Map, King of Ammon: “Israel’s people stole my land”
Map King of Ammon: “Israel’s people stole my land”
AMMON ATTACKS ISRAEL
4People of Ammon later attacked Israelites living in the area. 5Israelite leaders went to Tob and asked Jephthah to come back with them. 6They told him, “We want you to command the army that will fight the Ammonites."
7Jephthah said, “You do, do you? Don’t you remember that you’re the people who kicked me out of my father’s house. And now you have the nerve to ask for my help when you’re in trouble?” 8The leaders of Gilead said, “Yes, we know. But we're coming to you anyhow, asking you to lead us in the battle. If you do, we’ll appoint you ruler of Gilead.”
9Jephthah said, “Are you feeding me a line? If I come back with you, and the LORD lets me defeat the Ammonites, will you really do what you said—you’ll make me ruler?” 10The leaders of Gilead told Jephthah, “Yes. And we’ll make that promise with the LORD watching. Once you become our ruler, we’ll do whatever you say.” 11So Jephthah went back with the leaders, and they appointed him ruler of Gilead and commander of the army. He took the oath of leadership at a sacred site at Mizpah, with the LORD watching.
WORDS BEFORE THE WAR
12Jephthah sent a message to the king of Ammon, asking, “What’s the problem here? Why are you coming onto my land to fight me?”
13Ammon’s king sent a reply. “When Israel’s people came here from Egypt, they stole my land from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River to the Jordan River. Give it back to me peacefully.”
14Jephthah answered the king. 15“This message is from Jephthah: Israel didn’t take land from the people of Moab or Ammon. 16When Israel came up here from Egypt, they traveled through barren wasteland and the Reed Sea, on their way to the Kadesh oasis. 17Israel sent messengers to Edom’s king, asking, ‘Would you allow us to pass through your land?’ The king would not. Israel asked the same of Moab’s king, with the same result. So, Israel stayed at Kadesh for a while. 18When they started traveling again, they circled around Edom and Moab. To take that bypass, they had to walk through desolate land again. They camped on the far side of the Arnon River, to the east. They didn’t step on Moab’s land because Arnon marked the eastern boundary. 19Israel sent messengers to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who ruled in his capital at Heshbon: ‘We would like permission to pass through your country.’ 20Sihon didn’t trust Israel enough to let them do that. So, he assembled his army and camped at Jahaz. That’s where he fought Israel. 21He lost. Because of it, the LORD gave Sihon and his people to Israel. So, Israel took the land and lived there.
22They controlled all the land you’re talking about, from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the desert in the east to the Jordan River in the west. 23Israel’s God, the LORD, crushed the Amorites. Are you planning to step into this picture and pick up where they left off? 24Shouldn’t you be satisfied with what your god, Chemosh, gives you? And shouldn’t we be allowed to take everything the LORD, our God, gives us? 25Are you any better than Moab’s former king, Balak the son of Zippor? Did he argue with Israel about the land? Did he go to war with them? 26Let’s be clear, you want land that Israel has lived on for 300 years. This includes the cities of Heshbon and Aroer along with their outlying communities along the Arnon River. If this land belonged to you, why didn’t you take it earlier? 27I haven’t done anything wrong to you. You’re the one causing trouble. You’re starting a war against me. The LORD will have the final say about all of this.” 28Jephthah’s message didn’t change the Ammonite king’s mind.
Judges 11, Casual English Bible
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