And 1Abimelech the son of Jerubbaalwent to Shechem to his mother'sarelatives, and spoke to them and to the wholeclan of the household of his mother'sfather, saying,
2"Speak, now, in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem, 'Which is better for you, that 2seventymen, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that onemanrule over you?' Also, remember that I am 3your bone and your flesh."
And his mother'sbrelativesspokeallthesewords on his behalf in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem; and cthey were inclined to followAbimelech, for they said, "He is 4our drelative."
They gave him seventy pieces of silver from the house of 5Baal-berith with whichAbimelechhiredworthless and recklessfellows, and they followed him.
Then he went to his father'shouse at Ophrah and 6killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, 7seventymen, on onestone. But Jotham the youngestson of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself.
6All the men of Shechem and alleBeth-milloassembled together, and they went and madeAbimelechking, by the foak of the pillarwhich was in Shechem.
Now when they toldJotham, he went and stood on the top of 8MountGerizim, and lifted his voice and called out. Thus he said to them, "Listen to me, O men of Shechem, that God may listen to you.
8"Once the treeswentforth to anoint a kingover them, and they said to the olivetree, 'Reignover us!'
"But the olivetreesaid to them, 'Shall I leave my fatness with gwhichGod and men are honored, and go to waveover the trees?'
"Then the treessaid to the figtree, 'You come, reignover us!'
"But the figtreesaid to them, 'Shall I leave my sweetness and my goodhfruit, and go to waveover the trees?'
"Then the treessaid to the vine, 'You come, reignover us!'
"But the vinesaid to them, 'Shall I leave my newwine, which cheersGod and men, and go to waveover the trees?'
"Finally all the treessaid to the bramble, 'You come, reignover us!'
"The bramblesaid to the trees, 'If in itruth you are anointing me as kingover you, come and takerefuge in my shade; but if not, may firecome out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon.'
16"Now therefore, if you have dealt in jtruth and integrity in makingAbimelechking, and if you have dealtwell with 9Jerubbaal and his house, and khave dealt with him las he deserved -
for my fatherfought for you and mrisked his life and delivered you from the hand of Midian;
but you have risenagainst my father'shousetoday and have killed10his sons, seventymen, on onestone, and have madeAbimelech, 11the son of his maidservant, kingover the men of Shechem, because he is your nrelative -
19if then you have dealt in otruth and integrity with Jerubbaal and his housethisday, rejoice in Abimelech, and let him alsorejoice in you.
"But if not, let firecome out from Abimelech and consume the men of Shechem and pBeth-millo; and let firecome out from the men of Shechem and from qBeth-millo, and consumeAbimelech."
Then Jothamescaped and fled, and went to Beer and remainedtherebecause of Abimelech his brother.
2312Then Godsent an evilspiritbetweenAbimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem13dealttreacherously with Abimelech,
2414so that the violencerdone to the seventysons of Jerubbaal might come, and 15their blood might be laid on Abimelech their brother, whokilled them, and on the men of Shechem, whostrengthened his hands to kill his brothers.
The men of Shechemsetsmen in ambush against him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbedallwho might pass by them along the road; and it was told to Abimelech.
Now Gaal the son of Ebedcame with his trelatives, and crossedover into Shechem; and the men of Shechemput their trust in him.
They went out into the field and gathered the grapes of their vineyards and trod them, and held a ufestival; and they went into the house of 16their god, and ate and drank and cursedAbimelech.
Then Gaal the son of Ebedsaid, "Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? Is he not the son of Jerubbaal, and is Zebul not his vlieutenant? Serve the men of 17Hamor the father of Shechem; but why should we serve him?
"w18Would , therefore, that thispeople were under my authority! Then I would removeAbimelech." And he said to Abimelech, "Increase your army and come out."
When Zebul the ruler of the cityheard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his angerburned.
He sentmessengers to Abimelechxdeceitfully, saying, "Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his yrelatives have come to Shechem; and behold, they are zstirring up the cityagainst you.
32"Now therefore, arise by night, you and the peoplewho are with you, and lie in wait in the field.
"In the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you shall riseearly and rush upon the city; and behold, when he and the peoplewho are with him come out against you, you shall 19do to them aawhatever you can."
So Abimelech and all the peoplewho were with him arose by night and lay in waitagainstShechem in fourbbcompanies.
Now Gaal the son of Ebedwent out and stood in the entrance of the citygate; and Abimelech and the peoplewho were with him arose from the ambush.
When Gaalsaw the people, he said to Zebul, "ccLook, people are comingdown from the tops of the mountains." But Zebulsaid to him, "You are seeing the shadow of the mountains as if they were men."
37Gaalspokeagain and said, "Behold, people are comingdown from 20the ddhighestpart of the land, and oneeecompanycomes by the way of ffthe diviners'ggoak."
Then Zebulsaid to him, "Where is your hhboastingnow with which you said, 'Who is Abimelech that we should serve him?' Is this not the peoplewhom you despised? Go out now and fight with them!"
So Gaalwent out before the leaders of Shechem and fought with Abimelech.
40Abimelechchased him, and he fledbefore him; and manyfellwounded up to the entrance of the gate.
Then Abimelechremained at Arumah, but Zebuldrove out Gaal and his iirelativesso that they could not remain in Shechem.
Now it came about the nextday, that the peoplewent out to the field, and it was told to Abimelech.
So he tookjjhis people and divided them into threekkcompanies, and lay in wait in the field; when he looked and llsaw the peoplecoming out from the city, he aroseagainst them and mmslew them.
Then Abimelech and the nncompanywho was with him dashed forward and stood in the entrance of the citygate; the other twooocompanies then dashedagainstallwho were in the field and ppslew them.
45Abimelechfought against the cityall that day, and he captured the city and killed the peoplewho were in it; then he 21razed the city and sowed it with salt.
When all the leaders of the tower of Shechemheard of it, they entered the innerchamber of the qqtemple of 22El-berith .
It was toldAbimelech that all the leaders of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.
So Abimelechwent up to Mount23Zalmon, he and all the peoplewho were with him; and Abimelechtookrran axe in his hand and cutdown a branch from the trees, and lifted it and laid it on his shoulder. Then he said to the peoplewho were with him, "What you have seen me do, hurry and dosslikewise."
49All the peoplealsocutdowneachone his branch and followedAbimelech, and put them on the innerchamber and set the innerchamber on fireover those inside, so that all the men of the tower of Shechemalsodied, about a thousandmen and women.
Then Abimelechwent to Thebez, and he camped against Thebez and captured it.
But there was a strongtower in the center of the city, and all the men and women with all the leaders of the cityfledthere and shut themselves in; and they went up on the roof of the tower.
So Abimelechcame to the tower and fought against it, and approached the entrance of the tower to burn it with fire.
But 24a certainwomanthrew an uppermillstone on Abimelech'shead, crushing his skull.
Then 25he calledquickly to the youngman, his armorbearer, and said to him, "Draw your sword and kill me, so that it will not be said of me, 'A womanslew him.' " So ttthe youngmanpierced him through, and he died.
When the men of Israelsaw that Abimelech was dead, eachdeparted to his uuhome.
Thus 26Godrepaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father in killing his seventybrothers.
Also Godreturnedall the wickedness of the men of Shechem on their heads, and the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaalcamevvupon them.