Judges 9 ©
Abimelech conspireth with the Shechemites, murdereth his brethren, and is made king. Jotham's parable of the trees, whereby he reproacheth the men of Shechem with ingratitude, and foretelleth their ruin. The Shechemites conspire with Gaal against Abimelech. Zebul sendeth Abimelech notice thereof; who overcometh them, and soweth their city with salt. The Shechemites retire to an hold of the god Berith, and are burned therein. Abimelech is slain at Thebez by a woman with a piece of millstone. Jotham's curse is fulfilled.
Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all cthe men of Shechem, 1Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are dthreescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also ethat I am your bone and your flesh.
And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us.
Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us.
Then said all the trees unto the 5bramble, Come thou, and reign over us.
And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in umy shadow: and if not, vlet fire come out of the bramble, and devour wthe cedars of Lebanon.
Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with xJerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to ythe deserving of his hands;
(For my father fought for you, and 6*adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian:
And ye zare risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made aAbimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, bbecause he is your brother;)
But if not, dlet fire come out from Abimelech, and devour ethe 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.
¶When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel,
That the hcruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which 7aided him in the killing of his brethren.
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.
¶And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was 9kindled.
And he sent messengers unto Abimelech 10*privily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify the city against thee.
And it shall be, that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and set upon the city: and, behold, when he and the people that is with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them 11as thou shalt find occasion.
¶And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies.
And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up, and the people that were with him, from lying in wait.
And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people down from qthe top of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou rseest the shadow of the mountains as if they were men.
And Gaal spake again and said, See there come people down by the 12middle of the land, and another company come along by the plain of 13Meonenim.
Then said Zebul unto him, Where is now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst, sWho is Abimelech, that we should serve him? is not this the people that thou hast despised? go out, I pray now, and fight with them.
And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech.
And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown and wounded, even unto the entering of the gate.
And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and tZebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem.
And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech.
And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people were come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them.
And Abimelech, and the company that was with him, urushed forward, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two other companies ran upon all the people that were in the fields, and slew them.
And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.
And Abimelech *gat him up to mount yZalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid it on his shoulder, and said unto the people that were with him, zWhat 14ye have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done.
And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and aput 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.
But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and cshut it to them, and *gat them up to the top of the tower.
And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire.