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Judges 12:4-6 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Then Jephthah assembled all the men of Gilead and fought with [the tribe of] Ephraim; and the men of Gilead defeated Ephraim, because they had said, “You Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim, in the midst of [the tribes of] Ephraim and Manasseh.” And the Gileadites took the [a]fords of the Jordan opposite the Ephraimites; and when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead would say to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” they said to him, “Then say ‘Shibboleth.’” And he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not [b]pronounce it correctly. Then they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time forty-two thousand of the Ephraimites fell.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 12:5 I.e. narrow or shallow places where a river may be crossed by wading.
  2. Judges 12:6 Lit speak thus. The difference in pronunciation was between a Hebrew consonant with an ‘sh’ sound, which the Ephraimites evidently did not have in their dialect, and another consonant with a sharp ‘s’ sound. This difference was similar to that between the Hebrew greeting “Shalom,” and the greeting “Salaam” used in Islamic circles. Shibboleth has even been accepted into English as a word meaning “a peculiarity of pronunciation.” In Hebrew it refers to an ear or head of grain.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Judges 12:4-6 New International Version (NIV)

Jephthah then called together the men of Gilead and fought against Ephraim. The Gileadites struck them down because the Ephraimites had said, “You Gileadites are renegades from Ephraim and Manasseh. The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead asked him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he replied, “No,” they said, “All right, say ‘Shibboleth.’” If he said, “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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