Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, and he was the son of a harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah.
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George Leo Haydock
Harlot. Hebrew Zona, Josue ii. 1. It is uncertain whether she was properly a concubine, or a wife of inferior dignity. She lived with her son in the house of Galaad; (Calmet) at least the latter was in his father's house. (Haydock)
Hence Jephte complains that he had been expelled, not that he was debarred from enjoying his father's inheritance, and consequently the law was not observed in his regard. Moses makes no provision for illegitimate children, but he excludes the son of a mamzer from the church of God, Deuteronomy xxiii. 2. Some think that the mother of Jephte was of a nation with whom it was not lawful to marry. (Josephus, v. 9.) Said. (Grotius)
Seratius believes that his father was already married, when he had to do with this harlot. (Menochius)
But he might have first taken her to wife, without the usual formalities. (Drusius; Cornelius a Lap ide)
It is equally uncertain whether Jephte was of the tribe of Gad or of Manasses, as both occupied the country of Galaad. Interpreters generally conclude that he was of one of these tribes, and most probably of the latter; his father also was called Galaad. (Haydock)