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Judges 12

Jephthah Defeats Ephraim

1 Then the men of Ephraim assembled and crossed the Jordan to Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, “Why have you crossed over to fight the Ammonites without calling us to go with you? We will burn your house down with you inside!”

2 But Jephthah replied, “My people and I had a serious conflict with the Ammonites, and when I called, you did not save me out of their hands. 3 When I saw that you would not save me, I risked my life and crossed over to the Ammonites, and the LORD delivered them into my hand. Why then have you come today to fight against me?”

4 Jephthah then gathered all the men of Gilead and fought against Ephraim. And the men of Gilead struck them down because the Ephraimites had said, “You Gileadites are fugitives in Ephraim, living in the territories of Ephraim and Manasseh.”

5 The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a fugitive from Ephraim would say, “Let me cross over,” the Gileadites would ask him, “Are you an Ephraimite?”

If he answered, “No,” 6 they told him, “Please say Shibboleth.”

If he said, “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce it correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. So at that time 42,000 Ephraimites were killed.

7 Jephthah judged Israel six years, and when he died, he was buried in one of the cities of Gilead. a 

Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon

8 After Jephthah, Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. 9 He had thirty sons, as well as thirty daughters whom he gave in marriage to men outside his clan;and for his sons he brought back thirty wives from elsewhere. Ibzan judged Israel seven years. 10 Then Ibzan died, and he was buried in Bethlehem.

11 After Ibzan, Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel ten years. 12 Then Elon the Zebulunite died, and he was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.

13 After Elon, Abdon son of Hillel, from Pirathon, judged Israel. 14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys. And he judged Israel eight years. 15 Then Abdon son of Hillel, from Pirathon, died, and he was buried at Pirathon in Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.



7 a LXX in his city in Gilead

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