And he smote them from Aroer, even till you come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and to the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)To Minnith.—According to Eusebius and Jerome, this is Maanith, four miles from Heshbon (Ezekiel 27:17).
Unto the plain of the vineyards.—Rather, unto Abel-ceramim. The place is either Abela, a few miles beyond Maanith, or another Abela, twelve miles from Gadara (Euseb., Jer.).Jdg 11:33. Till thou come to Minnith — A place not far from Rabbah, the chief city of the Ammonites. The children of Ammon were subdued before Israel — It does not appear that Jephthah offered to take possession of their country. Though the attempt of others to wrong us will justify us in the defence of our own right, yet it will not authorize us to do them wrong.Judges 3; 4; 7, the battle was on Israelite territory, in self-defense, not in aggressive warfare.
The plain of the vineyards - Rather, "Abel-Ceramim" (compare Abel-Meholah), identified with an "Abel" situated among vineyards, 7 miles from Robbah. "Minnith" is "Maanith," 4 miles from Heshbon, on the road to Rab-bah.
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.Minnith; a place not far from Rabbah, the chief city of; the Ammonites. Deuteronomy 3:12.
even till thou come to Minnith; which seems to have been a place famous for wheat, Ezekiel 27:17 so David de Pomis (a) says it was a place where the best wheat grew. Jerom says (b) in his time was shown a village called Mannith, four miles from Esbus (or Heshbon), as you go to Philadelphia. Josephus (c) calls it Maniathe, and it is thought by some to be the Anitha of Ptolemy (d), which he places in Arabia Petraea even "twenty cities"; which he pursued them through and took:
and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter; or, Abel Ceramim. Jerom says (e) in his time was seen a village called Abela, planted with vineyards, seven miles from Philadelphia:
thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel; so that they were not able to oppress them any more.And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)33. Aroer] Probably not the Aroer of Jdg 11:16, but another place of the same name E. of Rabbath-ammon, Joshua 13:25, on the Ammonite border. Minnith is identified by Eusebius (Onom. Sacr. 280, 44; 140, 3) with Maanith, 4 rom. miles from Heshbon, on the way to Philadelphia (Rabbath-ammon). Abel-cherâmim according to Onom. Sacr. 225, 5; 96, 10 = Abel, 6 or 7 miles from Philadelphia. The two last identifications are uncertain. The direction of the campaign is twice mentioned (until thou come … and unto); the twenty cities come in awkwardly between the two places; probably the text has received additions.
were subdued] See Jdg 3:30 n.
Verse 33. - From Aroer... to Minnith. The Aroer here mentioned seems to be that in the tribe of Gad (Numbers 32:34; Joshua 13:25), now Nahr Amman. Minnith is thought to have been situated four Roman miles from Heshbon, on the road to Rabbah of the children of Ammon, afterwards called Philadelphia. It was called Manith in the time of Eusebius. The plain of the vineyards, better taken as a proper name, Abel-ceramim. The site is not certainly known. Eusebius speaks of two Abels, both fertile in vineyards, one seven Roman miles from Rabbah, which is probably the one here meant.
(Note: "Jephthah urged everything that could be pleaded in support of their prescriptive right: possession, length of time, the right of conquest, and undisputed occupation." - Rosenmller.)
he closed with these words: "I (i.e., Israel, whose cause Jephthah was pleading) have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong in that thou makest war against me. Let Jehovah the Judge be judge this day (now) between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon." God should decide between the two nations, by giving the victory in war to the side whose cause was the just one.
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