Judges 11:32 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 11:32, NIV: Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the LORD gave them into his hands.

Judges 11:32, ESV: So Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them, and the LORD gave them into his hand.

Judges 11:32, KJV: So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands.

Judges 11:32, NASB: So Jephthah crossed over to the sons of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD handed them over to him.

Judges 11:32, NLT: So Jephthah led his army against the Ammonites, and the LORD gave him victory.

Judges 11:32, CSB: Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them, and the Lord handed them over to him.

What does Judges 11:32 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Empowered by the Lord's Spirit, Jephthah rallies an army of Israelites and brings them back to Mizpah. After making his unwise vow to God (Judges 11:30–31), he brings his forces to where the Ammonites are gathered for battle. The people of Israel strike first, and the Lord gives Jephthah victory.

After extensive buildup, the actual battle itself is described in just two verses. This anticlimax highlights the foolishness of Jephthah's vow. The Lord was already clearly with him and intent on giving him victory over Ammon. This raises questions about Jephthah's understanding of the situation. Why would the Lord's Spirit have come upon Jephthah if the Lord were not with him? And if the Lord was already with him, why did Jephthah feel the need to make a vow to "convince" God to do what God clearly already wanted to do?