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For me, the most horrific part of the Jephtha story is the way that priests, religions and even scholars insist on pushing this blame onto Jephtha himself -- posting this as a Rash Vow to God. Which is complete BS as near as I can tell, after re-reading the story several times. Since the 18th century, some scholars have questioned the traditional interpretation of Jephthah's sacrifice of his daughter. Alternative views of the events have been proposed claiming mistranslations or comparing the sacrifice to other biblical events and given the contradiction in the moral message, seeking a more poetic interpretation. But the fact is there is nothing wrong with the interpretation of the Hebrew, and it was exactly what it says. This isn't a few verses taken out of context... this is three chapters making it perfectly clear that Jephthah sought to save the people of the tribe, and offered the sacrifice of God's choosing for success.

There are several more disturbing details of this story. The first being that Jephthah is pointedly described as being the son of a Harlot. This declaration is even more disturbing when the writer goes to great lengths to point out later, that after his daughter is sacrificed, Jephthah is not given any more off-spring by God.

The second is the custom of Israel which is said to be a four day a year lament for the daughter of Jephthah by all women... which I can find no record of ever being on a Hebrew calendar. It is probably there... but so far I haven't been able to find this period of lament for his daughter.

So this is one of the places in the bible that God asks for and gets the blood sacrifice of a child. There are others, which we don't like talking about either... we sort of brush over them like they were no big deal... but when our blinders are removed, they are exactly what they say they are.


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