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biblical character
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Instance ofhuman biblical figure,
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Biblical judge (Judges, 10:6–12:7) who led Israel imto war against the powerful Ammonites. Before the decisive battle, he made a vow according to which, in the event of a victory, he would sacrifice to YHWH the first thing that came to meet him on his return home. That "thing," however, turned out to be his beloved only daughter, who had rushed to meet him and celebrate his victory.

A literal reading of the biblical passage suggests that Jephthah did go through with his vow and that he did, in effect, sacrifice his daughter. Other interpretations claim that the Bible's language should be understood in such a way that the girl was banished to the nearby mountains, and to a life of perpetual virginity, but that her life was ultimately spared.