And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah
In reply to his objection:
therefore we turn again unto thee now;
being sensible of the injury they had done him, and repenting of it, of which their return to him was an evidence; it being with this view to remove the disgrace and dishonour that had been cast upon him, by conferring such honour on him, as to be their chief ruler:
that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon,
and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead;
the end of their coming to him was not only to bring him back with them to his own country, and to fight against the Ammonites, and the defence of it, but to be the sole governor of it; not of all Israel, but of the tribes beyond Jordan, which inhabited the land of Gilead: more than this they could not promise, though he afterwards was judge over all Israel, notwithstanding there was a law in Israel, that no spurious person should enter into the congregation, or bear any public office; so it was a law with the Athenians F9, that unless a man was born of both parents citizens, he should be reckoned spurious, and have no share in the government, see ( Judges 11:2 ) ( Deuteronomy 23:2 ) .
F9 Aelian. Var. Hist. l. 6. c. 10. l. 13. c. 24. "Suidas in voce" (dhmopoihtov) .