In scriptures such as Leviticus 18:21, 2 Kings 23:10, and Jerimiah 32:35, the Bible seems to make it very clear that child sacrifice is evil, and not acceptable. However, In In Judges 11:34 – 40 it seems as though God is accepting the taking of a child as a sacrifice in exchange for allowing Jephthah to devastate 20 towns of the Ammonites. It is made clear that she is still a child in the writing “She was only a child, except for her he had neither son nor daughter” – NIV. Why is it that God does not send an angel to stop this child sacrifice as he did with Abraham in Genesis 22:10 – 12? Is it not immoral to sacrifice a human child? Am I missing a key piece of information here?


It is true that in the Judges passage it is not exactly clear what it means that Jephthah “sacrificed” his daughter.  What is really clear is that it does not involve actually killing her!  It is far more likely that Jephthah gave her over to the service of the Lord in some form that we are not sure about.  It may be something similar to what Hannah did when she gave Samuel over to Eli, to the service of God.  It may be something equivalent to a father sending his daughter off to a convent, which broke Jephthah’s heart.  Again, we do not know for sure exactly what Jephthah’s did to his daughter, but almost certainly it was not to kill her!  Your understanding of the Leviticus, 2 Kings and Jeremiah passages is correct, but your understanding of Judges is probably incorrect, at least in my opinion.

John Oakes











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