The Book of Judges

Chapter 12

The Ephraimites, quarreling with Jephthah and discerned by Shibboleth, are slain by the Gileadites, 1-6. Jephthah dies, 7. Ibzan, who had thirty sons and thirty daughters, 8-10; and Elon, 11, 12; and Abdon, who had forty sons and thirty nephews, judge Israel, 13-15.

1 And the men of Ephraim assembled and went northward and said to Jephthah, "Why did you pass over to fight against the children of Ammon and did not call us to go with you? We will burn your house upon you with fire." 2 And Jephthah said to them, "I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon. And when I called you, you did not deliver me out of their hands. 3 And when I saw that you did not deliver me, I put my life in my hands and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me?" 4 Then Jephthah collected all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim. And the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, "You Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites and among the Manassites." 5 And the Gileadites took the passages of the Jordan before the Ephraimites. And it was so, that when those Ephraimites who had escaped, said, "Let me go over," that the men of Gilead said to him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" If he said, "No," 6 Then they said to him, "Now say, 'Shibboleth,'" and he said, "Sibboleth," for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him and slew him at the passages of the Jordan. And there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty-two thousand.

7 And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

8 And after him Ibzan of Beth-lehem judged Israel. 9 And he had thirty sons and thirty daughters whom he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. 10 Then Ibzan died and was buried at Beth-lehem.

11 And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel, and he judged Israel ten years. 12 And Elon the Zebulonite died and was buried in Ajalon in the country of Zebulun.

13 And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel. 14 And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, who rode on seventy donkey colts. And he judged Israel eight years. 15 And Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim on the mountain of the Amalekites.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Judges, Chapter 12[➚]