Jephthah, one of the judges of Israel, was a mighty warrior from Gilead. Because he was the son of a prostitute, his half brothers rejected him. He fled to another town, where he associated with “worthless fellows” (11:3). This was probably a reflection on his own character as well. When enemies began oppressing the Israelites, they appointed Jephthah as their leader without seeking God’s approval. Before going into battle with the Ammon­ites, Jeph­thah made a foolish vow: that if he were victorious, he would sacrifice to the Lord the first thing to emerge from his house upon his return. When he did return victorious, he was greeted at the door by his daughter, his only child. Jephthah followed through on his irresponsible vow, even though the Mosaic law did not require him to do so. (Judges 11:5)