On occasion I open with a warning, and today is one of those such occasions.

I am up early, all of my Fruit Loops and my DH (dear husband) are still in bed, and so up until now it has been just me, my bible, and my coffee.  This is a rare occurence and I think I am a bit giddy about it, so my thoughts are all jumbled with things I find hilarious in the Word this morning, and things that are interesting to ponder with a more serious mind.

If you find it hard to determine whether I am being serious or not, on any given point, please take it all with a grain of salt.

Having said that, I am reading in Judges Chapter 11.

Judges is a book in which a new judge takes over in Israel, then dies, and a new judge takes over, and dies, and a new judge takes over and dies, and a new…

Okay enough, you get the picture.  After 11 Chapters the only guy I remember anything significant about is Gideon, and that is whole ‘nother post. 

Until today, when along came Jephthah. In my mind and in this post I will call him JEP because I can’t pronounce the rest.  And I would rather nickname him than insult him.

I think it is important to note that before JEP, in chapter 10 the son of Dodo ruled for 23 years. 

 Why is that important, because Dodo is a biblical name, and now I have to consider whether or not my Fruit Loops can call one another Dodo without getting a rebuke.

Anyway,  Jep, he was quite the guy, son of a harlot.  Left town, because the sons of his father Gilead and his wife didn’t want Jep hanging around.

But Israel found themselves in some trouble, (surprise) and went lookin’ for Jep to get ’em out.

Boy did they pick the right guy!

Jep sends a message to the King of the Sons of Ammon, asking what is your issue?

Response…Israel took my land.

Boy did that set Jep off…

He responds via messanger with an eloquent monologue, recaping all the events point by point, detail by detail and ends with God drove you folks out of the land, so what are you doing back there in the first place?

What I love about this is that Jep argues like a woman.  (no implication, stay with me)

The King makes a ridiculous statement based on his lack of ability to remember the actual events.

Then Jep is able to reach into his giant vault of memories, recap each event, in the correct sequence, and clearly point out that the Kings grossly incorrect conclusion is completely unmerited, and he should therefore back off!

YOU GO JEP!

Then comes the scary part of the story.  Jep is going in for the kill and he wants God on his side, so he takes a vow to offer as a ‘burnt offering’ whatever comes out of the door first to greet him when he returns home. 

Jep did win, and sadly his dear daughter is the first to greet him. 😦

Still a virgin, commited to honoring dad, she says do what you must but can I go away with my friends for two months first and weep because of my virginity.

Jep says yes and so commences the FIRST WOMEN’S RETREAT.

How do I know it is a Women’s Retreat, because the women of Israel continued to do it annually! (v.40)

But back to the point, when Jep’s daughter returns, he does to her according to his vow.

Ouch, did his daughter become a burnt offering?

The footnote in my bible says that the vow can be interpreted to mean that if a human comes out first it means ‘shall surely be the Lord’s’ and if an animal comes out first, the animal will be burnt.

What a relief?

But how does the author of my footnotes know that?  Can any history buffs or bible majors shed some light on that?

The author of my footnotes goes on to say that some understand Jep’s daughter was an offering in that she was dedicated to the Lord in a life of celibacy, Others hold that she was killed according to Canaan practices which Jep embraced.

It seems to me someone is jumping to conclusions! (and i am not  some sick person who wants to believe that he burned his daughter)

But if Jep did in fact embrace this custom, and he did say to the Lord that he would offer a burnt offering, where does the idea of a life of celibcy come from?

Perhaps the same place my idea of the FIRST WOMEN’S RETREAT comes from.

And I certainly woudn’t publish that idea in the footnotes!

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