Judges 11:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 11:8, NIV: The elders of Gilead said to him, 'Nevertheless, we are turning to you now; come with us to fight the Ammonites, and you will be head over all of us who live in Gilead.'

Judges 11:8, ESV: And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “That is why we have turned to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the Ammonites and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.”

Judges 11:8, KJV: And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.

Judges 11:8, NASB: The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, 'For this reason we have now returned to you, that you may go with us and fight the sons of Ammon, and become our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.'

Judges 11:8, NLT: 'Because we need you,' the elders replied. 'If you lead us in battle against the Ammonites, we will make you ruler over all the people of Gilead.'

Judges 11:8, CSB: They answered Jephthah, "That's true. But now we turn to you. Come with us, fight the Ammonites, and you will become leader of all the inhabitants of Gilead."

What does Judges 11:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Showing how desperate they are for a military leader to fight the Ammonites (Judges 10:17–18; 11:4), the leaders of Gilead have traveled to Tob to recruit Jephthah. He appears to be the only viable option, although his skills have come from leading worthless men in criminal activity—and that involvement was the result of Gilead driving him out of his father's home (Judges 11:1–3).

Jephthah has pushed back, pointing out that the same society that shunned him now wants his aid. Do they really expect him to come to the rescue now that they're in trouble? To show how serious they are, the elders of Gilead tell Jephthah their offer: if he comes home to lead in battle against the Ammonites, he will be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead. The assumption is that he needs to win for this to be granted, but if he does, he would be the head of the entire territory. The situation resembles the offer made by leaders of Shechem to Abimelech, after the death of Gideon (Judges 9:1–6).

Jephthah is interested, but he wants to be clear about the specifics of this offer (Judges 11:9–11).