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The men of Ephraim took the same action in the case of Jephthah as they had done in the case of Gideon. After his victory they complained that they had not been called to help. It would seem as though they had become more arrogant as the result of Gideon's conciliatory method with them, for this time they came with the deliberate purpose of war. In Jephthah they found a man of another mold. He did not attempt to conciliate but visited them with the most severe punishment. Two things combined to rouse his anger, first as he reminded them when he and his people had been at strife with the children of Ammon, he had asked the aid of Ephraim and it had been refused. What had offended him and the men of Gilead most deeply, however, was the taunt which Ephraim had used against them, 'Ye are fugitives of Ephraim, ye Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim, and in the midst of Manasseh."
This clearly again reveals the sad disintegration of the nation. The consciousness of the unity of the people seems largely to have been lost. A moment's retrospect here will be of value. After the terrible multiplication of idolatry (chapter lo), God had refused to hear the people and it is questionable whether anything afterward can be spoken of as deliverance. Prior to the raising up of Jephthah, there was a cry to God by the people, but it could hardly be claimed that Jephthah delivered the nation.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Judges 12". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany