Sharon Wilharm Bible Storyteller

The Courage of Jephthah’s Daughter

Though the book of Judges is filled with tragic stories of sin and sorrow, it’s also peppered with stories of bravery and courage. Jephthah’s daughter is one of those stories.

When Jephthah’s daughter heard the horrid vow that her father had made, committing to offer her up as a burnt offering to the Lord, she could have run in fear. Instead, she stood strong saying, “My father, you have opened your mouth to the LORD; do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, now that the LORD has avenged you on your enemies, on the Ammonites.” (Judges 11:36 ESV)

She asked for only one request, that she be allowed to be alone for two months so that she might wander in the mountains with her friends and mourn the fact that she would die without ever marrying and bearing children.

He agreed to her request, so she and her friends left, but at the end of two months, she returned to her father “…who did with her according to his vow that he had made…) (v. 39a)

Chapter 11 closes by saying, “it became a custom in Israel that the daughters of Israel went year by year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in the year.” (v. 39b-40)

Jephthah’s father messed up big time, and when he did, rather than taking responsibility for his actions, he blamed his daughter. She could have begged and pleaded for him to change his mind. She could have run away and never returned. Instead, she bravely accepted her unfortunate lot in life and the daughters of Israel remembered and recognized her sacrifice. Though Jephthah was weak, his daughter was strong.

Read About Jephthah’s daughter in Scripture: Judges 11:36-40

The Courage of Jephthah's Daughter

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