Judges 9

Abimelech’s Conspiracy

1And a  Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother’s
Lit brothers
relatives, and spoke to them and to the whole clan of the household of his mother’s father, saying,
2Speak, now, in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you, that c  seventy men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that one man rule over you?’ Also, remember that I am d  your bone and your flesh.” 3And his mother’s
Lit brothers
relatives spoke all these words on his behalf in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem; and
Lit their hearts inclined after
they were inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, “He is g  our
Lit brother
4They gave him seventy pieces of silver from the house of i  Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, and they followed him. 5Then he went to his father’s house at Ophrah and j  killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal k  seventy men, on one stone. But Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself. 6All the men of Shechem and all
Or the house of Millo
Beth-millo assembled together, and they went and made Abimelech king, by the
Or terebinth
oak of the pillar which was in Shechem.

7Now when they told Jotham, he went and stood on the top of n  Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and called out. Thus he said to them, “Listen to me, O men of Shechem, that God may listen to you. 8Once the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us!’ 9But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my fatness with
Lit which by me
which God and men are honored, and go to wave over the trees?’
10Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come, reign over us!’ 11But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good
Or produce
fruit, and go to wave over the trees?’
12Then the trees said to the vine, ‘You come, reign over us!’ 13But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my new wine, which cheers God and men, and go to wave over the trees?’ 14Finally all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come, reign over us!’ 15The bramble said to the trees, ‘If in
Or sincerity
truth you are anointing me as king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, may fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon.’

16Now therefore, if you have dealt in
Or sincerity
truth and integrity in making Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with s  Jerubbaal and his house, and
Lit if you have
have dealt with him
Lit according to the dealing of his hands
as he deserved
17for my father fought for you and
Lit cast his soul in front
risked his life and delivered you from the hand of Midian;
18but you have risen against my father’s house today and have killed w  his sons, seventy men, on one stone, and have made Abimelech x  the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your
Lit brother
19if then you have dealt in
Or sincerity
truth and integrity with Jerubbaal and his house this day, rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you.
20But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and consume the men of Shechem and
Or the house of Millo
Beth-millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem and from
Or the house of Millo
Beth-millo, and consume Abimelech.”
21Then Jotham escaped and fled, and went to Beer and remained there because of Abimelech his brother.

Shechem and Abimelech Fall

22Now Abimelech ruled over Israel three years. 23 ac  Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem ad  dealt treacherously with Abimelech, 24 ae  so that the violence
Lit of the seventy
done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and ag  their blood might be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers.
25The men of Shechem set
Lit liers-in-wait for
men in ambush against him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who might pass by them along the road; and it was told to Abimelech.

26Now Gaal the son of Ebed came with his
Lit brothers
relatives, and crossed over into Shechem; and the men of Shechem put their trust in him.
27They went out into the field and gathered the grapes of their vineyards and trod them, and held a
Lit rejoicing
festival; and they went into the house of ak  their god, and ate and drank and cursed Abimelech.
28Then Gaal the son of Ebed said, “Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? Is he not the son of Jerubbaal, and is Zebul not his
Lit overseer
lieutenant? Serve the men of am  Hamor the father of Shechem; but why should we serve him?
Lit And who will give this people into my hand
ao  Would, therefore, that this people were under my authority! Then I would remove Abimelech.” And he said to Abimelech, “Increase your army and come out.”

30When Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger burned. 31He sent messengers to Abimelech
Or in Tormah
deceitfully, saying, “Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his
Lit brothers
relatives have come to Shechem; and behold, they are
Lit besieging
stirring up the city against you.
32Now therefore, arise by night, you and the people who are with you, and lie in wait in the field. 33In the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you shall rise early and rush upon the city; and behold, when he and the people who are with him come out against you, you shall as  do to them
Lit as your hand can find
whatever you can.”

34So Abimelech and all the people who were with him arose by night and lay in wait against Shechem in four
Lit heads
35Now Gaal the son of Ebed went out and stood in the entrance of the city gate; and Abimelech and the people who were with him arose from the ambush. 36When Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul
Lit Behold
Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains.” But Zebul said to him, “You are seeing the shadow of the mountains as if they were men.”
37Gaal spoke again and said, “Behold, people are coming down from aw  the
Or center
highest part of the land, and one
Lit head
company comes by the way of
Heb Elommeonenim
the diviners’
Or terebinth
38Then Zebul said to him, “Where is your
Lit mouth
boasting now with which you said, ‘Who is Abimelech that we should serve him?’ Is this not the people whom you despised? Go out now and fight with them!”
39So Gaal went out before the leaders of Shechem and fought with Abimelech. 40Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him; and many fell wounded up to the entrance of the gate. 41Then Abimelech remained at Arumah, but Zebul drove out Gaal and his
Lit brothers
relatives so that they could not remain in Shechem.

42Now it came about the next day, that the people went out to the field, and it was told to Abimelech. 43So he took
Lit the
his people and divided them into three
Lit heads
companies, and lay in wait in the field; when he looked and
Lit behold
saw the people coming out from the city, he arose against them and
Lit smote
slew them.
44Then Abimelech and the
Singular with Gr; Heb plural, heads
company who was with him dashed forward and stood in the entrance of the city gate; the other two
Lit heads
companies then dashed against all who were in the field and
Lit smote
slew them.
45Abimelech fought against the city all that day, and he captured the city and killed the people who were in it; then he bk  razed the city and sowed it with salt.

46When all the leaders of the tower of Shechem heard of it, they entered the inner chamber of the
Lit house
temple of bm  El-berith.
47It was told Abimelech that all the leaders of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. 48So Abimelech went up to Mount bn  Zalmon, he and all the people who were with him; and Abimelech took
Lit the axes
an axe in his hand and cut down a branch from the trees, and lifted it and laid it on his shoulder. Then he said to the people who were with him, “What you have seen me do, hurry and do
Lit like me
49All the people also cut down each one his branch and followed Abimelech, and put them on the inner chamber and set the inner chamber on fire over those inside, so that all the men of the tower of Shechem also died, about a thousand men and women.

50Then Abimelech went to Thebez, and he camped against Thebez and captured it. 51But there was a strong tower in the center of the city, and all the men and women with all the leaders of the city fled there and shut themselves in; and they went up on the roof of the tower. 52So Abimelech came to the tower and fought against it, and approached the entrance of the tower to burn it with fire. 53But bq  a certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head, crushing his skull. 54Then br  he called quickly to the young man, his armor bearer, and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that it will not be said of me, ‘A woman slew him.’” So
Lit his
the young man pierced him through, and he died.
55When the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, each departed to his
Lit place
56Thus bu  God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father in killing his seventy brothers. 57Also God returned all the wickedness of the men of Shechem on their heads, and the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal came
Lit to
upon them.
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