…then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.
Judges 12:6 KJV
Let’s begin this segment with a quote from Rita Mae Brown, ” Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” It is a fact that when the same people are affected by spread and time, dialects develop. Our best example is the British and American dialects of English language. When disagreement happened between Ephraim and Gilead, the people were dispersed. The only way to differentiate them was by language. In Acts 22:2, When Paul was accosted, he spoke to the people in Hebrew dialect. That brought calm and quietness. Language can bind us together or drift us apart. One Nigerian student got admission into a university in Russia. They waited all that afternoon for registration. Suddenly one spoke a Nigerian slang: ” Na wa o! ”. Other Nigerian students he did not know reacted. The slang was not to anyone. It is just a a word of self pity. Our language can bind us together or drift us apart. So the Gileadites could differentiate Ephraimites by their pronunciation. When we surrender to Christ, one of the thing that will change is our language. At Pentecost, people confessed that they heard the good news spoken in their language. At our salvation, one of the things that will change is our language. If you are saved, and your language remains the same, there is a problem. How do you speak?