And Jephthah came to Mizpeh to his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances…
If he did not offer her as a burnt-offering, then he did not do with her according to the vow. Moreover, why all this wailing and anguish if, after all, all that was going to happen to her is what happens to thousands who seem to stand in little need of compassion? Then, again, why did she ask for the one favour of a respite of two months to bewail her virginity, if she was to have thirty or forty years with leisure for that purpose? And, lastly, if the mere fact of her remaining unmarried fulfilled even that part of the vow which specified that she was to be the Lord's, then what objection can we make to other young women giving themselves to the Lord in the same way? If Jephthah's daughter became a nun, and if this was judged a fulfilment of his vow, if by being a virgin she was somehow more the Lord's than by being a married woman, a stronger foundation need not be sought for the establishment of nunneries.
(Marcus Dods, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.