A dispute about participating in a war causes a war
And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward,
and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the
children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine
house upon thee with fire.
And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the
children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their
And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands, and
passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into
my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against
Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with
Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, and among the
(12:1) After Jephthah finished burning his daughter for God to pay him back for
helping him slaughter twenty Ammonite cities, he ran into some Ephraimites who were
angry about being left out of the Ammonite slaughter. They were so pissed off about the whole thing that they
threatened to burn down Jephthah's house.
(12:2-4) Jephthah claimed that he invited them to join him in the God-assisted slaughter, but they didn't come.
Clearly, there was only one thing for Jephthah to do: call for a holy
civil war. So that's what he did, and the men from Gilead defeated the Epharimites.
42,000 killed for mispronouncing "Shibboleth"
And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and
it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go
over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he
Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he
could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages
of Jordan: and there fell
at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.
(12:5-6) After the battle, Jephthah posted guards at the Jordan River where the fleeing Ephraimites would have to cross.
When an Ephraimite came to the crossing, the Gileadites would ask him if he was an Ephraimite. If he said, "No", they'd
ask him to say "Shibboleth" (Ephraimites couldn't pronounce it correctly. It was like asking President Trump to
say "anonymous".) Then when the Ephraimite mispronounced
Shibboleth by saying Sibboleth, they'd kill him.
And the shibboleth test worked like a charm. 42,000 Ephraimites failed the test and were killed trying to cross the Jordan.
DWB: 54. 42,000 killed for failing the "shibboleth" test
And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite,
and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.
And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel.
And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, whom he sent abroad, and
took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel
Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Bethlehem.
(12:7-10) Jephthah dies, and three judges succeed him: Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon.
Ibzan had 30 sons and 30 daughters, and he took in 30 daughters from abroad for his sons.
And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten
And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of
(12:11-12) Elon was judge for ten years.
And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel.
And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten
ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years.
And Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in
Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekites.
(12:13-15) Abdon had 40 sons and 30 nephews that rod on 70 ass colts.