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Bible Dictionaries

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Shibboleth

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A stream. In a war between the Ephraimites and the men of Gilead under Jephthah, the former were discomfited, and fled towards the fords of the Jordan. The Gileadites took possession of all these fords, and when an Ephraimite who had escaped came to the riverside and desired to pass over, they asked him if he were not an Ephraimite. It he said, No, they bade him pronounce shibboleth; but he pronouncing it sibboleth, according to the dialect of the Ephraimites, they killed him. In this war there fill 42,000 Ephraimites, Judges 12:1-15 . This incident should mot be passed over without observing, that it affords proof of dialectical variations among the tribes of the same nation, and speaking the same language, in those early days. There can be no wonder, therefore, if we find in later ages the same word written different ways, according to the pronunciation of different tribes. That this continued, is evident from the peculiarities of the Galilean dialect, by which Peter was discovered to be of that district, Mark 14:70 .

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Shibboleth'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ats/s/shibboleth.html. 1859.

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