Common English Bible
Jephthah defeats the Ephraimites
12 The Ephraimites were called up for battle and crossed over to Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, “Why did you cross over to fight the Ammonites and not call us to go with you? We’re going to burn down your house over you!”
2 Jephthah replied to them, “My people and I were in a great conflict with the Ammonites. But when I cried out to you, you didn’t rescue me from their power. 3 When I saw that you weren’t going to rescue me, I risked my own life and crossed over against the Ammonites, and the Lord handed them over to me. So why have you marched against me today to fight me?”
4 So Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought the Ephraimites. The Gileadites defeated the Ephraimites, because they had said, “You are fugitives from Ephraim! Gilead stands within Ephraim and Manasseh.”
5 The Gileadites took control of the Jordan’s crossing points into Ephraim. Whenever one of the Ephraimite fugitives said, “Let me cross,” the Gileadites would ask him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” 6 they would tell him, “Then say shibboleth.” But he would say, “sibboleth,” because he couldn’t pronounce it correctly. So they would seize him and kill him at the Jordan’s crossing points. Forty-two thousand of the Ephraimites fell at that time.
7 Jephthah led Israel for six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in one of the towns in Gilead.
Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon
8 After Jephthah, Ibzan from Bethlehem led Israel. 9 He had thirty sons and thirty daughters. He married his thirty daughters to those outside his clan, and brought in thirty young women from outside for his sons. He led Israel for seven years. 10 Then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem.
11 After Ibzan, Elon from Zebulun led Israel; he did so for ten years. 12 Then Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.
13 After Elon, Abdon, Hillel’s son from Pirathon, led Israel. 14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons mounted on seventy donkeys. He led Israel for eight years. 15 Then Abdon, Hillel’s son from Pirathon, died and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the Amalekite highlands.