29 (A)If only this people were under my [a]authority! Then I would remove Abimelech.” So [b]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 was aroused. 31 And he sent messengers to Abimelech secretly, saying, “Take note! Gaal the son of Ebed and his brothers have come to Shechem; and here they are, fortifying the city against you. 32 Now therefore, get up by night, you and the people who are with you, and [c]lie in wait in the field. 33 And it shall be, as soon as the sun is up in the morning, that you shall rise early and rush upon the city; and when he and the people who are with him come out against you, you may then do to them [d]as you find opportunity.”

34 So Abimelech and all the people who were with him rose by night, and [e]lay in wait against Shechem in four companies. 35 When Gaal the son of Ebed went out and stood in the entrance to the city gate, Abimelech and the people who were with him rose from lying in wait. 36 And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, “Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains!”

But Zebul said to him, “You see the shadows of the mountains as if they were men.”

37 So Gaal spoke again and said, “See, people are coming down from the center of the land, and another company is coming from the [f]Diviners’ Terebinth Tree.”

38 Then Zebul said to him, “Where indeed is your mouth now, with which you (B)said, ‘Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him?’ Are not these the people whom you despised? Go out, if you will, and fight with them now.”

39 So Gaal went out, leading the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. 40 And Abimelech chased him, and he fled from him; and many fell wounded, to the very entrance of the gate. 41 Then Abimelech dwelt at Arumah, and Zebul [g]drove out Gaal and his brothers, so that they would not dwell in Shechem.

42 And it came about on the next day that the people went out into the field, and they told Abimelech. 43 So he took his people, divided them into three companies, and lay in wait in the field. And he looked, and there were the people, coming out of the city; and he rose against them and [h]attacked them. 44 Then Abimelech and the company that was with him rushed forward and stood at the entrance of the gate of the city; and the other two companies rushed upon all who were in the fields and killed them. 45 So Abimelech fought against the city all that day; (C)he took the city and killed the people who were in it; and he (D)demolished the city and sowed it with salt.

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. Judges 9:29 Lit. hand
  2. Judges 9:29 So with MT, Tg.; DSS they; LXX I
  3. Judges 9:32 Set up an ambush
  4. Judges 9:33 Lit. as your hand can find
  5. Judges 9:34 Set up an ambush
  6. Judges 9:37 Heb. Meonenim
  7. Judges 9:41 exiled
  8. Judges 9:43 Lit. struck