New International Reader's Version

Judges 12:1-15

Jephthah Wins the Battle Over Ephraim

1The troops of Ephraim were called out. The troops went across the Jordan River to Zaphon. When they arrived, they said to Jephthah, “You went to fight against the Ammonites. Why didn’t you ask us to go with you? We’re going to burn down your house over your head.”

2Jephthah answered, “I and my people were taking part in a great struggle. We were at war with the Ammonites. I asked you for help. But you didn’t come to save me from their power. 3I saw that you wouldn’t help. So I put my own life in danger. I went across the Jordan to fight against the Ammonites. The Lord helped me win the battle over them. So why have you come up today to fight against me?”

4Then Jephthah called the men of Gilead together. They fought against Ephraim. The men of Gilead struck them down. The people of Ephraim had said, “You people of Gilead are nothing but deserters from Ephraim and Manasseh.” 5The men of Gilead captured the places where people go across the Jordan River to get to Ephraim. Some men of Ephraim weren’t killed in the battle. When they arrived at the river, they would say, “Let us go across.” Then the men of Gilead would ask each one, “Are you from Ephraim?” Suppose he replied, “No.” 6Then they would say, “All right. Say ‘Shibboleth.’ ” If he said “Sibboleth,” the way he said the word would give him away. He couldn’t say it correctly. So they would grab him. Then they would kill him at one of the places where people go across the Jordan. At that time, 42,000 men of Ephraim were killed.

7Jephthah led Israel for six years. Then he died. He was buried in a town in Gilead. Jephthah was from the land of Gilead.

Ibzan, Elon and Abdon

8After Jephthah, Ibzan from Bethlehem led Israel. 9He had 30 sons and 30 daughters. He gave his daughters to be married to men who were outside his family group. He brought in 30 young women to be married to his sons. Those women also came from outside his family group. Ibzan led Israel for seven years. 10Then he died. He was buried in Bethlehem.

11After Ibzan, Elon led Israel. He was from the tribe of Zebulun. Elon led Israel for ten years. 12Then he died. He was buried in Aijalon. It was in the land of Zebulun.

13After Elon, Abdon led Israel. Abdon was the son of Hillel. Abdon was from Pirathon. 14He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons. They rode on 70 donkeys. Abdon led Israel for eight years. 15Then he died. He was buried at Pirathon in Ephraim. Pirathon was in the hill country of the Amalekites. Abdon was the son of Hillel.

New International Version

Judges 12:1-15

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 led12:7 Traditionally judged; also in verses 8-14 Israel 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 seven years. 10Then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem.

11After him, Elon the Zebulunite led Israel 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 eight years. 15Then Abdon son of Hillel died and was buried at Pirathon in Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.