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Jephthah and Ephraim

12 The men of Ephraim gathered together and crossed over to Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, “Why did you go to wage war with the Ammonites and not call us to go with you? We will burn down your house right on top of you.”

Jephthah said to them, “My people and I were in a very great conflict with the Ammonites. I called you, but you did not save me from their hands. When I saw that you were not going to save me, I took my life in my own hands and crossed over to the Ammonites. Then the Lord gave them into my hands. Now why have you come up to me today to wage war against me?”

Then Jephthah assembled all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim. The men of Gilead struck Ephraim down, for they had said, “You Gileadites are fugitives in Ephraim, living in Ephraim and Manasseh.” Gilead captured the fords of the Jordan River leading to Ephraim. Whenever an Ephraimite fugitive would say, “Let me cross,” the Gileadite men would say to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” then they would say to him, “Say, ‘Shibboleth’!” Yet he would say, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it correctly. Then they would grab him and kill him at the Jordan fords. During that time forty-two thousand from Ephraim fell.

Jephthah judged Israel for six years. When Jephthah the Gileadite died, he was buried among the cities of Gilead.

Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon

After him, Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. He had thirty sons, and he gave thirty daughters in marriage outside his clan; and he brought thirty daughters from outside for his sons. He judged Israel for seven years. 10 Then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem.

11 After him, Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel. He judged Israel for ten years. 12 Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.

13 After him, Abdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel. 14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons who rode seventy donkeys. He judged Israel for eight years. 15 Abdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite died and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the Amalekite hill country.