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Passage Display[Printer-friendly Verses]   
 Judges 9
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The New American Standard Bible
   Book of JudgesClick Verse Reference for Study Notes
    9:1-57 - Study Chapter  - Click for Chapter Audio

Abimelech's Conspiracy

1 And Abimelech R195 the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's relatives, F139 and spoke to them and to the whole clan of the household of his mother's father, saying, 2 "Speak, now, in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem, `Which is better for you, that seventy R196 men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that one man rule over you?' Also, remember that I am your R197 bone and your flesh." 3 And his mother's relatives F140 spoke all these words on his behalf in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem; and they F141 were inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, "He is our R198 relative." F142 4 They gave him seventy pieces of silver from the house of Baal-berith R199 with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, and they followed him. 5 Then he went to his father's house at Ophrah and killed R200 his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy R201 men, on one stone. But Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself. 6 All the men of Shechem and all Beth-millo F143 assembled together, and they went and made Abimelech king, by the oak F144 of the pillar which was in Shechem.

7 Now when they told Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount R202 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. 8 "Once the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, `Reign over us!' 9 "But the olive tree said to them, `Shall I leave my fatness with which F145 God and men are honored, and go to wave over the trees?' 10 "Then the trees said to the fig tree, `You come, reign over us!' 11 "But the fig tree said to them, `Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, F146 and go to wave over the trees?' 12 "Then the trees said to the vine, `You come, reign over us!' 13 "But the vine said to them, `Shall I leave my new wine, which cheers God and men, and go to wave over the trees?' 14 "Finally all the trees said to the bramble, `You come, reign over us!' 15 "The bramble said to the trees, `If in truth F147 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.'

16 "Now therefore, if you have dealt in truth F148 and integrity in making Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with Jerubbaal R203 and his house, and have F149 dealt with him as F150 he deserved-- 17 for my father fought for you and risked F151 his life and delivered you from the hand of Midian; 18 but you have risen against my father's house today and have killed his R204 sons, seventy men, on one stone, and have made Abimelech, the R205 son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your relative-- F152 19 if then you have dealt in truth F153 and integrity with Jerubbaal and his house this day, rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you. 20 "But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and consume the men of Shechem and Beth-millo; F154 and let fire come out from the men of Shechem and from Beth-millo, F154 and consume Abimelech." 21 Then Jotham escaped and fled, and went to Beer and remained there because of Abimelech his brother.

Shechem and Abimelech Fall

22 Now Abimelech ruled over Israel three years. 23 Then R206 God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt R207 treacherously with Abimelech, 24 so R208 that the violence done F155 to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their R209 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. 25 The men of Shechem set men F156 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.

26 Now Gaal the son of Ebed came with his relatives, F157 and crossed over into Shechem; and the men of Shechem put their trust in him. 27 They went out into the field and gathered the grapes of their vineyards and trod them, and held a festival; F158 and they went into the house of their R210 god, and ate and drank and cursed Abimelech. 28 Then 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 lieutenant? F159 Serve the men of Hamor R211 the father of Shechem; but why should we serve him? 29 "Would, R212 F160 therefore, that this people were under my authority! Then I would remove Abimelech." And he said to Abimelech, "Increase your army and come out."

30 When Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger burned. 31 He sent messengers to Abimelech deceitfully, F161 saying, "Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his relatives F162 have come to Shechem; and behold, they are stirring F163 up the city against you. 32 "Now therefore, arise by night, you and the people who are with you, and lie in wait in the field. 33 "In 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 do R213 to them whatever F164 you can."

34 So Abimelech and all the people who were with him arose by night and lay in wait against Shechem in four companies. F165 35 Now 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. 36 When Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, "Look, F166 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." 37 Gaal spoke again and said, "Behold, people are coming down from the R214 highest F167 part of the land, and one company F168 comes by the way of the F169 diviners' oak." F170 38 Then Zebul said to him, "Where is your boasting F171 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!" 39 So Gaal went out before the leaders of Shechem and fought with Abimelech. 40 Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him; and many fell wounded up to the entrance of the gate. 41 Then Abimelech remained at Arumah, but Zebul drove out Gaal and his relatives F172 so that they could not remain in Shechem.

42 Now it came about the next day, that the people went out to the field, and it was told to Abimelech. 43 So he took his F173 people and divided them into three companies, F174 and lay in wait in the field; when he looked and saw F175 the people coming out from the city, he arose against them and slew F176 them. 44 Then Abimelech and the company F177 who was with him dashed forward and stood in the entrance of the city gate; the other two companies F178 then dashed against all who were in the field and slew F179 them. 45 Abimelech fought against the city all that day, and he captured the city and killed the people who were in it; then he razed R215 the city and sowed it with salt.

46 When all the leaders of the tower of Shechem heard of it, they entered the inner chamber of the temple F180 of El-berith. R216 47 It was told Abimelech that all the leaders of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. 48 So Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, R217 he and all the people who were with him; and Abimelech took an F181 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 likewise." F182 49 All 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.

50 Then Abimelech went to Thebez, and he camped against Thebez and captured it. 51 But 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. 52 So Abimelech came to the tower and fought against it, and approached the entrance of the tower to burn it with fire. 53 But a R218 certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech's head, crushing his skull. 54 Then he R219 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 the F183 young man pierced him through, and he died. 55 When the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, each departed to his home. F184 56 Thus God R220 repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father in killing his seventy brothers. 57 Also God returned all the wickedness of the men of Shechem on their heads, and the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal came upon F185 them.

F139: Lit brothers
F140: Lit brothers
F141: Lit their hearts inclined after
F142: Lit brother
F143: Or the house of Millo
F144: Or terebinth
F145: Lit which by me
F146: Or produce
F147: Or sincerity
F148: Or sincerity
F149: Lit if you have
F150: Lit according to the dealing of his hands
F151: Lit cast his soul in front
F152: Lit brother
F153: Or sincerity
F154: Or the house of Millo
F154: Or the house of Millo
F155: Lit of the seventy
F156: Lit liers-in-wait for
F157: Lit brothers
F158: Lit rejoicing
F159: Lit overseer
F160: Lit And who will give this people into my hand
F161: Or in Tormah
F162: Lit brothers
F163: Lit besieging
F164: Lit as your hand can find
F165: Lit heads
F166: Lit Behold
F167: Or center
F168: Lit head
F169: Hebrew Elommeonenim
F170: Or terebinth
F171: Lit mouth
F172: Lit brothers
F173: Lit the
F174: Lit heads
F175: Lit behold
F176: Lit smote
F177: Singular with Gr; Hebrew plural, heads
F178: Lit heads
F179: Lit smote
F180: Lit house
F181: Lit the axes
F182: Lit like me
F183: Lit his
F184: Lit place
F185: Lit to

R195: Judges 8:31,35
R196: Judges 8:30; 9:5,18
R197: Genesis 29:14
R198: Genesis 29:15
R199: Judges 8:33
R200: 2 Kings 11:1,2
R201: Judges 8:30; 9:2,18
R202: Deuteronomy 11:29,30
R203: Judges 8:35
R204: Judges 8:30; 9:2,5
R205: Judges 8:31
R206: 1 Samuel 16:14; Isaiah 19:2,14
R207: Isaiah 33:1
R208: Deuteronomy 27:25; Judges 9:56,57
R209: Numbers 35:33
R210: Judges 8:33; 9:46
R211: Genesis 34:2
R212: 2 Samuel 15:4
R213: 1 Samuel 10:7
R214: Ezekiel 38:12
R215: 2 Kings 3:25
R216: Judges 8:33
R217: Psalms 68:14
R218: 2 Samuel 11:21
R219: 1 Samuel 31:4
R220: Genesis 9:5,6; Psalms 94:23


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