Today’s passage: Judges 11:1-28
- Israel wanted a man who would be a brave warrior and lead them to safety, and they couldn’t find one among them. So they chose Jephthah.
- God’s name was used in the negotiations, but His commands and direction for Israel were not necessarily followed.
- Jephthah sounded quite diplomatic and accurate historically. He gave what seemed a very reasonable argument to the king of the Ammonites, confirming the Ammonites’ role as the aggressors.
- God’s name was used in these negotiations as a national deity on level with Chemosh.
- Jephthah may have sparked more controversy by excluding the Ammonite people altogether from his accounting of the land’s history.
- Chemosh was not the god of the Ammonites, but instead of the Moabites. This was either a mistake, a reference to land the Ammonites had taken from Moab, or purposeful mockery.
Questions to consider:
- Is Jephthah’s questioning of Israel much different than God’s in chapter 10? How was Israel treating Jephthah the same way they treated God?
- If you were the king of the Ammonites, would Jephthah’s political rhetoric make you less or more likely to want to attack?
- What is rhetoric? Is it something that Christians should use with great skill and to great affect? How careful and knowledgeable should we strive to be in order to not be negatively persuaded?