Judges 12

1The men from the family group of Ephraim called all their soldiers together. Then they went across the river to the city of Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, “Why didn’t you call us to help you fight the Ammonite people? We will burn your house down with you in it.” 2Jephthah answered them, “The Ammonite people have been giving us many problems. So I and my people fought against them. I called you, but you didn’t come to help us. 3I saw that you would not help us. So I risked my own life. I went across the river to fight against the Ammonite people. The Lord helped me to defeat them. Now why have you come to fight against me today?” 4Then Jephthah called the men of Gilead together. They fought against the men from the family group of Ephraim. They fought against the men of Ephraim because those men had insulted the men of Gilead. They had said, “You men of Gilead are nothing but survivors of the men of Ephraim. ˻You don’t even have your own land!˼ Part of you belong to Ephraim, and part of you belong to Manasseh.” The men of Gilead defeated the men of Ephraim. 5The men of Gilead captured the places where people cross the Jordan River. Those places led to the country of Ephraim. Any time a survivor from Ephraim came to the river and said, “Let me cross,” the men of Gilead would ask him, “Are you from Ephraim?” If he said, “No,” 6they would say, “Say the word 'Shibboleth.’” The men of Ephraim could not say that word correctly. They pronounced the word “Sibboleth.” So if the person said, “Sibboleth,” then the men of Gilead knew he was from Ephraim. So they would kill him at the crossing place. They killed 42,000 men from Ephraim. 7Jephthah was a judge for the people of Israel for six years. Then Jephthah from Gilead died. They buried him in his town in Gilead. 8After Jephthah, a man named Ibzan was a judge for the people of Israel. Ibzan was from the city of Bethlehem. 9Ibzan had 30 sons and 30 daughters. He told his 30 daughters to marry men that were not his relatives. And he found 30 women that were not his relatives, and his sons married these women. Ibzan was a judge for the people of Israel for seven years. 10Then Ibzan died. He was buried in the city of Bethlehem. 11After Ibzan, a man named Elon was a judge for the people of Israel. Elon was from the family group of Zebulun. He was a judge for the people of Israel for ten years. 12Then Elon from the family group of Zebulun died. He was buried in the city of Aijalon, Zebulun. 13After Elon died, a man named Abdon son of Hillel was a judge for the people of Israel. Abdon was from the city of Pirathon. 14Abdon had 40 sons and 30 grandsons. They rode on 70 donkeys. Abdon was a judge for the people of Israel for eight years. 15Then Abdon son of Hillel died. He was buried in the city of Pirathon. Pirathon is in the land of Ephraim. This is in the hill country where the Amalekite people lived.

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