Q&A: Chole, Cozbi, Jephthah's Daughter

Chole, Cozbi, Jephthah's Daughter

Question

Who were Chole, Cozbi (Numbers 25:15,18), and Jephthah's daughter (Judges 11:34,35,40)?

Answer

I'm afraid that the Bible doesn't offer much information regarding Chloe, Cozbi and Jephthah's daughter. The only things we know about them come from the contexts in which they are mentioned in Scripture.

Chloe (1 Cor. 1:11) was perhaps a woman in Corinth, though the text does not make this explicit. She may also have been someone who sent messengers, servants, employees, etc. to Corinth for some reason (business), but who resided somewhere else. These people may even have been the ones who brought the Corinthians' letter to Paul (to which he responded in 1 Corinthians, e.g. 1 Cor. 7:1,25; 8:1; 12:1; 16:1,12).

Of Cozbi (Num. 25:15,18), Numbers tells us that she was the daughter of the leader of Midian (Num. 25:18), and that she was involved in seducing Israel with Baal worship. "Cozbi" probably was not her real name -- cozbi is Hebrew for "my lie." Her name may have been changed by the Israelites in order to demonstrate the deception and lure of idolatry.

Jephthah's daughter (Judg. 11:34-40) appears only in Judges 11, and we are not told anything about her except that she was a virgin who responded honorably to the information that she was to be sacrificed to God. She was the only Israelite recorded in the Bible other than Jesus who was sacrificed to God (enemies in Israel's holy wars were sometimes killed as a form of offering to God, though they were not "sacrificed" on altars). Her behavior in this matter was exemplary, but we know nothing else about her.

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.