Then Jephthah fled from his brethren
Being ill used by them, and a man of spirit and courage, and could not bear to be treated with contempt, nor to live in a dependence on others, and therefore sought to make himself another way:
and dwelt in the land of Tob;
which Kimchi and Ben Gersom think was the name of the lord and owner of the land; Abarbinel interprets it, a good land, as Tob signifies, so the Targum; but others the name of a city or country, and conjecture it may be the same with Ishtob, and which was not far from the children of Ammon, since they sent thither for assistance, ( 2 Samuel 10:6 ) . Jerom F7 takes it for a country, in which Jephthah dwelt, but says no more of it. Junius says it was on the entrance of Arabia Deserta, in the Apocypha:
``Yea, all our brethren that were in the places of Tobie are put to death: their wives and their children also they have carried away captives, and borne away their stuff; and they have destroyed there about a thousand men.'' (1 Maccabees 5:13)
``Then departed they from thence seven hundred and fifty furlongs, and came to Characa unto the Jews that are called Tubieni.'' (2 Maccabees 12:17)where the inhabitants of it are called Tobienians or Tubienians:
and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah;
not wicked men, but empty men, whose pockets were empty; men without money, as Abarbinel interprets it, had nothing to live upon, no more than Jephthah, and he being a valiant man, they enlisted themselves under him:
and went out with him;
not on any bad design, as to rob and plunder, but to get their living by hunting; or rather by making excursions into the enemy's country, and carrying off booty, on which they lived. Josephus F8 says he maintained them at his own expense, and paid them wages.
F7 De loc. Heb. fol. 25. A.
F8 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 7. sect. 7.)