Jephthah Sacrificed His Daughter?

jephthah_daughterHow many of us know there are just a few difficult passages in the Scripture to comprehend, especially in the Old Testament? One complicated account is found in Judges 11:29-40.

When going out to battle against the Ammonites, Jephthah made a vow saying:

If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering. (vs30-31).

And we find the fulfilment only a few verses later:

After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin. (vs39)

At first read, it seems that Jephthah sacrificed his own daughter. But we also know from Scripture that human sacrifice was an abomination (Lev 18:21; 20:2-5: Deut 12:31; 18:10). What is going on here? Continue reading