Jephthah sacrificed or committed his daughter to perpetual virginity because of his vow. Why did God punish the daughter?

God does not judge the children for the sins of their parents “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezekiel 18:20).

This story does not portray the will of God but the will of Jephthah. When Jephthah committed his daughter to perpetual virginity, he did that against the will of God. He did what he wanted to do. In fact, this story was given in the Bible to warn parents from making hasty vows that could harm their own children.

One must remember that although Jephthah worshiped the God of Israel, and in the undertaking relied on Him, he had grown up in an alien land among heathen people. Among these heathen nations human sacrifices were offered in times of great crisis. This is seen in the act of the king of Moab who sacrificed his eldest son to his god Chemosh as a final act of desperation to save his city from the attacking Israelites (2 Kings 3:26, 27).

The Spirit of God came upon Jephthah in order that Israel might be saved from destruction. But the presence of the Spirit does not guarantee infallibility. The one who receives the Spirit remains a free moral agent, and is expected to make appropriate progress in his spiritual growth and knowledge.

Jephthah, in his ignorance of what was right, rashly vowed an evil thing and carried it out. And Jephthah did not seek counsel from the Lord.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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