The account of Jephthah's battle against the Ammonites in Judg 11:12–33 contains glaring inconsistencies. Negotiations preceding the battle invoke Israelite conflicts with Amorites and Moabites—none of which pertain to Ammon. An archaeological survey of the vacillating fortunes of Transjordanian Moab, Ammon, and Gilead suggests historical contexts and approximate dates for periods of territorial contention between Israel and its neighbors. Reading the invocation of war against Sihon/Moab (early ninth century) in the context of later conflicts with Ammon (late ninth or eighth century) explains some of the apparent inconsistencies and dates the historical contexts invoked in this and other biblical texts that pit Israel against these Transjordanian nations. Archaeological remains from Ḥesban (Heshbon) and Dhiban (Dibon) add datable parameters for texts or the updating of passages that feature these sites. So, for example in the Judges text, celebrating Heshbon rather than Dibon as Sihon's capital city likely dates this version of events to the seventh or perhaps the sixth century.

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