Judges 11:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 11:9, NIV: Jephthah answered, 'Suppose you take me back to fight the Ammonites and the LORD gives them to me--will I really be your head?'

Judges 11:9, ESV: Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you bring me home again to fight against the Ammonites, and the LORD gives them over to me, I will be your head.”

Judges 11:9, KJV: And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head?

Judges 11:9, NASB: So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, 'If you bring me back to fight against the sons of Ammon and the LORD gives them up to me, will I become your head?'

Judges 11:9, NLT: Jephthah said to the elders, 'Let me get this straight. If I come with you and if the LORD gives me victory over the Ammonites, will you really make me ruler over all the people?'

Judges 11:9, CSB: So Jephthah said to them, "If you are bringing me back to fight the Ammonites and the Lord gives them to me, I will be your leader."

What does Judges 11:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

For the first time in this discussion (Judges 11:4–8), Jephthah introduces the topic of the Lord's will over Israel's defeats and victories. In the previous chapter, the people of Israel asked God to deliver them from their oppressors. The Lord said no, but then the people put away all their idols and began to serve the Lord again (Judges 10:10–16). Jephthah, at least, expresses that whether he succeeds or fails in leading Gilead to victory over Ammon will be the Lord's doing, not his.

Still, he wants the leaders of Gilead to be clear. If he returns to Gilead and the Lord gives him victory over the Ammonites, he intends to be leader over the elders of Gilead, as well as the inhabitants, as they had said in the previous verse. In short, Jephthah expects to become governor—or a local king, though no such label is attached. Regardless of the term used, he wants a guarantee that he will rule over all of them, despite how they helped drive him away and that he has been a leader over "worthless" men up to this point.