Shibboleth

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Shibboleth

(shĭb`ōlĕth), in the Bible, test word that the Gileadites made the Ephraimites pronounce. As Ephraimites could not say sh but only s as in "Sibboleth," this was regarded as a test of an Ephraimite; 42,000 Ephraimites were thus detected.
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shibboleth

word used by Gileadites to identify Ephraimites who could not pronounce sh. [O.T.: Judges 12:4–6]

shibboleth

by its pronunciation the Gileadites could identify Ephraimite fugitives. [O. T.: Judges 12:4-6]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.