Judges 9


9:1 And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his
 mother's brethren, and communed with them, and with all the
 family of the house of his mother's father, saying,
9:2 Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem,
 Which [is] better for you, either that all the sons of
 Jerubbaal, [which are] seventy persons, should reign over you,
 or that one should reign over you? remember also that I [am]
 your bone and your flesh.
9:3 And his mother's brethren spoke of him in the ears of all
 the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined
 to follow Abimelech; for they said, He [is] our brother.
9:4 And they gave him seventy [pieces] of silver out of the
 house of Baal-berith, with which Abimelech hired vain and light
 persons, who followed him.
9:5 And he went to his father's house at Ophrah, and slew his
 brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, [being] seventy persons, upon
 one stone; notwithstanding, yet Jotham the youngest son of
 Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself.
9:6 And all the men of Shechem assembled, and all the house of
 Millo, and went and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the
 pillar that [was] in Shechem.
9:7 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 to them, Hearken to me, ye men of Shechem, that God may
 hearken to you.
9:8 The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them;
 and they said to the olive-tree, Reign thou over us.
9:9 But the olive-tree said to them, Should I leave my fatness,
 with which by me they honor God and man, and go to be promoted
 over the trees?
9:10 And the trees said to the fig-tree, Come thou, [and] reign
 over us.
9:11 But the fig-tree said to them, Should I forsake my
 sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the
 trees?
9:12 Then said the trees to the vine, Come thou, [and] reign
 over us.
9:13 And the vine said to them, Should I leave my wine, which
 cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
9:14 Then said all the trees to the bramble, Come thou, [and]
 reign over us.
9:15 And the bramble said to the trees, If in truth ye anoint me
 king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow:
 and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the
 cedars of Lebanon.
9:16 Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that
 ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with
 Jerubbaal and his house, and have done to him according to the
 deserving of his hands:
9:17 (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far,
 and delivered you from the hand of Midian:
9:18 And ye have risen up against my father's house this day,
 and have slain his sons, seventy persons, upon one stone, and
 have made Abimelech, the son of his maid-servant, king over the
 men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother:)
9:19 If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal
 and with his house this day, [then] rejoice ye in Abimelech,
 and let him also rejoice in you:
9:20 But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour
 the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come
 out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and
 devour Abimelech.
9:21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt
 there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
9:22 When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel,
9:23 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men
 of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with
 Abimelech:
9:24 That the cruelty [done] to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal
 might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their
 brother who slew them, and upon the men of Shechem who aided
 him in the killing of his brethren.
9:25 And the men of Shechem set liers in wait for him on the top
 of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way
 by them: and it was told Abimelech.
9:26 And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went
 over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in
 him.
9:27 And they went out into the fields, and gathered their
 vineyards, and trod [the grapes], and made merry, and went into
 the house of their god, and ate and drank, and cursed
 Abimelech.
9:28 And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who [is] Abimelech, and who
 [is] Shechem, that we should serve him; [is] not [he] the son
 of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? Serve the men of Hamor the
 father of Shechem: for why should we serve him?
9:29 And would that this people were under my hand! then would I
 remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thy army,
 and come out.
9:30 And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of
 Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled.
9:31 And he sent messengers to Abimelech privately, saying,
 Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed, and his brethren, are come to
 Shechem; and behold, they fortify the city against thee.
9:32 Now therefore rise by night, thou, and the people that
 [are] with thee, and lie in wait in the field:
9:33 And it shall be, [that] in the morning, as soon as the sun
 hath risen, thou shalt rise early, and attack the city: and
 behold, [when] he and the people that [are] with him come out
 against thee, then mayest thou do to them as thou shalt find
 occasion.
9:34 And Abimelech rose, and all the people that [were] with
 him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four
 companies.
9:35 And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the
 entrance of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose, and the
 people that [were] with him, from lying in wait.
9:36 And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold,
 there come people down from the top of the mountains. And Zebul
 said to him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as [if they
 were] men.
9:37 And Gaal spoke again, and said, See, there come people down
 by the middle of the land, and another company come along by
 the plain of Meonenim.
9:38 Then said Zebul to him, Where [is] now thy mouth, with
 which thou saidst, Who [is] Abimelech, that we should serve
 him? [are] not these the people that thou hast despised? go
 out, I pray now, and fight with them.
9:39 And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought
 with Abimelech.
9:40 And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many
 were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] to the entrance of the
 gate.
9:41 And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal
 and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem.
9:42 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out
 into the field; and they told Abimelech.
9:43 And he took the people, and divided them into three
 companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and behold,
 the people [had] come out of the city; and he rose up against
 them, and smote them.
9:44 And Abimelech, and the company that [was] with him, rushed
 forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and
 the two [other] companies ran upon all [the people] that [were]
 in the fields, and slew them.
9:45 And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he
 took the city, and slew the people that [were] in it, and beat
 down the city, and sowed it with salt.
9:46 And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard [that],
 they entered into a hold of the house of the god Berith.
9:47 And it was told to Abimelech, that all the men of the tower
 of Shechem were assembled.
9:48 And Abimelech ascended mount Zalmon, he and all the people
 that [were] with him; and Abimelech took an ax in his hand, and
 cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid [it] on
 his shoulder, and said to the people that [were] with him, What
 ye have seen me do, make haste, [and] do as I [have done].
9:49 And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough,
 and followed Abimelech, and put [them] to the hold, and set the
 hold on fire upon them: so that all the men of the tower of
 Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.
9:50 Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez,
 and took it.
9:51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither
 fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut
 [it] after them, and ascended to the top of the tower.
9:52 And Abimelech came to the tower, and fought against it, and
 came near to the door of the tower to burn it with fire.
9:53 And a certain woman cast a piece of of a millstone upon
 Abimelech's head, and broke his skull.
9:54 Then he called hastily to the young man his armor-bearer,
 and said to him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not
 of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through,
 and he died.
9:55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead,
 they departed every man to his place.
9:56 Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did
 to his father, in slaying his seventy brethren:
9:57 And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon
 their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of
 Jerubbaal.
 
 

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