Judges 11:38 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 11:38, NIV: You may go,' he said. And he let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never marry.

Judges 11:38, ESV: So he said, “Go.” Then he sent her away for two months, and she departed, she and her companions, and wept for her virginity on the mountains.

Judges 11:38, KJV: And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.

Judges 11:38, NASB: Then he said, 'Go.' So he let her go for two months; and she left with her friends, and wept on the mountains because of her virginity.

Judges 11:38, NLT: 'You may go,' Jephthah said. And he sent her away for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never have children.

Judges 11:38, CSB: "Go," he said. And he sent her away two months. So she left with her friends and mourned her virginity as she wandered through the mountains.

What does Judges 11:38 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jephthah grants his daughter's request (Judges 11:37). He made an ill-advised promise to God (Judges 11:30–31), which wound up entangling his daughter (Judges 11:34–36). She takes two months to travel in the mountains with her friends and grieve that she will never marry and have children. For many women and girls during this era, that was the greatest loss of opportunity they could imagine. That this is the emphasis of her mourning may or may not imply that Jephthah does not intend to sacrifice her life, only to devote her to God in some form of service.

Scholars and commentators disagree about the implications presented here. Is this weeping over her lack of children, only? Or grieving for the end of her life? Either option has advocates, but it is not possible to say for certain.