Read verses 6-18. What words does the writer use to reveal Israel’s actions and thoughts? What words does the writer use to reveal what was done to the LORD’S people by their enemies? What words does the writer use to reveal what the LORD did to, and thought about, the people of Israel at this time? What can we learn from these verses?
Read chapter 11 verses 1-28. In what ways is Jephthah an unlikely savior for Israel, considering verses 1-3? According to verses 4-11, who establishes Jephthah as “head and leader” over Israel? How do Judges 3:9, 4:6, and 6:14 help clarify what happening here with Jephthah? What do we learn about the people of Israel in what Jephthah said to the king of the Ammonites in verses 12-28?
Read verses 29-40. What exactly did Jephthah promise the LORD? Why did Jephthah promise this? Why did he then keep his vow? What can we learn from this horrific scene?
Read chapter 12 verses 1-7. Why do you think the men of Ephraim were angry that Jephthah did not call them to fight? What reason does Jephthah give them? How is this conflict like and yet different from the conflict depicted in Judges 8:1-3? It is important to note that after this defeat the Ephraimites never again played any important role in Israel’s history. What stands out to you in these verses and why?
Read verses 8-13. What stands out to you in these verses and why? What can we learn from these verses?