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22 Abimelech commanded Israel for three years. 23 God sent a spirit to stir up hostility between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem. He made the leaders of Shechem disloyal to Abimelech. 24 He did this so the violent deaths of Jerub-Baal’s seventy sons might be avenged and Abimelech, their half-brother who murdered them, might have to pay for their spilled blood, along with the leaders of Shechem who helped him murder them. 25 The leaders of Shechem rebelled against Abimelech by putting bandits in the hills, who robbed everyone who traveled by on the road. But Abimelech found out about it.
26 Gaal son of Ebed came through Shechem with his brothers. The leaders of Shechem transferred their loyalty to him. 27 They went out to the field, harvested their grapes, squeezed out the juice, and celebrated. They came to the temple of their god and ate, drank, and cursed Abimelech. 28 Gaal son of Ebed said, “Who is Abimelech and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? Is he not the son of Jerub-Baal, and is not Zebul the deputy he appointed? Serve the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem! But why should we serve Abimelech? 29 If only these men were under my command, I would get rid of Abimelech!” He challenged Abimelech, “Muster your army and come out for battle!”
30 When Zebul, the city commissioner, heard the words of Gaal son of Ebed, he was furious. 31 He sent messengers to Abimelech, who was in Arumah, reporting, “Beware! Gaal son of Ebed and his brothers are coming to Shechem and inciting the city to rebel against you. 32 Now, come up at night with your men and set an ambush in the field outside the city. 33 In the morning at sunrise quickly attack the city. When he and his men come out to fight you, do what you can to him.”
34 So Abimelech and all his men came up at night and set an ambush outside Shechem—they divided into four units. 35 When Gaal son of Ebed came out and stood at the entrance to the city’s gate, Abimelech and his men got up from their hiding places. 36 Gaal saw the men and said to Zebul, “Look, men are coming down from the tops of the hills.” But Zebul said to him, “You are seeing the shadows on the hills—it just looks like men.” 37 Gaal again said, “Look, men are coming down from the very center of the land. A unit is coming by way of the Oak Tree of the Diviners.” 38 Zebul said to him, “Where now are your bragging words, ‘Who is Abimelech that we should serve him?’ Are these not the men you insulted? Go out now and fight them!” 39 So Gaal led the leaders of Shechem out and fought Abimelech. 40 Abimelech chased him, and Gaal ran from him. Many Shechemites fell wounded at the entrance of the gate. 41 Abimelech went back to Arumah; Zebul drove Gaal and his brothers out of Shechem.
42 The next day the Shechemites came out to the field. When Abimelech heard about it, 43 he took his men and divided them into three units and set an ambush in the field. When he saw the people coming out of the city, he attacked and struck them down. 44 Abimelech and his units attacked and blocked the entrance to the city’s gate. Two units then attacked all the people in the field and struck them down. 45 Abimelech fought against the city all that day. He captured the city and killed all the people in it. Then he leveled the city and spread salt over it.
46 When all the leaders of the Tower of Shechem heard the news, they went to the stronghold of the temple of El-Berith. 47 Abimelech heard that all the leaders of the Tower of Shechem were in one place. 48 He and all his men went up on Mount Zalmon. He took an ax in his hand and cut off a tree branch. He put it on his shoulder and said to his men, “Quickly, do what you have just seen me do!” 49 So each of his men also cut off a branch and followed Abimelech. They put the branches against the stronghold and set fire to it. All the people of the Tower of Shechem died—about a thousand men and women.
50 Abimelech moved on to Thebez; he besieged and captured it. 51 There was a fortified tower in the center of the city, so all the men and women, as well as the city’s leaders, ran into it and locked the entrance. Then they went up to the roof of the tower. 52 Abimelech came and attacked the tower. When he approached the entrance of the tower to set it on fire, 53 a woman threw an upper millstone down on his head and shattered his skull. 54 He quickly called to the young man who carried his weapons, “Draw your sword and kill me, so they will not say, ‘A woman killed him.’” So the young man stabbed him and he died. 55 When the Israelites saw that Abimelech was dead, they went home.
56 God repaid Abimelech for the evil he did to his father by murdering his seventy half-brothers. 57 God also repaid the men of Shechem for their evil deeds. The curse spoken by Jotham son of Jerub-Baal fell on them.
10 After Abimelech’s death, Tola son of Puah, grandson of Dodo, from the tribe of Issachar, rose up to deliver Israel. He lived in Shamir in the Ephraimite hill country. 2 He led Israel for twenty-three years, then died and was buried in Shamir.
3 Jair the Gileadite rose up after him; he led Israel for twenty-two years. 4 He had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkeys and possessed thirty cities. To this day these towns are called Havvoth Jair—they are in the land of Gilead. 5 Jair died and was buried in Kamon.
6 The Israelites again did evil in the Lord’s sight. They worshiped the Baals and the Ashtoreths, as well as the gods of Syria, Sidon, Moab, the Ammonites, and the Philistines. They abandoned the Lord and did not worship him. 7 The Lord was furious with Israel and turned them over to the Philistines and Ammonites. 8 They ruthlessly oppressed the Israelites that eighteenth year—that is, all the Israelites living east of the Jordan in Amorite country in Gilead. 9 The Ammonites crossed the Jordan to fight with Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim. Israel suffered greatly.
10 The Israelites cried out for help to the Lord: “We have sinned against you. We abandoned our God and worshiped the Baals.” 11 The Lord said to the Israelites, “Did I not deliver you from Egypt, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12 the Sidonians, Amalek, and Midian when they oppressed you? You cried out for help to me, and I delivered you from their power. 13 But since you abandoned me and worshiped other gods, I will not deliver you again. 14 Go and cry for help to the gods you have chosen! Let them deliver you from trouble!” 15 But the Israelites said to the Lord, “We have sinned. You do to us as you see fit, but deliver us today!” 16 They threw away the foreign gods they owned and worshiped the Lord. Finally the Lord grew tired of seeing Israel suffer so much.
17 The Ammonites assembled and camped in Gilead; the Israelites gathered together and camped in Mizpah. 18 The leaders of Gilead said to one another, “Who is willing to lead the charge against the Ammonites? He will become the leader of all who live in Gilead!”
13 Now that very day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking to each other about all the things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and debating these things, Jesus himself approached and began to accompany them 16 (but their eyes were kept from recognizing him). 17 Then he said to them, “What are these matters you are discussing so intently as you walk along?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 He said to them, “What things?” “The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied, “a man who, with his powerful deeds and words, proved to be a prophet before God and all the people; 20 and how our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. Not only this, but it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Furthermore, some women of our group amazed us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back and said they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see him.” 25 So he said to them, “You foolish people—how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Wasn’t it necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things written about himself in all the scriptures.
28 So they approached the village where they were going. He acted as though he wanted to go farther, 29 but they urged him, “Stay with us, because it is getting toward evening and the day is almost done.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he had taken his place at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 At this point their eyes were opened and they recognized him. Then he vanished out of their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us while he was speaking with us on the road, while he was explaining the scriptures to us?” 33 So they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and those with them gathered together 34 and saying, “The Lord has really risen, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how they recognized him when he broke the bread.
36 While they were saying these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 But they were startled and terrified, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 Then he said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; it’s me! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones like you see I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still could not believe it (because of their joy) and were amazed, he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 So they gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in front of them.
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it stands written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
50 Then Jesus led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 Now during the blessing he departed and was taken up into heaven. 52 So they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple courts blessing God.
1 Shout out praises to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Worship the Lord with joy!
Enter his presence with joyful singing!
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us and we belong to him;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give him thanks!
Praise his name!
5 For the Lord is good.
His loyal love endures,
and he is faithful through all generations.
11 The household of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.
12 There is a way that seems right to a person,
but its end is the way that leads to death.