What Is Leviathan in Job 41?

What Is Leviathan in Job 41?

The identity of Leviathan and Behemoth in the Book of Job has puzzled readers for centuries. Who or what were they? Were they real animals we could eat at a barbecue or are they mythological creatures which never really existed? I believe they must have been real creatures because God’s argument in this passage would collapse if they had no real existence. God calls upon Job to contemplate these magnificent creatures as evidence of his power. That would be rather difficult for Job to do if they never really existed. The rest of Scripture affirms that Job was a real human being who once lived, not a fictional character (Ezek 14:14, 20; Jas 5:11).

I believe that Leviathan and Behemoth are extinct species of dinosaurs that once lived at the same time as man. While most scientists would laugh at the suggestion that humans and dinosaurs once coexisted at the same time, the scientific case for the recent origin of dinosaurs is growing stronger and stronger. Just do an internet search for “soft tissue in dinosaur bones” to see the evidence for yourself. At one time, many secular scientists tried to deny that what they were looking at was soft tissue from dinosaur bones, but that explanation has now been discarded. When these tissues are carbon-dated, Carbon-14 is still present in them meaning they are only thousands of years old, not millions. Scientists are finding more and more of these discoveries all the time. But if you are a scientist and try to argue that dinosaurs only lived thousands of years ago, you might lose your job. The discovery of dinosaur fossils with soft tissue provides us with scientific evidence that creatures like Leviathan and Behemoth walked the earth at the same time as humans giving us the most plausible explanation for the identity of these massive creatures.

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The Inerrancy of Scripture in the Early Church

The Inerrancy of Scripture in the Early Church

Sadly, there are many liberal scholars today who believe that the belief in the inerrancy of Scripture is a modern invention instead of the consistent teaching of the Christian church throughout history. We have already explored the sufficiency and perspicuity of Scripture in the early church fathers, but now I would like to give you a few quotations from their writings on the inerrancy of Scripture:

“Look carefully into the Scriptures, which are the true utterances of the Holy Spirit. Observe that nothing of an unjust or counterfeit character is written in them” (Clement of Rome, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 45).

“Since I am entirely convinced that no Scripture contradicts another, I shall admit that I do not understand what is recorded, and shall strive to persuade those who imagine that the Scriptures are contradictory, to be rather of the same opinion of myself” (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, a Jew, 65, in ANF, 1:230).

“The Scriptures are indeed perfect, since they were spoken by the Word of God and His Spirit” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 2.28.2, in ANF, 1:399).

“All Scripture, which has been given to us by God, is perfectly consistent. The parables harmonize with the passages that are plain; and statements with a clearer meaning serve to explain the parables” (Irenaeus, Against Haereses 2:28).

“The statements of Holy Scripture will never be discordant with truth” (Tertullian, A Treatise on the Soul, 21, in ANF, 3:202).

“It is the opinion of some that the Scriptures do not agree or that the God who gave them is false. But there is no disagreement at all. Far from it! The Father, who is truth, cannot lie” (Athanasius, Easter letter, 19:3).

“I have learned to yield this respect and honor only to the canonical books of Scripture. Of these alone do I most firmly believe that their authors were completely free from error” (Augustine, Letters, 82, in NPNF, 1:350).

“For it seems to me that most disastrous consequences must follow upon our believing that anything false is found in the sacred books; that is to say, that the men by whom the Scripture has been given to us, and committed to writing, did put down in these books anything false. It is one question whether it may be at any time the duty of a good man to deceive; but it is another question whether it can have been the duty of a writer of Holy Scripture to deceive. For if you once admit into such a high sanctuary of authority one false statement as made in the way of duty, there will not be left a single sentence of those books which, if appearing to any one difficult in practice or hard to believe, may not by the same fatal rule be explained away, as a statement in which, intentionally, and under a sense of duty, the author declared what was not true” (Augustine, Letters, 28, in NPNF, 1:251-52).

For more quotations, see this article by Jonathan Moorhead.

The Perspicuity of Scripture in the Early Church

The Perspicuity of Scripture in the Early Church

I have written before on sola Scriptura in the early church, but now I want to give you some quotations on the perspicuity or clarity of Scripture in the writings of the early church fathers in contrast to the Catholic belief that the Scriptures should not be read by all:

“And thus it is fully demonstrated that there is no obscurity or contradiction in the holy Gospels or between the evangelists, but that everything is plain” (Epiphanius, Panarion, Books II and III, Sections 47-80, 51).

“Everything in the sacred scripture is clear, to those who will approach God’s word with pious reason, and not harbor the devil’s work within them and turn their steps to the pits of death—as this unfortunate man and his converts have attacked the truth more vigorously than any who have become blasphemers of God and his faith before them” (Epiphanius, Panarion, Books II and III, Sections 47-80, 76).

“And everything in the sacred scripture and the holy faith is crystal clear to us, and nothing is tortuous, contradictory or knotty” (Epiphanius, Panarion, Books II and III, Sections 47-80, 76).

“Consider, I ask you, dearly beloved, the precision of Sacred Scripture in narrating everything clearly to us, instructing us in the customs of the ancients and the extent of the ardor that marked their hospitality” (John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis 46-67, Homily 55.5).

“All things are clear and open that are in the divine Scriptures; the necessary things are all plain” (John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians, Homily III).

“For this reason too, he did not hide his teaching in mist and darkness, as they did who threw obscurity of speech, like a kind of veil, around the mischiefs laid up within. But this man’s doctrines are clearer than the sunbeams, wherefore they have been unfolded to all men throughout the world” (John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel according to St. John, Homily 2.5).

“In the sacred writings, in His Scripture that is read to all peoples in order that all may know. Thus the apostles have written; thus the Lord Himself has spoken, not merely for a few, but that all might know and understand. Plato wrote books, but he did not write for all people but only for a few, for there are not many more than two or three men who know him. But the princes of the Church and the princes of Christ did not write only for the few, but for everyone without exception” (Jerome, The Homilies of St. Jerome: Vol. 1, On the Psalms, Homily 18).

“What is the function of commentators? They expound the statements of someone else; they express in simple language views that have been expressed in an obscure manner; they quote the opinions of many individuals and they say: ‘Some interpret this passage in this sense, others, in another sense’; they attempt to support their own understanding and interpretation with these testimonies in this fashion, so that the prudent reader, after reading the different interpretations and studying which of these many views are to be accepted and which rejected, will judge for himself which is the more correct; and, like the expert banker, will reject the falsely minted coin” (Jerome, St. Jerome – Dogmatic and Polemical Works, The Apology Against the Books of Rufinus, Book I, 16).

“Consider, moreover, the style in which Sacred Scripture is composed — how accessible it is to all men, though its deeper mysteries are penetrable to very few. The plain truths which it contains it declares in the artless language of familiar friendship to the hearts both of the unlearned and of the learned; but even the truths which it veils in symbols it does not set forth in stiff and stately sentences, which a mind somewhat sluggish and uneducated might shrink from approaching, as a poor man shrinks from the presence of the rich; but, by the condescension of its style, it invites all not only to be fed with the truth which is plain” (Augustine, Letters of St. Augustine, Letter 137, Chapter 5, 18).

“As I said a little ago, when these men are beset by clear testimonies of Scripture, and cannot escape from their grasp, they declare that the passage is spurious. The declaration only shows their aversion to the truth, and their obstinacy in error” (Augustine, Reply to Faustus the Manichaean, Book XI, 2).

“You in fact try to obscure the lights of the holy scriptures which shine with certain truth by the complexity of your evil arguments. After all, what is clearer than what I just said: Human beings have become like vanity; their days pass like a shadow (Ps 144:4)? That surely would not have happened, if they had remained in the likeness of God in which they were created. What is clearer than the statement: As in Adam all die, so too in Christ all will be brought to life (1 Cor 15:22)? What is clearer than the words: Who, after all, is clean from filth? Not even an infant whose life has lasted a single day on earth (Jb 14:4-5 LXX)? And there are many other passages which you try to wrap in darkness and twist to your perverse meaning by your empty chatter” (Augustine, The Works of Saint Augustine, Answer to the Pelagians III, Unfinished Work in Answer to Julian, Book I:5, Part 1).

“Some people who have fallen foul of this complaint have endeavored to level charges at the divine Scripture, and especially the inspired oracles, of being shrouded in obscurity. To such people the divine-inspired Paul would retort, ‘Now, even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, but to the mature it is wisdom we are speaking.’ In keeping with this, too, is what is said by our Lord and savior to the holy apostles, ‘To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom, whereas to those others it is not given;’ and to explain the reason he immediately adds, ‘Seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not understand’ — that is, they willingly bring upon themselves the cloud of ignorance: if they turn to the Lord, as the apostle says, the veil will be lifted. Divine realities, therefore, are not obscure to everyone, only to those who are voluntarily blind; they ought to take note and realize that nothing worthwhile is readily accessible to human beings” (Theodoret of Cyrrhus, In Ezechielem – Præfatio, PG 81:808-809).

“In a word, holy deeds would be done by Christians if Christ has taught holy things. He who is worshiped can be judged by His worshippers. For how is a teacher good whose pupils we see are so evil? From this viewpoint, they are Christians; they listen to Him, they read Him. It is easy for all to understand the teaching of Christ” (Salvian the Presbyter, On the Government of God, Book I, Chapter 7).

“For as the word of God, by the mysteries which it contains, exercises the understanding of the wise, so usually by what presents itself on the outside, it nurses the simpleminded. It presenteth in open day that wherewith the little ones may be fed; it keepeth in secret that whereby men of a loftier range may be held in suspense of admiration. It is, as it were, a kind of river, if I may so liken it, which is both shallow and deep, wherein both the Lamb may find a footing, and the elephant float at large” (Pope Gregory the Great, Morals on the Book of Job, Preface).

Apparent Contradictions in Christian Theology

Apparent Contradictions in Christian Theology

Why is it that there are so many different theological beliefs and heresies in the church today? I do not believe that the Bible ever contradicts itself, but at first glance, there are many verses which appear to teach different doctrinal truths which cults appeal to in order to draw followers to themselves. Let me give you some examples and then I’ll briefly explain how they can be reconciled:

1. God says in Isaiah 44:6 that “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.” But Psalm 82:6 says, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you.”

In Psalm 82, the term “gods” is being used sarcastically to describe human judges who were usurping the place of God, not literal gods.

2. Jesus says in John 8:58 that, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” Yet he says in John 14:28 that “the Father is greater than I.”

The greaterness of which Jesus speaks is not a greaterness of nature, but a greaterness of role in the work of redemption which evidences itself by his being sent into the world through the incarnation and his ascension to the right hand of God which is what Jesus is speaking about in the context of this verse. The Son always obeys the Father which is compatible with ontological equality. His role as a servant taking upon himself our human nature in addition to his divine nature must be taken into consideration as part of the reason why he can speak of the Father being greater than him since deity is greater than humanity (Phil 2:5-11).

3. Jesus says in Luke 24:39 that “a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” But Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:45 that Jesus “became a life-giving spirit.”

This is because “spirit” and “spiritual” in 1 Corinthians 15 describe that which is incorruptible, not non-physical. Paul taught that Jesus was still human after his resurrection (Acts 17:31; 1 Tim 2:5).

4. Paul says in Romans 3:28 that a man “is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” But James 2:24, the only verse in the Bible where “faith alone” is used, says, “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

Faith in James 2 is not the same as faith in Romans 3. James is defining faith as mere intellectual assent while Paul defines it as trust. Justification in James is the declaration by man that a person is genuinely righteous before God while justification in Romans is being declared righteous by God himself.

5. Jesus said to the thief on the cross in Luke 23:43 that “today you will be with me in Paradise.” But Paul says in Ephesians 4:9 that Jesus “also descended into the lower parts of the earth.”

The “lower parts of the earth” is not hell, but the earth itself to which he came in the incarnation. It is called “lower” because it is lower with respect to heaven since where he ascended from is where he descended to.

6. Paul says in Ephesians 1:13 that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit after believing in Jesus. But 1 Peter 3:21 says, “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you.”

Peter clarifies what he means by saying, “not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience.” Baptism saves as an act of faith and repentance which is what an appeal to God for a clean conscience is. It is not the physical action of immersion in water that saves which Peter calls “a removal of dirt from the body.” And a person does not need water to appeal to God for a clean conscience. Baptism was the common way to do so in the first century like our “altar call” is today and normally was part of the overall conversion process.

7. Hebrews 9:27 says it is appointed for man to die once and then face judgment. But Paul talks about people in 1 Corinthians 15:29 “being baptized on behalf of the dead.”

Baptism for the dead in 1 Corinthians 15:29 is Christian baptism in which we take the place of Christians who have died. By being baptized, we join the visible church which they have left by death to fill up what is lacking in their suffering for the church (Col 1:24).

8. Jesus says in John 5:28-29 that all who are in their tombs will be raised from the dead. But Job 7:9 says, “he who goes down to Sheol does not come up.”

From our perspective, those who die do not come back to life because Job and his friends never saw such a thing. But Job did believe in a future day of resurrection at the end of the age (Job 19:25-27).

9. Jesus says in Matthew 25:46 that the wicked will receive eternal punishment for their sins. But 2 Peter 2:6 says that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were condemned to extinction “making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly.”

Peter is drawing an analogy between the destruction of those cities and the destruction of the wicked in hell. But the way in which the wicked will be destroyed is not the same as those cities in every way. That is the nature of analogical language. We must consult the rest of Scripture to determine how the wicked will be destroyed which is a destruction that never ends because it is eternal conscious torment (Rev 14:9-11; 20:10).

10. Jesus taught that it was better to have never been born than to go to hell (Matt 26:24). But Paul says in Romans 5:18 that “one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.”

The “all men” Paul is talking about are all men who are in the humanity of Christ. This is limited to “those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness” (Rom 5:17). Paul is speaking of two different humanities: one in Adam and one in Christ. All in Christ receive justification and life while all in Adam receive death. But not all men are in Christ.

Now, why did God ordain verses that appear to contradict each other? Why not instead give us verses that say, “there is only one God,” “Jesus is God,” “Jesus was raised bodily from the dead,” “justification is by faith alone,” “Jesus did not go to hell after he died,” “the act of baptism does not bring about regeneration,” “there are no more opportunities for salvation after death,” “everyone will be raised from the dead when Christ returns,” “hell is eternal conscious torment” and “not everyone will be saved in the end”?

This is because God has written the Bible in such a way that those who do not want to believe in what the Bible teaches can always find a rescuing device to avoid conclusions they do not wish to embrace. The Bible does not reveal doctrinal truth in the propositional format we would like so that false teaching and cults can exist to purify the church. If the Bible had said, “Jesus has eternally existed as God and shares equally and indivisibly with the Father the same identical divine nature,” then Arianism never could have existed. But Arianism was part of God’s overarching divine plan for history to purify his church and clarify the deity of Christ in the mind of his people.

False teaching exists in God’s providence to purify the church by using it as a means to separate the wheat from the chaff before the day of judgment. False converts leave their profession of the faith when they embrace heresy to demonstrate that they were never truly saved in the first place so that they can be evangelized. By leaving the church, they are making evident to everyone else what God already knew was true. Heresy forces the church to diligently study Scripture to discover the truth God already has revealed to us. In the face of heresy, the church does not invent the truth, but discovers it afresh. Heresy tests and refines our faith by forcing us to wrestle with the text of Scripture so that we will have a greater knowledge and confidence in his Word. If cults never existed, then we could never evangelize cult members which is a means God has ordained to grow our faith and bring his elect to salvation by rescuing them out of false teaching.

God Loves a Hilarious Giver?

God Loves a Hilarious Giver?

I once heard a pastor say that when Paul said, “God loves a cheerful giver” in 2 Corinthians 9:7, what Paul really meant is that God loves a hilarious giver. That is, their giving is so cheerful that it looks hilarious to those outside the church. He came to this conclusion because the Greek word translated as “cheerful” is hilaros which looks and sound similar to our English word for hilarious. But is this what Paul was trying to communicate?

While this might make a good sermon illustration, it is completely wrong. When it comes to Greek and Hebrew, a little learning is a dangerous thing. As one of my seminary professors once said, when you hear a preacher say, “in the Greek this means,” put your fingers in your ears until he is done talking. The sad reality is that many pastors abuse the biblical languages because they are just repeating things they heard from others without checking the facts out for themselves.

This particular misinterpretation is an example of the cognate fallacy. A cognate is a word that looks and sounds similar in two different languages. When looking at cognates in Greek and English, we have to keep in mind that Greek existed long before English did. It is therefore fallacious to read the meaning of modern English words back into first-century Greek ones. If hilaros meant hilarious, then the Greek scholars who translated the verse would have translated it as hilarious instead of cheerful. They may be etymologically related, but meaning is determined by usage, not etymology. Even if hilaros could mean hilarious in certain circumstances, that meaning does not fit the context of Paul’s appeal. Cheerful is the opposite of “reluctantly” and “under compulsion” whereas hilarious does not fit the contrast Paul is making.

Is Matthew 27:25 Anti-Semitic?

Is Matthew 27:25 Anti-Semitic?

Critics of the New Testament, especially those who are Jewish, argue that Matthew 27:25 reflects the anti-Semitic attitude of the Gentile church toward Jews. When Jesus was on trial before Pontius Pilate, Matthew records that the Jewish people reply to Pilate’s statement that he is innocent of Jesus’ blood by saying, “His blood be on us and on our children!” However, there is an underlying presupposition behind the argument that this verse is anti-Semitic that is assumed but never proven. That is, Matthew is putting words into the mouths of the Jewish people that they never actually said. However, this verse is only anti-Semitic if it is not a historically accurate depiction of what took place when Jesus was on trial before Pilate. If the Jewish people really did say this, then Matthew is not being anti-Semitic by including this in his Gospel, he is simply being a good historian. To determine whether or not Matthew 27:25 is anti-Semitic, we first need to determine whether or not Matthew is a historically reliable account of the life of Christ.

From the perspective of those who reject the Gospels as historically reliable, it is understandable that they would try to explain the authorial motivation behind the words which people speak in the Gospels since these words would have come from the author and not the people who were actually living at the time of Jesus. This critical approach to the Gospels seeks to discover what is called the sitz im leben or “setting in life” of the early church that gave rise to the need for the author to put words into the mouths of those in the Gospels. From this perspective, the sitz im leben of this passage is the Jewish rejection of Christianity. Because most Jewish people had rejected the Christian message, the Christians needed a reason to explain why so many of them had rejected their message and to provide a justification for their harsh treatment of the Jewish people.

But here’s the problem with this argument: it misunderstands why Matthew was written. Matthew was not written to provide justification for Christian mistreatment of Jews, but it is a book written by a Jew to Jews to prove that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. Matthew is a Jewish book through and through. And remember, Isaiah 53:3-4 had already prophesied that the Messiah would be rejected by his people:

“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.”

Therefore, the statement that the crowd wanted Christ’s blood to be on their children was not an anti-Semitic invention, but the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Since Matthew is a historically reliable testimony to the life and resurrection of Christ, the crowd’s statement in Matthew 27:25 is not Matthew’s invention, but the accurate recording of what actually took place. The critic’s assumption that Matthew is not a reliable account of the life of Jesus must be exposed and challenged.

Did Jephthah Really Kill His Own Daughter?

Normally, articles that begin with a question answer that question in the negative. But in this case, the answer is yes. The only respectable way to interpret Judges 11:30-40 is to conclude that Jephthah sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. However, many Christians, including Hebrew scholar Miles Van Pelt, have argued otherwise. In this article, I will be responding to Van Pelt’s six arguments against the traditional interpretation of the passage.

His first argument is that Hebrews 11:32 lists him among the heroes of the faith. He asks, “Could the author of Hebrews rightly include Jephthah in this list if his last act as Judge included the illegal and horrific slaying of his own daughter?” But this argument overlooks the great sins of the other heroes of the faith. Samson was sexually immoral, Barak disobeyed the Word of God as prophesied by Deborah, David was an adulterer and a murderer, Solomon engaged in idolatry, Noah was a drunkard, Abraham was a habitual liar, and Peter denied Christ three times. With the exception of Jesus, all of the heroes of the Bible are flawed characters in need of a savior. This is especially true in Judges where everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25). Jephthah’s rash vow is in keeping with the book’s theme of presenting the judges of Israel as flawed heroes who are only instruments in God’s hands. Another mistaken assumption here is that a judge in Israel must be a righteous man or woman parallel to the qualifications to be an elder in the church. Egalitarians use the same logic to argue that women can be pastors because Deborah was a judge of Israel which was a position of leadership. The requirement to be a judge in Israel is not tied to being morally above reproach, but being able to liberate Israel from her enemies.

Second, he argues that “the book of Judges itself affirms the calling and work of these men” so that “to impugn the work of the judge is to impugn the work of the LORD through that judge.” I’m sorry, but this is incredibly poor reasoning. Is he actually arguing that the judges are above reproach so that to dare to impugn them with moral wrong would be tantamount to impugning God with wrong? Where in the book of Judges does it say that God supernaturally prevents the judges from engaging in great sin? Is it impugning the work of Samson to point out that he was a man enslaved to sexual lust? Compare Judges 16:1 with 15:1 and Genesis 38:16-18. He was also infatuated with Delilah which resulted in the poetic irony of having his eyes put out. Another argument he makes at the end of this section is that the text does not explicitly condemn Jephthah for what he did. This is true. But it is also true that Judges does not explicitly condemn the sexual immorality of Samson either. This is why Van Pelt has to argue that Samson was not in fact sexually immoral which is a novel rereading of the text.

Third, he argues that the Spirit came upon Jephthah before he made his rash vow and therefore this vow was the result of the Spirit of the Lord instead of something sinful. But it does not follow that because the Spirit was upon him that somehow he was protected from sinning. This is the Spirit’s work of empowering and gifting him for the work to which God had called him. It is a supernatural gift from God enabling him to defeat the enemies of God’s people. The coming of the Spirit upon him is tied to his work of leading the army of God, not to his rash vow. But if Jephthah’s vow is something that came from the Spirit of God, then why does he regret it later when his daughter walks through the door?

Fourth, he argues that the verb “to meet” in verse 31 implies that Jephthah had in mind meeting a person and not an animal. This may very well be correct because he was expecting to sacrifice a servant in his house instead of his daughter. But it only accentuates how rash and tragic his vow was.

Fifth, he argues that the term “burnt offering” is being used symbolically, not literally. The problem here is that olah is always used in the Hebrew Bible to refer to a literal burnt offering. In addition, if this was only a symbolic offering of his daughter to serve the Lord, then why is he so devastated by her coming through the front door? Why would he tear his clothes if she was going to have the honor of serving the Lord in the temple? Why would the daughters of Israel weep year after year for her if this was merely serving the Lord in the temple? Wouldn’t it be a blessing rather than something to weep over continually? Why would she and her friends weep for two whole months as if they would never see each other again? After Jephthah fulfilled his vow, the daughters of Israel continued to mourn for her for four whole days out of every year which assumes she is no longer present with them. Why don’t they do this for the other women who serve at the temple?

Sixth, he argues that child sacrifice was forbidden by God. Of course, that is exactly the point. Jephthah made a rash vow and never should have gone through with it. Van Pelt argues instead that the vow was fulfilled by giving his daughter to the temple to serve God as a perpetual virgin. But Van Pelt is anachronistically reading back into the text the concept of a vow of perpetual virginity from Roman Catholicism which is an evolution of the pagan tradition of having vestal virgins who serve at their temples. The Old Testament knows nothing of vestal virgins or vows of perpetual virginity. The texts Van Pelt cites of women serving at the temple do not prove that these women were all virgins, not married, or would remain unmarried for the rest of their life. Some of these women could have been married to men in the tribe of Levi, older women who already had grown children, women who were infertile, or who were not married yet. To assume that those who were not married would remain unmarried for the rest of their life must be read into the text. What if the father of one of these young women finds a husband for her?

The book of Judges points us to our need for a savior who is without sin and never makes rash vows or kills innocent human beings in violation of Deuteronomy 18:10. We need a savior who offered up himself as a sacrifice for our rash vows. In this sense, Jephthah’s daughter is a type of Christ who submitted herself to her father’s will to be sacrificed for his sin of making a rash vow as Christ submitted himself to his Father’s will to be sacrificed for our sins. The difference is that while Jephthah was a sinful father, our heavenly Father is perfect and always has the best interests of his children in mind.