Then Jephthah went with the elders of Israel
From the land of Tob into the land of Gilead, his native country:
and the people made him head and captain over them;
ratified and confirmed what the elders had promised, and by a general unanimous vote appointed him both to be the captain of their forces, and to be the chief ruler and governor of them. And this they did, though he was the son of an harlot; and according to the law in ( Deuteronomy 23:2 ) , such an one was not to be a civil magistrate; but this was a case of necessity, and in which, no doubt, they were directed by the Lord, who could dispense with his own law: besides, they had come to such an agreement before they had pitched on any particular person, that who should begin to fight with the children of Ammon should be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead so that they were obliged to it by their vote and decree, when they assembled at Mizpeh, where it is probable they consulted the Lord, and acted under his direction, ( Judges 10:17 Judges 10:18 ) and where this was confirmed, as seems from the following clause:
and Jephthah uttered all his words before the Lord in Mizpeh;
where the congregation of Israel were assembled, and in which the Shechinah, or divine Majesty, dwelt, as is observed by Jarchi and Kimchi, and not Mizpeh in ( Joshua 11:3 Joshua 11:8 ) , as the latter says, but this was on the other side Jordan, in the land of Gilead; however, as it was a solemn meeting, the Lord was there, and, as in his presence, Jephthah rehearsed all that passed between him and the elders of Gilead; and, no doubt, in prayer to God, desired he would signify his approbation and ratification of their agreement, and would give him success in his undertakings against the children of Ammon.