Judges 11:32
So Jephthah passed over to the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands.
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(32) So.—Rather, And. The clause does not refer in any way to Jephthah’s vow, but merely resumes the narrative.

11:29-40 Several important lessons are to be learned from Jephthah's vow. 1. There may be remainders of distrust and doubting, even in the hearts of true and great believers. 2. Our vows to God should not be as a purchase of the favour we desire, but to express gratitude to him. 3. We need to be very well-advised in making vows, lest we entangle ourselves. 4. What we have solemnly vowed to God, we must perform, if it be possible and lawful, though it be difficult and grievous to us. 5. It well becomes children, obediently and cheerfully to submit to their parents in the Lord. It is hard to say what Jephthah did in performance of his vow; but it is thought that he did not offer his daughter as a burnt-offering. Such a sacrifice would have been an abomination to the Lord; it is supposed she was obliged to remain unmarried, and apart from her family. Concerning this and some other such passages in the sacred history, about which learned men are divided and in doubt, we need not perplex ourselves; what is necessary to our salvation, thanks be to God, is plain enough. If the reader recollects the promise of Christ concerning the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and places himself under this heavenly Teacher, the Holy Ghost will guide to all truth in every passage, so far as it is needful to be understood.The words of this verse prove conclusively that Jephthah intended his vow to apply to human beings, not animals: for only one of his household could be expected to come forth from the door of his house to meet him. They also preclude any other meaning than that Jephthah contemplated a human sacrifice. This need not, however, surprise us, when we recollect his Syrian birth and long residence in a Syrian city, where such fierce rites were probably common. The Syrians and Phoenicians were conspicuous among the ancient pagan nations for human sacrifices, and the transfer, under such circumstances, to Yahweh of the rites with which the false gods were honored, is just what one might expect. The circumstance of the Spirit of the Lord coming on Jephthah Judges 11:29 is no difficulty; as it by no means follows that because the Spirit of God endued him with supernatural valor and energy for vanquishing the Ammonites, He therefore also endued him with spiritual knowledge and wisdom. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, but that did not prevent his erring in the matter of the ephod Judges 8:27. Compare 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Galatians 2:11-14. Jud 11:32, 33. He Overcomes the Ammonites.

32. Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon … and the Lord delivered them into his hands—He met and engaged them at Aroer, a town in the tribe of Gad, upon the Arnon. A decisive victory crowned the arms of Israel, and the pursuit was continued to Abel (plain of the vineyards), from south to north, over an extent of about sixty miles.

No text from Poole on this verse. So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon, to fight against them,.... As in Judges 11:29, after he had made the above vow:

and the Lord delivered them into his hands; when both armies met and engaged, victory was on the side of Jephthah; the Lord being with him, and giving him success, to where all is justly ascribed.

So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands.
Verse 32. - So Jephthah. The narrator takes up again the thread of the narrative, which was interrupted at ver. 29, the words he passed over up, to the children of Ammon being repeated. But not contenting himself with this conclusive deduction, Jephthah endeavoured to remove the lost appearance of right from the king's claim by a second and equally conclusive argument. "And now art thou better than Balak son of Zippor, the king of Moab? Did he strive (רוב, inf. abs. of ריב or רוּב) with Israel, or did he fight against them?" By the repetition of ועתּה (Judges 11:25, cf. Judges 11:23), the new argument is attached to the previous one, as a second deduction from the facts already described. Balak, the king of the Moabites, had indeed bribed Balaam to destroy Israel by his curses; but he did so not so much with the intention of depriving them of the territory of the Amorites which they had conquered, as from the fear that the powerful Israelites might also conquer his still remaining kingdom. Balak had neither made war upon Israel on account of the territory which they had conquered from the Amorites, nor had he put forward any claim to it as his own property, which he certainly might have done with some appearance of justice, as a large portion of it had formerly belonged to the Moabites (see Numbers 21:26 and the comm. on this passage). If therefore Balak the king of the Moabites never thought of looking upon this land as being still his property, or of asking it back from the Israelites, the king of the Ammonites had no right whatever to lay claim to the land of Gilead as belonging to him, or to take it away from the Israelites by force, especially after the lapse of 300 years. "As Israel dwells in Heshbon, ... and in all the cities by the side of the Arnon for three hundred years, why have ye not taken away (these towns and lands) within that time" (i.e., during these 300 years)? If the Ammonites had had any right to it, they ought to have asserted their claim in Moses' time. It was much too late now, after the expiration of 300 years. For "if no prescriptive right is to be admitted, on account of length of time, and if long possession gives no title, nothing would ever be held in safety by any people, and there would be no end to wars and dissension" (Clericus). On Heshbon and its daughters, see at Numbers 21:25. Aror (ערעור, another form for ערער, or possibly only a copyist's error) is Aror of Gad, before Rabbah (Joshua 13:25), and is to be sought for in the Wady Nahr Ammn, on the north-east of Ammn (see at Josh. l. c.), not Aror of Reuben, on the border of the valley of Arnon (Numbers 32:34; Deuteronomy 2:36; Deuteronomy 4:48; Joshua 12:2; Joshua 13:9). This is evident from the fact, that it is distinguished from "all the cities on the side (ידי על, see at Numbers 34:3) of the Arnon," which included Aror of Reuben. Aror of Gad, with its daughter towns, was probably Ammonitish territory before the time of Sihon. On the 300 years, a round number that comes very near the reality, see the Chronol. p. 285.
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