Jephthah and the Ephraimites
1The men of Ephraim prepared for battle; they crossed the Jordan River to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, “Why did you cross the border to fight the Ammonites without calling us to go with you? We'll burn the house down over your head!”
2But Jephthah told them, “My people and I had a serious quarrel with the Ammonites. I did call you, but you would not rescue me from them. 3When I saw that you were not going to, I risked my life and crossed the border to fight them, and the Lord gave me victory over them. So why are you coming up to fight me now?” 4Then Jephthah brought all the men of Gilead together, fought the men of Ephraim and defeated them. (The Ephraimites had said, “You Gileadites in Ephraim and Manasseh, you are deserters from Ephraim!”) 5In order to keep the Ephraimites from escaping, the Gileadites captured the places where the Jordan could be crossed. When any Ephraimite who was trying to escape would ask permission to cross, the men of Gilead would ask, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” 6they would tell him to say “Shibboleth.” But he would say “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce it correctly. Then they would grab him and kill him there at one of the Jordan River crossings. At that time forty-two thousand of the Ephraimites were killed.
7Jephthah led Israel for six years. Then he died and was buried in his hometown in Gilead.
Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon
8After Jephthah, Ibzan from Bethlehem led Israel. 9He had thirty sons and thirty daughters. He gave his daughters in marriage outside the clan and brought thirty young women from outside the clan for his sons to marry. Ibzan led Israel for seven years, 10then he died and was buried at Bethlehem.
11After Ibzan, Elon from Zebulun led Israel for ten years. 12Then he died and was buried at Aijalon in the territory of Zebulun.
13After Elon, Abdon son of Hillel from Pirathon led Israel. 14He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys. Abdon led Israel for eight years, 15then he died and was buried at Pirathon in the territory of Ephraim in the hill country of the Amalekites.