Judges 11:2
And Gilead's wife bore him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said to him, You shall not inherit in our father's house; for you are the son of a strange woman.
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(2) They thrust out Jephthah.—This was in perfect accordance with the law (Deuteronomy 23:2-3), and with family rules and traditions. Abraham had sent the son of Hagar and the sons of Keturah to found other settlements (Genesis 21:10; Genesis 25:6).

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?The history of Jephthah appears to be an independent history inserted by the compiler of the Book of Judges. Jdg 11:4-5 introduce the Ammonite war without any apparent reference to Judges 10:17-18.

A genealogy of Manasseh 1 Chronicles 7:14-17 gives the families which sprang from Gilead, and among them mention is made of an "Aramitess" concubine as the mother of one family. Jephthah, the son of Gilead by a strange woman, fled, after his father's death, to the land of Tob Judges 11:3, presumably the land of his maternal ancestors (compare Judges 9:1) and an "Aramean" settlement (2 Samuel 10:6, 2 Samuel 10:8; 1 Macc. 5:13). It is difficult to conceive that Jephthah was literally the son of Gilead, if Gilead was the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh. Possibly "Gilead" here denotes the heir of Gilead, the head of the family, whose individual name has not been preserved, nor the time when he lived.

2. Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house—As there were children by the legitimate wife, the son of the secondary one was not entitled to any share of the patrimony, and the prior claim of the others was indisputable. Hence, as the brothers of Jephthah seem to have resorted to rude and violent treatment, they must have been influenced by some secret ill-will. The Gileadite; so called, either from his father Gilead, Joshua 17:1,2, or from the mountain or city of Gilead, the place of his birth or abode.

The son of an harlot, i.e. a bastard; for though such were not ordinarily to enter into the congregation of the Lord, Deu 23:2, yet God can dispense with his own laws, and hath sometimes done honour to base-born persons, so far, that some of them were admitted to be the progenitors of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gilead; one of the children of that ancienter Gilead, Numbers 32:1 Joshua 17:1. And Gilead's wife bare him sons,.... It seems that, after the birth of Jephthah, Gilead took him a lawful wife, who bore him sons:

and his wife's sons grew up; to the estate of men:

and they thrust out Jephthah: out of his father's house, his father in all likelihood being dead, or he would not have suffered it, and what follows confirms it that he was dead:

and said unto him, thou shalt not inherit in our father's house: as he might not, if the son of an harlot, or of a woman of another tribe, or of a concubine; though as Kimchi, from their Rabbins, observes, the son of such an one might, provided his mother was not an handmaid nor a stranger. And it looks as if this was not rightly done, but that Jephthah was injuriously dealt with by his brethren, of which he complains:

for thou art the son of a strange woman: or of another "woman" (e), that was not their father's lawful wife; or of a woman of another tribe, as the Targum; or of another nation, as others, prostitutes being used to go into foreign countries to get a livelihood, and hide the shame of their families; hence a strange woman, and a harlot, signified the same (f), see Judges 11:1.

(e) "mulieris alterius", Pagninus, Montanus; "exterae", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Tigurine version. (f) "Pro uxore hanc peregrinam", Terent. Audria, Acts 1, scen. 1. l. 118.

And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of a {a} strange woman.

(a) That is, of a harlot as in Jud 11:1.

2. And Gilead’s wife] i.e. the lawful wife in distinction from another woman (1 Chronicles 2:26). In Jdg 11:7 it is the elders of Gilead, not his half-brothers, who drove Jephthah out of his home; the present verse seems to be an attempt to provide some account of Jephthah’s antecedents by inference from his brethren (properly his tribesmen, Jdg 14:3) in Jdg 11:3, and from Jdg 11:7.Verse 2. - And Gilead's wife. Whenever Gilead lived, besides the son by the foreign harlot, whom Jephthah represented, he had sons and descendants by his legitimate wife, who claimed to be his sole heirs, and who therefore drove Jephthah from the inheritance of their father's house. They might, as far as the language used is concerned, have been Gilead's own sons, or they may have been his grandsons or great-grandsons, and so either the brothers or the cousins and fellow-tribesmen of Jephthah. Therefore the Lord would not save them any more. They might get help from the gods whom they had chosen for themselves. The Israelites should now experience what Moses had foretold in his song (Deuteronomy 32:37-38). This divine threat had its proper effect. The Israelites confessed their sins, submitted thoroughly to the chastisement of God, and simply prayed for salvation; nor did they content themselves with merely promising, they put away the strange gods and served Jehovah, i.e., they devoted themselves again with sincerity to His service, and so were seriously converted to the living God. "Then was His (Jehovah's) soul impatient (תּקצר, as in Numbers 21:4) because of the troubles of Israel;" i.e., Jehovah could no longer look down upon the misery of Israel; He was obliged to help. The change in the purpose of God does not imply any changeableness in the divine nature; it simply concerns the attitude of God towards His people, or the manifestation of the divine love to man. In order to bend the sinner at all, the love of God must withdraw its helping hand and make men feel the consequences of their sin and rebelliousness, that they may forsake their evil ways and turn to the Lord their God. When this end has been attained, the same divine love manifests itself as pitying and helping grace. Punishments and benefits flow from the love of God, and have for their object the happiness and well-being of men.
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