Judges 91 Then went Abimelech son of Jerubbaal, to Shechem, unto the brethren of his mother,—and spake unto them, and unto all the family of the house of his mother’s father, saying; 2 Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the owners of Shechem—Which is better for you, that there should rule over you, seventy men, all sons of Jerubbaal, or that there should rule over you, one man? And remember that, your bone and your flesh, am I. 3 So the brethren of his mother spake for him, in the ears of all the owners of Shechem, all these words,—and their heart inclined after Abimelech, for they said—Our own brother, is he. 4 So they gave him seventy pieces of silver, out of the house of Baal-berith,—and Abimelech hired therewith, loose and unstable men, and they followed him. 5 And he entered the house of his father, at Ophrah, and slew his brethren, sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, upon one stone,—but there remained Jotham, the youngest son of Jerubbaal, for he had hidden himself. 6 Then were gathered together all the owners of Shechem, and all the house of Millo, and they went and made Abimelech king,—by the oak of the pillar, that was in Shechem. 7 And, when it was told Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried aloud,—and said unto them—Hearken unto me, ye owners of Shechem, and may God, hearken unto you. 8 The trees, went their way, to anoint over them, a king,—and they said unto the olive tree—Reign thou over us. 9 But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, which, in me, gods and men do honour,—and go to wave to and fro, over the trees? 10 Then said the trees unto the fig-tree,—Come! thou reign over us. 11 But the fig-tree said unto them, Should I leave my sweetness, and mine excellent increase,—and go to wave to and fro, over the trees? 12 Then said the trees unto the vine,—Come! thou, reign over us. 13 But the vine said unto them, Should I leave my new wine, that rejoiceth gods and men,—and go to wave to and fro, over the trees? 14 Then said all the trees, unto the bramble,—Come, thou, to reign over us. 15 And the bramble said unto the trees, If, in truth, ye are about to anoint me to be king over you, come, take refuge in my shade,—but, if not, there shall come forth fire out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. 16 Now, therefore, if, in truth and sincerity, ye have acted, in making Abimelech king,—and if ye have dealt, well, with Jerubbaal and with his house, and if, according to the deserving of his hands, ye have done unto him; 17 in that my father fought for you, and cast his soul away from before him, and rescued you out of the hand of Midian;— 18 yet have, ye, risen up against the house of my father, to-day, and slain his sons—seventy men, upon one stone,—and made Abimelech, son of his maidservant, king over the owners of Shechem, because he is, your brother; 19 if then, in truth and in sincerity, ye have dealt with Jerubbaal and with his house, this day, rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let, him also, rejoice in you; 20 but, if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the owners of Shechem, and the house of Millo,—and let fire come out from the owners of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech! 21 And Jotham hasted away, and fled, and went to Beer,—and dwelt there, away from the face of Abimelech his brother. 22 And Abimelech ruled over Israel three years. 23 Then God let go a spirit of mischief between Abimelech and the owners of Shechem,—and the owners of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech: 24 that the cruel wrong to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might [come upon them],—and that their blood might be laid upon Abimelech their brother, who slew them, and upon the owners of Shechem who strengthened his hands, to slay his brethren. 25 So the owners of Shechem set for him liers in wait, upon the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who crossed over them by the road,—and it was told Abimelech. 26 And Gaal son of Ebed came, with his brethren, and they passed through to Shechem,—and the owners of Shechem put their trust in him. 27 Then went they out into the fields, and gathered the fruit of their vineyards and trode [the grapes], and held a vintage festival,—and entered the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and poured contempt on Abimelech. 28 And Gaal son of Ebed said: Who is Abimelech—and who is the son of Shechem, that we should serve him? Is he not the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? Serve ye the men of Hamor, Shechem’s father, but why should, we, serve him? 29 Would, then, this people were in my hand! that I might set aside Abimelech,—and say to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out! 30 And, when Zubul, governor of the city, heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, then was kindled his anger. 31 And he sent messengers unto Abimelech, by deceit, saying,—Lo! Gaal son of Ebed, and his brethren, are coming into Shechem; and lo! are fortifying the city against thee. 32 Now, therefore, up by night, thou and the people that are with thee, and lie in wait in the field; 33 and it shall be, in the morning, about sunrise, thou shalt get up early, and spread thyself out against the city,—when lo! he and the people that are with him coming out against thee, so shalt thou do unto him as thy hand shall find opportunity. 34 So Abimelech rose up,, and all the people that were with him, by night,—and they lay in wait above Shechem, in four companies. 35 Then came forth Gaal son of Ebed, and took his stand at the opening of the gate of the city,—so Abimelech rose up, and the people that were with him, from the place of ambush. 36 And, when Gaal saw the people, he said unto Zebul, Lo! people coming down from the tops of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, The shadow of the mountains, thou seest, like men. 37 Then did Gaal yet further speak, and say—Lo! people coming down from the highest part of the land,—and one company, coming in by way of the Conjurers’ Terebinth. 38 So then Zebul said unto him—Where, then, is thy mouth that kept on saying, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? Is not, this, the people which thou didst despise? Go forth, I pray thee, now, and fight with them! 39 And Gaal went forth before the owners of Shechem,—and fought against Abimelech. 40 And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him,—and there fell a multitude of slain as far as the entering of the gate. 41 Then dwelt Abimelech in Arumah,—and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. 42 And it came to pass, on the morrow, that the people went forth into the field,—and they told Abimelech. 43 So he took the people and divided them into three companies, and lay in wait in the field,—and he looked, and lo! the people coming forth out of the city, so he rose up against them, and smote them. 44 And, Abimelech, and the companies that were with him, spread themselves out, and [one of the companies] took their stand at the opening of the gate of the city,—while, the two companies, spread themselves out against all that were in the field, and smote them. 45 And, Abimelech, fought against the city, all that day, and captured the city, the people also that were therein, he slew,—and brake down the city, and sowed it with salt. 46 And, when all the owners of the tower of Shechem heard, they entered into the basement of the house of El-berith. 47 And it was told Abimelech, that all the owners of the tower of Shechem had gathered themselves together. 48 So Abimelech went up Mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him, and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and lifted it, and laid it on his shoulder,—and said unto the people that were with him—What ye have seen me do, haste! do likewise. 49 So, even all the people cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and laid them over the basement, and set it on fire over them who were therein,—even all the men of the tower of Shechem died about a thousand men and women. 50 Then went Abimelech unto Thebez,—and encamped against Thebez, and captured it. 51 Now, a strong tower, was in the midst of the city, and there fled thither all the men and the women, and all the owners of the city, and shut themselves in,—and went up on the roof of the tower. 52 And Abimelech came in as far as the tower, and fought against it,—and so came near, as far as the entrance of the tower, to burn it with fire. 53 And a certain woman cast an upper millstone upon the head of Abimelech,—and brake in pieces his skull. 54 Then called he hastily unto the young man bearing his armour, and said unto him—Draw thy sword, and put me to death, lest they say of me, A woman, slew him! So his young man thrust him through, and he died. 55 And, when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was, dead, they went their way every man to his own place. 56 Thus did God requite the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father, in slaying his seventy brethren; 57 all the wickedness also, of the men of Shechem, did God requite upon their own head,—and so brought in upon, them the curse of Jotham, son of Jerubbaal.
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