Jephthah said to them, "Didn't you hate me and drive me from my father's house?1 Why do you come to me now, when you're in trouble?"
The elders of Gilead said to him, "Nevertheless, we are turning to you now; come with us to fight the Ammonites, and you will be our head2 over all who live in Gilead."
Jephthah answered, "Suppose you take me back to fight the Ammonites and the LORD gives them to me--will I really be your head?"
The elders of Gilead replied, "The LORD is our witness;3 we will certainly do as you say."
So Jephthah went with the elders4 of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them. And he repeated5 all his words before the LORD in Mizpah.612
Then Jephthah sent messengers to the Ammonite king with the question: "What do you have against us that you have attacked our country?"
The king of the Ammonites answered Jephthah's messengers, "When Israel came up out of Egypt, they took away my land from the Arnon7 to the Jabbok,8 all the way to the Jordan. Now give it back peaceably."
Jephthah sent back messengers to the Ammonite king,
saying: "This is what Jephthah says: Israel did not take the land of Moab9 or the land of the Ammonites.1016
But when they came up out of Egypt, Israel went through the desert to the Red Seaa11 and on to Kadesh.1217
Then Israel sent messengers13 to the king of Edom, saying, 'Give us permission to go through your country,'14 but the king of Edom would not listen. They sent also to the king of Moab,15 and he refused.16 So Israel stayed at Kadesh.
"Next they traveled through the desert, skirted the lands of Edom17 and Moab, passed along the eastern side18 of the country of Moab, and camped on the other side of the Arnon.19 They did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was its border.
"Then Israel sent messengers20 to Sihon king of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon,21 and said to him, 'Let us pass through your country to our own place.'22