Jephthah, yif-TAKH, יִפְתָּח
Jephthah (Wikipedia)
Jephthah, depicted here in Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum of Guillaume Rouillé
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Jephthah (pronounced /ˈɛfθə/; Hebrew: יפתחYiftāḥ), appears in the Book of Judges as a judge who presided over Israel for a period of six years (Judges 12:7). According to Judges, he lived in Gilead. His father's name is also given as Gilead, and, as his mother is described as a prostitute, this may indicate that his father might have been any of the men of that area. Jephthah led the Israelites in battle against Ammon and, in exchange for defeating the Ammonites, made a vow to sacrifice whatever would come out of the door of his house first. When his daughter was the first to come out of the house, he immediately regretted the vow, which would require him to sacrifice his daughter to God. It is disputed whether or not the sacrifice was actually carried out. Traditionally, Jephthah is listed among major judges because of the length of the biblical narrative referring to him, but his story also shares features with those of the minor judges, such as his short tenure—only six years—in office.

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