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Jdg 11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of a prostitute; and Gilead was the father of Jephthah-
He was a "man of valour" (Jud. 11:1), a word also translated "virtue", and coming from a root meaning 'to whirl around'.  This may possibly suggest a connection with the cherubim, as if through their righteousness ("virtue"), Jephthah and Jesus were a manifestation of God. We see a purposeful juxtaposition between him being a man or valour / virtue, and being the son of a prostitute. Just as "Tola" means 'worm', we see continued the theme that the judges all had something about them which made them despised of men. The left handed, the son of a whore or of a concubine, etc. And it is exactly this kind of person whom God uses. 

Jdg 11:2 Gilead’s wife also bore him sons, and when his wife’s sons grew up they drove out Jephthah, and said to him, You shall not inherit in our father’s house because you are the son of another woman-
He was despised as "the son of a strange woman" (Jud. 11:2) as Jesus was accused of being born out of wedlock (Jn. 8:41). All the judges / saviours look forward to Him.

Jdg 11:3 Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob, and a group of adventurers gathered to Jephthah, and they went out with him-
Having been rejected by his brethren, Jephthah " dwelt in the land of Tob" (Jud. 11:3), a word which can mean 'heaven'. Our Lord's return from heaven in response to Israel's plea for help clearly echoes this.

Jdg 11:4 After a while the Ammonites made war against Israel-
The summary of the whole situation was given in Jud. 10:17, and Jud. 11:1-4 have explained how this came about.

Jdg 11:5 When the Ammonites made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah out of the land of Tob-
Rejected by his brethren, he had been forced to live the life of a brigand and outlaw, and his military exploits and bravery were perhaps well known to all. Should he have resorted to robbery in order to stay alive? Perhaps not, but the experience was used by God in order to prepare him to deliver His people. The elders of Gilead likely included his brothers who had rejected him. The  whole incident looks forward to Israel's desperation leading them to repent of their rejection of the Lord Jesus; see on :7.

Jdg 11:6 and they said to Jephthah, Come and be our chief, so that we can fight the Ammonites-
We see developed further the theme that Israel, and people generally, need a visible leader. It came to a head in their rejection of Yahweh as their invisible king in Samuel's time. And we likewise see the tendency of all religions to provide a visible 'king'; for personal faith in the invisible kingship of Yahweh, recognizing ourselves thereby as part of His Kingdom or Kingly dominion, demands real faith.

Jdg 11:7 Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, Didn’t you hate me and drive me out of my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?-
The Lord Jesus was 'thrust out' from His native town (Lk. 4:29) as Jephthah was driven out from Gilead. It was "the elders" who were also responsible for the Lord's rejection. Jephthah's questions were rhetorical. The answer was 'Because we failed to have your faith in Yahweh and are suffering for it, so we need you, as a believer in Yahweh whom we rejected, to lead us. You have what we don't have'.

Jdg 11:8 The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, Therefore we have turned again to you now-
This really was what they had done to God. And they saw Jephthah as manifesting God to them; they responded to his rhetorical questions of :7, as discussed there.

So that you may go with us and fight the Ammonites, and you shall be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead-
The end result of Israel's suffering at the hand of Ammon was that they realized their desperate need for a firm leader.   Both the ordinary people, and what remains of their leadership in the last days, will be unanimous in this same conclusion:  "The people and princes of Gilead said one to another, What man is he that will begin to fight against the children of Ammon? he shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead" (Jud. 10:18).   The fact that they then asked Jephthah to be this "head" (Jud. 11:8) would suggest that secretly they knew all along who they should follow.  

Hos. 1:10,11 alludes back to Israel's choosing of Jephthah as their head, implying that their choosing of Christ will be at the time of their national acceptance by God:  "It shall be said unto them, You are the sons of the living God. Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together (cp. "the children of Israel assembled themselves together" to choose a leader to fight Ammon, Jud. 10:17), and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land (Exodus language - as if their suffering in their own land will match what they experienced in Egypt): for great shall be the day of Jezreel" - where Gideon won his great victory over the Midianites, which prefigured that of the last days (Jud. 6:33). This confirms our view that the final Ammonite attack prefigures the very last threat to Israel, which will come immediately after their repentance.


Jdg 11:9 Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, If you bring me home again to fight the Ammonites and Yahweh delivers them to me, shall I be your head?-
Perhaps men like Jephthah (Jud. 11:9) and Samson (Jud. 14:4) were not wrong to seek to be the judges who delivered Israel from the Philistines. For we sense here that being the "head" was attractive to Jephthah. Paul seems to want to inculcate the spirit of ambition in preaching when he told Corinth that they should be ambitious to gain those Spirit gifts which would be most useful in public rather than private teaching of the word (1 Cor. 14:1,12). In similar vein Paul commends those who were ambitious (from the right motives) to be bishops (1 Tim. 3:1).

Jdg 11:10 The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, Yahweh shall be witness between us; certainly we will do as you say-
They swear by Yahweh, when previously they had been serving other gods; and also because they knew that Jephthah was devoted to Yahweh.

Jdg 11:11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and chief over them, and Jephthah spoke all his words before Yahweh in Mizpah-
We note that the word "king" is not used. Perhaps they had learned the lesson from Gideon's refusal of the offer to be king, and had learned too from the tragic demise of Abimelech, the man who wanted to be king.

Jdg 11:12 Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the Ammonites saying, What have you against me, that you have come to me to fight against my land?-
The land was God's, and those who fight against God's people, fight against Him. Jephthah is very aware that as a leader of God's people, he is manifesting Yahweh. This rhetorical question, as his question to his own people in :7, was intended to elicit their repentance. And this fulfilled the Mosaic command to ask enemies to surrender before fighting them.

As Jephthah briefly appealed to the surrounding enemies to see  Biblical sense before destroying them, will the Lord Jesus Christ do likewise? He will "plead with them" in the valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:2). A remnant of repentant Philistines will apparently repent (Zech. 9:5-7); other hints that some of the latter day enemies will repent are found in Is. 19:23-25 ("Assyria the work of my hands" implies they will be the subjects of a new spiritual creation);  Is. 14:1,2 (those who took Israel captive will willingly be their slaves in the Kingdom age).


Jdg 11:13 The king of the Ammonites answered the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land when he came up out of Egypt, from the Arnon to the Jabbok and to the Jordan; now therefore restore that territory again peaceably- Ammon justified their invasion by a quasi-Biblical argument, based on their claim that "Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt". Jephthah replied by saying that because God had dispossessed Ammon then, they should not keep raising this old land question (Jud. 11:23). Yet this issue of who really owns the land of Israel is as live now as it was then, and indicates once again how the final latter day invasion will use this sort of argument to justify it.

Jdg 11:14 Jephthah sent messengers back to the king of the Ammonites-
His answer is very Biblical and reflects a thorough acquaintance with the scriptures he had access to. This man who had to make a living as a highwayman and robber, the son of a whore who had been rejected by his father's sons, had turned to the scriptures because of his experiences. We cannot judge people. We simply don't know who deep down is searching for God, nor what thief or lowlife is secretly reading the Bible on their phone.

Jdg 11:15 and said to him, This is what Jephthah says: Israel didn’t take away the land of Moab, nor the land of the Ammonites-
The lengthy argument which follows will come to its conclusion in :21- it was really Yahweh and not Israel who had taken the land. To cavil at this was to effectively fight against Yahweh, and Jephthah doesn't wish even his enemies to do this. 

Jdg 11:16 but when they came up from Egypt Israel went through the wilderness to the Red Sea and came to Kadesh-
Jephthah's knowledge of the scriptural record seems very impressive, and he quotes verbatim fragments from passages like Num. 13:26; 14:25. Against him, the Ammonites stood no chance of twisting scripture and history to justify themselves. 

Jdg 11:17 Then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom saying, ‘Please let me pass through your land;’ but the king of Edom didn’t listen. In the same way he sent to the king of Moab, but he would not, and Israel stayed in Kadesh-
The lesson is that if we are unreasonable to God's people, there will be eternal consequences. The Ammonites considered that all this was mere history. And that is the trouble with human attitudes to God's word, much of which is history. We tend to focus on the immediate, the situation before us at this moment; and consider that the passage of time works a kind of pseudo atonement for our previous failings. It doesn't, and we need to therefore repent as soon as we perceive our sins. See on :28.

Jdg 11:18 Then they went through the wilderness and skirted around the land of Edom and the land of Moab and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and they encamped on the other side of the Arnon, but they didn’t come within the border of Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab-
This is all careful quotation from Num. 21:4,11-20; Dt. 2:1. See on :16.

Jdg 11:19 Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon, and Israel said to him, ‘Please let us pass through your land to our place’-
This is all careful quotation from Num. 21:21-24; Dt. 2:24,26. See on :16.

Jdg 11:20 But Sihon didn’t trust Israel to pass through his border, but Sihon gathered all his people together and encamped in Jahaz and fought against Israel-
Jephthah is hereby appealing for the Ammonites to learn a lesson from history; for they too had 'gathered together against' Israel. The whole narrative of the book of Judges is that the lessons from history are simply not learnt. And so man stumbles on in darkness, ever seeking to be the empirical learner until it is too late, without the guidance of Divine principles and the precedents set in His word. See on :29.

Jdg 11:21 Yahweh the God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they struck them; so Israel took possession of all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country-
This was only true on one level. "Drive out" is s.w. "possess". We must note the difference between the  Canaanite peoples and their kings being "struck" and their land "taken" by Joshua-Jesus; and the people of Israel permanently taking possession. This is the difference between the Lord's victory on the cross, and our taking possession of the Kingdom. Even though that possession has been "given" to us. The word used for "possession" is literally 'an inheritance'. The allusion is to the people, like us, being the seed of Abraham. The Kingdom was and is our possession, our inheritance- if we walk in the steps of Abraham. But it is one thing to be the seed of Abraham, another to take possession of the inheritance; and Israel generally did not take possession of all the land (Josh. 11:23 13:1; 16:10; 18:3; 23:4). The language of inheritance / possession is applied to us in the New Testament (Eph. 1:11,14; Col. 3:24; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Pet. 1:4 etc.). Israel were promised: "You shall possess it" (Dt. 30:5; 33:23). This was more of a command than a prophecy, for sadly they were "given" the land but did not "possess" it. They were constantly encouraged in the wilderness that they were on the path to possessing the land (Dt. 30:16,18; 31:3,13; 32:47), but when they got there they didn't possess it fully.

Jdg 11:22 They captured all the border of the Amorites from the Arnon to the Jabbok, and from the wilderness to the Jordan-
The territory is described from south to north, and then from east to west.

Jdg 11:23 So now Yahweh, the God of Israel has driven out the Amorites from before His people Israel, and should you take it over?-
By asking the Ammonites to accept Yahweh's legitimate claim upon this territory, Jephthah was effectively asking them to accept Yahweh as their God. In all God's judgments, there is the desire for human repentance.

Jdg 11:24 Won’t you inherit that which Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So whatever Yahweh our God has given to us, that we will take-
The idea of a god giving his people territory to possess was not at all foreign to the peoples of the land. Chemosh was god of the Moabites (Num. 21:29; 1 Kings 11:7,33; Jer. 48:7,13,46). But Moab and Ammon were closely connected. And Chemosh had failed to protect 'his' land from the Amorites. Jephthah states the issue as being a conflict between Yahweh and Chemosh, both apparently laying claim to the same land. So the only way out of the conflict was for Ammon to accept Yahweh as their God, instead of accepting Chemosh, the god of another nation (Moab) as their god. But we wonder whether Jephthah is not still reasoning from the false assumption that Yahweh was only the God of the land of Israel, rather than going further as David did, and perceiving Him as in fact king of all the planet, with a claim therefore on every human heart.   

Jdg 11:25 Now are you any better than Balak the son of Zippor king of Moab? Did he ever strive successfully against Israel, or did he ever fight against them?-
This is a somewhat more human argument. Balak king of Moab ought to have contested this land issue historically, but he never did.

Jdg 11:26 While Israel lived in Heshbon and its towns, in Aroer and its towns and in all the cities that are along by the side of the Arnon, for three hundred years, why didn’t you recover them within that time?-
As noted on :25, this is now a more human argument, to the effect that if a territory had been taken in war and kept for 300 years by its conquerors, then it could not reasonably be demanded back. But this is a human argument, and Jephthah should have surely just kept with the spiritual argument- that the land was Yahweh's, and He had given it to His people. We often see the same tendency; human, secular or logical arguments are deployed to uphold or support a position which is simply true because God's word has declared it to be so. This is where so much of 'apologetics' fails to be ultimately relevant. We think particularly of attempts to use science to bolster the Biblical accounts of God's miracles, or creation itself.

Jdg 11:27 I therefore have not sinned against you, but you do me wrong to fight against me. Let Yahweh the Judge be judge this day between the people of Israel and the people of Ammon-
Jephthah speaks in the first person, as if this is a personal argument with him. But he does so because he realizes he is manifesting God. He also argues that Yahweh is the Judge between Yahweh and Chemosh in their conflicting claims to property. The argument means that it is foolish to enter into the judgment court, seeing this is the case. Paul uses the same kind of argument, in presenting the Lord Jesus as both our advocate for the defence as well as our judge. We cannot, therefore, be condemned; if we are truly "in" Him.

Jdg 11:28 However the king of the Ammonites didn’t listen to the words of Jephthah which he sent him-
Just as the king of Edom refused to listen to God's words (s.w. :17). For Jephthah is clearly speaking God's words here.

Jdg 11:29 Then the Spirit of Yahweh came on Jephthah and he crossed over Gilead, Manasseh and Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he crossed over to the Ammonites-
As he went, he asked the Israelites there to support him, but they didn't (Jud. 12:2). This repeats the theme of what happened at the time of Deborah, and also Gideon. And again we see the inability of people to learn from history. For the Spirit was clearly upon Jephthah as it was upon Gideon and Deborah. See on :20.

Jdg 11:30 Jephthah made a vow to Yahweh and said, If You will indeed deliver the Ammonites into my hand-
This need not imply doubt, but rather faith (for which he was noted in Heb. 11). "If" in Hebrew doesn't have to imply that something is open to question, but can function as the word "when...". But if indeed the "if" here betrays a lack of full faith, then this was the basis for his foolish vow. Perhaps a man of full faith would not therefore have needed to make this vow. He would have taken victory as an absolute given. So in this case, we see how taking the lower level of faith so often leads us into further problems.

Jdg 11:31 then whatever comes forth from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites, it shall be Yahweh’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering-
I will engage with the question as to whether or not Jephthah offered his daughter as a burnt offering; but I wish to preface the presentation of evidence by observing that this is one of the many times that the Bible intentionally presents us with a question which is ambiguous and cannot be conclusively decided. For God wishes us to engage with Him, to reflect upon His word, and consider it carefully. And in the process of that consideration and careful engagement with God's word, we are led closer to Him. It is the process and not the product, the road rather than the destination, which is important in these cases. Whether we come down on the right or wrong side in our conclusion as to whether Jephthah really sacrificed his daughter... is not the intention of the record. This of course is hard of acceptance by those literalists and legalists who insist that every Bible verse must have a clear, black and white interpretation, with no ambiguity.

That said, at this point I would note that animals don't live in houses where people live. Nor do they come forth from the doors of a house to meet the master of the house. So it seems he does indeed have his daughter in view from the start. And we might wonder whether this isn't something similar to how Saul pronounced death on whoever had eaten, "even if it be Jonathan my son", knowing surely that Jonathan had eaten as he had not heard the command and curse upon those who ate. Further, the phrase "offer it up for a burnt offering" is never used figuratively. Sacrifice as a concept is, but he doesn't use the word sacrifice. And yet contra this is the clear Divine disgust at human offerings, and Yahweh's condemnation of the other tribes for offering up their children to their gods. And as noted on :14, Jephthah had an excellent knowledge of the scriptures. So I conclude that the whole question is left intentionally ambiguous, with evidence both ways- in order to exercise our minds.

We could however go with Adam Clarke's suggestion that we translate the Hebrew as meaning ""I will consecrate it to the Lord, or I will offer it for a burnt-offering"; that is, 'If it be a thing fit for a burnt-offering, it shall be made one; if fit for the service of God, it shall be consecrated to him'". However :34 clearly presents Jephthah as in a state of tragic shock when his daughter comes out of the house to greet him, and if Clarke's get out is valid, then this reads very strangely. See on Jud. 12:1,4.

Jdg 11:32 So Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them and Yahweh delivered them into his hand-
Just as all the animals and everything in the eretz promised to Abraham was 'delivered into the hands' of Noah (s.w. Gen. 9:2), so the nations of that eretz were delivered into the hands of Israel (s.w. Ex. 6:8; 23:31; Dt. 2:24; 3:2,3; 7:24; 21:10; Josh. 2:24; Jud. 1:2). Tragically, like Adam in Eden [perhaps the same eretz promised to Abraham] and Noah in the new, cleansed eretz, Israel didn't realize this potential. What was delivered into the hand of Joshua (Josh. 2:24) actually wasn't delivered into their hand, because they disbelieved (Jud. 2:23); and this looks ahead to the disbelief of so many in the work of the Lord Jesus, who has indeed conquered the Kingdom for us. They considered the promise of the nations being delivered into their hand as somehow open to question, and only a possibility and not at all certain (Jud. 8:7; Num. 21:2 cp. Num. 21:34). Some like Jephthah (s.w. Jud. 11:32; 12:3), Ehud (Jud. 3:10,28), Deborah (Jud. 4:14), Gideon (Jud. 7:15) did, for a brief historical moment; but as individuals, and their victories were not followed up on. Instead they were dominated by the territory. And so instead, they were delivered into the hands of their enemies within the eretz (s.w. Lev. 26:25; Jud. 13:1). See on Jud. 12:2.  

Jdg 11:33 He struck them from Aroer to Minnith, twenty cities, and to Abelcheramim, with a very great slaughter. So the Ammonites were subdued before the children of Israel-
The nations in the land being "subdued" was the outcome of Israel being obedient to the covenant (s.w. Dt. 9:3). We read this word "subdued" used of how the land was at times subdued before Israel (Jud. 3:30; 4:23; 8:28; 11:33). But each time it is clear that the people generally were not obedient to the covenant. One faithful leader was, and the results of his faithfulness were counted to the people. This is what happened with the Lord's death leading to righteousness being imputed to us.

Jdg 11:34 Jephthah came to Mizpah to his house and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances. She was his only child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter-
This was unusual for a man of some distinction, and we wonder if Jephthah had become impotent. Or it could be that his wife had become barren, and he had refused to remarry or take other wives. He stands in stark contrast to other judges of Israel, who had 70 or 30 sons. We see this as a sign of his integrity. The whole narrative is set up for us to sense that the  girl coming out of the house to meet Jephthah sent a chill of terror and tragedy down Jephthah's spine. The tragedy of the scene is emphasized by the record mentioning that she was his only child. I discussed on :31 the pros and cons for thinking that Jephthah sacrificed his daughter, and concluded that the evidence seems carefully stacked on both sides. Therefore I conclude that the incident is consciously crafted to help us engage carefully with the text, and there is no definite conclusion possible. His apparent integrity in only having one child is carefully balanced against his rashness of having made an oath which he now thinks he must carry out. 

Jdg 11:35 When he saw her he tore his clothes and said, Alas my daughter! You have made me very sad and troubled, for I have made a vow to Yahweh and I can’t go back on it-
We could argue that he could have redeemed his daughter from the vow he involved her with (Lev. 27:4). But he decided in his mind: "I can't go back". Actually he could have done; but he so firmly chose the higher level that it was as if there was no way back. Ps. 15:4, in evident allusion to Jephthah, describes those who will attain the Kingdom as fearing Yahweh, and swearing to their own hurt and changing not. Some may swear and change and attain the Kingdom; but we are invited to follow Jephthah to the highest level. The principle of Jephthah's vow is seen in many other Bible characters.

Or it could be that for all his fluent knowledge of the history of God's people, he had not paid due attention to the details of the Mosaic law in Lev. 27:4, and so was unaware of this. I discussed on :31 whether like Saul wanting to kill his son Jonathan, Jephthah just possibly might have wished to kill his daughter. For he knew she would come out of the house to greet him with tambourine if he won. And this would make his grief here either theatrical, or because he now realized the reality of what he had vowed.

Jdg 11:36 She said to him, My father, you have made a vow to Yahweh; do to me what you have vowed, because Yahweh has taken vengeance for you on your enemies the people of Ammon-
Her attitude is indeed commendable on one hand, but she sees her father's victory as being his personal vengeance upon his personal enemies. The idea of fighting for Yahweh against His enemies, and His vengeance, seems far from her.
Jdg 11:37 She said to her father, Let this one thing be done for me: let me alone two months to go around on the mountains and bewail my virginity, I and my companions.
As discussed on :31, this could mean that she was resigned to death. Or the bewailing of her virginity could mean that she accepted that she was dedicated to Yahweh and therefore could never marry and have children. But there is no Mosaic concept of a woman being devoted to Yahweh by the oath of a third party, and therefore being unable to have children or marry. Even the oath of Naziriteship didn't preclude marriage. So again, as discussed on :31, we are left with evidence for and against the idea of her sacrifice. This, I suggest, is intentional.

For God wishes us to engage with Him, to reflect upon His word, and consider it carefully. And in the process of that consideration and careful engagement with God's word, we are led closer to Him. It is the process and not the product, the road rather than the destination, which is important in these cases. Whether we come down on the right or wrong side in our conclusion as to whether Jephthah really sacrificed his daughter... is not the intention of the record. This of course is hard of acceptance by those literalists and legalists who insist that every Bible verse must have a clear, black and white interpretation, with no ambiguity.

Whatever Jephthah's unwisdom, motives or murderous plans which may or may not have lurked in a very dark mind which wished to slay his daughter, this doesn’t exclude him from being listed amongst the faithful in Hebrews 11. The lesson therefore is the same as that which we take from Samson. No matter how possibly tangled were a man's motives at some points in his life, no matter how strangely parts of a man's biography may read or appear when we meet them in live encounter, we are not to judge. For God at the end of all things may well accept him as faithful to Him. We are not to judge simply because we cannot judge.

Jdg 11:38 He said, Go. He sent her away for two months, and she and her companions went and mourned her virginity on the mountains-
The vow surely implied that Jephthah would immediately offer up whatever came out of his house (:31). So by allowing two months to perform the vow, he was stretching the interpretation. Why not, then, annul it altogether? We note it was her virginity which was to be lamented, which would suggest it was a devotion to a virginal life that was in view, rather than death. But then to die childless was also seen as a tragedy worthy of bewailing.

Jdg 11:39 At the end of two months she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed, and she was a virgin. It was a custom in Israel-
"And she was a virgin" is intentionally vague; fort tenses in Biblical Hebrew aren't at all precise. It could mean that she died, being a virgin. Or that she now lived the rest of her life as a virgin. But if the vow came into effect only after two months, then that could be read as implying she then died. Because she was a virgin at the start and the end of the two months. We note that the record doesn't state what Jephthah did to her; just that he did what he had vowed, and as discussed on :31,37, that vow is intentionally ambiguous. And the incident ends with this same open ended position, beckoning us to engage with the text and wonder what actually happened.

Jdg 11:40 that the daughters of Israel went each year to celebrate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year-
We wonder what there was to celebrate about this girl. For she could surely have run away, and would have found plenty to support her, just as Jonathan did when his father tried to murder him according to some unwise oath. Was the celebration of her obedience to her father's unwise oath? Or we could read "celebrate" as "lament" (AV). In which case this would be a lamentation of how a young woman had her life either ruined or ended because of the unwisdom of a male, and his pride in refusing to just take back his oath, in a mistakenly literalistic interpretation of Dt. 23:23. Again, as discussed on :31,37,39, the record is intentionally vague, in order to invite our thought and engagement with it.