There are many minor characters in Luke’s telling of Jesus’ birth: the inn keeper, Simeon, and Anna. Anna did not depart from the temple, worshipping with fasting and prayer night and day, see Luke 2:36-38.
Anna was “dedicated to the Lord.” She did not marry after her first husband died. Today we read of another woman who was “dedicated to the Lord” and did not marry.
Judges 11:36, “And she said to him…do unto me according to what has gone out of your mouth…” ESV
“…It seems unlikely that Jephthah would have been commended for his faith (see Hebrews 11:32), if he had taken his daughter’s life and broken God’s law in such a serious matter….As one who was wholly given to the Lord, she would have to continue in her virginity. That would explain why she spent two months bemoaning her virginity (v. 37) rather than her abruptly shortened life.” ESV Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible Notes
Jephthah sacrificed living with his daughter, giving her away in marriage, and ever having grandchildren. As his only child, she would have married someone in his clan and her children would carry on his name.
Since she was dedicated to the Lord, his inheritance went to his next of kin: a brother, uncle, nephew, or cousin.
If it had not been for his faith, his name would have been forgotten, but he was listed with all of the other men and women of faith in Hebrews 11.
As I passed this blog’s 6th year anniversary, I am thankful for the phrase in today’s devotional, “Money never replaces purpose.” I am grateful that Jephthah’s faith meant his name did not die out, even though his only daughter never had children. I know you will reward me for fulfilling my purpose.