Jephthah and Ephraim
1The 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.’
2Jephthah 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. 3When 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?’
4Jephthah 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.’ 5The 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,’ 6they 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.
7Jephthah led#12:7 Traditionally judged; also in verses 8-14 Israel for six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in a town in Gilead.
Ibzan, Elon and Abdon
8After him, Ibzan of Bethlehem led Israel. 9He 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 for seven years. 10Then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem.
11After him, Elon the Zebulunite led Israel for ten years. 12Then Elon died and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.
13After him, Abdon son of Hillel, from Pirathon, led Israel. 14He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys. He led Israel for eight years. 15Then Abdon son of Hillel died and was buried at Pirathon in Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.