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1 And the men of Ephraim gathered themselues together, and went Northward, & said vnto Iephthah, Wherefore passedst thou ouer to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call vs to goe with thee? Wee will burne thine house vpon thee with fire.

2 And Iephthah saide vnto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon: and when I called you, ye deliuered me not out of their hands.

3 And when I sawe that ye deliuered me not, I put my life in my handes, and passed ouer against the children of Ammon, and the Lord deliuered them into my hand: Wherfore then are ye come vp vnto me this day, to fight against me?

4 Then Iephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Yee Gileadites are fugitiues of Ephraim, among the Ephraimites and among the Manassites.

5 And the Gileadites tooke the passages of Iordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so that when those Ephraimites which were escaped saide, Let me go ouer, that the men of Gilead said vnto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay:

6 Then said they vnto him, Say now, Shibboleth: and he said, Sibboleth: for hee could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they tooke him, and slewe him at the passages of Iordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites, fourtie & two thousand.

7 And Iephthah iudged Israel sixe yeeres: then died Iephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

8 And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem iudged Israel.

9 And hee had thirtie sonnes, and thirtie daughters, whome hee sent abroad, and tooke in thirtie daughters from abroad for his sonnes. And hee iudged Israel seuen yeeres.

10 Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Bethlehem.

11 And after him, Elon, a Zebulonite iudged Israel, and he iudged Israel ten yeeres.

12 And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aiialon in the countrey of Zebulun.

13 And after him, Abdon, the sonne of Hillel a Pirathonite iudged Israel.

14 And he had fourty sonnes, and thirtie nephewes, that rode on threescore and ten asse-colts: and he iudged Israel eight yeeres,

15 And Abdon the sonne of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekites.

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Commentary for Judges 12

Ephraimites quarrel with Jephthah. (1-7) Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon judge Israel. (8-15)1-7 The Ephraimites had the same quarrel with Jephthah as with Gideon. Pride was at the bottom of the quarrel; only by that comes contention. It is ill to fasten names of reproach upon persons or countries, as is common, especially upon those under outward disadvantages. It often occasions quarrels that prove of ill consequence, as it did here. No contentions are so bitter as those between brethren or rivals for honour. What need we have to watch and pray against evil tempers! May the Lord incline all his people to follow after things which make for peace!

8-15 We have here a short account of three more of the judges of Israel. The happiest life of individuals, and the happiest state of society, is that which affords the fewest remarkable events. To live in credit and quiet, to be peacefully useful to those around us, to possess a clear conscience; but, above all, and without which nothing can avail, to enjoy communion with God our Saviour while we live, and to die at peace with God and man, form the substance of all that a wise man can desire.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Judges 12

  • Christ Magnified Glorifying Jesus
    Day 69 of Bible Reading in a Year. Excellent history of the period of the judges who "ruled" Israel. It is fascinating how the "land" has and is still so very important even among the gentiles. The identification of people with the land for the Israelites revealed a history (though frequently broken" of trusting God to deliver them from their enemies and their own flesh.
  • David
    Have faith in the lord he will never fail us
  • Kaggwa Andrew
    No sin, un repented, may go un punished. Ephraimites despised God's choice in Gideon but God kept their punishment until Jephtha's time! adamantly they contended with these two, God's choices, ever questioning the source of authority for their actions, yet they knew surely that the hand of God was with them. When we vex with the anointed ones, we vex with God and its sin.
  • Michael C.
    How can we apply this part of the Word to ourselves today? 1) Evil words stir up evil behaviors. 2) Going with the crowds in an evil matter, will bring consequences. 3) Jephthah handled the wicked mouths of the Ephraimites; wicked mouths today need to be stopped, and their actions of hostility toward others without a cause, righteously punished. 4) We too have had many champions of God sent to us.
  • Kgomotso marumo
    God is still speaking today
  • AMA
    we do not have to despise people because you never know what tomorrow holds for them. in the case of Jephthah and his brethren.

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