Judges 9

And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's brothers, and spoke with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying, Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Which is better for you, that all the sons of Jerubbaal, who are seventy men, rule over you, or that one rule over you? Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh. And his mother's brothers spoke of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words. And their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, He is our brother. And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith, with which Abimelech hired vain and unstable fellows who followed him. And he went to his father's house at Ophrah, and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, being seventy men, upon one stone, but Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself. And all the men of Shechem assembled themselves together, and all the house of Millo, and went and made Abimelech king by the oak of the pillar that was in Shechem. And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried out, and said to them, Hearken to me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken to you. The trees went forth a time to anoint a king over them. And they said to the olive tree, Reign thou over us. But the olive tree said to them, Should I leave my fatness with which by me they honor God and man, and go to wave to and fro over the trees? 10 And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us. 11 But the fig tree said to them, Should I leave my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to wave to and fro over the trees? 12 And the trees said to the vine, Come thou, and reign over us. 13 And the vine said to them, Should I leave my new wine, which cheers God and man, and go to wave to and fro over the trees? 14 Then all the trees said to the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us. 15 And the bramble said to the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade, and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. 16 Now therefore, if ye have dealt truly and uprightly, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done to him according to the deed of his hands 17 (for my father fought for you, and ventured his life, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian, 18 and ye have risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, seventy men, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maid-servant, king over the men of Shechem because he is your brother), 19 if ye then have dealt truly and uprightly with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you. 20 But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo, and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. 21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother. 22 And Abimelech was ruler over Israel three years. 23 And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem, and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, 24 that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and that their blood might be laid upon Abimelech their brother who killed them, and upon the men of Shechem who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers. 25 And the men of Shechem set ambushes for him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who came along that way by them, and it was told Abimelech. 26 And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brothers, and went over to Shechem, and the men of Shechem put their trust in him. 27 And they went out into the field, and gathered their vineyards, and trod the grapes, and held festival, and went into the house of their god, and ate and drank, and cursed Abimelech. 28 And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? Is not he the son of Jerubbaal, and Zebul his officer? Serve ye the men of Hamor the father of Shechem, but why should we serve him? 29 And would that this people were under my hand! Then I would remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out. 30 And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled. 31 And he sent messengers to Abimelech privately, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brothers have come to Shechem, and, behold, they are fortifying the city against thee. 32 Now therefore, up by night, thou and the people who are with thee, and lie in wait in the field. 33 And it shall be, that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shall rise early, and rush upon the city, and, behold, when he and the people who are with him come out against thee, then thou may do to them as thou shall find occasion. 34 And Abimelech rose up, and all the people who were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies. 35 And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city. And Abimelech rose up, and the people who were with him, from the ambushment. 36 And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there comes a people down from the tops of the mountains. And Zebul said to him, Thou see the shadow of the mountains as if they were men. 37 And Gaal spoke again and said, See, there comes a people down by the middle of the land, and one company comes by the way of the oak of Meonenim. 38 Then Zebul said to him, Where is now thy mouth, that thou said, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? Is not this the people that thou have despised? Go out now, I pray, and fight with them. 39 And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. 40 And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and there fell many wounded, even to the entrance of the gate. 41 And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah, and Zebul drove out Gaal and his brothers, that they should not dwell in Shechem. 42 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field, and they told Abimelech. 43 And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field. And he looked, and, behold, the people came forth out of the city. And he rose up against them, and smote them. 44 And Abimelech, and the companies who were with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city, and the two companies rushed upon all who were in the field, and smote them. 45 And Abimelech fought against the city all that day. And he took the city, and killed the people that were in it, and he beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. 46 And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard of it, they entered into the stronghold of the house of El-berith. 47 And it was told Abimelech that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. 48 And Abimelech got up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people who were with him. And Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it up, and laid it on his shoulder. And he said to the people who were with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done. 49 And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the stronghold, and set the stronghold on fire upon them, so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women. 50 Then Abimelech went to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it. 51 But there was a strong tower inside the city. And all the men and women fled, and all those of the city, and shut themselves in, and got up to the roof of the tower. 52 And Abimelech came to the tower, and fought against it, and drew near to the door of the tower to burn it with fire. 53 And a certain woman cast an upper millstone upon Abimelech's head, and broke his skull. 54 Then he called hastily to the young man his armor bearer, and said to him, Draw thy sword, and kill me, that men not say of me, A woman killed him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died. 55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man to his place. 56 Thus God requited the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did to his father, in slaying his seventy brothers. 57 And God requited all the wickedness of the men of Shechem upon their heads. And the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal came upon them.
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