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Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

Sibboleth, ear of corn; stream or flood

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(a stream), (Judges 12:6) is the Hebrew word which the Gileadites under Jephthah made use of at the passage of the Jordan, after a victory over the Ephraimites, to test the pronunciation of the sound sh by those who wished to cross over the river. The Ephraimites, it would appear, in their dialect substituted for sh the simple sound s ; and the Gileadites, regarding every one who failed to pronounce sh as an Ephraimite and therefore an enemy, put him to death accordingly. In this way there fell 42,000 Ephraimites. There is no mystery in this particular word. Any word beginning with the sound sh would have answered equally well as a test.

ATS Bible Dictionary

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, Jud 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.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
River, or an ear of corn. The tribes living on the east of Jordan, separated from their brethren on the west by the deep ravines and the rapid river, gradually came to adopt peculiar customs, and from mixing largely with the Moabites, Ishmaelites, and Ammonites to pronounce certain letters in such a manner as to distinguish them from the other tribes. Thus when the Ephraimites from the west invaded Gilead, and were defeated by the Gileadites under the leadership of Jephthah, and tried to escape by the "passages of the Jordan," the Gileadites seized the fords and would allow none to pass who could not pronounce "shibboleth" with a strong aspirate. This the fugitives were unable to do. They said "sibboleth," as the word was pronounced by the tribes on the west, and thus they were detected (Judges 12:1-6). Forty-two thousand were thus detected, and

"Without reprieve, adjudged to death, For want of well-pronouncing shibboleth."

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) A word which was made the criterion by which to distinguish the Ephraimites from the Gileadites. The Ephraimites, not being able to pronounce sh, called the word sibboleth. See Judges xii.

2. (n.) Also in an extended sense.

3. (n.) Hence, the criterion, test, or watchword of a party; a party cry or pet phrase.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

shib'-o-leth (shibboleth): A test of speech applied by the men of Gilead to the Ephraimites, who wished to cross the Jordan, after defeat. If they pronounced the word cibboleth, their dialectic variety of speech betrayed them. (Judges 12:6). The word probably has the sense of stream or "flood" (compare Psalm 69:2).

Strong's Hebrew
7642b. shibboleth -- a flowing stream
... 7642a, 7642b. shibboleth. 7643 . a flowing stream. Transliteration: shibboleth
Short Definition: flood. ... 7642a, 7642b. shibboleth. 7643 . Strong's Numbers
/hebrew/7642b.htm - 5k

7641. shibbol -- ear (of grain)
shibbol or shibboleth. 7640, 7641. shibbol or shibboleth. 7642 . ear
(of grain). Transliteration: shibbol or shibboleth Phonetic ...
/hebrew/7641.htm - 6k


The Kingdom Conquering
... 2. What was Jephthah's vow? 3. Locate the word "Shibboleth", and narrate the historical
event connected therewith. 4. What was Samson to be and for how long? ...
/.../palmer/a birds-eye view of the bible/iii the kingdom conquering.htm

Twenty-Ninth Day. Love of Unity.
... Surely there is nothing for which Christian churches have such cause to hang their
harps on the willows, as the extent to which the Shibboleth of party is ...
/.../macduff/the mind of jesus/twenty-ninth day love of unity.htm

Practical Observations.
... sprinkled blood. There was but one word that could save the Ephraimites
at Jordan's ford (Judges 12)"the word Shibboleth. So there ...
/.../johnson/the new testament commentary vol iii john/practical observations 26.htm

... justification by faith" boldly and clearly in opposition to the "meritorious works
of Rome." "Justification by faith" was in those days the shibboleth of the ...
/.../kuyper/the work of the holy spirit/cxxx justification.htm

The Condemnation of "The Three Chapters. "
... under Peter the Stutterer as the "acephali." [97] At Antioch Peter the Fuller had
anathematized all who refused to accept the Shibboleth he appended to the ...
/.../the ecclesiastical history of theodoret/vii the condemnation of the three.htm

Christ is All
... Lord lives, if you are saying that, you do not know his truth; because you are not
testifying that "Christ is all," but simply uttering the Shibboleth of your ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 61 1915/christ is all.htm

Fellowship with God
... there are many of them, but they can have no fellowship with God, because they do
not sound our Shibboleth, they do not join with us in every separate dogma ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 7 1861/fellowship with god.htm

Relation of the Pharisees to the Sadducees and Essenes, and to the ...
... Suffice it for him to have to practise "zedakah," "righteousness." We can understand
how this shibboleth of theirs became, in the mouth of the people, the ...
/.../edersheim/sketches of jewish social life/chapter 15 relation of the.htm

The Hermit and the Boy
... the trimming attitude of mind which made the old Bishop Leontius mumble the Gloria
in such a way that no party could claim him for its own shibboleth; and he ...
/.../chapter v the hermit and.htm

The Church in Babylon
... And if they do, we shall know our brother in every man that is like-minded
with us towards them, whatever shibboleth may separate us. ...
/.../expositions of holy scripture ephesians peter/the church in babylon.htm

Shibboleth (1 Occurrence)
... and tried to escape by the "passages of the Jordan," the Gileadites seized the fords
and would allow none to pass who could not pronounce "shibboleth" with a ...
/s/shibboleth.htm - 8k

Channel (3 Occurrences)
... chan'-el ('aphiq (root 'aphaq, "to hold or contain," "to be strong"; compare Arabic
'afaq "to overcome" and 'afiq, "preeminent"); shibboleth (shabhal, "to go ...
/c/channel.htm - 11k

Sibboleth (1 Occurrence)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia SIBBOLETH. sib'o-leth (cibboleth). See SHIBBOLETH.
Multi-Version Concordance Sibboleth (1 Occurrence). ...
/s/sibboleth.htm - 7k

Jephthah (26 Occurrences)
... (see SHIBBOLETH.) "Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the
cities of Gilead" (7). Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. JEPHTHAH. ...
/j/jephthah.htm - 20k

Flood (70 Occurrences)
... the Revised Version, margin "Hebrew Belial") made me afraid" (2 Samuel 22:5 Psalm
18:4); also 'or (Amos 8:8 (the King James Version)); shibboleth (Psalm 69:2 ...
/f/flood.htm - 31k

Fords (9 Occurrences)
... Judges 12:6 then said they to him, "Now say'Shibboleth;'" and he said "Sibboleth;"
for he couldn't manage to pronounce it right: then they laid hold of him ...
/f/fords.htm - 9k

Forty-two (15 Occurrences)
... Judges 12:6 then said they to him, "Now say'Shibboleth;'" and he said "Sibboleth;"
for he couldn't manage to pronounce it right: then they laid hold of him ...
/f/forty-two.htm - 10k

Ephraimites (7 Occurrences)
... Judges 12:6 Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth:
for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then ...
/e/ephraimites.htm - 8k

E'phraimites (9 Occurrences)
... Judges 12:6 they said to him, "Then say Shibboleth," and he said, "Sibboleth," for
he could not pronounce it right; then they seized him and slew him at the ...
/e/e'phraimites.htm - 9k

Manage (6 Occurrences)
... Judges 12:6 then said they to him, "Now say'Shibboleth;'" and he said "Sibboleth;"
for he couldn't manage to pronounce it right: then they laid hold of him ...
/m/manage.htm - 8k

Bible Concordance
Shibboleth (1 Occurrence)

Judges 12:6 then said they to him, "Now say'Shibboleth;'" and he said "Sibboleth;" for he couldn't manage to pronounce it right: then they laid hold of him, and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time, forty-two thousand of Ephraim fell.



Shibboleth: General Scriptures Concerning

Related Terms

Channel (3 Occurrences)

Sibboleth (1 Occurrence)

Jephthah (26 Occurrences)

Flood (70 Occurrences)

Fords (9 Occurrences)

Forty-two (15 Occurrences)

Ephraimites (7 Occurrences)

E'phraimites (9 Occurrences)

Manage (6 Occurrences)

Passages (8 Occurrences)

Crossing-places (3 Occurrences)

Correctly (10 Occurrences)

Shibah (1 Occurrence)

Shibmah (1 Occurrence)

Couldn't (6 Occurrences)

Frame (33 Occurrences)

Seize (91 Occurrences)

Pronounce (47 Occurrences)

Slaughter (121 Occurrences)

Seized (118 Occurrences)

Slew (206 Occurrences)

Forty (142 Occurrences)

Chiefs (227 Occurrences)

Ephraim (168 Occurrences)

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