Hitchcock's Bible NamesShibboleth
Sibboleth, ear of corn; stream or flood
Smith's Bible DictionaryShibboleth
(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 DictionaryShibboleth
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.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaSHIBBOLETH
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).
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
) 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.
Strong's Hebrew7642b. 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