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Judges 12 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Ephraim’s Jealousy

12 The men of Ephraim were summoned to fight. They crossed ⌞the Jordan River⌟ to Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, “Why did you fight against Ammon without inviting us to go with you? Now we’re going to burn your house down with you in it.”

Jephthah answered, “My people and I were involved in a legal dispute with Ammon. I asked you for help, but you didn’t rescue me from them. When I saw that you would not rescue me, I risked my life and went to fight the people of Ammon. The Lord handed them over to me. So why did you come to fight against me today?”

Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought Ephraim. The men of Gilead defeated Ephraim. ⌞They did this because⌟ Ephraim had said, “You people from Gilead are nothing but fugitives from Ephraim and Manasseh.”

The men of Gilead captured the shallow crossings of the Jordan River leading back to Ephraim. Whenever a fugitive from Ephraim said, “Let me cross,” the men of Gilead would ask, “Are you from Ephraim?” If he answered, “No,” they would tell him, “Say the word shibboleth.” If the fugitive would say sibboleth, because he couldn’t pronounce the word correctly, they would grab him and kill him at the shallow crossings of the Jordan River. At that time 42,000 men from Ephraim died.

Jephthah judged Israel for six years. Then Jephthah of Gilead died and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

Ibzan Serves as Judge

After Jephthah, Ibzan from Bethlehem judged Israel. He had 30 sons and 30 daughters. His sons and daughters married people from outside their own families. He judged Israel for seven years. 10 When Ibzan died, he was buried in Bethlehem.

Elon Serves as Judge

11 After Ibzan, Elon from the tribe of Zebulun judged Israel. He judged Israel for ten years. 12 When Elon died, he was buried in Aijalon in the territory of Zebulun.

Abdon Serves as Judge

13 After Elon, Abdon, son of Hillel, from Pirathon judged Israel. 14 He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons who rode on 70 donkeys. He judged Israel for eight years. 15 When Abdon died, he was buried in Pirathon, in the territory of Ephraim, in the mountains of Amalek.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995, 2003, 2013, 2014, 2019, 2020 by God’s Word to the Nations Mission Society. All rights reserved.

Judges 12 New International Version (NIV)

Jephthah and Ephraim

12 The Ephraimite forces were called out, and they crossed over to Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, “Why did you go to fight the Ammonites without calling us to go with you? We’re going to burn down your house over your head.”

Jephthah answered, “I and my people were engaged in a great struggle with the Ammonites, and although I called, you didn’t save me out of their hands. When I saw that you wouldn’t help, I took my life in my hands and crossed over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave me the victory over them. Now why have you come up today to fight me?”

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.

Jephthah led[a] Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in a town in Gilead.

Ibzan, Elon and Abdon

After him, Ibzan of Bethlehem led Israel. He had thirty sons and thirty daughters. He gave his daughters away in marriage to those outside his clan, and for his sons he brought in thirty young women as wives from outside his clan. Ibzan led Israel seven years. 10 Then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem.

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

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

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 12:7 Traditionally judged; also in verses 8-14
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.

Judges 12 King James Version (KJV)

12 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 hands.

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 me?

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 Manassites.

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 said, Nay;

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.

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 seven years.

10 Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Bethlehem.

11 And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years.

12 And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun.

13 And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel.

14 And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years.

15 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.

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