"Jephtha's Rash Vow"
Jephtha's daughter
Public DomainJephtha's daughter - Credit: Bon Boullogne

Jephthah’s tale is in the Old Testament’s Book of Judges.  The story tells show the Israelites had abandoned God and did not worship him. God took vengeance against them, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites.  The elders of Gilead asked Jephthah to lead them against the Ammonites, agreeing that if he secured victory, he would be their permanent chieftain. Jephthah swore an oath, that whatever emerged from his home to meet him when he returned victorious, would be sacrificed as a burnt offering to God.  Unfortunately it was his much loved daughter who rushed out to greet him first.  But he had to honour his vow and offer her up nonetheless.