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What is Shibboleth?
        (an ear of corn, or a stream, a flood). Jud 12:6. In the course of a war between the Ephraimites and the Gileadites, the former were routed and fled toward the Jordan. The Gileadites had taken care to post a party at the fords, and when an Ephraimite who had escaped came to the river-side and desired to pass over, they asked him if he were not an Ephraimite. If he said, "No," they bade him pronounce "Shibboleth," and if he pronounced it "sibboleth," according to the dialect of the Ephraimites, they killed him. Thus fell 42,000 Ephraimites in a single day. Comp. Matt 26:73. Milton says, with reference to that event, "Without reprieve, adjudged to death, For want of well pronouncing shibboleth." The word is now used for a test or the watchword of a party.

Bibliography Information
Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'shibboleth' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary". - Schaff's

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