"Ask all the citizens of Shechem, 'Which is better for you: to have all seventy of Jerub-Baal's sons rule over you, or just one man?' Remember, I am your flesh and blood.1"
When the brothers repeated all this to the citizens of Shechem, they were inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, "He is our brother."
They gave him seventy shekelsa of silver from the temple of Baal-Berith,2 and Abimelech used it to hire reckless adventurers,3 who became his followers.
He went to his father's home in Ophrah and on one stone murdered his seventy brothers,4 the sons of Jerub-Baal. But Jotham,5 the youngest son of Jerub-Baal, escaped by hiding.66
Then all the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo7 gathered beside the great tree8 at the pillar in Shechem to crown Abimelech king.
When Jotham9 was told about this, he climbed up on the top of Mount Gerizim10 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.'