Thursday, February 24, 2011
More Senseless Violence in Judges (Judges Chapter 12) - This chapter is thankfully very short, but in its few words is chronicled the alleged deaths of 42,000 people.
Why were these people killed? Because they failed to say "Shibboleth" correctly. Seriously. Apparently, the victims accent led them to say "Sibboleth" instead.
Here's what happened: some of Ephraim's men were pissed that the Jephthah slaughtered the Ammonites without them. Jephthah replied that he tried to call them, but they never answered. After some further taunting, they wind up finding and Jephthah's Gileadites fought and killed many of Ephraim's men. In the ensuing rout, the Gileadites had to sort through the refugees to see who was an Ephraimite and who was not. Their test was to ask each person to pronounce "Shibboleth". Those who said "Sibboleth" were killed outright.
After this brief segment, the book speaks briefly about Jephthah's death, and some of the other judges who came after him.