When Jotham1 was told about this, he climbed up on the top of Mount Gerizim2 and shouted to them, "Listen to me, citizens of Shechem, so that God may listen to you.
One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, 'Be our king.'
"But the olive tree answered, 'Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and men are honored, to hold sway over the trees?'
"Next, the trees said to the fig tree, 'Come and be our king.'
"But the fig tree replied, 'Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?'
"Then the trees said to the vine, 'Come and be our king.'
"But the vine answered, 'Should I give up my wine,3 which cheers both gods and men, to hold sway over the trees?'
"Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, 'Come and be our king.'
"The thornbush said to the trees, 'If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade;4 but if not, then let fire come out5 of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!'616
"Now if you have acted honorably and in good faith when you made Abimelech king, and if you have been fair to Jerub-Baal and his family, and if you have treated him as he deserves--
and to think that my father fought for you, risked7 his life to rescue you from the hand of Midian
(but today you have revolted against my father's family, murdered his seventy sons8 on a single stone, and made Abimelech, the son of his slave girl, king over the citizens of Shechem because he is your brother)--
if then you have acted honorably and in good faith toward Jerub-Baal and his family today,9 may Abimelech be your joy, and may you be his, too!
But if you have not, let fire come out10 from Abimelech and consume you, citizens of Shechem11 and Beth Millo,12 and let fire come out from you, citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and consume Abimelech!"
Then Jotham13 fled, escaping to Beer,14 and he lived there because he was afraid of his brother Abimelech.