Verses 1-2, Jephthah is introduced to us with an immediate handicap; he is the son of a prostitute. Though his birth and family situation are out of his control, Jephthah is despised and rejected and cast out of his family and town.
God uses things that are despised and rejected for His own glory–See 1 Cor. 1:26-29; 1 Peter 2:4.
However we enter this world we may choose to leave it as a gentlemen, a hero or heroine, or a saint.
Verses 3-6, Jephthah gathers a band of misfit individuals and becomes a literal Robin Hood figure. It is these expeditions that win for him a reputation of bravery and valor and cause the elders of Gilead to come back to him and ask him to command the battle and be their leader.
The very difficulties that he faced from being rejected become the training that fit him for God’s task and call on his life.–Think Joseph in Potiphers house learning: language, business, service, honesty, etc…
Verse 7, Jephthah hesitates at the offer, some of the elders being the very ones that aided his family in abandoning him.
Verse 8, The elders admit their mistake and ask Jephthah to deliver them. This should be an encouragement to any worthy men who are slighted or ill-treated. Let them bear it in meekness and faith and allow God to recompense and fight for them in His timing.
Verses 9-11, Jephthah displays confidence in God winning the battle–not himself–and wants to know that if he delivers the Israelites before God that he will then be able to govern them before God.
Verse 12, See Deut. 20:10-18
Verses 13-22, Jephthah gives the King of Ammon a historical answer. His response is to say that the land the King of Ammon is claiming was never theirs in the first place, it was the Ammorites land, and was taken by the Israelites when the Ammorites fought them.
Verses 23-27, Jephthah then gives a theological response. He points out that God gave them the Ammorite land and even the Ammorites hadnt argued about it for 300 years! He then challenges the King of Ammon to be satisfied with the land that his god Chemosh had given to them.
Verse 28, The King of Ammon, set on having what he wants, rejects Jephthah’s reasons.
To reject a man that is speaking for God or God’s truth is not to reject the man, but God Himself. See 1 Thess. 4:8.
Verses 29-33, God’s commandments are God’s enablements. God strengthens Jephthah with His Spirit to accomplish the task of winning the battle.