9:1 And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem unto his a motherís brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his motherís father, saying,
(a) To practice with his kinsfolk for attaining the kingdom.
9:2 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 b bone and your flesh.
(b) Of your kindred by my motherís side.
9:5 And he went unto his fatherís house at Ophrah, and c 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.
9:6 And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of d Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar that [was] in Shechem.
(c) Thus tyrants to establish their usurped power, spare not the innocent blood, (2 Kings 10:7; 2 Chronicles 21:4).
9:8 e The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us.
(d) Which was as the town house, or common hall, which he calls the tower of Shechem in (Judges 9:49).
(e) By this parable he declares that those that are not ambitious, are most worthy of honour and that the ambitious abuse their honour both to their own destruction and others.
9:15 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 f fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.
(f) Abimelech will destroy the nobles of Shechem.
9:19 If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] g rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you:
(g) That he is your king, and you his subjects.
9:23 Then God h sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:
(h) Because the people consented with the king in shedding innocent blood, therefore God destroys both one and the other.
9:27 And they i 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.
(i) Before they were afraid of Abimelechís power, and did not dare go out of the city.
9:29 And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to k Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.
(k) Braggingly, as though he had been present, or to his captain Zebul.
9:36 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 l shadow of the mountains as [if they were] men.
(l) You are afraid of a shadow.
9:39 And Gaal m went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech.
(m) As their captain.
9:43 And he took the n 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.
(n) Which were in his company.
9:45 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 o salt.
(o) That it should be unfruitful and never serve to any use.
9:46 And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard [that], they entered into an hold of the house of the god p Berith.
9:49 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 q died also, about a thousand men and women.
(p) That is, of Baniberith, as (Judges 8:33).
(q) Meaning, that all were destroyed as well as those in the tower.
9:54 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 r thrust him through, and he died.
(r) Thus God by such miserable death takes vengeance on tyrants even in this life.
9:57 And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the f curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.
(f) For making a tyrant their king.