Shoftim/Judges 11:1 - 11:33
~ When Sidras Chukas and Balak are read on the same Sabbath, this Haftarah is omitted
and the Haftarah of Balak is read. ~
1 Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, and he was the son of a concubine, and Gilead begot Jephthah. 2 And Gilead's wife bore him sons, and when the wife's sons grew up they drove Jephthah away and said to him, "You shall not inherit in our father's house, for you are the son of another woman."
3 So Jephthah fled because of his brothers and settled in the land of Tob; empty-handed men gathered themselves about Jephthah and ventured forth with him.
4 After a period of time, the children of Ammon made war with Israel. 5 And it happened when the children of Ammon made war with Israel that the Gileadite elders went to fetch Jephthah from the land of Tob. 6 They said to Jephthah, "Go forth and become our chief and we will do battle with the children of Ammon."
7 But Jephthah said to the Gileadite elders, "Was it not you who hated me and who drove me away from my father's house? — so why have you come to me now when you are in distress?"
8 The Gileadite elders said to Jephthah, "For this have we now returned to you, that you go with us and we will do battle with the children of Ammon, and that you shall become a leader unto us, unto all the inhabitants of Gilead."
9 So Jephthah said to the Gileadite elders, "If you return me to do battle with the children of Ammon and Hashem delivers them before me, I will become your leader."
10 The Gileadite leaders said to Jephthah, "Hashem shall be witness between us if it is not according to your word that we do." 11 So Jephthah went with the Gileadite elders, and the people set him as a leader and a chief over them; then Jephthah spoke all his words before Hashem in Mizpah.
12 Jephthah sent emissaries to the king of the children of Ammon saying, "What is unto you and unto me that you have come to me to make war in my land?"
13 The king of the children of Ammon said to Jephthah's emissaries, "Because Israel took my land when it ascended from Egypt, from Arnon until the Jabbok until the Jordan, so now return them in peace."
14 And Jephthah once again sent emissaries to the king of the children of Ammon.
15 He said to him, "Thus said Jephthah - Israel did not take the land of Moab and the land of the children of Ammon. 16 For when Israel ascended from Egypt, Israel went in the wilderness until the Sea of Reeds and they arrived at Kadesh. 17 Israel sent emissaries to the king of Edom saying, 'Let me please pass through your land,' but the king of Edom did not listen; and also to the king of Moab did [Israel] send, but he was [also] not willing; so Israel sojourned in Kadesh. 18 It went through the wilderness, and went around the land of Edom and the land of Moab and came to the eastern side of the land of Moab where they encamped across the Arnon; but they did not enter the border of Moab, for Arnon is the border of Moab. 19 Then Israel sent emissaries to Sihon king of the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and Israel said to him, 'Let us please pass through your land until my place.' 20 But Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his border, rather Sihon assembled all his people and they encamped in Jahaz; and he made war against Israel. 21 Then Hashem, God of Israel, delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and He struck them; and Israel took possession of the entire land of the Amorite, the inhabitant of that land.
22 They took possession of the entire border of the Amorite, from Arnon to the Jabbok, and from the wilderness to the Jordan. 23 And now Hashem, God of Israel, has driven out the Amorite from before His people Israel, and you would possess it? 24 Do you not take into your possession that which your god Chemosh bequeaths to you? — that may you possess; but all that Hashem our God drives out from before us, we shall take possession of it. 25 And now, are you much better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? — did he ever strive against Israel? — Did he ever do battle with them? 26 When Israel dwelled in Heshbon and its villages and in Aroer and its villages and in all the cities that are alongside Arnon for three hundred years, why did you not recover them during that time? 27 I have not sinned against you; but you do me wrong to make war against me; may Hashem the Judge judge today between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon."
28 But the king of the children of Ammon did not listen to the words of Jephthah that he had sent to him.
29 A spirit of Hashem was upon Jephthah - He passed through Gilead and through Manasseh, and he passed through Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed through [to] the children of Ammon. 30 Then Jephthah declared a vow unto Hashem, and he said, "If You will indeed deliver the children of Ammon into my hand, 31 then it will be that whatever emerges, what will emerge from the doors of my house to greet me when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, it shall be unto Hashem, and I will offer it up as an elevation-offering."
32 Then Jephthah passed through to the children of Ammon to do battle against them, and Hashem delivered them into his hand. 33 And he struck them from Aroer until you come to Minnith, twenty cities, until the Plain of Cheramim, a very great slaughter; and the children of Ammon were subdued before the Children of Israel.