The Holy War (10)

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Sung Psalm 144:1-8

Read Judges 11:12-28

We reviewed Judges 9, the history of Gideon’s son Abimelech and his unholy war with Shechem in which according to the curse of Jotham, they destroyed each other (9:57).

Judges 10:6 details Israel’s wicked, many-faceted idolatry.

The next major Judge (given significant space in Bible) is Jephthah in chapter 11. Jephthah leads Israel against Ammon after the people beg him to do so. vv12-28 detail Jephthah’s argument in the land dispute in which he manifests his knowledge of Israel’s history in the Pentateuch. Ammon was claiming land that was not theirs (they also intruded into land west of the Jordan). The battle (vv32-33) was a holy war because:

  • The Spirit of God came upon Jephthah (v29)
  • God delivered them (v32)
  • It was a just war (” Lord judge”), the land was theirs.
  • Jephthah’s rash vow (v30). The aftermath of which we believe was Jephthah’s daughter’s perpetual virginity.

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In chapter 12:1-6 we read of a civil war between Jephthah’s forces and the proud Ephraimites with massive loss of life (42,000 men). Jephthah is mentioned in Hebrews 11:32-24 in the context of acts of faith which included holy war (“subdued kingdoms”).

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