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XL. And Jepthan came and fought against the children of Ammon, and the Lord delivered them into his hand, and he smote threescore of their cities. And Jepthan returned in peace. And the
women came out to meet him with dances. And he had an only begotten daughter; the same came out first in the dances to meet her father. And when Jepthan saw her he fainted and said: Rightly is thy name called Seila, 1 that thou shouldest be offered for a sacrifice. And now who will put my heart in the balance and weigh my soul? and I will stand and see whether one will outweigh the other, the rejoicing that is come or the affliction which cometh upon me? for in that I have opened my mouth unto my Lord in the song of my vows,

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[paragraph continues] I cannot call it back again. 2. And Seila his daughter said unto him: And who is it that can be sorrowful in their death when they see the people delivered? Rememberest thou not that which was in the days of our fathers, when the father set his son for a burnt offering and he gainsaid him not, but consented unto him rejoicing? And he that was offered was ready, and he that offered was glad. 3. Now therefore annul not
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anything of that thou has vowed, but grant unto me one prayer. I ask of thee before I die a small request: I beseech thee that before I give up my soul, I may go into the mountains and wander (or abide) among the hills and walk about among the rocks, I and the virgins that are my fellows, and pour out my tears there and tell the affliction of my youth; and the trees of the field shall bewail me and the beasts of the field shall lament for me; for I am not sorrowful for that I die, neither doth it grieve me that I give up my soul: but whereas my father was overtaken in his vow, [and] if I offer not myself willingly for a sacrifice, I fear lest my death be not acceptable, and that I shall lose my life to no purpose. These things will I tell unto the mountains, and after that I will return. And her father said: Go. 4.  1And Seila the daughter of Jepthan went forth, she and the virgins that were her fellows, and came and told it to the wise men of the people. And no man could answer
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her words. And after that she went into the mount Stelac, and by night the Lord thought upon her, and said: Lo, now have I shut up the tongue of the wise among my people before this generation,

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that they could not answer the word of the daughter of Jepthan, that my word might be fulfilled, and my counsel not destroyed which I had devised: and I have seen that she is more wise than her father, and a maiden of understanding more than all the wise which are here. And now let her life be given her at her request, and her death shall be precious in my sight at all times.

5. And when the daughter of Jepthan came unto the mount Stelac, she began to lament. And this is her lamentation wherewith she mourned and bewailed herself before she departed, and she said: Hearken, O mountains, to my lamentation, and look, O hills, upon the tears of mine eyes, and be witness, O rocks, in the bewailing of my soul. Behold how I am accused, but my soul shall not be taken away in vain. Let my words go forth into the heavens, and let my tears be written before the face of the firmament, that the father overcome not (or fight not against) his daughter whom he hath vowed to offer up, that her ruler may hear that his only begotten daughter is promised for a sacrifice. 6. Yet I have not been satisfied with my bed of marriage, neither filled with the garlands of my wedding. For I have not been arrayed with brightness, sitting in my maidenhood; I have not used my precious ointment, neither hath my soul enjoyed the oil of anointing which was prepared for me. O my mother, to no purpose hast thou borne thine only begotten, and begotten her upon the earth, for hell is become my marriage chamber. Let all the mingling of oil which thou hast prepared for me be poured out, and the white robe which my mother wove for me, let the moth eat it, and the crown of flowers which my nurse plaited for me aforetime, let it wither, and the coverlet which she wove of violet and purple for my virginity, let the

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worm spoil it; and when the virgins, my fellows, tell of me, let them bewail me with groaning for many days. 7. Bow down your branches, O ye trees, and lament my youth. Come, ye beasts of the forest, and trample upon my virginity. For my years are cut off, and the days of my life are waxen old in darkness.

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8. And when she had so said, Seila returned unto her father, and he did all that he had vowed, and offered burnt offerings. Then all the maidens of Israel gathered together and buried the daughter of Jepthan and bewailed her. And the children
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of Israel made a great lamentation and appointed in that month, on the 14th day of the month, that they should come together every year and lament for the daughter of Jepthan four days. And they called the name of her sepulchre according to her own name Seila.

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9. And Jepthan judged the children of Israel ten years, and died, and was buried with his fathers.


191:1 XL. 1. Seila. The name, according to Dr. Cohn, may mean "she who was demanded."

192:1 4 end. The addition in R, "and when she departeth, she shall fall into the bosom of her mothers," may be genuine. "Her mothers," an unusual phrase, would correspond to the ordinary one "her (your, their) fathers."

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