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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Judges 12

Verses 1-15

  1. SHIBBOLETH (12)
    1. CIVIL WAR (1-7) who wins in a civil war? no one.
    2. Jephthah’s men had seized the natural crossing points along the river.
      1. They used a linguistic test to determine which of the men crossing the Jordan were escaping Ephraimites.
      2. Some scholars have argued Gileadites said Thibboleth & the Ephraimites said Shibboleth. But either way, they pronounced it with an accent.
        1. Shibboleth = flowing stream, or ear of grain.
        2. Shibboleth in our Eng dictionary today means a test for determining if you belong.
          1. ​​​​​​​If you don’t conform exactly to what a group demands, you’re rejected.
          2. Some Christians make these minor matters a test of spirituality and fellowship and bring division to the church.
    3. Last 3 minor Judges:
    4. IZBAN, 9th JUDGE (8-10)
    5. ELON, 10th JUDGE (11,12)
    6. ABDON, 11th JUDGE (13-15)
    7. Note his identity was found not in a tribe but in a local clan (Pirathon/hill country of Ephraim)
      1. In tribal society, allegiance was first to one’s family, then to one’s extended family or clan, next to one’s tribe, finally to one’s nation.
      2. Tribal unity was next to impossible to maintain during the times of the judges.
    8. Next week...Samson. A he-man with a she-weakness.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Judges 12". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/judges-12.html. 2017.