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Judges 12:4-6 Living Bible (TLB)

Then Jephthah, furious at the taunt of Ephraim that the men of Gilead were mere outcasts[a] and the scum of the earth, mobilized his army and attacked the army of Ephraim. He captured the fords of the Jordan behind the army of Ephraim, and whenever a fugitive from Ephraim tried to cross the river, the Gilead guards challenged him.

“Are you a member of the tribe of Ephraim?” they asked. If the man replied that he was not, then they demanded, “Say ‘Shibboleth.’” But if he couldn’t pronounce the H and said, “Sibboleth” instead of “Shibboleth,” he was dragged away and killed. So forty-two thousand people of Ephraim died there at that time.


  1. Judges 12:4 mere outcasts, literally, “fugitives of Ephraim.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. 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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