Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:
That Jephthah actually sacrificed his daughter, tragic as that would be, seems the most natural reading of the text. If Jephthah's "sacrifice" of his daughter meant relegating her to a life of perpetual virginity and service at the temple, not one word in the text says so. The only possible support is the comment that whoever comes out of the house "will be the Lord's" (v. 31). But the statement immediately after this proves he had a whole burnt offering in mind—"sacrifice… as a burnt offering."
There is one other problem with the dedication to the temple view. Why didn't Jephthah pay the monetary substitute set forth in Leviticus 27:1-8in order to gain the release of his daughter? After all, it bothered him that she would be childless and his line and name would fall out of the rosters of Israel. A woman could be redeemed for thirty shekels of silver (Lev. 27:4),if need be.…
The tragedy of Jephthah’s foolish and autocratic vow stands as a reminder to the perverseness of human wisdom when we fail to depend on the living God. In no way should we make Jephthah’s action normative for other believers who also have made foolish vows in the past and feel that now they must stick to their guns, as it were, because the Bible says Jephthah stuck to his vow. Just because something is described in Scripture does not mean God prescribes us to follow it. (Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Hard Sayings of the Old Testament (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), pp. 104-105)
The John Ankerberg Show | P.O. Box 8977 | Chattanooga, TN 37414 USA
(423) 892-7722 | For credit card orders only:
These programs examine and respond to the conclusions reached in the Discovery Channel's special The Lost Tomb of Jesus. In this series we also examine the new fictional novel -- The Gospel According to Judas, written by Jeffrey Archer, along with the assistance of Catholic theologian Francis J. Moloney. In this fictional story, they claim Judas did not betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, and never committed suicide. Further they claim Jesus never walked on water, turned water into wine. Judas also believes Jesus wasn't God's Messiah and never rose from the dead. What historical evidence shows most of the claims about Judas and Jesus are wrong? We also examine Elaine Pagels and Karen King's new book entitled Reading Judas. Why is this popular alternative view of Jesus historically wrong?