Avimelekh the son of Yerubba`al went to Shekhem to his mother's brothers, and spoke with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying,
Please speak in the ears of all the men of Shekhem, Whether is better for you, that all the sons of Yerubba`al, who are seventy persons, rule over you, or that one rule over you? Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.
His mother's brothers spoke of him in the ears of all the men of Shekhem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Avimelekh; for they said, He is our brother.
They gave him seventy [pieces] of silver out of the house of Ba`al-Berit, with which Avimelekh hired vain and light fellows, who followed him.
He went to his father's house at Ofrat, and killed his brothers the sons of Yerubba`al, being seventy persons, on one stone: but Yotam the youngest son of Yerubba`al was left; for he hid himself.
All the men of Shekhem assembled themselves together, and all the house of Millo, and went and made Avimelekh king, by the oak of the pillar that was in Shekhem.
When they told it to Yotam, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said to them, Listen to me, you men of Shekhem, that God may listen to you.
The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive tree, Reign you over us.
But the olive tree said to them, Should I leave my fatness, with which by me they honor God and man, and go to wave back and forth over the trees?
The trees said to the fig tree, Come, and reign over us.
But the fig tree said to them, Should I leave my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to wave back and forth over the trees?
The trees said to the vine, Come, and reign over us.
The vine said to them, Should I leave my new wine, which cheers God and man, and go to wave back and forth over the trees?
Then said all the trees to the bramble, Come, and reign over us.
The bramble said to the trees, If in truth you anoint me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Levanon.
Now therefore, if you have dealt truly and righteously, in that you have made Avimelekh king, and if you have dealt well with Yerubba`al and his house, and have done to him according to the deserving of his hands
(for my father fought for you, and adventured his life, and delivered you out of the hand of Midyan:
and you are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, seventy persons, on one stone, and have made Avimelekh, the son of his maid-servant, king over the men of Shekhem, because he is your brother);
if you then have dealt truly and righteously with Yerubba`al and with his house this day, then rejoice you in Avimelekh, and let him also rejoice in you:
but if not, let fire come out from Avimelekh, and devour the men of Shekhem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shekhem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Avimelekh.
Yotam ran away, and fled, and went to Be'er, and lived there, for fear of Avimelekh his brother.
Avimelekh was prince over Yisra'el three years.
God sent an evil spirit between Avimelekh and the men of Shekhem; and the men of Shekhem dealt treacherously with Avimelekh:
that the violence done to the seventy sons of Yerubba`al might come, and that their blood might be laid on Avimelekh their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shekhem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers.
The men of Shekhem set liers-in-wait for him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who came along that way by them: and it was told Avimelekh.
Ga`al the son of `Eved came with his brothers, and went over to Shekhem; and the men of Shekhem put their trust in him.
They went out into the field, and gathered their vineyards, and trod [the grapes], and held festival, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Avimelekh.
Ga`al the son of `Eved said, Who is Avimelekh, and who is Shekhem, that we should serve him? Isn't he the son of Yerubba`al? and Zevul his officer? serve you the men of Hamor the father of Shekhem: but why should we serve him?
Would that this people were under my hand! then would I remove Avimelekh. He said to Avimelekh, Increase your army, and come out.
When Zevul the ruler of the city heard the words of Ga`al the son of `Eved, his anger was kindled.
He sent messengers to Avimelekh craftily, saying, Behold, Ga`al the son of `Eved and his brothers are come to Shekhem; and, behold, they constrain the city [to take part] against you.
Now therefore, up by night, you and the people who are with you, and lie in wait in the field:
and it shall be, that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you shall rise early, and rush on the city; and, behold, when he and the people who are with him come out against you, then may you do to them as you shall find occasion.
Avimelekh rose up, and all the people who were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shekhem in four companies.
Ga`al the son of `Eved went out, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and Avimelekh rose up, and the people who were with him, from the ambush.
When Ga`al saw the people, he said to Zevul, Behold, there come people down from the tops of the mountains. Zevul said to him, You see the shadow of the mountains as if they were men.
Ga`al spoke again and said, Behold, there come people down by the middle of the land, and one company comes by the way of the oak of Me`onenim.
Then said Zevul to him, Where is now your mouth, that you said, Who is Avimelekh, that we should serve him? is not this the people that you have despised? go out now, I pray, and fight with them.
Ga`al went out before the men of Shekhem, and fought with Avimelekh.
Avimelekh chased him, and he fled before him, and there fell many wounded, even to the entrance of the gate.
Avimelekh lived at Arumah: and Zevul drove out Ga`al and his brothers, that they should not dwell in Shekhem.
It happened on the next day, that the people went out into the field; and they told Avimelekh.
He took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field; and he looked, and, behold, the people came forth out of the city; He rose up against them, and struck them.
Avimelekh, and the companies that were with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and the two companies rushed on all who were in the field, and struck them.
Avimelekh fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and killed the people who were therein: and he beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.
When all the men of the tower of Shekhem heard of it, they entered into the stronghold of the Beit-El-Berit.
It was told Avimelekh that all the men of the tower of Shekhem were gathered together.
Avimelekh got him up to Mount Tzalmon, he and all the people who were with him; and Avimelekh took an ax in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it up, and laid it on his shoulder: and he said to the people who were with him, What you have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done.
All the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Avimelekh, and put them to the stronghold, and set the stronghold on fire on them; so that all the men of the tower of Shekhem died also, about a thousand men and women.
Then went Avimelekh to Tevetz, and encamped against Tevetz, and took it.
But there was a strong tower within the city, and there fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut themselves in, and got them up to the roof of the tower.
Avimelekh came to the tower, and fought against it, and drew near to the door of the tower to burn it with fire.
A certain woman cast an upper millstone on Avimelekh's head, and broke his skull.
Then he called hastily to the young man his armor bearer, and said to him, Draw your sword, and kill me, that men not say of me, A woman killed him. His young man thrust him through, and he died.
When the men of Yisra'el saw that Avimelekh was dead, they departed every man to his place.
Thus God requited the wickedness of Avimelekh, which he did to his father, in killing his seventy brothers;
and all the wickedness of the men of Shekhem did God requite on their heads: and on them came the curse of Yotam the son of Yerubba`al.