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Judges 9 Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

Forsooth Abimelech, the son of Jerubbaal, went into Shechem to the brethren of his mother; and he spake to them, and to all the kindred of the house of his mother, and said, (And Abimelech, the son of Jerubbaal, went into Shechem to his mother’s brothers and her kinsmen; and he spoke to them, and to all the kindred of the house of his mother, and said,)

Speak ye to all the men of Shechem, (and say,) What is better to you, that seventy men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, be lords of you, whether that one man be lord to you? and also behold, that I am your bone, and your flesh. (Say ye to all the men of Shechem, What is better for you, that seventy men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that one man rule over you? and also remember, that I am your own flesh and blood.)

And the brethren of his mother spake of him all these words to all the men of Shechem; and they bowed their hearts after Abimelech, and said, He is our brother. (And his mother’s kinsmen spoke all these words about him to all the men of Shechem; and they turned their hearts to Abimelech, and said, He is our kinsman.)

And they gave to him seventy pieces of silver (out) of the temple of Baalberith; and he hired to him thereof men poor and having no certain dwelling (and with it he hired men to join him who were poor, and who had no certain dwelling), and they followed him.

And he came into the house of his father in Ophrah, and killed his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone. And Jotham, the youngest son of Jerubbaal, was left, and hid. (And he came to his father’s house in Ophrah, and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone. But Jotham, the youngest son of Jerubbaal, was left alive, for he had hid himself.)

And all the men of Shechem, and all the families of the city of Millo, were gathered together, and they went, and made Abimelech king, beside the oak that stood in Shechem.

And when this thing was told to Jotham, he went, and stood in the top of the hill Gerizim (and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim), and cried (out) with (a) voice raised [up], and said, Ye men of Shechem, hear me, so that God (may) hear you.

Trees went to anoint a king on them (The trees went to anoint a king over themselves); and they said to the olive tree, Command thou to us.

Which answered, Whether I may forsake my fatness, which both Gods and men use, and come, that I be advanced among trees? (Which answered, Can I forsake my rich oil, which is used to honour both gods and men, and go that I be advanced over the other trees?)

10 And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and take the realm on us (Come thou, and take the kingdom, and reign over us). Which answered to them,

11 Whether I may forsake my sweetness, and my full sweet fruits, and go that I be advanced among other trees? (Can I forsake my sweetness, and my full sweet fruits, and go that I be advanced over the other trees?)

12 Also the trees spake to the vine, (and said,) Come thou, and command to us.

13 Which answered, Whether I may forsake my wine, that gladdeth God and men, and be advanced among other trees? (Which answered, Can I forsake my wine, that gladdeneth both the gods and people, and go that I be advanced over the other trees?)

14 And all the trees said to the rhamn, or the thieve-thorn, Come thou, and be lord on us (Come thou, and be lord over us).

15 Which answered to them, If ye make me verily king to you, come, and rest ye under my shadow; and, if ye will not, fire go out of the rhamn, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. (Which answered to them, If ye truly shall make me king over you, come, and rest ye under my shadow; but if ye will not, then let fire go out of the rhamn, and devour Lebanon’s cedars.)

16 Now therefore, if rightfully and without sin ye have made Abimelech king on you, and if ye have done well with Jerubbaal, and with his house, and if ye have yielded while to the benificences of him, (And so now, if rightfully and without sin ye have made Abimelech king over you, and if ye have done the right thing with Jerubbaal, and with his household, and if ye have yielded to him according to his good deeds,)

17 that fought for you, and gave his life for perils, that he should deliver you from the hand of Midian; (yea, he who fought for you, and gave, or risked, his life to perils, so that he could save you from the hands of the Midianites;)

18 and ye have risen now against the house of my father, and have slain his sons, seventy men, on one stone, and have made Abimelech, [the] son of his handmaid, king on the dwellers of Shechem, for he is your brother; (and ye have risen up now against my father’s household, or his family, and have killed his sons, seventy men, on one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his slave-girl, king over the inhabitants of Shechem, for he is your kinsman;)

19 therefore if ye have done rightfully, and without sin with Jerubbaal and his house, today be ye glad in Abimelech, and be he glad in you; (and so if ye have done rightfully, and without sin with Jerubbaal and with his household, or his family, today, then be ye happy with Abimelech, and let him be happy with you;)

20 but if ye have done waywardly, (may) fire go out from Abimelech, and waste the dwellers of Shechem, and the city of Millo; and (may) fire go out from the men of Shechem, and from the city of Millo, and devour Abimelech.

21 And when Jotham had said these things, he fled, and went into Beer, and dwelled there, for dread of Abimelech, his brother (in fear of his brother Abimelech).

22 And Abimelech reigned on Israel three years. (And Abimelech reigned over Israel for three years.)

23 And the Lord sent the worst spirit betwixt Abimelech and the dwellers of Shechem, which began to hold him abominable, (And the Lord sent the worst spirit between Abimelech and the inhabitants of Shechem, who began to hold him abominable,)

24 and to areckon the felony of [the] slaying of the seventy sons of Jerubbaal, and the shedding out of their blood, into Abimelech their brother, and into [the] other princes of Shechem, that had helped him. (and to reckon the felony of the slaughter of the seventy sons of Jerubbaal, yea, the shedding out of their blood, unto their brother Abimelech, and unto those other men of Shechem, who had helped him.)

25 And men of Shechem set ambushments against the king in the highness of hills; and while they abode his coming, they haunted thefts, and took preys of men passing thereforth; and it was told to Abimelech. (And so the men of Shechem set men in ambush against the king in the highness of the hills; and while they waited for him, they robbed, and took plunder, from those who passed by; and this was told to Abimelech.)

26 And Gaal, the son of Ebed, came with his brethren, and passed into Shechem; at whose entering the dwellers of Shechem were raised, (And Gaal, the son of Ebed, came with his kinsmen, and went into Shechem; at whose entry, the inhabitants of Shechem were raised up, and turned to him,)

27 and went out into [the] fields, and wasted vineries, and trode grapes; and with companies of singers made, they entered into the temple of their God, and among meats and drinks they cursed Abimelech, (and they went into the fields, and emptied out their vineyards, and trod down the grapes at the winepress, and made merry; and they entered into the temple of their god, and over food and drink they cursed Abimelech,)

28 while Gaal, the son of Ebed, cried, Who is this Abimelech? And what is Shechem, that we serve him? Whether he is not the son of Jerubbaal, and made Zebul, his servant, prince on the men of Hamor, the father of Shechem? Why therefore shall we serve him? (while Gaal, the son of Ebed, cried, Who is this Abimelech? And why should we Shechemites serve him? Is he not the son of Jerubbaal? Is not Zebul but his servant? Yea, we should serve the men of Hamor, the father of Shechem! Why do we serve him?)

29 Would God, (that) some man would give this people (to be) under mine hand, and (then) I should do away Abimelech from the midst of Shechem. And it was said to Abimelech, Gather thou the multitude of an host, and come thou (And then he said to Abimelech, as if he were there, Gather thou the multitude of thy army, and come thou out, if thou darest).

30 For when the words of Gaal, the son of Ebed, were heard, Zebul, the prince of the city was full wroth; (And when the words of Gaal, the son of Ebed, were heard, Zebul, the leader of the city was very angry;)

31 and he sent privily messengers to Abimelech, and said, Lo! Gaal, the son of Ebed, is come into Shechem with his brethren, and he exciteth the city to fight against thee; (and he sent messengers privately, or secretly, to Abimelech, and said, Lo! Gaal, the son of Ebed, is come into Shechem with his kinsmen, and he exciteth, or rouseth, the city to fight against thee;)

32 therefore rise thou by night (and so rise thou up tonight), with the people that is with thee, and be thou hid in the field;

33 and first in the morrowtide, when the sun riseth, fall thou upon the city; and when Gaal goeth out with his people against thee, do thou to him that that thou mayest.

34 And so Abimelech rose with all his host by night, and set ambushments beside Shechem, in four places. (And so Abimelech and all his army rose up that night, and set men in ambush beside Shechem, in four places.)

35 And Gaal, the son of Ebed, went out (the next morning), and stood in the entering of the gate of the city (and stood at the entrance to the city gate). And Abimelech, and all the host with him, rose (up) from the place of [the] ambushments.

36 And when Gaal had seen the people, he said to Zebul, Lo! a multitude cometh down from the hills. To whom Zebul answered, Thou seest the shadows of hills as the heads of men, and thou art deceived by this error.

37 And again Gaal said, Lo! a people cometh down from the midst of the earth, and one company cometh by the way that beholdeth the oak. (And Gaal said again, Lo! many people cometh down from the midst of the land, and one company, or one group, cometh along the road of the Soothsayers’ Oak.)

38 To whom Zebul said, Where is now thy mouth, by which thou speakest, Who is Abimelech, that we serve him? (And then Zebul said to him, Now where is thy mouth, by which thou speakest, and saith, Who is this Abimelech, that we should serve him?) Whether this is not the people, whom thou despisedest? Go thou out, and fight against him.

39 Therefore Gaal went (out), while the people of Shechem abode; and he fought against Abimelech. (And so Gaal led out the men of Shechem; and they fought against Abimelech.)

40 And pursued him fleeing, and constrained him to flee into the city; and full many of the part of Gaal felled down, unto the gate of the city. (And Abimelech fought back, and pursued after them, and sent them fleeing; and a great many of Gaal’s men were killed, all the way back to the city gate.)

41 And (then) Abimelech sat in Arumah; and Zebul put Gaal and his fellows out of the city of Shechem, and he suffered them not to dwell therein (and he did not allow them to stay there).

42 Therefore in the day following, the people went out into the field (And on the following day, the people came out into the open); and when this thing was told to Abimelech,

43 he took his host, and parted it in three companies, and he set ambushments in the fields; and he saw that the people went out of the city, and he rose, and felled upon them with his company, (he took his army, and divided it into three companies, or three groups, and he set men in ambush in the fields; and when he saw the people go out of the city, he rose up, and attacked them with his company,)

44 and (he) besieged them and fought against the (men of the) city. And two companies went about openly by the field (And the other two companies went about openly in the field), and pursued their adversaries.

45 And Abimelech fought against that city all that day, the which he took, when the dwellers thereof were slain, and that city was destroyed, so that he sprinkled abroad salt therein (and then he sprinkled salt on it).

46 And when they, that dwelled in the tower of Shechem, had heard this, they entered into the temple of their god Berith, where they had made [a] bond of peace with him; and of that idol the place took the name, the which place was full strong. (And when they, who lived in the tower of Shechem, had heard this, they entered into the temple of their god Berith, where they had made a covenant with him; and that place took the name of that idol, and it was well-fortified.)

47 And Abimelech heard that (all) [the] men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together (there),

48 and he went up into the hill of Zalmon with all his people (and so he went up to Mount Zalmon with all his people); and with an ax taken, he cut down a bough of a tree, and he bare it, put upon his shoulder, and he said to his fellows, Do ye at once this thing, that ye see me do.

49 Therefore with strife they cutted down boughs of the trees, and followed the duke; the which compassed the tower and burnt it up; and so it was done, that with smoke and fire a thousand men were slain, men and women together, of the dwellers of the tower of Shechem. (And so they cut off the boughs of the trees, and then followed their leader; and they surrounded the temple, and then burned it down; and so it was, that with smoke and fire, a thousand people were killed, men and women together, all those of the tower of Shechem.)

50 And Abimelech went forth from thence, and came to the city of Thebez, which he compassed, and besieged with an host. (And then Abimelech went forth from there, and came to the city of Thebez, which he surrounded, and besieged with his army.)

51 And the tower was high in the midst of the city, to which men and women fled together, and all the princes of the city, while the gate was closed full strongly; and they stood on the roof of the tower by [the] turrets. (And the tower there was high in the middle of the city, to which all the men and women, and all the city leaders fled, and then the gate was securely closed; and they stood on the roof of the tower by the turrets.)

52 And Abimelech came beside the tower, and fought strongly against it, and he nighed to the door, and endeavoured him to put fire under it (and he came up to the door, and endeavoured to put fire under it);

53 and lo! a woman casted from above a gobbet of a millstone, and hurtled to the head of Abimelech, and it brake his noll. (and lo! a woman threw a piece of a millstone down from above, and hurtled it onto Abimelech’s head, and it broke, or it cracked, his skull.)

54 And he called anon his squire, and said to him, Draw out thy sword, and slay me, lest peradventure it be said, that I am slain of a woman. Which performed the commandments, and killed Abimelech; (And he called out at once to his squire, and said to him, Draw out thy sword, and kill me, lest it be said that I was killed by a woman. And he followed the order, and killed Abimelech;)

55 and when Abimelech was dead, all (the) men of Israel that were with him turned again to their places.

56 And God yielded to Abimelech the evil that he did against his father, for he killed his seventy brethren.

57 Also that evil was yielded to [the] men of Shechem, (for) that (that) they wrought, and (so) the curse of Jotham, the son of Jerubbaal, came upon them.

Judges 9 New International Version (NIV)

Abimelek

Abimelek son of Jerub-Baal went to his mother’s brothers in Shechem and said to them and to all his mother’s clan, “Ask all the citizens of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you: to have all seventy of Jerub-Baal’s sons rule over you, or just one man?’ Remember, I am your flesh and blood.

When the brothers repeated all this to the citizens of Shechem, they were inclined to follow Abimelek, for they said, “He is related to us.” They gave him seventy shekels[a] of silver from the temple of Baal-Berith, and Abimelek used it to hire reckless scoundrels, who became his followers. He went to his father’s home in Ophrah and on one stone murdered his seventy brothers, the sons of Jerub-Baal. But Jotham, the youngest son of Jerub-Baal, escaped by hiding. Then all the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo gathered beside the great tree at the pillar in Shechem to crown Abimelek king.

When Jotham was told about this, he climbed up on the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted to them, “Listen to me, citizens of Shechem, so that God may listen to you. One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king.’

“But the olive tree answered, ‘Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and humans are honored, to hold sway over the trees?’

10 “Next, the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and be our king.’

11 “But the fig tree replied, ‘Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?’

12 “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come and be our king.’

13 “But the vine answered, ‘Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and humans, to hold sway over the trees?’

14 “Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘Come and be our king.’

15 “The thornbush said to the trees, ‘If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, then let fire come out of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!’

16 “Have you acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelek king? Have you been fair to Jerub-Baal and his family? Have you treated him as he deserves? 17 Remember that my father fought for you and risked his life to rescue you from the hand of Midian. 18 But today you have revolted against my father’s family. You have murdered his seventy sons on a single stone and have made Abimelek, the son of his female slave, king over the citizens of Shechem because he is related to you. 19 So have you acted honorably and in good faith toward Jerub-Baal and his family today? If you have, may Abimelek be your joy, and may you be his, too! 20 But if you have not, let fire come out from Abimelek and consume you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and let fire come out from you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and consume Abimelek!”

21 Then Jotham fled, escaping to Beer, and he lived there because he was afraid of his brother Abimelek.

22 After Abimelek had governed Israel three years, 23 God stirred up animosity between Abimelek and the citizens of Shechem so that they acted treacherously against Abimelek. 24 God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal’s seventy sons, the shedding of their blood, might be avenged on their brother Abimelek and on the citizens of Shechem, who had helped him murder his brothers. 25 In opposition to him these citizens of Shechem set men on the hilltops to ambush and rob everyone who passed by, and this was reported to Abimelek.

26 Now Gaal son of Ebed moved with his clan into Shechem, and its citizens put their confidence in him. 27 After they had gone out into the fields and gathered the grapes and trodden them, they held a festival in the temple of their god. While they were eating and drinking, they cursed Abimelek. 28 Then Gaal son of Ebed said, “Who is Abimelek, and why should we Shechemites be subject to him? Isn’t he Jerub-Baal’s son, and isn’t Zebul his deputy? Serve the family of Hamor, Shechem’s father! Why should we serve Abimelek? 29 If only this people were under my command! Then I would get rid of him. I would say to Abimelek, ‘Call out your whole army!’”[b]

30 When Zebul the governor of the city heard what Gaal son of Ebed said, he was very angry. 31 Under cover he sent messengers to Abimelek, saying, “Gaal son of Ebed and his clan have come to Shechem and are stirring up the city against you. 32 Now then, during the night you and your men should come and lie in wait in the fields. 33 In the morning at sunrise, advance against the city. When Gaal and his men come out against you, seize the opportunity to attack them.

34 So Abimelek and all his troops set out by night and took up concealed positions near Shechem in four companies. 35 Now Gaal son of Ebed had gone out and was standing at the entrance of the city gate just as Abimelek and his troops came out from their hiding place.

36 When Gaal saw them, he said to Zebul, “Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains!”

Zebul replied, “You mistake the shadows of the mountains for men.”

37 But Gaal spoke up again: “Look, people are coming down from the central hill,[c] and a company is coming from the direction of the diviners’ tree.”

38 Then Zebul said to him, “Where is your big talk now, you who said, ‘Who is Abimelek that we should be subject to him?’ Aren’t these the men you ridiculed? Go out and fight them!”

39 So Gaal led out[d] the citizens of Shechem and fought Abimelek. 40 Abimelek chased him all the way to the entrance of the gate, and many were killed as they fled. 41 Then Abimelek stayed in Arumah, and Zebul drove Gaal and his clan out of Shechem.

42 The next day the people of Shechem went out to the fields, and this was reported to Abimelek. 43 So he took his men, divided them into three companies and set an ambush in the fields. When he saw the people coming out of the city, he rose to attack them. 44 Abimelek and the companies with him rushed forward to a position at the entrance of the city gate. Then two companies attacked those in the fields and struck them down. 45 All that day Abimelek pressed his attack against the city until he had captured it and killed its people. Then he destroyed the city and scattered salt over it.

46 On hearing this, the citizens in the tower of Shechem went into the stronghold of the temple of El-Berith. 47 When Abimelek heard that they had assembled there, 48 he and all his men went up Mount Zalmon. He took an ax and cut off some branches, which he lifted to his shoulders. He ordered the men with him, “Quick! Do what you have seen me do!” 49 So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelek. They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire with the people still inside. So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died.

50 Next Abimelek went to Thebez and besieged it and captured it. 51 Inside the city, however, was a strong tower, to which all the men and women—all the people of the city—had fled. They had locked themselves in and climbed up on the tower roof. 52 Abimelek went to the tower and attacked it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, 53 a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.

54 Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can’t say, ‘A woman killed him.’” So his servant ran him through, and he died. 55 When the Israelites saw that Abimelek was dead, they went home.

56 Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelek had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers. 57 God also made the people of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal came on them.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 9:4 That is, about 1 3/4 pounds or about 800 grams
  2. Judges 9:29 Septuagint; Hebrew him.” Then he said to Abimelek, “Call out your whole army!”
  3. Judges 9:37 The Hebrew for this phrase means the navel of the earth.
  4. Judges 9:39 Or Gaal went out in the sight of
New International Version (NIV)

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