Judges 11:8
And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.
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Jdg 11:8. Therefore we turn again to thee — Being sensible we have done thee an injury, we come now to make thee full reparation. That thou mayest go with us — They acknowledge that they need his assistance and are humble enough to request it.

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. Therefore we turn again to thee now; being sensible that we have done thee injury, we come now to make time full reparations.

And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah,.... In reply to his objection:

therefore we turn again unto thee now; being sensible of the injury they had done him, and repenting of it, of which their return to him was an evidence; it being with this view to remove the disgrace and dishonour that had been cast upon him, by conferring such honour on him, as to be their chief ruler:

that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead; the end of their coming to him was not only to bring him back with them to his own country, and to fight against the Ammonites, and the defence of it, but to be the sole governor of it; not of all Israel, but of the tribes beyond Jordan, which inhabited the land of Gilead: more than this they could not promise, though he afterwards was judge over all Israel, notwithstanding there was a law in Israel, that no spurious person should enter into the congregation, or bear any public office; so it was a law with the Athenians (i), that unless a man was born of both parents citizens, he should be reckoned spurious, and have no share in the government, see Judges 11:2.

(i) Aelian. Var. Hist. l. 6. c. 10. l. 13. c. 24. "Suidas in voce"

And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.
8. Therefore are we turned again] i.e. this being so, since we have driven thee out. Instead of answering the objection directly, the elders state the reason for the reply they give. For this idiom in conversation cf. Jdg 8:7, Genesis 4:15; Genesis 30:15, 1 Kings 22:19.

head … Gilead] Similarly Jdg 10:18.

Judges 11:8The elders replied, "Therefore (לכן, because we have formerly done thee wrong) we have now come to thee again to make thee our head, if thou comest with us and fightest against the Ammonites." The clauses והלכתּ, ונלהמתּ, and והיית, which are formally co-ordinate, are logically to be subordinated to one another, the first two expressing the condition, the third the consequence, in this sense, "If thou go with us and fight, ... thou shalt be head to us, namely, to all the inhabitants of Gilead," i.e., to the two tribes and a half on the east of the Jordan.
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