Chapter 12

1The men of Efraim mustered and crossed [the Yarden] to Zaphon. They said to Yiftach, “Why did you march to fight the Ammonites without calling us to go with you? We'll burn your house down over you!”

אוַיִּצָּעֵק אִישׁ אֶפְרַיִם וַיַּעֲבֹר צָפוֹנָה וַיֹּאמְרוּ לְיִפְתָּח מַדּוּעַ עָבַרְתָּ לְהִלָּחֵם בִּבְנֵי־עַמּוֹן וְלָנוּ לֹא קָרָאתָ לָלֶכֶת עִמָּךְ בֵּיתְךָ נִשְׂרֹף עָלֶיךָ בָּאֵשׁ׃

2Yiftach answered them, “I and my people were in a bitter conflict with the Ammonites; and I summoned you, but you did not save me from them.

בוַיֹּאמֶר יִפְתָּח אֲלֵיהֶם אִישׁ רִיב הָיִיתִי אֲנִי וְעַמִּי וּבְנֵי־עַמּוֹן מְאֹד וָאֶזְעַק אֶתְכֶם וְלֹא־הוֹשַׁעְתֶּם אוֹתִי מִיָּדָם׃

3When I saw that you were no saviors, I risked my life and advanced against the Ammonites; and Hashem delivered them into my hands. Why have you come here now to fight against me?”

גוָאֶרְאֶה כִּי־אֵינְךָ מוֹשִׁיע וָאָשִׂימָה נַפְשִׁי בְכַפִּי וָאֶעְבְּרָה אֶל־בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן וַיִּתְּנֵם יְהֹוָה בְּיָדִי וְלָמָה עֲלִיתֶם אֵלַי הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה לְהִלָּחֶם בִּי׃

4And Yiftach gathered all the men of Gilad and fought the Ephraimites. The men of Gilad defeated the Ephraimites; for they had said, “You Giladites are nothing but fugitives from Efraim—being in Menashe is like being in Efraim.”

דוַיִּקְבֹּץ יִפְתָּח אֶת־כָּל־אַנְשֵׁי גִלְעָד וַיִּלָּחֶם אֶת־אֶפְרָיִם וַיַּכּוּ אַנְשֵׁי גִלְעָד אֶת־אֶפְרַיִם כִּי אָמְרוּ פְּלִיטֵי אֶפְרַיִם אַתֶּם גִּלְעָד בְּתוֹךְ אֶפְרַיִם בְּתוֹךְ מְנַשֶּׁה׃

5The Giladites held the fords of the Yarden against the Ephraimites. And when any fugitive from Efraim said, “Let me cross,” the men of Gilad would ask him, “Are you an Ephraimites?”; if he said “No,”

הוַיִּלְכֹּד גִּלְעָד אֶת־מַעְבְּרוֹת הַיַּרְדֵּן לְאֶפְרָיִם וְהָיָה כִּי יֹאמְרוּ פְּלִיטֵי אֶפְרַיִם אֶעֱבֹרָה וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ אַנְשֵׁי־גִלְעָד הַאֶפְרָתִי אַתָּה וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא׃

6they would say to him, “Then say shibboleth”; but he would say “sibboleth,” not being able to pronounce it correctly. Thereupon they would seize him and slay him by the fords of the Yarden. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites fell at that time.

ווַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ אֱמָר־נָא שִׁבֹּלֶת וַיֹּאמֶר סִבֹּלֶת וְלֹא יָכִין לְדַבֵּר כֵּן וַיֹּאחֲזוּ אוֹתוֹ וַיִּשְׁחָטוּהוּ אֶל־מַעְבְּרוֹת הַיַּרְדֵּן וַיִּפֹּל בָּעֵת הַהִיא מֵאֶפְרַיִם אַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁנַיִם אָלֶף׃

7Yiftach led Yisrael six years. Then Yiftach the Giladite died and he was buried in one of the towns of Gilad.

זוַיִּשְׁפֹּט יִפְתָּח אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים וַיָּמָת יִפְתָּח הַגִּלְעָדִי וַיִּקָּבֵר בְּעָרֵי גִלְעָד׃

8After him, Ivtzan of Beit Lechem led Yisrael.

va-yish-POT a-kha-RAV et yis-ra-AYL iv-TZAN mi-BAYT LA-khem

חוַיִּשְׁפֹּט אַחֲרָיו אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל אִבְצָן מִבֵּית לָחֶם׃

 12:8   Ivtzan of Beit Lechem led Yisrael

According to the Talmud (Bava Batra 91a), the judge called Ivtzan mentioned in this verse is none other than Boaz, one of the heroes of Megillat Rut. At the climax of that dramatic narrative, Boaz marries the poor Moabite convert Rut. Their descendants include King David, and will ultimately also include the righteous Mashiach. Ivtzan has sixty children. But it is a unique child, born as a result of his kindness to a poor convert, who is the ancestor of the redeemer of Israel. Hashem indeed finds many ways to take care of the People of Israel, and to reward acts of kindness.

9He had thirty sons, and he married off thirty daughters outside the clan and brought in thirty girls from outside the clan for his sons. He led Yisrael seven years.

טוַיְהִי־לוֹ שְׁלֹשִׁים בָּנִים וּשְׁלֹשִׁים בָּנוֹת שִׁלַּח הַחוּצָה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים בָּנוֹת הֵבִיא לְבָנָיו מִן־הַחוּץ וַיִּשְׁפֹּט אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים׃

10Then Ivtzan died and was buried in Beit Lechem.

יוַיָּמָת אִבְצָן וַיִּקָּבֵר בְּבֵית לָחֶם׃

11After him, Eilon the Zebulunite led Yisrael; he led Yisrael for ten years.

יאוַיִּשְׁפֹּט אַחֲרָיו אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵילוֹן הַזְּבוּלֹנִי וַיִּשְׁפֹּט אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל עֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים׃

12Then Eilon the Zebulunite died and was buried in Aijalon, in the territory of Zevulun.

יבוַיָּמָת אֵלוֹן הַזְּבוּלֹנִי וַיִּקָּבֵר בְּאַיָּלוֹן בְּאֶרֶץ זְבוּלֻן׃

13After him, Avdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite led Yisrael.

יגוַיִּשְׁפֹּט אַחֲרָיו אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל עַבְדּוֹן בֶּן־הִלֵּל הַפִּרְעָתוֹנִי׃

14He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy jackasses. He led Yisrael for eight years.

ידוַיְהִי־לוֹ אַרְבָּעִים בָּנִים וּשְׁלֹשִׁים בְּנֵי בָנִים רֹכְבִים עַל־שִׁבְעִים עֲיָרִם וַיִּשְׁפֹּט אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל שְׁמֹנֶה שָׁנִים׃

15Then Avdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite died. He was buried in Pirathon, in the territory of Efraim, on the hill of the Amalekites.

טווַיָּמָת עַבְדּוֹן בֶּן־הִלֵּל הַפִּרְעָתוֹנִי וַיִּקָּבֵר בְּפִרְעָתוֹן בְּאֶרֶץ אֶפְרַיִם בְּהַר הָעֲמָלֵקִי׃