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A Study on the Theological Unity of Jephthah’s Story (Judg 10:612:7)from the Perspective of the Deuteronomistic Historian

SinHo Lim 1

1한남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this article is to find out the theological unity of the Jephthah’s story (Judg 10:6‑12:7) from the perspective of the Deuteronomistic Historian. Much ink has been spilled on the story of Jephthah, but it has largely been focused on the theme of Jephthah’s human sacrifice due to the difficulty of the interpretation of the text as well as the lack of unity in the story of the human sacrifice in Judges 11 and that of the internal war in Judges 12. Therefore, this study will argue that the three texts of Jephthah’s story (Judg 10:6-12:7)—the story of war with Ammon (10:6-11:28), the story of Jephthah’s human sacrifice (11:29-40) and the story of internal war between Jephthah and the tribe of Ephraim (12:1-7)—are to be understood as a series of events, and not separate ones, and thus to be studied as a unified story which was edited with cause and effect. This study aims (1) to find out the cause of the religious and moral sins shown in Jephthah’s story, (2) to investigate the problem of Israel’s idolatry and disobedience from the aspect of religious sins, (3) to trace the sins of the individual and the community from the aspect of moral sins, (4) and to reveal the theological unity of Jephthah’s story. This study came to the conclusion that the story of Jephthah (Judges 10:6-12:7) was deliberately edited with a unified frame of cause and effect by the Deuteronomistic Historian.

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