Abimelek

Abimelek(A) son of Jerub-Baal(B) 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.(C)

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,(D) and Abimelek used it to hire reckless scoundrels,(E) who became his followers. He went to his father’s home in Ophrah and on one stone murdered his seventy brothers,(F) the sons of Jerub-Baal. But Jotham,(G) the youngest son of Jerub-Baal, escaped by hiding.(H) Then all the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo(I) gathered beside the great tree(J) at the pillar in Shechem to crown Abimelek king.

When Jotham(K) was told about this, he climbed up on the top of Mount Gerizim(L) 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,(M) 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;(N) but if not, then let fire come out(O) of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!’(P)

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(Q) 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(R) 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?(S) If you have, may Abimelek be your joy, and may you be his, too! 20 But if you have not, let fire come out(T) from Abimelek and consume you, the citizens of Shechem(U) and Beth Millo,(V) and let fire come out from you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and consume Abimelek!”

21 Then Jotham(W) fled, escaping to Beer,(X) 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(Y) 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,(Z) the shedding(AA) of their blood, might be avenged(AB) on their brother Abimelek and on the citizens of Shechem, who had helped him(AC) 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(AD) 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(AE) them, they held a festival in the temple of their god.(AF) While they were eating and drinking, they cursed Abimelek. 28 Then Gaal son of Ebed(AG) said, “Who(AH) 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,(AI) Shechem’s father! Why should we serve Abimelek? 29 If only this people were under my command!(AJ) Then I would get rid of him. I would say to Abimelek, ‘Call out your whole army!’”[b](AK)

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(AL) 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.(AM)

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(AN) just as Abimelek and his troops came out from their hiding place.(AO)

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?(AP) 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(AQ) and set an ambush(AR) 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(AS) and scattered salt(AT) over it.

46 On hearing this, the citizens in the tower of Shechem went into the stronghold of the temple(AU) of El-Berith. 47 When Abimelek heard that they had assembled there, 48 he and all his men went up Mount Zalmon.(AV) 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(AW) 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.(AX)

54 Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and kill me,(AY) 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.(AZ) The curse of Jotham(BA) 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

Tola

10 After the time of Abimelek,(A) a man of Issachar(B) named Tola son of Puah,(C) the son of Dodo, rose to save(D) Israel. He lived in Shamir,(E) in the hill country of Ephraim. He led[a] Israel twenty-three years; then he died, and was buried in Shamir.

Jair

He was followed by Jair(F) of Gilead, who led Israel twenty-two years. He had thirty sons, who rode thirty donkeys.(G) They controlled thirty towns in Gilead, which to this day are called Havvoth Jair.[b](H) When Jair(I) died, he was buried in Kamon.

Jephthah

Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord.(J) They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths,(K) and the gods of Aram,(L) the gods of Sidon,(M) the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites(N) and the gods of the Philistines.(O) And because the Israelites forsook the Lord(P) and no longer served him, he became angry(Q) with them. He sold them(R) into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites, who that year shattered and crushed them. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites on the east side of the Jordan in Gilead,(S) the land of the Amorites. The Ammonites also crossed the Jordan to fight against Judah,(T) Benjamin and Ephraim;(U) Israel was in great distress. 10 Then the Israelites cried(V) out to the Lord, “We have sinned(W) against you, forsaking our God and serving the Baals.”(X)

11 The Lord replied, “When the Egyptians,(Y) the Amorites,(Z) the Ammonites,(AA) the Philistines,(AB) 12 the Sidonians, the Amalekites(AC) and the Maonites[c](AD) oppressed you(AE) and you cried to me for help, did I not save you from their hands? 13 But you have forsaken(AF) me and served other gods,(AG) so I will no longer save you. 14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save(AH) you when you are in trouble!(AI)

15 But the Israelites said to the Lord, “We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best,(AJ) but please rescue us now.” 16 Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the Lord.(AK) And he could bear Israel’s misery(AL) no longer.(AM)

17 When the Ammonites were called to arms and camped in Gilead, the Israelites assembled and camped at Mizpah.(AN) 18 The leaders of the people of Gilead said to each other, “Whoever will take the lead in attacking the Ammonites will be head(AO) over all who live in Gilead.”

Footnotes

  1. Judges 10:2 Traditionally judged; also in verse 3
  2. Judges 10:4 Or called the settlements of Jair
  3. Judges 10:12 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts Midianites

Psalm 49[a]

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

Hear(A) this, all you peoples;(B)
    listen, all who live in this world,(C)
both low and high,(D)
    rich and poor alike:
My mouth will speak words of wisdom;(E)
    the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.(F)
I will turn my ear to a proverb;(G)
    with the harp(H) I will expound my riddle:(I)

Why should I fear(J) when evil days come,
    when wicked deceivers surround me—
those who trust in their wealth(K)
    and boast(L) of their great riches?(M)
No one can redeem the life of another
    or give to God a ransom for them—
the ransom(N) for a life is costly,
    no payment is ever enough—(O)
so that they should live on(P) forever
    and not see decay.(Q)
10 For all can see that the wise die,(R)
    that the foolish and the senseless(S) also perish,
    leaving their wealth(T) to others.(U)
11 Their tombs(V) will remain their houses[b] forever,
    their dwellings for endless generations,(W)
    though they had[c] named(X) lands after themselves.

12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure;(Y)
    they are like the beasts that perish.(Z)

13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,(AA)
    and of their followers, who approve their sayings.[d]
14 They are like sheep and are destined(AB) to die;(AC)
    death will be their shepherd
    (but the upright will prevail(AD) over them in the morning).
Their forms will decay in the grave,
    far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;(AE)
    he will surely take me to himself.(AF)
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
    when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing(AG) with them when they die,
    their splendor will not descend with them.(AH)
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—(AI)
    and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,(AJ)
    who will never again see the light(AK) of life.

20 People who have wealth but lack understanding(AL)
    are like the beasts that perish.(AM)

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 49:1 In Hebrew texts 49:1-20 is numbered 49:2-21.
  2. Psalm 49:11 Septuagint and Syriac; Hebrew In their thoughts their houses will remain
  3. Psalm 49:11 Or generations, / for they have
  4. Psalm 49:13 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 15.

The Collection for the Lord’s People

16 Now about the collection(A) for the Lord’s people:(B) Do what I told the Galatian(C) churches to do. On the first day of every week,(D) each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.(E) Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve(F) and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.

Personal Requests

After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you(G)—for I will be going through Macedonia.(H) Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey,(I) wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.(J) But I will stay on at Ephesus(K) until Pentecost,(L) because a great door for effective work has opened to me,(M) and there are many who oppose me.

10 When Timothy(N) comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord,(O) just as I am. 11 No one, then, should treat him with contempt.(P) Send him on his way(Q) in peace(R) so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers.

12 Now about our brother Apollos:(S) I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.

13 Be on your guard; stand firm(T) in the faith; be courageous; be strong.(U) 14 Do everything in love.(V)

15 You know that the household of Stephanas(W) were the first converts(X) in Achaia,(Y) and they have devoted themselves to the service(Z) of the Lord’s people.(AA) I urge you, brothers and sisters, 16 to submit(AB) to such people and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it. 17 I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you.(AC) 18 For they refreshed(AD) my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.(AE)

Final Greetings

19 The churches in the province of Asia(AF) send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla[a](AG) greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.(AH) 20 All the brothers and sisters here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.(AI)

21 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.(AJ)

22 If anyone does not love the Lord,(AK) let that person be cursed!(AL) Come, Lord[b]!(AM)

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.(AN)

24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.[c]

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 16:19 Greek Prisca, a variant of Priscilla
  2. 1 Corinthians 16:22 The Greek for Come, Lord reproduces an Aramaic expression (Marana tha) used by early Christians.
  3. 1 Corinthians 16:24 Some manuscripts do not have Amen.