Judges Chapter 9
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1 And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's brothers, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying,
Last updated: Mar, 2013
1 And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem unto his mother’s brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother’s father, saying,
2 Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether [is] better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, [which are] threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I [am] your bone and your flesh.
3 And his mother’s brethren spake 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.
4 And they gave him threescore and ten [pieces] of silver out of the house of Baalberith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him.
5 And he went unto his father’s house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, [being] threescore and ten persons, upon one stone: notwithstanding yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself.
6 And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar that [was] in Shechem.
7 And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.
8 The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us.
9 But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
10 And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, [and] reign over us.
11 But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?
12 Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, [and] reign over us.
13 And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
14 Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, [and] reign over us.
15 And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.
16 Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands;
17 (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian:
18 And ye are risen up against my father’s house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;)
19 If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely 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 When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel,
23 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:
24 That the cruelty [done] to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren.
25 And the men of Shechem set liers in wait for him in the top of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech.
26 And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him.
27 And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode [the grapes], and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, 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 the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him?
29 And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I 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 unto Abimelech privily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify the city against thee.
32 Now therefore up by night, thou and the people that [is] 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 shalt rise early, and set upon the city: and, behold, [when] he and the people that [is] with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them as thou shalt find occasion.
34 And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that [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 entering of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up, and the people that [were] with him, from lying in wait.
36 And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people down from the top of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as [if they were] men.
37 And Gaal spake again and said, See there come people down by the middle of the land, and another company come along by the plain of Meonenim.
38 Then said Zebul unto him, Where [is] now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst, Who [is] Abimelech, that we should serve him? [is] not this the people that thou hast despised? go out, I pray now, 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 many were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] unto the entering of the gate.
41 And Abimelech dwelt at 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 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 looked, and, behold, the people [were] come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them.
44 And Abimelech, and the company that [was] with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two [other] companies ran upon all [the people] that [were] in the fields, and slew them.
45 And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that [was] therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.
46 And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard [that], they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith.
47 And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.
48 And Abimelech gat him up to 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 took it, and laid [it] on his shoulder, and said unto the people that [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 hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.
50 Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it.
51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut [it] to them, and gat them up to the top of the tower.
52 And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire.
53 And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech’s head, and all to brake his skull.
54 Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew 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 unto his place.
56 Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren:
57 And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.
King James Version
1 and Abimelech son of Jerubbaal goeth to Shechem, unto his mother's brethren, and speaketh 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 masters of Shechem, Which [is] good for you -- the ruling over you of seventy men (all the sons of Jerubbaal), or the ruling over you of one man? -- and ye have remembered that I [am] your bone and your flesh.'
3 And his mother's brethren speak concerning him, in the ears of all the masters of Shechem, all these words, and their heart inclineth after Abimelech, for they said, 'He [is] our brother;'
4 and they give to him seventy silverings out of the house of Baal-Berith, and Abimelech hireth with them men, vain and unstable, and they go after him;
5 and he goeth into the house of his father at Ophrah, and slayeth his brethren, sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone; and Jotham, youngest son of Jerubbaal, is left, for he was hidden.
6 And all the masters of Shechem are gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and come and cause Abimelech to reign for king at the oak of the camp which [is] in Shechem;
7 and they declare [it] to Jotham, and he goeth and standeth on the top of mount Gerizim, and lifteth up his voice, and calleth, and saith to them, 'Hearken unto me, O masters of Shechem, and God doth hearken unto you:
8 'The trees have diligently gone to anoint over them a king, and they say to the olive, Reign thou over us.
9 And the olive saith to them, Have I ceased from my fatness, by which they honour gods and men, that I have gone to stagger over the trees?
10 And the trees say to the fig, Come thou, reign over us.
11 And the fig saith to them, Have I ceased from my sweetness, and my good increase, that I have gone to stagger over the trees?
12 'And the trees say to the vine, Come thou, reign over us.
13 And the vine saith to them, Have I ceased from my new wine, which is rejoicing gods and men, that I have gone to stagger over the trees?
14 And all the trees say unto the bramble, Come thou, reign over us.
15 And the bramble saith unto the trees, If in truth ye are anointing me for king over you, come, take refuge in my shadow; and if not -- fire cometh out from the bramble, and devoureth the cedars of Lebanon.
16 'And, now, if in truth and in sincerity ye have acted, when ye make Abimelech king; and if ye have done good with Jerubbaal, and with his house; and if according to the deed of his hands ye have done to him --
17 because my father hath fought for you, and doth cast away his life from [him], and deliver you from the hand of Midian;
18 and ye have risen against the house of my father to-day, and slay his sons, seventy men, on one stone, and cause Abimelech son of his handmaid to reign over the masters of Shechem, because he [is] your brother --
19 yea, if in truth and in sincerity ye have acted with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, rejoice ye in Abimelech, and he doth rejoice -- even he -- in you;
20 and if not -- fire cometh out from Abimelech and devoureth the masters of Shechem and the house of Millo, and fire cometh out from the masters of Shechem and from the house of Millo, and devoureth Abimelech.'
21 And Jotham hasteth, and fleeth, and goeth to Beer, and dwelleth there, from the face of Abimelech his brother.
22 And Abimelech is prince over Israel three years,
23 and God sendeth an evil spirit between Abimelech and the masters of Shechem, and the masters of Shechem deal treacherously with Abimelech,
24 for the coming in of the violence [to] the seventy sons of Jerubbaal, and of their blood to place [it] on Abimelech their brother, who slew them, and on the masters of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to slay his brethren.
25 And the masters of Shechem set for him ambushes on the top of the hills, and rob every one who passeth over by them in the way, and it is declared to Abimelech.
26 And Gaal son of Ebed cometh -- also his brethren -- and they pass over into Shechem, and the masters of Shechem trust in him,
27 and go out into the field, and gather their vineyards, and tread, and make praises, and go into the house of their god, and eat and drink, and revile Abimelech.
28 And Gaal son of Ebed saith, 'Who [is] Abimelech, and who [is] Shechem, that we serve him? is [he] not son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his commander? Serve ye the men of Hamor father of Shechem, and wherefore do we serve him -- we?
29 and oh that this people were in my hand -- then I turn Abimelech aside;' and he saith to Abimelech, 'Increase thy host, and come out.'
30 And Zebul, prince of the city, heareth the words of Gaal son of Ebed, and his anger burneth,
31 and he sendeth messengers unto Abimelech deceitfully, saying, 'Lo, Gaal son of Ebed and his brethren are coming into Shechem, and lo, they are fortifying the city against thee;
32 and, now, rise by night, thou and the people who [are] with thee, and lay wait in the field,
33 and it hath been, in the morning, about the rising of the sun, thou dost rise early, and hast pushed against the city; and lo, he and the people who [are] with him are going out unto thee -- and thou hast done to him as thy hand doth find.'
34 And Abimelech riseth, and all the people who [are] with him, by night, and they lay wait against Shechem -- four detachments;
35 and Gaal son of Ebed goeth out, and standeth at the opening of the gate of the city, and Abimelech riseth -- also the people who [are] with him -- from the ambush,
36 and Gaal seeth the people, and saith unto Zebul, 'Lo, people are coming down from the top of the hills;' and Zebul saith unto him, 'The shadow of the hills thou art seeing like men.'
37 And Gaal addeth yet to speak, and saith, 'Lo, people are coming down from the high part of the land, and another detachment is coming by the way of the oak of Meonenim.'
38 And Zebul saith unto him, 'Where [is] now thy mouth, in that thou sayest, Who [is] Abimelech that we serve him? is not this the people against which thou hast kicked? go out, I pray thee now, and fight against it.'
39 And Gaal goeth out before the masters of Shechem, and fighteth against Abimelech,
40 and Abimelech pursueth him, and he fleeth from his presence, and many fall wounded -- unto the opening of the gate.
41 And Abimelech abideth in Arumah, and Zebul casteth out Gaal and his brethren from dwelling in Shechem.
42 And it cometh to pass, on the morrow, that the people go out to the field, and they declare [it] to Abimelech,
43 and he taketh the people, and divideth them into three detachments, and layeth wait in a field, and looketh, and lo, the people are coming out from the city, and he riseth against them, and smiteth them.
44 And Abimelech and the detachments who [are] with him have pushed on, and stand at the opening of the gate of the city, and the two detachments have pushed against all who are in the field, and smite them,
45 and Abimelech hath fought against the city all that day, and captureth the city, and the people who [are] in it he hath slain, and he breaketh down the city, and soweth it [with] salt.
46 And all the masters of the tower of Shechem hear, and go in unto the high place of the house of the god Berith,
47 and it is declared to Abimelech that all the masters of the tower of Shechem have gathered themselves together,
48 and Abimelech goeth up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people who [are] with him, and Abimelech taketh the great axe in his hand, and cutteth off a bough of the trees, and lifteth it up, and setteth [it] on his shoulder, and saith unto the people who [are] with him, 'What ye have seen I have done -- haste, do ye like it.'
49 And all the people also cut down each one his bough, and go after Abimelech, and set [them] at the high place, and burn by these the high place with fire, and also all the men of the tower of Shechem die, about a thousand men and women.
50 And Abimelech goeth unto Thebez, and encampeth against Thebez, and captureth it,
51 and a strong tower hath been in the midst of the city, and thither flee do all the men and the women, and all the masters of the city, and they shut [it] behind them, and go up on the roof of the tower.
52 And Abimelech cometh unto the tower, and fighteth against it, and draweth nigh unto the opening of the tower to burn it with fire,
53 and a certain woman doth cast a piece of a rider on the head of Abimelech, and breaketh his skull,
54 and he calleth hastily unto the young man bearing his weapons, and saith to him, 'Draw thy sword, and thou hast put me to death, lest they say of me -- A woman slew him;' and his young man pierced him through, and he dieth.
55 And the men of Israel see that Abimelech [is] dead, and go each one to his place;
56 and God turneth back the evil of Abimelech which he did to his father to slay his seventy brethren;
57 and all the evil of the men of Shechem hath God turned back on their head, and come unto them doth the cursing of Jotham son of Jerubbaal.