Judges 11:34

34 When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter.

Read Judges 11:34 Using Other Translations

And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.
Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah. And behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances. She was his only child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter.
When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter came out to meet him, playing on a tambourine and dancing for joy. She was his one and only child; he had no other sons or daughters.

What does Judges 11:34 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Judges 11:34

And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house
Where he had uttered his words before the Lord, which had passed between him and the elders of Gilead, and from whence he set out to fight the children of Ammon, and whither he returned after he had got the victory over them, ( Judges 11:11 Judges 11:29 ) and where it seems he had a house, and his family dwelt; for upon his being fetched from the land of Tab, he brought what family he had with him, and settled them at Mizpeh, while he went on the expedition against the children of Ammon:

and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him, with timbrels, and with
dances;
accompanied with young women, having timbrels in their hands, and playing upon them, and dancing as they came along; expressing their joy at, and congratulating him upon, the victory he had obtained over the children of Ammon:

and she [was his] only child:
and so dear unto him, and upon whom all his hopes and expectations of a posterity from him depended:

besides her he had neither son nor daughter:
some read it, "of her" {f}; that is, she had neither son nor daughter; and so by this vow, be it understood in which way it may be, if fulfilled, she must die without any issue; though the phrase in the Hebrew text is, "of himself" F7; he had none, though his wife whom he married might have sons and daughters by an husband she had before him, and so these were brought up in Jephthah's house as his children; yet they were not begotten by him, they were not of his body, not his own children; he had none but this daughter, which made the trial the more grievous to him; her name, according to Philo, was Seila.


FOOTNOTES:

F6 (hnmm) Targum apud Kimchi. Vid. Masoram in loc. "ex ea", so some in Vatablus.
F7 (wnmm) "ex se", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius; so Noldius, p. 614. No. 1641.
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