Judges 9 GNT/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Gideon's son Abimelech went to the town of Shechem, where all his mother's relatives lived, and told them 1 Abimelech son of Jerub-Baal went to his mother's brothers in Shechem and said to them and to all his mother's clan,
2 to ask the men of Shechem, "Which would you prefer? To have all seventy of Gideon's sons govern you or to have just one man? Remember that Abimelech is your own flesh and blood." 2 "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."
3 His mother's relatives talked to the men of Shechem about this for him, and the men of Shechem decided to follow Abimelech because he was their relative. 3 When the brothers repeated all this to the citizens of Shechem, they were inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, "He is our brother."
4 They gave him seventy pieces of silver from the temple of Baal-of-the-Covenant, and with this money he hired a bunch of worthless scoundrels to join him. 4 They gave him seventy shekels of silver from the temple of Baal-Berith, and Abimelech used it to hire reckless adventurers, who became his followers.
5 He went to his father's house at Ophrah, and there on top of a single stone he killed his seventy brothers, Gideon's sons. But Jotham, Gideon's youngest son, hid and was not killed. 5 He went to his father's home in Ophrah and on one stone murdered his seventy brothers, the sons of Jerub-Baal. But Jotham, the youngest son of Jerub-Baal, escaped by hiding.
6 Then all the men of Shechem and Bethmillo got together and went to the sacred oak tree at Shechem, where they made Abimelech king. 6 Then all the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo gathered beside the great tree at the pillar in Shechem to crown Abimelech king.
7 When Jotham heard about this, he went and stood on top of Mount Gerizim and shouted out to them, "Listen to me, you men of Shechem, and God may listen to you! 7 When Jotham was told about this, he climbed up on the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted to them, "Listen to me, citizens of Shechem, so that God may listen to you.
8 Once upon a time the trees went out to choose a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, "Be our king.' 8 One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, 'Be our king.'
9 The olive tree answered, "In order to govern you, I would have to stop producing my oil, which is used to honor gods and human beings.' 9 "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?'
10 Then the trees said to the fig tree, "You come and be our king.' 10 "Next, the trees said to the fig tree, 'Come and be our king.'
11 But the fig tree answered, "In order to govern you, I would have to stop producing my good sweet fruit.' 11 "But the fig tree replied, 'Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?'
12 So the trees then said to the grapevine, "You come and be our king.' 12 "Then the trees said to the vine, 'Come and be our king.'
13 But the vine answered, "In order to govern you, I would have to stop producing my wine, that makes gods and human beings happy.' 13 "But the vine answered, 'Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and men, to hold sway over the trees?'
14 So then all the trees said to the thorn bush, "You come and be our king.' 14 "Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, 'Come and be our king.'
15 The thorn bush answered, "If you really want to make me your king, then come and take shelter in my shade. If you don't, fire will blaze out of my thorny branches and burn up the cedars of Lebanon.' 15 "The thornbush said to the trees, 'If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, then let fire come out of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!'
16 "Now then," Jotham continued, "were you really honest and sincere when you made Abimelech king? Did you respect Gideon's memory and treat his family properly, as his actions deserved? 16 "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--
17 Remember that my father fought for you. He risked his life to save you from the Midianites. 17 and to think that my father fought for you, risked his life to rescue you from the hand of Midian
18 But today you turned against my father's family. You killed his sons - seventy men on a single stone - and just because Abimelech, his son by his servant woman, is your relative, you have made him king of Shechem. 18 (but today you have revolted against my father's family, murdered his seventy sons on a single stone, and made Abimelech, the son of his slave girl, king over the citizens of Shechem because he is your brother)--
19 Now then, if what you did today to Gideon and his family was sincere and honest, then be happy with Abimelech and let him be happy with you. 19 if then you have acted honorably and in good faith toward Jerub-Baal and his family today, may Abimelech be your joy, and may you be his, too!
20 But if not, may fire blaze out from Abimelech and burn up the men of Shechem and Bethmillo. May fire blaze out from the men of Shechem and Bethmillo and burn Abimelech up." 20 But if you have not, let fire come out from Abimelech and consume you, citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and let fire come out from you, citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and consume Abimelech!"
21 Then because he was afraid of his brother Abimelech, Jotham ran away and went to live at Beer. 21 Then Jotham fled, escaping to Beer, and he lived there because he was afraid of his brother Abimelech.
22 Abimelech ruled Israel for three years. 22 After Abimelech had governed Israel three years,
23 Then God made Abimelech and the men of Shechem hostile to each other, and they rebelled against Abimelech. 23 God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem, who acted treacherously against Abimelech.
24 This happened so that Abimelech and the men of Shechem, who encouraged him to murder Gideon's seventy sons, would pay for their crime. 24 God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal's seventy sons, the shedding of their blood, might be avenged on their brother Abimelech and on the citizens of Shechem, who had helped him murder his brothers.
25 The men of Shechem put men in ambush against Abimelech on the mountaintops, and they robbed everyone who passed their way. Abimelech was told about this. 25 In opposition to him these citizens of Shechem set men on the hilltops to ambush and rob everyone who passed by, and this was reported to Abimelech.
26 Then Gaal son of Ebed came to Shechem with his brothers, and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him. 26 Now Gaal son of Ebed moved with his brothers into Shechem, and its citizens put their confidence in him.
27 They all went out into their vineyards and picked the grapes, made wine from them, and held a festival. They went into the temple of their god, where they ate and drank and made fun of Abimelech. 27 After they had gone out into the fields and gathered the grapes and trodden them, they held a festival in the temple of their god. While they were eating and drinking, they cursed Abimelech.
28 Gaal said, "What kind of men are we in Shechem? Why are we serving Abimelech? Who is he, anyway? The son of Gideon! And Zebul takes orders from him, but why should we serve him? Be loyal to your ancestor Hamor, who founded your clan! 28 Then Gaal son of Ebed said, "Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should be subject to him? Isn't he Jerub-Baal's son, and isn't Zebul his deputy? Serve the men of Hamor, Shechem's father! Why should we serve Abimelech?
29 I wish I were leading this people! I would get rid of Abimelech! I would tell him, "Reinforce your army, come on out and fight!' " 29 If only this people were under my command! Then I would get rid of him. I would say to Abimelech, 'Call out your whole army!' "
30 Zebul, the ruler of the city, became angry when he heard what Gaal had said. 30 When Zebul the governor of the city heard what Gaal son of Ebed said, he was very angry.
31 He sent messengers to Abimelech at Arumah to say, "Gaal son of Ebed and his brothers have come to Shechem, and they are not going to let you into the city. 31 Under cover he sent messengers to Abimelech, saying, "Gaal son of Ebed and his brothers have come to Shechem and are stirring up the city against you.
32 Now then, you and your men should move by night and hide in the fields. 32 Now then, during the night you and your men should come and lie in wait in the fields.
33 Get up tomorrow morning at sunrise and make a sudden attack on the city. Then when Gaal and his men come out against you, hit them with all you've got!" 33 In the morning at sunrise, advance against the city. When Gaal and his men come out against you, do whatever your hand finds to do."
34 So Abimelech and all his men made their move at night and hid outside Shechem in four groups. 34 So Abimelech and all his troops set out by night and took up concealed positions near Shechem in four companies.
35 When Abimelech and his men saw Gaal come out and stand at the city gate, they got up from their hiding places. 35 Now Gaal son of Ebed had gone out and was standing at the entrance to the city gate just as Abimelech and his soldiers came out from their hiding place.
36 Gaal saw them and said to Zebul, "Look! There are men coming down from the mountaintops!" "Those are not men," Zebul answered. "They are just shadows on the mountains." 36 When Gaal saw them, he said to Zebul, "Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains!" Zebul replied, "You mistake the shadows of the mountains for men."
37 Gaal said again, "Look! There are men coming down the crest of the mountain and one group is coming along the road from the oak tree of the fortunetellers!" 37 But Gaal spoke up again: "Look, people are coming down from the center of the land, and a company is coming from the direction of the soothsayers' tree."
38 Then Zebul said to him, "Where is all your big talk now? You were the one who asked why we should serve this man Abimelech. These are the men you were making fun of. Go on out now and fight them." 38 Then Zebul said to him, "Where is your big talk now, you who said, 'Who is Abimelech that we should be subject to him?' Aren't these the men you ridiculed? Go out and fight them!"
39 Gaal led the men of Shechem out and fought Abimelech. 39 So Gaal led out the citizens of Shechem and fought Abimelech.
40 Abimelech started after Gaal, and Gaal ran. Many were wounded, even at the city gate. 40 Abimelech chased him, and many fell wounded in the flight--all the way to the entrance to the gate.
41 Abimelech lived in Arumah, and Zebul drove Gaal and his brothers out of Shechem, so that they could no longer live there. 41 Abimelech stayed in Arumah, and Zebul drove Gaal and his brothers out of Shechem.
42 The next day Abimelech found out that the people of Shechem were planning to go out into the fields, 42 The next day the people of Shechem went out to the fields, and this was reported to Abimelech.
43 so he took his men, divided them into three groups, and hid in the fields, waiting. When he saw the people coming out of the city, he came out of hiding to kill them. 43 So he took his men, divided them into three companies and set an ambush in the fields. When he saw the people coming out of the city, he rose to attack them.
44 While Abimelech and his group hurried forward to guard the city gate, the other two companies attacked the people in the fields and killed them all. 44 Abimelech and the companies with him rushed forward to a position at the entrance to the city gate. Then two companies rushed upon those in the fields and struck them down.
45 The fighting continued all day long. Abimelech captured the city, killed its people, tore it down, and covered the ground with salt. 45 All that day Abimelech pressed his attack against the city until he had captured it and killed its people. Then he destroyed the city and scattered salt over it.
46 When all the leading men in the fort at Shechem heard about this, they sought safety in the stronghold of the temple of Baal-of-the-Covenant. 46 On hearing this, the citizens in the tower of Shechem went into the stronghold of the temple of El-Berith.
47 Abimelech was told that they had gathered there, 47 When Abimelech heard that they had assembled there,
48 so he went up to Mount Zalmon with his men. There he took an ax, cut a limb off a tree, and put it on his shoulder. He told his men to hurry and do the same thing. 48 he and all his men went up Mount Zalmon. He took an ax and cut off some branches, which he lifted to his shoulders. He ordered the men with him, "Quick! Do what you have seen me do!"
49 So everyone cut off a tree limb; then they followed Abimelech and piled the wood up against the stronghold. They set it on fire, with the people inside, and all the people of the fort died - about a thousand men and women. 49 So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelech. They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire over the people inside. So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died.
50 Then Abimelech went to Thebez, surrounded that city, and captured it. 50 Next Abimelech went to Thebez and besieged it and captured it.
51 There was a strong tower there, and every man and woman in the city, including the leaders, ran to it. They locked themselves in and went up to the roof. 51 Inside the city, however, was a strong tower, to which all the men and women--all the people of the city--fled. They locked themselves in and climbed up on the tower roof.
52 When Abimelech came to attack the tower, he went up to the door to set the tower on fire. 52 Abimelech went to the tower and stormed it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire,
53 But a woman threw a millstone down on his head and fractured his skull. 53 a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.
54 Then he quickly called the young man who was carrying his weapons and told him, "Draw your sword and kill me. I don't want it said that a woman killed me." So the young man ran him through, and he died. 54 Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can't say, 'A woman killed him.' " So his servant ran him through, and he died.
55 When the Israelites saw that Abimelech was dead, they all went home. 55 When the Israelites saw that Abimelech was dead, they went home.
56 And so it was that God paid Abimelech back for the crime that he committed against his father in killing his seventy brothers. 56 Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelech had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers.
57 God also made the men of Shechem suffer for their wickedness, just as Jotham, Gideon's son, said they would when he cursed them. 57 God also made the men of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal came on them.