Judges 9

1 Abimelech by conspiracy with the Shechemites, and murder of his brethren, is made king.

7 Jotham by a parable rebukes them, and foretells their ruin.

22 Gaal conspires with the Shechemites against him.

30 Zebul reveals it.

34 Abimelech overcomes them, and sows the city with salt.

46 He burns the hold of the god Berith.

50 At Thebez he is slain by a piece of a millstone.

56 Jotham's curse if fulfilled.




Ge 33:18; 34:2; 1Ki 12:1


2Sa 15:6; 1Ki 12:3,20; Ps 83:2-4; Jer 18:18

Whether, etc. Heb. What is good? whether, etc. threescore.


your bone.

Ge 29:14; 2Sa 19:13; 1Ch 11:1; Eph 5:30; Heb 2:14


Ps 10:3; Pr 1:11-14

to follow. Heb. after. our brother.

Ge 29:15


46-49; 8:33

vain, etc.{Anashim raikim oophochozim,} "worthless and dissolute men;" persons who were living on the public, and had nothing to lose. Such was the foundation of his Babel government. By a cunning management of such unprincipled men most revolutions are brought about.

11:3; 1Sa 22:2; 2Ch 13:7; Job 30:8; Pr 12:11; Ac 17:5

at Ophrah.



2Ki 10:17; 11:1,2; 2Ch 21:4; Mt 2:16,20

the house.

2Sa 5:9; 2Ki 12:20

Millo.Probably the name of a person of note in Shechem.

plain. or, oak.

Jos 24:26; 1Ki 12:1,20,25

mount Gerizim.

De 11:29; 27:12; Jos 8:33; Joh 4:20


Ps 18:40,41; 50:15-21; Pr 1:28,29; 21:13; 28:9; Isa 1:15; 58:6-10

Mt 18:26-34; Jas 2:13

The trees.This is the most ancient fable or apologue extant; and is extremely beautiful, apposite, and intelligible.

2Ki 14:9; Eze 17:3-10; Da 4:10-18

olive tree.The {zayith,} or olive tree, in the Linnean system, is a genus of the {diandra monogynia} class of plants. It is of a moderate height, and grows best in sunny places. Its trunk is knotty; bark smooth, of an ash colour: wood solid and yellowish; leaves oblong, almost like those of the willow, of a dark green colour on the upper side, and whitish below. In June it puts forth white flowers, growing in bunches, each of one piece, widening towards the top, and dividing into four parts. After this succeeds the fruit, which is oblong and plump; first green, then pale, and when quite ripe, black. Within it is enclosed a hard stone, filled with oblong seeds. It was the most useful of all trees in the forest; as the bramble was the meanest and most worthless.




Ex 29:2,7; 35:14; Le 2:1; 1Ki 19:15,16; Ps 89:20; 104:15; Ac 4:27

Ac 10:38; 1Jo 2:20

God.{Elohim,} rather gods; the parable being adapted to the idolatrous Shechemites.

to be promoted over the trees. Heb. up and down for othertrees.

Job 1:7; 2:2


Lu 13:6,7



Nu 15:5,7,10; Ps 104:15; Pr 31:6; Ec 10:19

bramble. or, thistle.

2Ki 14:9


Isa 30:2; Da 4:12; Ho 14:7; Mt 13:32

let fire.

20,49; Nu 21:28; Isa 1:31; Eze 19:14

the cedars.

2Ki 14:9; Ps 104:16; Isa 2:13; 37:24; Eze 31:3




7:1-25; 8:4-10

adventured his life. Heb. cast his life.

Es 4:16; Ro 5:8; 16:4; Re 12:11

are risen.

5,6; 8:35; Ps 109:4


6,14; 8:31


Isa 8:6; Php 3:3; Jas 4:16

let fire come out.

15,23,56,57; 7:22; 2Ch 20:22,23; Ps 21:9,10; 28:4; 52:1-5

Ps 120:3,4; 140:10

Beer.Probably the Beer mentioned by Mr. Maundrell, three hours and a half, or about ten miles, north of Jerusalem, towards Shechem. It is situated toward the south, on an easy declivity; and has a fountain of excellent water at the bottom of the hill, from which it has taken its name. Close to the well are the mouldering walls of a ruined {khan;} and on the summit of the hill two large arches still remain of a ruined convent. Dr. Richardson says, that it seems to have been once a place of considerable consequence.

Nu 21:16; Jos 19:8; 2Sa 20:14


A.M. 2771. B.C. 1233. An. Ex. Is. 258. God.That is, God permitted the evil spirit of jealousy, treachery, and discord, to break out between Abimelech and the Shechemites.

15,20; 1Sa 16:14-16; 18:9,10; 1Ki 12:15; 22:22,23; 2Ch 10:15

2Ch 18:19-22; Isa 19:2,14; 2Th 2:11,12


16; Isa 33:1; Mt 7:2

That the.

1Sa 15:33; 1Ki 2:32; Es 9:25; Ps 7:16; Mt 23:34-36

aided him in the killing of. Heb. strengthened his hands tokill. Sooner or later, God will make inquisition for blood, and will return it on the heads of those that shed it. Accessaries will be reckoned with, as well as principals, in that and other sins. The Shechemites, who countenanced Abimelech's pretensions, aided and abetted him in his bloody project, and avowed the fact by making him king after he had done it, must fall with him, fall by him, and fall first. Those that combine together to do wickedly, are justly dashed in pieces one against another. Blood cannot be a lasting cement to any interest.

Jos 8:4,12,13; Pr 1:11,12


Ge 13:8; 19:7

merry. or, songs.

Isa 16:9,10; 24:7-9; Jer 25:30; Am 6:3-6

the house.

4; 16:23; Ex 32:6,19; Da 5:1-4,23

did eat.

Isa 22:12-14; Lu 12:19,20; 17:26-29


Le 24:11; 1Sa 17:43; Ps 109:17

Who is Abimelech.

1Sa 25:10; 2Sa 20:1; 1Ki 12:16


Ge 34:2,6

would to God.The very words and conduct of a sly, hypocritical demagogue.

2Sa 15:4; 1Ki 20:11; Ps 10:3; Ro 1:30,31

And he said.Rather, "and I would say to Abimelech," as the LXX. renders; for as Dr. Wall observes, this was probably not said in the presence of Abimelech; but at an intemperate feast, in his absence, when he boasted he would challenge him.

Increase thine army.

2Sa 2:14-17; 2Ki 14:8; 18:23; Isa 36:8,9

kindled. or, hot.


privily. Heb. craftily, or, to Tormah. they fortify.Under pretence of repairing the walls and towers, they were actually putting the place in a state of defence, intending to seize on the government as soon as they found Abimelech coming against them.


by night.

Job 24:14-17; Ps 36:4; Pr 1:11-16; 4:16; Ro 3:15

as thou shalt find. Heb. as thine hand shall find.

Le 25:26; *marg:

1Sa 10:7; 25:8; Ec 9:10


Gaal.Of this person we know no more than is here recorded. He was probably one of the descendants of the Canaanites, who hoped, from the state of the public mind and their disaffection to Abimelech, to cause a revolution, and thus to restore the ancient government as it was under Hamor, the father of Shechem. Josephus says he was a man of authority, who sojourned with them, with his armed men and kinsmen; and that the Shechemites desired that he would allow them a guard during the vintage.

the people.


seest the shadow.Doubdan states, that in some parts of the Holy Land there are many detached rocks scattered up and down, some growing out of the ground, and others fragments broken off from rocky precipices, the shadow of which, it appears, Josephus thought might be most naturally imagined to look like troops of men at a distance, rather than that of the mountains; for he represents Zebul as saying to Gaal, that he mistook the shadow of the rocks for men.

Eze 7:7; Mr 8:24

middle. Heb. navel. Meonenim. or, the regarders of thetimes.

De 18:14

28,29; 2Sa 2:26,27; 2Ki 14:8-14; Jer 2:28


he fled before.

1Ki 20:18-21,30

Arumah.This place appears from the next verse to have been near Shechem; and is perhaps the same as Ruma, a village of Galilee, mentioned by Josephus, Bell. 1. iii. c. 9.





rushed forward.

15,20; Ga 5:15

he took.



De 29:23; 1Ki 12:25; 2Ki 3:25; Ps 107:34; *marg:

Eze 47:11; Zep 2:9; Jas 2:13

sowed.Salt in small quantities renders land extremely fertile; but too much of it destroys vegetation. Every place, says Pliny, in which salt is found is barren, and produces nothing. Hence the sowing of a place with salt was a custom in different nations to express permanent desolation. Sigonius observes, that when Milan was taken, A.D. 1162, the walls were razed, and it was sown with salt. And Brantome informs us, that it was an ancient custom in France, to sow the house of a man with salt, who had been declared a traitor to his king. Charles IX., king of France, the most base and perfidious of human beings, caused the house of Admiral Coligni (whom he and the Duke of Guise caused to be murdered, with thousands more of Protestants, on the eve of St. Bartholomew, 1572,) to be sown with salt!

an hold.

4,27; 8:33; 1Ki 8:26; 2Ki 1:2-4; Ps 115:8; Isa 28:15-18; 37:38



Ps 68:14

What ye.

7:17,18; Pr 1:11,12

me do. Heb. I have done.

put them.

15,20; Ga 5:15; Jas 3:16

Thebez.According to Eusebius, thirteen miles from Shechem, towards Scythopolis.



48,49; 2Ki 14:10; 15:16


15,20; 2Sa 11:21; 20:21; Job 31:3; Jer 49:20; 50:45

and all to.An antiquated expression, meaning "full intention" to complete an object. "All to," observes Dr. Johnson, "is a particle of mere enforcement." The original is {wattaritz eth gulgalto,} which is simply as the LXX. render [kai eklase to kranion autou,] "and she brake his skull." Plutarch relates, that Pyrrhus was killed at the siege of Thebes, by a piece of a tile, which a woman threw upon his head.

Draw thy.

1Sa 31:4,5

And his young man.It was a disgrace to be killed by a woman.

2Sa 18:16; 20:21,22; 1Ki 22:35,36; Pr 22:10

God rendered.Both the fratricide Abimelech and the unprincipled men of Shechem had the iniquity visited upon them of which they had been guilty. Man's judgment may be avoided; but there is no escape from that of God. How many houses have been sown with salt in France, by the just judgment of God, for the massacre of the Protestants on the eve of St. Bartholomew! See Note on ver. 45.

24; Job 31:3; Ps 9:12; 11:6; 58:10,11; 94:23; Pr 5:22; Mt 7:2

Ac 28:4; Ga 6:7; Re 19:20,21

upon them.

20,45; Jos 6:26; 1Ki 16:34
Copyright information for TSK