Judges 8

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The Book of Judges

Chapter 9


And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went4 to Shechem unto his mother's brethren, and communed17 with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying,2


Speak,16 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, reign2 over you, or that one 376 reign2 over you? remember1 also that I [am] your bone and your flesh.


And his mother's brethren spake17 of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined4 to follow Abimelech; for they said,1 He [is] our brother.


And they gave4 him threescore and ten [pieces] of silver out of the house of Baalberith, wherewith Abimelech hired4 vain and light6 persons, which followed4 310 him.


And he went4 unto his father's house at Ophrah, and slew4 his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, [being] threescore and ten persons, upon one stone: notwithstanding yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left;11 for he hid8 himself.


And all the men of Shechem gathered11 together, and all the house of Millo, and went,4 and made55 Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar94 that [was] in Shechem.


And when they told55 [it] to Jotham, he went4 and stood4 in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up4 his voice, and cried,4 and said4 unto them, Hearken3 unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken4 unto you.


The trees went1 forth2 [on a time] to anoint2 a king over them; and they said4 unto the olive tree, Reign3 thou over us.


But the olive tree said4 unto them, Should I leave1 my fatness, wherewith by me they honour17 God and man, and go1 to be promoted2 over the trees?


And the trees said4 to the fig tree, Come3 thou, [and] reign3 over us.


But the fig tree said4 unto them, Should I forsake1 my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go1 to be promoted2 over the trees?


Then said4 the trees unto the vine, Come3 thou, [and] reign3 over us.


And the vine said4 unto them, Should I leave1 my wine, which cheereth18 God and man, and go1 to be promoted2 over the trees?


Then said4 all the trees unto the bramble, Come3 thou, [and] reign3 over us.


And the bramble said4 unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint6 me king over you, [then] come3 [and] put your trust3 in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out4 of the bramble, and devour4 the cedars of Lebanon.


Now therefore, if ye have done1 truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king,55 and if ye have dealt1 well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done1 unto him according to the deserving of his hands;


(For my father fought8 for you, and adventured55 his life far, and delivered55 you out of the hand of Midian:


And ye are risen up1 against my father's house this day, and have slain4 his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king55 over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;)


If ye then have dealt1 truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice3 ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice4 in you:


But if not, let fire come out4 from Abimelech, and devour4 the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out4 from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour4 Abimelech.


And Jotham ran away,4 and fled,4 and went4 to Beer, and dwelt4 there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.


When Abimelech had reigned4 three years over Israel,


Then God sent4 an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously4 with Abimelech:


That the cruelty [done] to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come,2 and their blood be laid2 upon Abimelech their brother, which slew1 them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided14 him in the killing2 of his brethren.


And the men of Shechem set4 liers in wait18 for him in the top of the mountains, and they robbed4 all that came4 along that way by them: and it was told93 Abimelech.


And Gaal the son of Ebed came4 with his brethren, and went over4 to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence4 in him.


And they went out4 into the fields, and gathered4 their vineyards, and trode4 [the grapes], and made4 merry, and went4 into the house of their god, and did eat4 and drink,4 and cursed17 Abimelech.


And Gaal the son of Ebed said,4 Who [is] Abimelech, and who [is] Shechem, that we should serve4 him? [is] not [he] the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve3 the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve4 him?


And would to God4 this people were under my hand! then would I remove55 Abimelech. And he said4 to Abimelech, Increase16 thine army, and come out.3


And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard4 the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled.4


And he sent4 messengers unto Abimelech privily, saying,2 Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come6 to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify6 the city against thee.


Now therefore up3 by night, thou and the people that [is] with thee, and lie in wait3 in the field:


And it shall be, [that] in the morning, as soon as the sun is up,2 thou shalt rise early,55 and set1 upon the city: and, behold, [when] he and the people that [is] with him come out6 against thee, then mayest thou do1 to them as thou shalt find4 occasion.


And Abimelech rose up,4 and all the people that [were] with him, by night, and they laid wait4 against Shechem in four companies.


And Gaal the son of Ebed went out,4 and stood4 in the entering of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up,4 and the people that [were] with him, from lying in wait.


And when Gaal saw4 the people, he said4 to Zebul, Behold, there come people down6 from the top of the mountains. And Zebul said4 unto him, Thou seest6 the shadow of the mountains as [if they were] men.


And Gaal spake15 again55 and said,4 See there come people down6 by the middle of the land, and another company come1 along by the plain of Meonenim.26


Then said4 Zebul unto him, Where [is] now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst,4 Who [is] Abimelech, that we should serve4 him? [is] not this the people that thou hast despised?1 go out,3 I pray now, and fight10 with them.


And Gaal went out4 before the men of Shechem, and fought11 with Abimelech.


And Abimelech chased4 him, and he fled4 before him, and many were overthrown4 [and] wounded, [even] unto the entering of the gate.


And Abimelech dwelt4 at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out17 Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell2 in Shechem.


And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out4 into the field; and they told55 Abimelech.


And he took4 the people, and divided4 them into three companies, and laid wait4 in the field, and looked,4 and, behold, the people [were] come forth6 out of the city; and he rose up4 against them, and smote55 them.


And Abimelech, and the company that [was] with him, rushed1 forward, and stood4 in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two [other] companies ran upon1 all [the people] that [were] in the fields, and slew55 them.


And Abimelech fought8 against the city all that day; and he took4 the city, and slew1 the people that [was] therein, and beat down4 the city, and sowed4 it with salt.


And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard4 [that], they entered4 into an hold of the house of the god Berith.


And it was told93 Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.98


And Abimelech gat him up4 to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that [were] with him; and Abimelech took4 an axe in his hand, and cut down4 a bough from the trees, and took4 it, and laid4 [it] on his shoulder, and said4 unto the people that [were] with him, What ye have seen1 me do,1 make haste,16 [and] do3 as I [have done].


And all the people likewise cut down4 every man his bough, and followed4 310 Abimelech, and put4 [them] to the hold, and set55 the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died4 also, about a thousand men and women.


Then went4 Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped4 against Thebez, and took4 it.


But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled4 all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut4 [it] to them, and gat them up4 to the top of the tower.


And Abimelech came4 unto the tower, and fought11 against it, and went hard4 unto the door of the tower to burn2 it with fire.


And a certain woman cast55 a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech's head, and all to brake55 his skull.


Then he called4 hastily unto the young man his armourbearer,6 3627 and said4 unto him, Draw3 thy sword, and slay33 me, that men say4 not of me, A woman slew1 him. And his young man thrust him through,4 and he died.4


And when the men of Israel saw4 that Abimelech was dead,1 they departed4 every man unto his place.


Thus God rendered55 the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did1 unto his father, in slaying2 his seventy brethren:


And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render52 upon their heads: and upon them came4 the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.

Judges 10





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