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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Shibboleth

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"an ear of corn," was a word which the Gileadites used as the test of an Ephraimite. For the Ephraimites could not, from disuse, pronounce the Hebrew letter shin; therefore, they said Sibboleth instead of Shibboleth, Judges 12:6 . The Greeks, says Hartley, have not the sound sh in their language: hence they are liable to be detected, like the Ephraimites. I was struck with this circumstance, in learning Turkish from a Greek tutor; pasha, he pronounced pasa; shimdi, he called simdi; Dervish, Dervis, &c.

Shibboleth he would, of course, pronounce Sibboleth.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Shibboleth'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/wtd/s/shibboleth.html. 1831-2.

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