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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Judges 12



Verses 1-15

The Ephraimites Quarrel with Jephthah. His Death

1-6. Jephthah and Ephraim. Once more the members of the leading tribe find themselves left out of the victory, and complain: cp. Judges 8:1; Jephthah deals with them differently from Gideon.

1. Northward] RM 'to Zaphon,' a town near Succoth: cp. Joshua 13:27.

2. When I called you] It would seem that Jephthah had done more than simply rouse Gilead: see on Judges 11:29.

4. Jephthah now makes use of the headship promised him in Judges 11:11. The second part of the v. is unintelligible. As it stands, it refers to some further taunt of the Ephraimites. But 'fugitives' means, in the original, 'survivors': and the Gileadites are regarded in the genealogies as an offshoot of Manasseh, to whom, indeed, the land of Gilead was assigned.

5. The passages] RV 'fords.' Ephraim had invaded Gilead, and the Gileadites took advantage of a dialectical peculiarity to identify every Ephraimite fugitive. Some exaggeration of numbers seems indisputable.

8-15. The Minor Judges, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon.

8. Bethlehem] Probably in Zebulun, mentioned in Joshua 19:15.

9. Thirty] cp. Joshua 10:4

11. Elon] in Numbers 26:26 the name of a clan; possibly in the cases of Ibzan and Abdon also the hero and his family are confused.

15. Pirathon] Possibly the modern Ferata, SW. of Shechem. Amalekites] Probably the Amalekites had made a settlement in Mt. Ephraim.


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Judges 12:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

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