The Book of Judges in some 47 verses records the grim story of Jephta, driven out from the heritage he claimed by his brothers who were legitimate; of how he became a man of the wilderness, a successful warrior; of how he tricked rulers of neighboring lands, augmenting his holdings- and his pride. Actually here is a story of a bandit leader -- of fraticidal wars- of bloodthirsty tribute- and finally of the supreme sacrifice, the senseless sacrifice, compounded of superstition, fear and pride. The story told here elaborates the original sources, using various ancient accounts of the early history of the land of Jordan and the Israelite tribes. It recreates something of the tempo of the period, the mores of these wild tribes, the overwhelming sense of the dominance of their respective gods- confusions and contradictions in ancient lore and modern interpretation. The grim story takes on stature- but nothing of humanity in this vigorous retelling.