1 The men of Ephraim were ready for battle. They crossed the Jordan River to Zaphon and said to Jephthah: »Why did you cross the border to fight the Ammonites without calling us to go with you? We are going to burn the house down over your head!«
2 Jephthah replied: »My people and I had a great struggle with the Ammonites. I called you, but you would not rescue me from them.
3 »When I realized you were not going to, I risked my life and crossed the border to fight them. Jehovah gave me victory over them. Why are you coming to fight me now?«
4 Jephthah brought all the men of Gilead together and fought the men of Ephraim and defeated them.
5 To keep the Ephraimites from escaping, the Gileadites captured the places where the Jordan could be crossed. When any Ephraimite who was trying to escape would ask permission to cross, the men of Gilead would ask: »Are you an Ephraimite?« If he said: »No,«
6 they would tell him to say »Shibboleth.« But he would say »Sibboleth,« because he could not pronounce it correctly. Then they would kill him at the Jordan River crossing. Forty-two thousand of the Ephraimites were killed.
7 Jephthah led Israel for six years. Then he died and was buried in his hometown in Gilead.
8 After Jephthah, Ibzan from Bethlehem led Israel.
9 He had thirty sons and thirty daughters. He gave his daughters in marriage outside the clan and brought thirty young women from outside the clan for his sons to marry. Ibzan led Israel for seven years,
10 then he died and was buried at Bethlehem.
11 After Ibzan, Elon from Zebulun led Israel for ten years.
12 He died and was buried at Aijalon in the territory of Zebulun.
13 After Elon, Abdon son of Hillel from Pirathon was leader of Israel.
14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys. Abdon led Israel for eight years,
15 Abdon died and was buried at Pirathon in the territory of Ephraim in the mountains of the Amalekites.