Gilead begat Jephthah.--We are here met by the same questions as those which concern Tola and Jair. That Gilead is a proper name, not the name of the country mythically personified, may be regarded as certain. But is this Gilead the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, or some later Gilead? or does "begat" mean "was the ancestor of?" The answer to these questions depends mainly upon the insoluble problem of the chronology; but we may note (1) that since no other Gilead is mentioned, we should naturally infer that this is the grandson of Manasseh; and (2) that the fact referred to in the obscure genealogy of 1 Chronicles 7:14-17 seems to show that the family of Manasseh had Syrian (Aramean) connections, and Jephthah's mother may have been an Aramitess from the district of Tob. The name Jephthah means "he opens" (the womb).
and he was the son of an harlot; the Targum says, an innkeeper; and, according to Kimchi, she was a concubine, which some reckoned no better than an harlot, but such are not usually called so; some Jewish writers will have her to be one of another tribe his father ought not to have married; and others, that she was of another nation, a Gentile, so Josephus (c): and, according to Patricides (d), he was the son of a Saracen woman; but neither of these are sufficient to denominate her a harlot:
and Gilead begat Jephthah; he was his son; this was a descendant of Gilead the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, called after the name of his great ancestor.
(c) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 7. sect. 7. (d) Apud Selden. de Success. ad leg. Ebr. c. 3. p. 32.