Judges 11:7
And Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, Did not you hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? and why are you come to me now when you are in distress?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) Did not ye hate me?—The elders of Gilead must at least have permitted his expulsion by his brethren.

Therefore.—i.e., with the express desire to repair the old wrong.

Jdg 11:7. Did ye not hate me, and expel me — And deprive me of all share in my father’s goods, which, though a bastard, was due to me? This expulsion of him was the act of his brethren; but he here ascribes it to the elders of Gilead; either because some of his brethren were among these elders, as is very probable from the dignity of this family; or because this act, though desired by his brethren, was executed by the decree of the elders, to whom the determination of all controversies about inheritances belonged; and therefore it was their faults they did not protect him from the injuries of his brethren.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?This gives a wider signification to Judges 11:2-3, and shows that Jephthah's "brethren" include his fellow tribesmen. 7-9. Jephthah said, Did not ye hate me?—He gave them at first a haughty and cold reception. It is probable that he saw some of his brothers among the deputies. Jephthah was now in circumstances to make his own terms. With his former experience, he would have shown little wisdom or prudence without binding them to a clear and specific engagement to invest him with unlimited authority, the more especially as he was about to imperil his life in their cause. Although ambition might, to a certain degree, have stimulated his ready compliance, it is impossible to overlook the piety of his language, which creates a favorable impression that his roving life, in a state of social manners so different from ours, was not incompatible with habits of personal religion. Did not ye expel me out of my father’s house, and deprive me of all share in my father’s goods, which, though a bastard, was due to me? This expulsion of him was the act of his brethren; but he here ascribes it to the elders of Gilead; either because some of them were among these elders, as is very probable from the dignity of this family; or because this act, though desired and promoted by his brethren, was executed by the decree of the elders, to whom the determination of all controversies about inheritances belonged; and therefore it was their fault that they did not protect him from the injuries of his brethren, as their duty was. And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead,.... In answer to their request; who though not backward to engage in the war with them, yet thought it proper to take this opportunity to upbraid them with their former unkindness to him:

did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? for it seems some of these elders at least were his brethren; for who else could be thought to hate him, and through hatred to thrust him out of his father's house, but they? nor is it at all improbable that they were among the elders of Gilead, considering what family they were of: though indeed the magistrates of the city might be assisting to Jephthah's brethren in the expulsion of him, or however connived at it, when they should, as he thought, have protected him, and taken care that he had justice done him; for even though illegitimate, a maintenance was due to him:

and why are ye come unto me now, when ye are in distress? intimating, that it was not love and respect to him, but necessity, that brought them to him with this request; and that since they used him so ill, they could not reasonably expect he should have any regard unto them.

And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and {f} expel me out of my father's house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress?

(f) Often those things which men reject, God chooses to do great enterprises by.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. and drive me out of my father’s house] See Jdg 11:2 n. Apparently custom allowed certain rights to the sons of concubines, as in the ancient Babylonian code of Ḫammurabi; S. A. Cook, Moses and Ḫammurabi, p. 141.Verse 7. - Did not ye hate me, etc. Jephthah's reproach to the "elders of Gilead" strongly favours the idea that "his brethren" in ver. 3, and the "father's house" in ver. 2, are to be taken in the wider sense of fellow-tribesmen and "house of fathers," and that his expulsion was not the private act of his own brothers training him out of the house they lived in, but a tribal act (taking tribe in the sense of house of fathers), in which the elders of Gilead bad taken a part. If this is so, it removes a great difficulty about Jephthah being Gilead's son, which it is very hard to reconcile with chronology. Election of Jephthah as Prince and Judge of Israel. - Judges 11:1-3. The account begins with his descent and early mode of life. "Jephthah (lxx Ἰεφθά) the Gileadite was a brave hero" (see Judges 6:12; Joshua 1:14, etc.); but he was the son of a harlot, and was begotten by Gilead, in addition to other sons who were born of his wife. Gilead is not the name of the country, as Bertheau supposes, so that the land is mythically personified as the forefather of Jephthah. Nor is it the name of the son of Machir and grandson of Manasseh (Numbers 26:29), so that the celebrated ancestor of the Gileadites is mentioned here instead of the unknown father of Jephthah. It is really the proper name of the father himself; and just as in the case of Tola and Puah, in Judges 10:1, the name of the renowned ancestor was repeated in his descendant. We are forced to this conclusion by the fact that the wife of Gilead, and his other sons by that wife, are mentioned in Judges 11:2. These sons drove their half-brother Jephthah out of the house because of his inferior birth, that he might not share with them in the paternal inheritance; just as Ishmael and the sons of Keturah were sent away by Abraham, that they might not inherit along with Isaac (Genesis 21:10., Genesis 25:6).
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