0 Shibboleth (Judges 12)

Episode 92: Shibboleth

Judges 12

A dispute about participating in a war causes a war

12 1 After the Ammonite slaughter, the men of Ephraim said to Jephthah,

Why didn't you ask us to fight with you against the Ammonites?

Because you didn't, we will burn your house down.

2 Jephthah said to them,

I asked you to help, but you refused.

3 God delivered the Ammonites into my hand.

So why are you fighting against me?

4 So Jephthah gathered the men of Gilead and fought Ephraim.

42,000 killed for mispronouncing "Shibboleth"

5 The Gileadites crossed the Jordan River before the Ephraimites.

When the Ephraimites came to the river, the men of Gilead said to them,

Are you an Ephraimite?

6 If they said, "No", then they said to him, "Say "Shibboleth".

And they said, "Sibboleth", because they couldn't pronounce it correctly.

So the Gileadites killed 42,000 Ephraimites who were trying to cross the Jordan.

Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon

7 Jephthah judged Israel for six years. Then he died.

8 He was succeeded by Ibzan, who had 30 sons and 30 daughters, and took in 30 daughters from abroad for his sons.

9 Ibzan judged Israel for seven years. Then he died.

11 Elon was judge for ten years.

12 Then he died.

13-14 After Elon came Abdon, who had 40 sons and 30 nephews that rode on 70 donkeys.

15 Abdon judged Israel for eight years. Then he died.

A few more words about this episode

After the Ammonite slaughter (12:1)
See Judges 11, Episode 91, DWB: The Ammonite Massacre
Why didn't you ask us to fight with you against the Ammonites? (12:1)
This is the same bizarre question that the Ephraimites asked Gideon in Judges 8:1, Episode 89, except in that case it was the Midianites instead of the Ammonites.
The Gileadites killed 42,000 Ephraimites (12:6)
DWB: 42,000 killed for failing the "shibboleth" test
Sibboleth is the Hebrew name of the head of grain.
No comments yet

Copyright © 1999-2024
The Skeptic's Annotated Bible

Send comments to Steve Wells
at swwells(at)gmail.com