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Judges 12:4-6 Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

So Jephthah summoned all the men of Gilead and waged war against Ephraim. The men of Gilead struck down Ephraim, because the Ephraimites had said, “You Gileadites are nothing but renegades[a] from Ephraim and Manasseh.”

The men of Gilead captured the fords across the Jordan that led to Ephraim. Whenever an Ephraimite fleeing from the battle said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead asked him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” they said to him, “Please say, ‘Shibboleth.’” But if he instead said, “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce the word correctly,[b] they seized him and slaughtered him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time, forty-two thousand from Ephraim fell.


  1. Judges 12:4 The word renegades is a charge that the Gileadites were not real Israelites because they had remained east of the Jordan.
  2. Judges 12:6 The dialect dilemma cannot be adequately reproduced by the Hebrew alphabet in use today. These two sounds in question originally may have been similar to th and sh sounds, yielding pronunciations approximating thibboleth and shibboleth. The unfortunate Ephraimites could not say thibboleth because their dialect did not have this th sound. Their difficulty was similar to the difficulty many non-English-speakers have in producing the th in this.
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version®, EHV®, © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved.


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