Jephthah's atrocity

by opusdei1972 9 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • opusdei1972
    In Judges chapter 11 we read that Jephthah committed an atrocity by offering his daughter in sacrifice. However, the Watchtower, Study Edition of April 2016, reads:

    Pages 6 and 7:

    Not only was Jephthah a mighty warrior but he was a student of God’s dealings with His people. Jephthah’s thorough grasp of Israel’s history gave him a clear picture of what was right and what was wrong in Jehovah’s eyes. (Judg.11:12-27) Godly principles that were embedded in the Mosaic Law molded Jephthah’s thinking as well as his heart.

    The sacrificing of humans is something detestable to Jehovah. Thus, it is clear that Jephthah did not intend to sacrifice anyone literally. (Deut. 18:9,10) Under the Mosaic Law, a burnt offering was given entirely to Jehovah, so Jephthah evidently meant that he would devote the person to the exclusive service of God. This promise implied permanent service at the tabernacle. Jehovah accepted Jephthah’s terms and blessed him with a resounding victory, striking and subduing the enemy. (Judg.11:32, 33) But who would be the person given as “a burnt offering” to God?

    Of course, the Goberning Body resorts to sophisms so as to save the ass of the Bible writers, however, it is clear that Jephthah offered his daughter to the paranoic god Jehovah, by burning her. This is why the last two verses in Judges 11 says:

    And it became a custom in Israel that the daughters of Israel went four days each year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadit

    If the daughters in Israel went year by year to lament Jephthah's daughter it was because she died stupidly. Even the Jewish leaders admit that Jephthah did a stupid thing, as the Jewish Encyclopedia says:

    According to some commentators, among whom were Ḳimḥi and Levi b. Gershom, Jephthah only kept his daughter in seclusion. But in Targ. Yer. to Judges xi. 39 and the Midrash it is taken for granted that Jephthah immolated his daughter on the altar, which is regarded as a criminal act; for he might have applied to Phinehas to absolve him from his vow. But Jephthah was proud: "I, a judge of Israel, will not humiliate myself to my inferior." Neither was Phinehas, the high priest, willing to go to Jephthah. Both were punished: Jephthah died by an unnatural decaying of his body; fragments of flesh fell from his bones at intervals, and were buried where they fell, so that his body was distributed in many places (comp. Judges xii. 7, Hebr.). Phinehas was abandoned by the Holy Spirit (Gen. R. l.c.). The Rabbis concluded also that Jephthah was an ignorant man, else he would have known that a vow of that kind is not valid; according to R. Johanan, Jephthah had merely to pay a certain sum to the sacred treasury of the Temple in order to be freed from the vow; according to R. Simeon ben Laḳish, he was free even without such a payment (Gen. R. l.c.; comp. Lev. R. xxxvii. 3).

  • ttdtt

    Incredible topic for a WT study. NUTS!

    If you look at that whole WT - its all about circling the wagons, trying to keep people in.

    "Are you using your imagination wisely?"
    "Why should we meet together for worship?"

    and on and on.

  • Dagney
    I remember this as a drama at a DC when I was about 10. What a weird thing to glorify I thought. But typical WT fashion to pick this as a point of discussion.
  • Crazyguy

    This is a story of human sacrifice period, if God destests human sacrifice then why did he put the idea to Abraham by telling him to sacrifice Issac then later made his own son kill himself as a sacrifice. The phoneacians / Canaanites we're well known for killing humans as a sacrifice to their gods all they way down to Roman times when finally Rome put a stop to it.

  • freemindfade

    Yes these are the types of things I discovered about the bible before learning TTATT and realizing the Watchtower company was a bunch of liars.

  • stuckinarut2

    Doesnt the society use the proposal about her just sacrificing her right to have a family?

    And her friends would weep her lost opportunity of being a mother?

    (something that was considered a vital right in those days)

  • Simon
    JW Religion: "we don't sacrifice children ... but we celebrate those who did!"
  • freemindfade
    Doesn't the society use the proposal about her just sacrificing her right to have a family

    yes they believe she sacrificed her freedom in exchange to hang out at the temple doing temple stuff ala someone who goes to work at bethel for life. But if you read it in context its saying she was sacrificed, not sent to be a templite.

    Another example of witnesses making an explanation (even if they pull it out of their ass) that will support their beliefs. Not what is really in history or the dumb bible.

  • Mephis

    Clearly Jephthah did not burn his daughter alive, because that would be wrong, instead he lovingly forced her into a life of celibacy and servitude she'd otherwise not have chosen. What a loving provision by Jehovah.

    Snark aside, it is reasonable to read it as meaning the whole mourning thing was because it was temple servitude and ended the family line etc. Irony of the man named 'God opens [the womb]' using God to prevent his daughter having kids and all that. Personally think it still seems probable the original story compiled was about human sacrifice but it's another of those moments when flat out admitting it doesn't fit the narrative because 'God' accepted the sacrifice and he continued to be Judge.

  • eyeuse2badub

    The 'story'of Jephthat's daughter is just that--a story, a fable, an urban legend. It's all part of Jewish mythology, written by mystic old Jewish men for Jews.

    just saying!


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