4 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.” 5 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,” 6 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.
Judges 12:5I.e. narrow or shallow places where a river may be crossed by wading.
Judges 12:6Lit 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.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the Believer's Bible Commentary and the Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (NIV and NRSV) - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.