The next day the people of Shechem went out to the fields, and this was reported to Abimelech.
So he took his men, divided them into three companies1 and set an ambush2 in the fields. When he saw the people coming out of the city, he rose to attack them.
Abimelech and the companies with him rushed forward to a position at the entrance to the city gate. Then two companies rushed upon those in the fields and struck them down.
All that day Abimelech pressed his attack against the city until he had captured it and killed its people. Then he destroyed the city3 and scattered salt4 over it.
On hearing this, the citizens in the tower of Shechem went into the stronghold of the temple5 of El-Berith.
When Abimelech heard that they had assembled there,
he and all his men went up Mount Zalmon.6 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!"
So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelech. They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire over the people inside. So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died.