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Jephthah’s daughter@judges11-12.bible.now

Dear ...?

Already here I am reminded that I do not know your name. It happens often, not just in the Bible, but through history. Names are forgotten, left out. More women than men…

The story about you and your father Jephthah is to me really a story about you primarily. Believe me, I have tried to understand your father by following his story. He had quite a bad start - looked upon as a bastard, with an unknown prostitute as his mother. He must really have had to fight to be accepted.

Did that struggle make him extra hard and insensitive? When he is finally accepted in society as a leader, I feel as if he is doing his best to prove that he is a tough man. To me, this is what leads him into a trap – by promising that the first living being meeting him would be sacrificed. I

I’ve found your story difficult to understand - a young girl not knowing the trap she was stepping into.  But the reason I am writing to you now is to ask whether you actually knew what you were doing? Did you fear that your father could do a thing like this? Did the rumors reach you? Did you realise that one of the servants would rush to their death just fulfilling their duties?

Did you actually take a decision to make a sacrifice? Did you make that sacrifice, first of all to save someone else from dying? Did you also want to show your father and his society how far they had fallen by losing concern for human life? Did you even have a chance to tell your father to change his mind? Or, wasn’t he in a condition to realize that?

Some people would perhaps call this a type of sacrificial leadership, a leadership where you find it more important to make others realise truths, than to save your own life.

So sad. But you are often in my mind.

Sven-Erik

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