And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (which is the King’s Dale) after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and of the kings who were with him.
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was the priest of the Most High God. And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be the Most High God, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.” And he gave him from among his many holdings of ass, grass, and cash, for he did not seek to ride with the Lord of Hosts for free.
And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for thyself.”
And concerning the gift of the herd or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, be it ass, grass, or cash, a tenth shall be holy unto the Lord, with whom no man hath ridden for free.
And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, “If Thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, then it shall be that whatsoever cometh forth from the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up, be it ass, be it grass, be it cash, that the Lord knows I am not a man who tries to ride for free.”
So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them, and the Lord delivered them into his hands.
And he smote them from Aroer even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
And Jephthah came to Mizpah unto his house, and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter.
And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes and said, “Alas, my daughter! Thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me; for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back. I have pledged to him the first thing that greeted me at the doors of my own house, regardless of whether it be ass, grass, or cash.”
And she said unto him, “My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth, forasmuch as the Lord hath taken vengeance for thee on thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon, and one does not ride in the chariot of God for free.”
And she said unto her father, “Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.”
And he said, “Go.” And he sent her away for two months; and she went with her companions, and bewailed her fate upon the mountains.
And it came to pass at the end of two months that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed; and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel that the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me! But ye say, ‘Wherein have we robbed Thee?’ In your offerings – be it in ass, grass, or cash; nobody rides with the Lord for free. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law: ass, grass, and cash. These ought ye to have done and not to leave the other undone. For too long have ye ridden with the God of Israel for free.
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession and kept back part of the price, his wife knowing what he did, and brought a certain part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
But Peter said, “Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God – ass, grass, or cash, no man rides with the Church of the Most High God for free.”
And Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and gave up the ghost. And great fear came on all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, and carried him out and buried him.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.