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Judges 11:32, 33: Jephthah's Victory over Ammon

Verse 32:[1] So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands.

Verse 33:[2] And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to (Ezek. 27:17) Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain (or, Abel[3]) of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.

[All the way until thou come to Minnith] A town situated on the border of the Ammonites, not far from Rabbah. Ptolemy, Geography 5, calls it Anitha[4] (Junius, Menochius). Minnith was a region abounding in wheat, which was exported to Tyre, Ezekiel 27:17 (Malvenda). Minnith is now shown to be a village at the fourth milestone of Heshbon on the way to Philadelphia[5] (Jerome in Bonfrerius). The Septuagint (namely, in the Roman Codex) here has from Aroer to Arnon; but corruptly. For Aroer is in the bank of Arnon. But Codices Basilian[6] and Royal[7] agree with ours (Bonfrerius).

Minnith; a place not far from Rabbah, the chief city of the Ammonites.

[Unto Abel, which is planted with vines, וְעַד֙ אָבֵ֣ל כְּרָמִ֔ים] Unto Abel of vines (Pagnine, Montanus, Junius and Tremellius). Even unto the presen day at the seventh milestone to Philadelphia the village of Abel is seen, planted with vins (Jerome in Bonfrerius). Others translate it, unto the plain of vines (Jonathan, Munster). To others it is a proper name, Abel-ceramim (Syriac, similarly Tigurinus). The incursion of Jephthah is circumscribed by Minnith on the South, and Abel on the East (Junius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּעֲבֹ֥ר יִפְתָּ֛ח אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י עַמּ֖וֹן לְהִלָּ֣חֶם בָּ֑ם וַיִּתְּנֵ֥ם יְהוָ֖ה בְּיָדֽוֹ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיַּכֵּ֡ם מֵעֲרוֹעֵר֩ וְעַד־בּוֹאֲךָ֙ מִנִּ֜ית עֶשְׂרִ֣ים עִ֗יר וְעַד֙ אָבֵ֣ל כְּרָמִ֔ים מַכָּ֖ה גְּדוֹלָ֣ה מְאֹ֑ד וַיִּכָּֽנְעוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י עַמּ֔וֹן מִפְּנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[3] Hebrew: אָבֵל.

[4] Ptolemy locates Anitha in Arabia Petræa.

[5] That is, about four miles northeast of Heshbon.

[6] Aldus Manutius published an edition of the Septuagint in Venice, 1518. His edition was closer to Vaticanus than the Complutensian. A corrected edition was published in Basil in 1545 with a preface by Melancthon.

[7] The Plantin (or Antwerp) Polyglot, as known as the Biblia Regia, was printed by Christopher Plantin in Antwerp in eight volumes, 1568-1573. The first four volumes cover the Old Testament in Hebrew, Greek, and Chaldean, each with a Latin translation. Volume 5 contains the New Testament in Greek and Syriac, both with a Latin translation, and the Syriac with a Hebrew translation. A complete Bible in the original languages, and an interlinear Bible, are found in volume 6. Volumes 7 and 8 provide lexical and grammatical aids.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Oct 13, 2018

Matthew Henry: 'God gave him eminent success, and he bravely improved that too (Judges 11:32): The Lord delivered the Ammonites into his hand, and so gave judgment upon the appeal in favour of the righteous cause, and made those feel the force of war that would not yield to the force of reason; for he sits in the throne, judging right. Jephthah lost not the advantages given him, but pursued and completed his victory. Having routed their forces in the field, he pursued them to their cities, where he put to the sword all he found in arms, so as utterly to disable them from giving Israel any molestation, Judges 11:33. But it does not appear that he utterly destroye…

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