Add parallel Print Page Options

12 The men of Efrayim assembled, crossed into Tzafon and said to Yiftach, “Why didn’t you call us to go with you when you went over to fight the people of ‘Amon? We’re ready to burn down your house with you in it!” Yiftach answered, “When my people and I were in a serious dispute with the people of ‘Amon, I called you; and you didn’t rescue me from their power. When I saw that you weren’t rescuing me, I put my life in my own hands and went over to attack the people of ‘Amon; and Adonai gave them over into my power. So why have you come up today to fight me?” Then Yiftach gathered together all the men of Gil‘ad and fought with Efrayim, and the men of Gil‘ad defeated Efrayim; because they were saying, “You Gil‘ad men who live in Efrayim and M’nasheh have deserted Efrayim!” The men of Gil‘ad cut off Efrayim from the crossings over the Yarden, and whenever anyone from Efrayim tried to escape and said, “Let me go across,” the men of Gil‘ad would ask him, “Are you from Efrayim?” and if he said, “No,” they would tell him to say “Shibbolet.” If he said, “Sibbolet,” because he could not make his mouth pronounce it right, they took hold of him and killed him on the spot at the Yarden crossing; at that time 42,000 men of Efrayim died.

Yiftach judged Isra’el for six years. Then Yiftach from Gil‘ad died, and he was buried in one of the cities of Gil‘ad.

After him Ibtzan of Beit-Lechem judged Isra’el. He had thirty sons, and he had thirty daughters whom he sent abroad; he brought thirty women from abroad in to marry his sons. He judged Isra’el for seven years. 10 Then Ibtzan died and was buried at Beit-Lechem.

11 After him Elon from Z’vulun judged Isra’el; he judged Isra’el for ten years. 12 Then Elon from Z’vulun died and was buried at Ayalon, in the territory of Z’vulun.

13 After him Avdon the son of Hillel from Pir‘aton judged Isra’el. 14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons who rode on seventy young donkeys. He judged Isra’el for eight years. 15 Then Avdon the son of Hillel from Pir‘aton died and was buried at Pir‘aton in the territory of Efrayim, in the ‘Amalek hills.

Jephthah and Ephraim

12 The Ephraimite forces were called out, and they crossed over to Zaphon.(A) They said to Jephthah,(B) “Why did you go to fight the Ammonites without calling us to go with you?(C) 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(D) and crossed over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave me the victory(E) over them. Now why have you come up today to fight me?”

Jephthah then called together the men of Gilead(F) and fought against Ephraim. The Gileadites struck them down because the Ephraimites had said, “You Gileadites are renegades from Ephraim and Manasseh.(G) The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan(H) 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(I) 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(J) in the land of Zebulun.

13 After him, Abdon son of Hillel, from Pirathon,(K) led Israel. 14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons,(L) who rode on seventy donkeys.(M) 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.(N)


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