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Haftara Chulkat

Judges 11.1-33

Now Yiphthach the Gileadite was a mighty warrior, but he was the son of a harlot; and Gilead was Yiphthach’s father. Gilead’s wife bore him sons; and when his wife’s sons grew up; they drove out Yiphthach, saying to him: “You shall not inherit in our father’s house; you are the son of another woman.”

Then Yiphthach fled from his brothers, and dwelt in the land of Tov, and idle fellows joined themselves to Yiphthach, and the went out with him.

After a while, the Ammonites made war against Israel. And when the Ammoonites made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Yiphthach from the land of Tov. They said to Yiphthach; “Come and be our captain, that we may fight the Ammonites.”

But Yiphthach said to the elders of Gilead; “Did you not hate me, and drive me from my father’s house? Why are you coming to me now, when you are in distress?”

The elders of Gilead said to Yiphthach: “Therefore we have turned to you now, that you may go with us, and fight against the Ammorites, and you will be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.”

Yiphthach said to the elders of Gilead: “If you bring me back home to fight against the Ammorites, and God delivers them to my hand, I will be your head.”

The elders of Gilead said to Yiphthach: “God is witness between us, that we will do as you say.”

Then Yiphthach went to the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them; and Yiphthach uttered all his words before God in Mitzpa. Then Yiphthach sent messengers to the king of the Amorites saying: “What have you against me, that you have come to fight against my land?” And the king of the Amories answered the messengers of Yiphthach: “Because Israel took away my land, when they came out of Egypt, from the Arnon even to Jabbok, and to the Jordan; now therefore restore those cities peaceably.”

Yiphthach sent messengers again to the king of the Amorites. And he said to him: Thus says Yiphthach: Israel did not take away the land of Moab or the land of the Amories. But when they came out of Egypt, and Israel journeyed through the wilderness to the Red Sea, and came to Kadesh; Then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying: Please let me pass through your land; but the king of Edom would not listen. And in like manner, he sent to the king of Moab; but he would not consent; and Israel remained in Kadesh.

They then journeyed through the wildreness, going around the land of Edom and the land of Moab, and came to the east side of the land of Moab, and they camped on the other side of Arnon, but they did not cross the border of Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab. Then Israel sent messengers to Sichon the king of the Amorites, the king of Cheshbon; and Israel said to him: “Please let us pass through your land to our place.” But Sichon did not trust Israel to pass through his border, so Sichon gathered all his people together, and camped in Yahatz, and fought against Israel. And God, the Lord of Israel, delivered Sichon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they defeated them; so Israel posessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country.. They posessed all the land of the Amorites, from Arnon to the Jabbok, and from the wilderness to the Jordan.

So now God, the Lord of Israel, has driven out the Amories from before His people Israel; and should you posses their land? Will you not posess that which Chemosh your god gives you to posess? Similarly, all that God our Lord has dispossessed from before us, we will possess. Now are you any better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever strive against Israel, or did he fight against them? While Israel dwelt in Cheshbon and its towns, and in Aroer and its towns, and all the cities on either side of the Arnon, three hundred years why did you not recover them within that time? I therefore have not sinned against you, but you do me wrong by coming to war against me. God, the Judge, be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.

But the king of the Ammornites paid no attention to Yiphthach’s message.

Then God’s spirit came on Yiphthach, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh, and on to Mitzph of Gilead, and from Mitzpeh of Gilead he passed through to the Ammonites. Yiphthach vowed to God, and said: “If you deliver the Ammonites into my hand, whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the Ammonites, shall be God’s, and I will offer it for a burnt offering.”

So Yiphthach passed over to the Ammonites to fight against them; and God delivered them into his hand. He smote them from Aroer to Minnith, twenty cities, as far as Abel Cheramim, with very great slaughter. Thus the Ammonites were subdued by the children of Israel.