Now Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to 1his mother's relatives and said to them and to the whole clan of his mother's family,
"Say in the ears of all the leaders of Shechem, 'Which is better for you, that all 2seventy of the sons of Jerubbaal rule over you, or that one rule over you?' Remember also that 3I am 4your bone and your flesh."
And his mother's relatives spoke all these words on his behalf in the ears of all the leaders of Shechem, and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, 5"He is our brother."
And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of 6Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired 7worthless and reckless fellows, who followed him.
And he went to his father's house at 8Ophrah 9and 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.
And all the leaders of Shechem came together, and all 10Beth-millo, and they went and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar at Shechem.
When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood on top of 11Mount Gerizim and cried aloud and said to them, "Listen to me, you leaders of Shechem, that God may listen to you.
812The trees once went out to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, 13'Reign over us.'
But the olive tree said to them, 'Shall I leave my abundance, by which gods and men are honored, and go hold sway over the trees?'
And the trees said to the fig tree, 'You come and reign over us.'
But the fig tree said to them, 'Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go hold sway over the trees?'
And the trees said to the vine, 'You come and reign over us.'
But the vine said to them, 'Shall I leave my wine that 14cheers God and men and go hold sway over the trees?'
Then all the trees said to the bramble, 'You come and reign over us.'
And the bramble said to the trees, 'If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and 15take refuge in my shade, but if not, 16let fire come out of the bramble and devour 17the cedars of Lebanon.'
"Now therefore, if you acted in good faith and integrity when you made Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with 18Jerubbaal and his house and have done to him 19as his deeds deserved--
for my father fought for you and risked his life and delivered you from the hand of Midian,
and you have risen up against my father's house this day 20and have killed his sons, seventy men on one stone, and have made 21Abimelech, the son of his female servant, king over the leaders of Shechem, 22because he is your relative--
if you then have acted in good faith and integrity with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then 23rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you.
But if not, 24let fire come out from Abimelech and devour the leaders of Shechem and Beth-millo; and let fire come out from the leaders of Shechem and from Beth-millo and devour Abimelech."
And Jotham ran away and fled and went to 25Beer and lived there, because of Abimelech his brother.