1The men of the tribe of Ephraim summoned their soldiers, and they crossed the Jordan River to the town of Zaphon to talk with Jephthah. They said to him, “◄Why did you not ask us for help?/You should have requested us► to help your army fight the Ammon people-group. So we will burn down your house while you are in it.”
2Jephthah replied, “The Ammon people-group were oppressing us greatly. When we were prepared to start to attack them, I requested you to come and help us, but you refused. My men and I defeated the Ammon people-group, but you did not help us.
3When I saw that you would not help us, I was willing to be killed in the battle against the Ammon people-group. But Yahweh helped us to defeat them. You did not help us when we requested it before, so ◄why have you come here today to fight against me?/you should not have come here today to fight against me.►” RHQ
4Then Jephthah summoned the men of the Gilead region to fight against the men of the tribe of Ephraim. The men of the tribe of Ephraim said, “You men from the Gilead region are men who deserted us. Long ago you left us and moved to the area between our tribe and the tribe of Manasseh.” Because of their saying that, the men of the Gilead region attacked the men of the tribe of Ephraim.
5The men of Gilead captured that ◄ford/place where people can walk across► at the Jordan River to go to the land where the tribe of Ephraim live. Whenever one of the soldiers from the tribe of Ephraim came to the ford to try to escape, he would say, “Let me cross the river.” Then the men of Gilead would ask him, “Are you from the tribe of Ephraim?” If he said “No,”
6they would say to him, “Say the word ❛Shibboleth❜.” The men of Ephraim could not pronounce that word correctly. So if the person from the tribe of Ephraim said ❛Sibboleth❜, they would know that he was lying and that he was really from the tribe of Ephraim, and they would kill him there at the ford. So the men of Gilead killed 42,000 people from the tribe of Ephraim at that time.
7Jephthah, the man from the Gilead region, was a leader of the Israeli people for six years. Then he died and was buried in a town in the Gilead region.
8After Jephthah died, a man named Ibzan, from Bethlehem, became the leader of the Israeli people.
9He had thirty sons and thirty daughters. He forced all his daughters to marry men who were not in his clan, and brought women from outside his clan to marry his sons. He was the leader of the Israeli people for seven years.
10When he died he was buried in Bethlehem.
11After Ibzan died, a man named Elon, from the tribe of Zebulun, became the leader of the Israeli people. He was their leader for ten years.
12Then he died and was buried in Aijalon city in the area where the tribe of Zebulun lives.
13After Elon died, a man named Abdon who was the son of Hillel, from Pirathon city, in the area where the tribe of Ephraim live became the leader of the Israeli people.
14He had forty sons and thirty grandsons. Each of them had his own donkey on which to ride. Abdon was the leader of the Israeli people for eight years.
15When Abdon died, he was buried in Pirathon, in the hilly area where the descendants of Amalek lived previously, but now it is the area where the tribe of Ephraim lives.