Judges 9 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
9 1 Abimelech usurpeth the kingdom, and putteth his brethren to death. 7 Jotham proposeth a parable. 23 Hatred between Abimelech and the Shechemites. 26 Gaal conspireth against him, and is overcome. 53 Abimelech is wounded to death by a woman.
1 Then Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem unto his [a]mother’s brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family, and house of his mother’s father, saying,
2 Say, I pray you, in the audience of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are seventy persons, reign over you, either that one reign over you? Remember also, that I am your [b]bone, and your flesh.
3 Then his mother’s brethren spake of him in the audience of all the men of Shechem, all these words: and their hearts were moved to follow Abimelech: for said they, He is our brother.
4 And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-Berith, wherewith Abimelech hired [c]vain and light fellows which followed him.
5 And he went unto his father’s house at Ophrah, and [d]slew his brethren, the sons of Jerubbaal, about seventy persons upon one stone: yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left: for he hid himself.
6 ¶ And all the men of Shechem gathered together with all the house of [e]Millo, and came and made Abimelech King in the plain, where the stone was erected in Shechem.
7 And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, you men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.
8 [f]The trees went forth to anoint a King over them, and said unto the Olive tree, Reign thou over us.
9 But the Olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honor God and man, and go to advance me above the trees?
10 Then the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and be king over us.
11 But the fig tree answered them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to advance me above the trees?
12 Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and be king over us.
13 But the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, whereby I cheer God and man, and go to advance me above the trees?
14 Then said all the trees unto the [g]bramble, Come thou, and reign over us.
15 And the bramble said unto the trees, If ye will indeed anoint me king over you, come, and put your trust under my shadow: and if not, the [h]fire shall come out of the bramble, and consume the Cedars of Lebanon.
16 Now therefore, if ye do truly and incorruptly to make Abimelech King, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and with his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands,
17 (For my father fought for you, and [i]adventured his life, and delivered you out of the hands of Midian.
18 And ye are risen up against my father’s house this day, and have slain his children, about seventy persons upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother.)
19 If ye then have dealt truly and purely with Jerubbaal, and with his house this day, then [j]rejoice ye with Abimelech, and let him rejoice with you.
20 But if not, let a fire come out from Abimelech, and consume the men of Shechem and the house of Millo: also let a fire come forth from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and consume Abimelech.
21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there for fear of Abimelech his brother.
22 So Abimelech reigned three years over Israel.
23 But God [k]sent an evil spirit between Abimelech, and the men of Shechem: and the men of Shechem brake their promise to Abimelech,
24 That the cruelty toward the seventy sons of Jerubbaal and their blood might come and be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which had slain them, and upon the men of Shechem, which had aided him to kill his brethren.
25 So the men of Shechem set men in wait for him in the tops of the mountains: who robbed all that passed that way by them: and it was told Abimelech.
26 Then Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and they went to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him.
27 Therefore they [l]went out into the field, and gathered in their grapes, and trode them, and made merry, and went into the house of their gods, and did eat and drink, 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 Zebul is his officer? Serve rather the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him?
29 Now would God this people were under mine hand: then would I put away Abimelech. And he said to [m]Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.
30 ¶ And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his wrath was kindled.
31 Therefore he sent messengers unto Abimelech [n]privily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem, and behold, they fortify the city against thee.
32 Now therefore arise by night, thou and the people that is with thee, and lie in wait in the field.
33 And rise early in the morning as soon as the sun is up, and assault the city: and when he and the people that is with him, shall come out against thee, do to him [o]what thou canst.
34 ¶ So Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him by night: and they lay in wait against Shechem in four bands.
35 Then Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up, and the folk that were with him, from lying in wait.
36 And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people down from the tops of the mountains: and Zebul said unto him, The [p]shadow of the mountains seem men unto thee.
38 Then said Zebul unto him, Where is now thy mouth that said, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? Is not this the people that thou hast despised? Go out now, I pray thee and fight with them.
39 And Gaal [s]went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech.
40 But Abimelech pursued him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown and wounded even unto the entering of the gate.
41 And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren that they should not dwell in Shechem.
42 ¶ And on the morrow, the people went out into the field: which was told Abimelech.
43 And he took the [t]people, and divided them into three bands, and laid wait in the fields, and looked, and behold, the people were come out of the city, and he rose up against them, and smote them.
44 And Abimelech, and the bands that were with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two other bands ran upon all the people that were in the field, and slew them.
45 And when Abimelech had fought against the city all that day, he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and destroyed the city, and sowed [u]salt in it.
46 ¶ And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard it, they entered into an hold of the house of the god [v]Berith.
47 And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.
48 And Abimelech got him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him: and Abimelech took axes with him, and cut down boughs of trees, and took them, and bare them on his shoulder, and said unto the folk that were with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, and do like me.
49 Then all the people also cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the hold, and set the hold on fire with them so all the men of the tower of Shechem [w]died also, about a thousand men and women.
50 ¶ Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and besieged Thebez, and took it.
51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all the chiefs of the city, and shut it to them, and went up to the top of the tower.
52 And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to set it on fire.
53 But a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech’s head, and brake his brainpan.
54 Then Abimelech called hastily his page that bore his harness, and said unto him, Draw thy sword and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his page [x]thrust him through, and he died.
55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man unto his own place.
56 Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father in slaying his seventy brethren.
57 Also all the wickedness of the men of Shechem did God bring upon their heads. So upon them came the [y]curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.
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