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JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER

The scene of the first Star Point is laid beyond the Jordan River in Mizpah, the home of Jephthah, and the surrounding country, some ninety miles northeast from Jerusalem and thirty miles southeast of the sea of Galilee. The countries east of the Jordan, beginning with the Land of Moab, toward the north are Ammon and Gilead.

At the very beginning we may say that nowhere in the Bible do we find the name of Jephthah's daughter. She is mentioned by the phrase "Jephthah's daughter." Modern usage, however, attaches the name of Adah, and as such she is known to the members of the Order of the Eastern Star.

The vow that Jephthah made unto the Lord is considered by some writers as an extremely unfortunate one, and the great blunder of his life. He doubtless wanted to have every assurance of success and thus vowed a vow unto the Lord, which cost him the life of his daughter. Viewed from the human point of view he may have been incomprehensibly rash in making such a convenant or vow, yet when once made and success had crowned his efforts, he could not well turn back, notwithstanding the efforts that were made by the elders of Gilead to save him from making so great a human sacrifice. His daughter was perfectly willing that her life should be sacrificed and thus fulfill her father's obligation unto Jehovah. And after all, if Jephthah's vow was to be fulfilled by a human sacrifice, whom other than his own daughter would you suggest for its fulfillment? In conclusion may we say in the dying words of President McKinley; "It is God's way. His will be done."

From the Bible: Read the Story of our heroine




"God moves in a mysterious way,

His wonders to perform;

He plants his footsteps in the sea,

And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines,

With never-falling skill,

He treasures up His bright designs,

And works His gracious will."

 

JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER

Father, father, the joyful minstrel sung --

Lo, glad I come with timbrel and with dance;

Hail, father, hail! Thine arm in God was strong.

Hail, God of Israel, Israel's sure defense.

Hosanna! Hosanna!

Thus the minstrel sung.

Father, father! The astonished daughter cried --

What grief is this? What means this sign of wo?

Dust on thy head! Thy grey hairs floating wide!

That look of horror on each soldier's brow --

Bewailing, bewailing --

Thus the daughter cried.

Father, father! The maid devoted said --

If thus I'm doomed, if thus thy vow has gone,

Oh turn not back! There's hope amidst the dead,

None for the perjured -- let thy will be done,

Hosanna! Hosanna!

Thus the maiden said.

Father, father! The doomed one meekly spoke --

Be strong thy hand, be resolute thy heart --

To heaven's re-union I will joyful look,

And with a blessing on thy head depart.

Farewell! Farewell!

Thus the Doomed One spoke.

 

TO ADAH

"Obedience"

Our Star life's not always easy,

We do need rare courage now,

Like that of young, heroic Adah,

Keeping her father's awful vow.

We obey, as she has taught us,

Sometimes cry o'er life's ills;

But steadfast we turn our faces

Far from Adah's lonely hills.

This world has obedient daughters,

Carrying out a hard command;

We must seek them -- weary, troubled,

Lift them with a true "Star" hand.

Their quiet trust and true obedience

Are examples naught can mar.

Bring a candle of rare courage

To the first point of our Star.

 

 

Each Star Point is painted on one of the major panels in the ceiling. The several emblems and flowers represented by our heroines are painted on smaller panels.

The beautiful picture of Adah and her father Jephthah is the center of a collection of paintings of our Star Points painted on the ceiling of the State Dining Room at the International Temple in Washington D.C. by artist Eric Adkins (1996).

Members are invited to visit the Temple at 1618 New Hampshire Ave., NW Washington, D.C.

Ruth

Esther

Martha

Electa