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Judges 11:13

ESV And the king of the Ammonites answered the messengers of Jephthah, “Because Israel on coming up from Egypt took away my land, from the Arnon to the Jabbok and to the Jordan; now therefore restore it peaceably.”
NIV The king of the Ammonites answered Jephthah's messengers, 'When Israel came up out of Egypt, they took away my land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, all the way to the Jordan. Now give it back peaceably.'
NASB And the king of the sons of Ammon said to the messengers of Jephthah, 'It is because Israel took my land when they came up from Egypt, from the Arnon as far as the Jabbok and the Jordan; so return them peaceably now.'
CSB The king of the Ammonites said to Jephthah's messengers, "When Israel came from Egypt, they seized my land from the Arnon to the Jabbok and the Jordan. Now restore it peaceably."
NLT The king of Ammon answered Jephthah’s messengers, 'When the Israelites came out of Egypt, they stole my land from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River and all the way to the Jordan. Now then, give back the land peaceably.'
KJV And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably.

What does Judges 11:13 mean?

The army of the Ammonites is mounted for war against the Israelite people of the region of Gilead (Judges 10:17–18; 11:11). Bordered to the west by the Jordan River, Gilead's territory includes all the land south of the Jabbok River and north of the Arnon River (Deuteronomy 3:16). The territory controlled by Ammon, farther to the east, does not have such defined borders.

Newly appointed as leader of the people of Gilead, Jephthah has sent a message to the king of Ammon. He wants to know why the Ammonites are trying to take their land. In response, the king of Ammon claims the people of Israel took the land from them when they came out of Egypt. He is describing a time after the exodus, when Moses was leading God's people toward the Promised Land (Exodus 12:50–51). During that time, Moses and Israel successfully defeated the inhabitants of the region known as Gilead and took possession of the land (Numbers 21:24–26).

To hear it told by the king of Ammon, this justifies his war against the people of Gilead. He claims he is taking back what originally belonged to this people some 300 years earlier. If Jephthah will just give the land back, the king of Ammon implies, this entire nasty business can all be over. As Jephthah will point out, however, this land never belonged to the Ammonites in the first place (Judges 11:14–15).
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