Judges 11:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 11:2, NIV: Gilead's wife also bore him sons, and when they were grown up, they drove Jephthah away. 'You are not going to get any inheritance in our family,' they said, 'because you are the son of another woman.'

Judges 11:2, ESV: And Gilead’s wife also bore him sons. And when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, “You shall not have an inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.”

Judges 11:2, KJV: And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of a strange woman.

Judges 11:2, NASB: Gilead’s wife bore him sons; and when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, 'You shall not have an inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.'

Judges 11:2, NLT: Gilead's wife also had several sons, and when these half brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land. 'You will not get any of our father's inheritance,' they said, 'for you are the son of a prostitute.'

Judges 11:2, CSB: Gilead's wife bore him sons, and when they grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, "You will have no inheritance in our father's family, because you are the son of another woman."

What does Judges 11:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jephthah has been described as a "mighty warrior" (Judges 11:1), but he begins his independent adult life being exiled by his own brothers. Though he is possibly the firstborn of his father Gilead, Jephthah is the son of a prostitute. Gilead has other sons by his legitimate wife. Those sons, Jephthah's brothers, drive him away from the family for the sake of the inheritance.

During ancient times, it was common for the firstborn son to receive a double share of the inheritance. That would make Jephthah's brothers more eager to reject him, so that even if they split the inheritance equally, they would get more. Even as the son of a prostitute, Jephthah was recognized by his father, and so entitled to his share of his father's estate. Yet he did not have social standing to push back against threats from his brothers. So, he runs away to begin a new life on his own.