Judges 11:6
And they said to Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Our captain.—The word used is katzin (Joshua 10:24; Isaiah 1:10; Isaiah 22:3), which is specially a leader in time of war; but Jephthah demands something more—namely, to be their “head” (rosh) in time of peace also.

11:1-11 Men ought not to be blamed for their parentage, so long as they by their personal merits roll away any reproach. God had forgiven Israel, therefore Jephthah will forgive. He speaks not with confidence of his success, knowing how justly God might suffer the Ammonites to prevail for the further punishment of Israel. Nor does he speak with any confidence at all in himself. If he succeed, it is the Lord delivers them into his hand; he thereby reminds his countrymen to look up to God as the Giver of victory. The same question as here, in fact, is put to those who desire salvation by Christ. If he save you, will ye be willing that he shall rule you? On no other terms will he save you. If he make you happy, shall he make you holy? If he be your helper, shall he be your Head? Jephthah, to obtain a little worldly honour, was willing to expose his life: shall we be discouraged in our Christian warfare by the difficulties we may meet with, when Christ has promised a crown of life to him that overcometh?The land of Tob - To the north of Gilead, toward Damascus. The readiness with which Jephthah took to the freebooter's life gives us a lively picture of the unsettled times in which he lived. 5, 6. the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah—All eyes were directed towards him as the only person possessed of the qualities requisite for the preservation of the country in this time of imminent danger; and a deputation of the chief men was despatched from the Hebrew camp at Mizpeh to solicit his services. Our captain: they say not our king; for the experience of Abimelech’s kingship had cooled their appetite in that particular; but our captain. And they said unto Jephthah, come and be our captain,.... The general of their army, to conduct and lead on their forces; they did not propose him to be their king, being convinced by Abimelech's conduct that such a step would be wrong; nor did they say anything of his being their judge, having no other view than to serve their present exigence; besides, a judge was not one chosen by the people, but raised up of God, and which honour was conferred on Jephthah afterwards:

that we may fight with the children of Ammon; with judgment, courage, and success; they did not make this proposal to him to save themselves from being engaged in the war, but that they might have one skilful in military affairs at the head of them, to instruct them in the art of war, and lead them on in a regular manner, and animate them by his brave example.

And they said unto Jephthah, {e} Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.

(e) Men are often forced to ask for help from them, whom before they refused.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. chief] i.e. commander in war, Joshua 10:24, Daniel 11:18 (RVm.); the same word as the Arabic ḳâḍi.Verse 6. - Our captain. A military term, as in Joshua 10:24. It is also used in Isaiah 1:10 for the rulers of Sodom. These verses form the introduction to the account of the help and deliverance sent by God, and describe the preparation made by Israel to fight against its oppressors. The Ammonites "let themselves be called together," i.e., assembled together (הצּעק, as in Judges 7:23), and encamped in Gilead, i.e., in that portion of Gilead of which they had taken possession. For the Israelites, i.e., the tribes to the east of the Jordan (according to Judges 10:18 and Judges 11:29), also assembled together in Gilead and encamped at mizpeh, i.e., Ramath-mizpeh or Ramoth in Gilead (Joshua 13:26; Joshua 20:8), probably on the site of the present Szalt (see at Deuteronomy 4:43, and the remarks in the Commentary on the Pentateuch, pp. 180f.), and resolved to look round for a man who could begin the war, and to make him the head over all the inhabitants of Gilead (the tribes of Israel dwelling in Perea). The "princes of Gilead" are in apposition to "the people." "The people, namely, the princes of Gilead," i.e., the heads of tribes and families of the Israelites to the east of the Jordan. "Head" is still further defined in Judges 11:6, Judges 11:11, as "captain," or "head and captain."
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