Judges 11:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 11:5, NIV: the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob.

Judges 11:5, ESV: And when the Ammonites made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to bring Jephthah from the land of Tob.

Judges 11:5, KJV: And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob:

Judges 11:5, NASB: When the sons of Ammon fought against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob;

Judges 11:5, NLT: When the Ammonites attacked, the elders of Gilead sent for Jephthah in the land of Tob. The elders said,

Judges 11:5, CSB: When the Ammonites made war with Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob.

What does Judges 11:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The elders of Gilead have a problem. Their people are willing to take a stand against the invading Ammonites (Judges 10:17–18) but have no one to lead them into battle. They need someone with combat experience to given them direction and confidence. Apparently, time has run out, and the Ammonites are on the move (Judges 11:4).

Someone has the idea to approach Jephthah (Judges 11:1–2) about taking on this role. By this time, he has gained a reputation as the leader of a successful band of morally empty men (Judges 11:3). This band of hooligans worked as brigands and bandits in the land of Tob. Even if Jephthah was renowned as a leader of fighters, that the elders of Gilead went to Tob to try and bring him back shows their desperation. Jephthah was the son of a prostitute who had been cruelly chased away by his own brothers. What motive could he have to come and lead the Israelites into battle with their enemies?