the judge decide the dispute this day between the Israelites and the Ammorites,” Jephthah cried out to the heavens. Then the spirit of the Lord came to Jephthah, and Jephthah made a vow to the Lord; “If you give the Ammorites into my hands, what ever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammorites will be the lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”
Ok, said the Lord, you got a deal. Then Jephthah went out to war, and as the Lord promised him, the Lord gave the Ammonites into his hands and Jephthah and his army massacred all of them and subdued the Ammonite invasion. When Jephthah returned to his home in triumph after the massacre, who should come out of the house to great him first, with great joy but Jephthah’s one and only beloved daughter. When Jephthah saw her he ripped his garments and cried
“Oh my daughter! I have made a promise to the Lord that if he helped me win the battle I’d have to offer the first out of the door to my house as a sacrifice, I can’t break this vow!”
So poor old Jephthah had no option but to kill his one and only beloved daughter because of the promise made to the Lord. Jephthah’s daughter said to him.
“Dad you have given your word to the Lord, you must carry out this vow, but can I go on spring break first before you brutally murder me?”
Jephthah knew his daughter needed some experience of the wide world, to let her hair down for a bit because she hadn’t much of a life before all of this. So Jephthah let her go.
After spending two months away on holiday weeping with her friends about her impending doom, she returned to her dad who killed her instantly and offered her up as a burnt offering to appease the vow of the Lord, the God of Israel. And Jephthah lived happily ever after.
“Now sweet dreams my darling girl, don’t let the bed bugs bite!” said John as he quickly made his exit.
“But Daddy that’s a terrible story, I am so scared now, you would never kill me if God asked you too would you Daddy?” Amy asked, as tears ran down her innocent face.
“If the good Lord asked me to darling, Daddy would have no other option but to, other wise Daddy would burn in Hell proper darling, but you will go straight to heaven and become an Angel,” John explained in his best Abrahamic anti-reason.
“An Angel? Oh that would be wonderful, thank you Daddy, good night.” Amy replied wiping the tears from her shattered face.
“Good night beautiful.”
Marcus Pointon writing for the Apollo Institute of Reason AIR Review©