Then the tribe of Ephraim mobilized its army and crossed over to Zaphon. They sent this message to Jephthah: "Why didn't you call for us to help you fight against Ammon? We are going to burn down your house with you in it!"
"I summoned you at the beginning of the dispute, but you refused to come!" Jephthah said. "You failed to help us in our struggle against Ammon.
So I risked my life and went to battle without you, and the LORD gave me victory over the Ammonites. So why have you come to fight me?"
The leaders of Ephraim responded, "The men of Gilead are nothing more than rejects from Ephraim and Manasseh." So Jephthah called out his army and attacked the men of Ephraim and defeated them.
Jephthah captured the shallows of the Jordan, and whenever a fugitive from Ephraim tried to go back across, the men of Gilead would challenge him. "Are you a member of the tribe of Ephraim?" they would ask. If the man said, "No, I'm not,"
they would tell him to say "Shibboleth." If he was from Ephraim, he would say "Sibboleth," because people from Ephraim cannot pronounce the word correctly. Then they would take him and kill him at the shallows of the Jordan River. So forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time.
Jephthah was Israel's judge for six years. When he died, he was buried in one of the towns of Gilead.
After Jephthah, Ibzan became Israel's judge. He lived in Bethlehem,
and he had thirty sons and thirty daughters. He married his daughters to men outside his clan and brought in thirty young women from outside his clan to marry his sons. Ibzan judged Israel for seven years.
When he died, he was buried at Bethlehem.
After him, Elon from Zebulun became Israel's judge. He judged Israel for ten years.
When he died, he was buried at Aijalon in Zebulun.
After Elon died, Abdon son of Hillel, from Pirathon, became Israel's judge.
He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys. He was Israel's judge for eight years.
Then he died and was buried at Pirathon in Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)