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This is a short chapter that summarizes the rule of a few minor judges. It shows the way Israel was led at the time. It is not a monarchy with fathers passing authority to their sons, but God putting a person in place for short periods of time. These judges don’t rule over all of Israel either. Notice that one of the clans of Israel, Ephraim, is not loyal to Jephthah. Gideon had trouble with Ephraim back in chapter 8, but responded with humility and avoided conflict. In this case, Jephthah responds in anger and the result is a battle. In the battle, we discover that Israel is also developing differences in how they speak. The nations around Israel are becoming better organized and more centrally-controlled. This will lead to Israel eventually asking God to place a king over them.

Israel is in a state of disorganization which opens the door for people to do as they please. Unfortunately, it also leads to people turning away from God. Leadership is a valuable gift from God. Maybe God wants you to lead so that more can be accomplished than what you could do on your own.