Judges 12:7
And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.
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(7) Judged Israel.—The word implies that he was one of the recognised Shophetim, but there are no details to show in the case of any of the judges either what were the limits of their jurisdiction or what amount of authority it implied.

In one of the cities of Gilead.—The Hebrew only says, “in cities of Gilead.” This may, no doubt. mean “one of the cities of Gilead,” as in Genesis 19:29 “the cities in the which Lot dwelt” means “in one of which Lot dwelt.” But the burial-place of so renowned a hero as Jephthah was not likely to be forgotten, and the reading adopted by the LXX. and Vulg., “in his city, Gilead” (i.e., Ramoth-Gilead or Mizpeh of Gilead), is furnished by a mere change of into The Sebee, in which Josephus says he was buried, may be a corruption of Mizpeh.

12:1-7 The Ephraimites had the same quarrel with Jephthah as with Gideon. Pride was at the bottom of the quarrel; only by that comes contention. It is ill to fasten names of reproach upon persons or countries, as is common, especially upon those under outward disadvantages. It often occasions quarrels that prove of ill consequence, as it did here. No contentions are so bitter as those between brethren or rivals for honour. What need we have to watch and pray against evil tempers! May the Lord incline all his people to follow after things which make for peace!Shibboleth; and he said Sibboleth - This is a curious instance of dialectic difference of pronunciation between the East and West Jordanic tribes. It is an evidence of the sound "sh" having passed into the Hebrew from the East of Jordan, possibly from the Arabians, with whom the sound is common.

Forty-two thousand - The number includes the slain in battle and those killed at the fords.

7. Jephthah died—After a government of six years, this mighty man of valor died; and however difficult it may be for us to understand some passages in his history, he has been ranked by apostolic authority among the worthies of the ancient church. He was followed by a succession of minor judges, of whom the only memorials preserved relate to the number of their families and their state [Jud 12:8-15]. In one of the cities, Heb. in the cities; the plural number put for the singular, as Genesis 19:29, where Lot is said to dwell in the cities, i.e. one of the cities; and 1 Samuel 18:21, the twain is put for one of the twain; and Judges 18:11, houses for house; and Jonah 1:5, the sides for one of the sides.

And Jephthah judged Israel six years,.... After the affair of the Ephraimites, he was acknowledged by all Israel as their judge and supreme governor, but did not live long; being perhaps depressed and worn away with grief, on account of his daughter, and other troubles that attended him:

then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead: it is not said in what city he was buried, but very probably it was in his own city Mizpeh, where he dwelt. Josephus (w) says it was in his own country, Sebee, a city of Gilead.

(w) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 7. sect. 12.

And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.
7. The story of Jephthah is brought to a close with the formula which is used of the Minor Judges, Jdg 12:8-15, Jdg 10:2-5.

was buried in one of the cities of Gilead] The text has in the cities of G.! Can this mean that Jephthah was buried somewhere or other in Gilead? The vagueness of the expression is supposed to be an indication of the vaguely historical character of the whole story (Meyer, Die Israeliten, p. 535). Probably, however, the text is incorrect. The LXX. cod. B reads ‘in his city in G.’, cod. A ‘in his city G.’; Vulgate in civitate sua Galaad. Some cursive mss. of LXX read ‘in his city in Sephe Gilead,’ cf. Jos., Ant. Jdg 12:7; Jdg 12:12 ‘in Sebee of G.’; this suggests that the text originally ran in his city, in Mizpeh of G., cf. Jdg 8:27, Jdg 11:29. The rabbis are driven to explain ‘limb after limb fell off his body and was buried each in a different place,’ Midrash Rabba Levit. § 37, Bereshith § 60.

Verse 7. - Six years. Perhaps his sorrow for his daughter shortened his life. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite. Better, And Jephthah the Gileadite died. In one of the cities. His exact burial-place was perhaps unknown, and therefore the general phrase in the cities of Judah was used, as in Genesis 13:12. Lot is said to have dwelt in the cities of the plain, and in Nehemiah 6:2 San-ballat asked Nehemiah to meet him in the villages of the plain. Still the phrase is not what you would expect here, and it seems unlikely that Jephthah's burial-place should be unknown. The Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac, and Arabic versions read, "in his city Gilead," as if Gilead had been the name of Jephthah's paternal city. Another conjecture is that there might have been an Ar of Gilead as well as the well-known Ar of Moab, or there might have been a collection of towns called Arey- Gilead (the towns of Gilead), after the analogy of Havoth-jair (Judges 10:4), but there is no evidence in support of these conjectures.

CHAPTER 12:8-15 Judges 12:7Jephthah judged Israel six years, though most probably only the tribes on the east of the Jordan. When he died, he was buried in one of the towns of Gilead. The plural גלעד בּערי is used quite indefinitely, as in Genesis 13:12; Nehemiah 6:2, etc. (see Ges. Lehrgeb. p. 665), simply because the historian did not know the exact town.
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