Judges

Introduction

The book of Judges speaks of the conquest of Canaan, the result of disobedience, the first judges, Deborah, the song of Deborah and Barak, Gideon, Abimelech. In verses 5 and 6 of Chapter 12, the idea of a shibboleth is introduced. Jepthah then mustered all the men of Gilead and fought Ephraim, and the Gileadites defeated them. The Gileadites seized the fords of the Jordan and held them against Ephraim. When any Ephraimite who had escaped begged leave to cross, the men of Gilead asked him, 'Are you an Ephraimite?', and if he said, 'No', they would retort, 'Say Shibboleth.' He would say 'Sibboleth', and because he could not pronounce the word properly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time forty-two thousand men of Ephraim lost their lives. The book continues with Samson, the Danites and the Benjamites