Covenant with Abram

Jephthah – The Outcast of Israel

Bible Study Lesson — Judges 11:1-11

JephthahHave you ever been to a church or even an event where you did not feel welcome?

This probably has happened to all of us at one time or another.

Was it our fault? Maybe, but as Henry Ford said to Lee Iacoca when he fired him – “There are some people I just don’t like.“.

The focus today is on Jephthah the Gileadite who was outcast because of his family situation. Let’s see what the Book of Judges has to say.

Casting Out Jephthah the Gileadite

Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a valiant warrior, but he was the son of a harlot. And Gilead was the father of Jephthah.

Gilead’s wife bore him sons; and when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, “You shall not have an inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.”

So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob; and worthless fellows gathered themselves about Jephthah, and they went out with him.

It came about after a while that the sons of Ammon fought against Israel.

When the sons of Ammon fought against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob; and they said to Jephthah, “Come and be our chief that we may fight against the sons of Ammon.” – Judges 11:1-6 NASB

Jephthah – The Illegitimate Son

First, let’s look at some background about Jephthah. He was a Gileadite warrior who was born to Gilead.

The conflict arises when we meet his mother who was a harlot. The other term for harlot is prostitute so this did not improve his standing in the community, to say the least.

The Half Brothers

Jephthah had two half brothers, born of his father also. But, their mother was Gilead’s wife so they were “legit”.

This was a cause of discrimination and hatred for their half brother.

What Did Jephthah Do Wrong?

Who’s decision was it to sleep with a prostitute? Certainly not Jephthah’s – he was just the end result of someone’s bad judgment.

No matter, the deeds of his father came back to haunt him when his brothers chased him out of the land.

Jephthah suffered the consequences of his father’s actions which constitutes a clear case of discrimination.

God Used Him

Even though Jephthah was ridiculed and cast out by his brothers, God used him in a mighty way.

He did not let the shame of his beginnings get in the way of what God wanted him to do.

Outcasts in Our Midst?

Many times churches or other groups with “good intentions” drive away the very people God reaches out to.

The people who surround our church may not look like us, they may not act like us but they are just as important to God as those inside the walls of the church.

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”1414359810″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”bobpardphot-20″ width=”120″]We need to take the first steps toward showing love and Christian values just as Christ did toward the Samaritans and others who were “inferior” to Israel.

Can we make an effort to accept the “Samaritans” who cross our paths to show the love of Jesus Christ?

Something to ponder.

Love in Christ

– Bob

If you would like to discover more about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 here.


Read Today’s Passage Here:

New American Standard Bible

New King James Version

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