Yiftach’s Daughter at Stake


We never learn her name. In English, she is called Jephthah’s Daughter; in Hebrew, Bat Yiftach. This is a story of faith, danger, and sacrifice, in which a young girl loses her future because of a few careless words spoken by her father.

And yet a careful reading seems to reveal that Yiftach’s Daughter has more agency than appears at first glance.

The story of Yiftach’s daughter is one of the most fascinating and neglected passages in the Hebrew Bible, raising compelling questions about the consequences of our actions, the danger of blind faith, and the true meaning of power.

Warning: The story of Yiftach’s Daughter, as written in the Hebrew Bible, deals with child sacrifice and may not be appropriate for all students.