Chapter 11 of the Book Of Judges
Read the Douay-Rheims Latin Vulgate Bible everyday from Genesis to Apocalypse. Todays reading is currently at: Book Of Judges 11:31-40
31 Whosoever shall first come forth out of the doors of my house, and shall meet me when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, the same will I offer a holocaust to the Lord. 32 And Jephte passed over to the children of Ammon, to fight against them: and the Lord delivered them into his hands. 33 And he smote them from Aroer till you come to Mennith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel, which is set with vineyards, with a very great slaughter: and the children of Ammon were humbled by the children of Israel. 34 And when Jephte returned into Maspha to his house, his only daughter met him with timbrels and with dances: for he had no other children. 35 And when he saw her, he rent his garments, and said: Alas! my daughter, thou hast deceived me, and thou thyself art deceived: for I have opened my mouth to the Lord, and I can do no other thing.
31 "Whosoever"... Some are of opinion, that the meaning of this vow of Jephte, was to consecrate to God whatsoever should first meet him, according to the condition of the thing; so as to offer it up as a holocaust, if it were such a thing as might be offered by the law; or to devote it otherwise to God, if it were not such as the law allowed to be offered in sacrifice. And therefore they think the daughter of Jephte was not slain by her father, but only consecrated to perpetual virginity. But the common opinion followed by the generality of the holy fathers and divines is, that she was offered as a holocaust, in consequence of her father's vow: and that Jephte did not sin, at least not mortally, neither in making, nor in keeping, his vow: since he is no ways blamed for it in scripture; and was even inspired by God himself to make the vow (as appears from ver. 29, 30) in consequence of which he obtained the victory; and therefore he reasonably concluded that God, who is the master of life and death, was pleased on this occasion to dispense with his own law; and that it was the divine will he should fulfil his vow.
36 And she answered him: My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth to the Lord, do unto me whatsoever thou hast promised, since the victory hath been granted to thee, and revenge of thy enemies. 37 And she said to her father: Grant me only this which I desire: Let me go, that I may go about the mountains for two months, and may bewail my virginity with my companions. 38 And he answered her: Go. And he sent her away for two months. And when she was gone with her comrades and companions, she mourned her virginity in the mountains. 39 And the two months being expired, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed, and she knew no man. From thence came a fashion in Israel, and a custom has been kept: 40 That from year to year the daughters of Israel assemble together, and lament the daughter of Jephte the Galaadite for four days.
37 "Bewail my virginity"... The bearing of children was much coveted under the Old Testament, when women might hope that from some child of theirs, the Saviour of the world might one day spring. But under the New Testament virginity is preferred. 1 Cor. 7. 35.