Abimelech’s Conspiracy

And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother’s a]relatives, and spoke to them and to the whole clan of the household of his mother’s father, saying, “Speak, now, in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you, that seventy men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that one man rule over you?’ Also, remember that I am your bone and your flesh.” And his mother’s b]relatives spoke all these words on his behalf in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem; and c]they were inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, “He is our d]relative.” They gave him seventy pieces of silver from the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, and they followed him. Then he went to his father’s house at Ophrah and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone. But Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself. All the men of Shechem and all e]Beth-millo assembled together, and they went and made Abimelech king, by the f]oak of the pillar which was in Shechem.

Now when they told Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and called out. Thus he said to them, “Listen to me, O men of Shechem, that God may listen to you. Once the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us!’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my fatness with g]which God and men are honored, and go to wave over the trees?’ 10 Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come, reign over us!’ 11 But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good h]fruit, and go to wave over the trees?’ 12 Then the trees said to the vine, ‘You come, reign over us!’ 13 But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my new wine, which cheers God and men, and go to wave over the trees?’ 14 Finally all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come, reign over us!’ 15 The bramble said to the trees, ‘If in i]truth you are anointing me as king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, may fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon.’

16 “Now therefore, if you have dealt in j]truth and integrity in making Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and k]have dealt with him l]as he deserved— 17 for my father fought for you and m]risked his life and delivered you from the hand of Midian; 18 but you have risen against my father’s house today and have killed his sons, seventy men, on one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your n]relative— 19 if then you have dealt in o]truth and integrity with Jerubbaal and his house this day, rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you. 20 But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and consume the men of Shechem and p]Beth-millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem and from q]Beth-millo, and consume Abimelech.” 21 Then Jotham escaped and fled, and went to Beer and remained there because of Abimelech his brother.

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  1. Judges 9:1 Lit brothers
  2. Judges 9:3 Lit brothers
  3. Judges 9:3 Lit their hearts inclined after
  4. Judges 9:3 Lit brother
  5. Judges 9:6 Or the house of Millo
  6. Judges 9:6 Or terebinth
  7. Judges 9:9 Lit which by me
  8. Judges 9:11 Or produce
  9. Judges 9:15 Or sincerity
  10. Judges 9:16 Or sincerity
  11. Judges 9:16 Lit if you have
  12. Judges 9:16 Lit according to the dealing of his hands
  13. Judges 9:17 Lit cast his soul in front
  14. Judges 9:18 Lit brother
  15. Judges 9:19 Or sincerity
  16. Judges 9:20 Or the house of Millo
  17. Judges 9:20 Or the house of Millo

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

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