What does Judges 11:27 mean?
ESV: I therefore have not sinned against you, and you do me wrong by making war on me. The LORD, the Judge, decide this day between the people of Israel and the people of Ammon.”
NIV: I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me. Let the LORD, the Judge, decide the dispute this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites.'
NASB: So I have not sinned against you, but you are doing me wrong by making war against me. May the Lord, the Judge, judge today between the sons of Israel and the sons of Ammon.’?'
CSB: I have not sinned against you, but you are doing me wrong by fighting against me. Let the Lord who is the judge decide today between the Israelites and the Ammonites."
NLT: Therefore, I have not sinned against you. Rather, you have wronged me by attacking me. Let the Lord, who is judge, decide today which of us is right — Israel or Ammon.'
KJV: Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.
NKJV: Therefore I have not sinned against you, but you wronged me by fighting against me. May the Lord, the Judge, render judgment this day between the children of Israel and the people of Ammon.’ ”
Verse Commentary:
Jephthah has made a clear case that the Ammonites have no valid reasons to attack the Israelites in Gilead. He sent messengers from his own military encampment in Mizpah to the king of Ammon, gathered with his own army for war not far away (Judges 11:4).

The king of Ammon claimed Israel took land that rightfully belonged to his people several centuries earlier. He even demanded Jephthah restore it "peaceably," a veiled threat that an invasion was imminent (Judges 11:13). Jephthah's long response offered at least four arguments for why the king of Ammon was wrong in this claim (Judges 11:14–26). Now he concludes his message with a simple statement: I've done nothing wrong to you. You do wrong by making war on me. This summarizes the Ammonite aggression as an unjust power grab for land and power at the expense of the Israelites.

Jephthah's message frames the entire conflict as a personal matter, though he has only become the leader of Gilead days earlier (Judges 11:5–11). His message pictures this war as a wrongful attack by the king of Ammon on his own person. As far as Jephthah is concerned, he is Gilead.

And yet, Jephthah concludes by clearly stating that God, not Jephthah himself, will decide the matter between the Israelites and the Ammonites. In this way, Jephthah expresses his trust in the Lord's power to save Israel. He trusts the Lord's justice in deciding the dispute, even on the battlefield.
Verse Context:
Judges 11:12–28 is Jephthah's attempt to negotiate with the Ammonites. He exchanges messages with the king of Ammon, asking the reason for this war on their land. Jephthah corrects the king's response that Israel wrongly took the land from them during the time of Moses. He offers several forms of rebuttal. Jephthah notes that Ammon was never in control of Gilead. Instead, the Amorites attacked Israel and God have his people victory. Greater kings have not attempted to take the region away; it had not been disputed for centuries. However, the Ammonite king will not listen.
Chapter Summary:
A man named Jephthah is driven away from his home in Gilead by jealous brothers. He settles in Tob, where he becomes warrior chief of a criminal band. Gilead's elders later recruit Jephthah to lead the fight against their Ammonite oppressors. After a failed negotiation attempt, Jephthah vows to make a burnt offering to the Lord of whatever comes to meet him if God gives him victory over the Ammonites. Israel thoroughly defeats Ammon, and Jephthah's daughter, his only child, greets him. Jephthah carries out his vow after his daughter grieves never marrying or having children.
Chapter Context:
Judges 11 answers the question raised at the end of the previous chapter: who could lead Gilead's fight against the Ammonites? The elders recruit Jephthah, a warrior driven away by his family in Gilead. Jephthah agrees to return and is appointed leader of Gilead. Jephthah raises an army and makes a foolish vow to the Lord in exchange for victory. Israel defeats Ammon, but Jephthah's vow costs him his only child, his daughter. His victory also creates civil strife in Israel, leading to a minor civil war.
Book Summary:
The Book of Judges describes Israel's history from the death of Joshua to shortly before Israel's first king, Saul. Israel fails to complete God's command to purge the wicked Canaanites from the land (Deuteronomy 7:1–5; 9:4). This results in a centuries-long cycle where Israel falls into sin and is oppressed by local enemies. After each oppression, God sends a civil-military leader, labeled using a Hebrew word loosely translated into English as "judge." These appointed rescuers would free Israel from enemy control and govern for a certain time. After each judge's death, the cycle of sin and oppression begins again. This continues until the people of Israel choose a king, during the ministry of the prophet-and-judge Samuel (1 Samuel 1—7).
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