Judges 11:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 11:11, NIV: So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them. And he repeated all his words before the LORD in Mizpah.

Judges 11:11, ESV: So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and leader over them. And Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD at Mizpah.

Judges 11:11, KJV: Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh.

Judges 11:11, NASB: Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and leader over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD at Mizpah.

Judges 11:11, NLT: So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him their ruler and commander of the army. At Mizpah, in the presence of the LORD, Jephthah repeated what he had said to the elders.

Judges 11:11, CSB: So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead. The people made him their leader and commander, and Jephthah repeated all his terms in the presence of the Lord at Mizpah.

What does Judges 11:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Many figures in the book of Judges are accurately described as "complicated." Jephthah certainly fits that label. He is the son of a prostitute (Judges 11:1), driven from his own home by his half-brothers (Judges 11:2). He runs from Gilead to Tob and becomes the leader of a band of goons who become well-known for their successful victories (Judges 11:3). And yet, when recruited by the elders of his former people, Jephthah acknowledges that military victory will come only if the Lord wills it (Judges 11:4–9). He agrees to the deal only when the elders place themselves under God's judgment if they go back on their word (Judges 11:10).

Now Jephthah and the elders of Gilead arrive at Mizpah. This is where Gilead's fighters are encamped against the army of the Ammonites. In view of the people, the elders make the arrangement official: Jephthah becomes their governor, of sorts, including control of the military, all the citizens, and the elders themselves. For his part, Jephthah seals the agreement with a speech of some kind. He makes this speech before the Lord, meaning that he is holding himself accountable before God in this new role he has accepted as the leader of Gilead.

To this point in the story, however, there is still a question of whether the Lord wants Jephthah to lead Gilead. His will has been mentioned, but His own statements have not been heard, despite Jephthah and the elders acknowledging His lordship. The proof may be in whether the Lord grants victory to Jephthah and Gilead.