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Judges 9 NCV/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Abimelech son of Gideonn went to his uncles in the city of Shechem. He said to his uncles and all of his mother's family group, 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 "Ask the leaders of Shechem, 'Is it better for the seventy sons of Gideon to rule over you or for one man to rule?' Remember, I am your relative." 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 Abimelech's uncles spoke to all the leaders of Shechem about this. And they decided to follow Abimelech, because they said, "He is our 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 So the leaders of Shechem gave Abimelech about one and three-quarter pounds of silver from the temple of the god Baal-Berith. Abimelech used the silver to hire some worthless, reckless men, who followed him wherever he went. 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 Ophrah, the hometown of his father, and murdered his seventy brothers, the sons of Gideon. He killed them all on one stone. But Gideon's youngest son, Jotham, hid from Abimelech and escaped. 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 of the leaders of Shechem and Beth Millo gathered beside the great tree standing in Shechem. There they made Abimelech their 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 this, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim. He shouted to the people: "Listen to me, you leaders of Shechem, so that God will 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 One day the trees decided to appoint a king to rule over them. They said to the olive tree, 'You be king over us!' 8 One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, 'Be our king.'
9 "But the olive tree said, 'Men and gods are honored by my oil. Should I stop making it and go and sway over the other trees?' 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, 'Come and be king over us!' 10 "Next, the trees said to the fig tree, 'Come and be our king.'
11 "But the fig tree answered, 'Should I stop making my sweet and good fruit and go and sway over the other trees?' 11 "But the fig tree replied, 'Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?'
12 "Then the trees said to the vine, 'Come and be king over us!' 12 "Then the trees said to the vine, 'Come and be our king.'
13 "But the vine answered, 'My new wine makes men and gods happy. Should I stop making it and go and sway over the trees?' 13 "But the vine answered, 'Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and men, to hold sway over the trees?'
14 "Then all the trees said to the thornbush, 'Come and be king over us.' 14 "Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, 'Come and be our king.'
15 "But the thornbush said to the trees, 'If you really want to appoint me king over you, come and find shelter in my shade! But if not, let fire come out of the thornbush 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, were you completely honest and sincere when you made Abimelech king? Have you been fair to Gideonn and his family? Have you treated Gideon as you should? 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, my father fought for you and risked his life to save you from the power of 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 now you have turned against my father's family and have killed his seventy sons on one stone. You have made Abimelech, the son of my father's slave girl, king over the leaders of Shechem just because he is your relative! 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 So then, if you have been honest and sincere to Gideon and his family today, be happy with Abimelech as your king. And may he 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 come out of Abimelech and completely burn you leaders of Shechem and Beth Millo! Also may fire come out of the leaders of Shechem and Beth Millo and burn up Abimelech!" 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 Jotham ran away and escaped to the city of Beer. He lived there because he was afraid of his brother Abimelech. 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 sent an evil spirit to make trouble between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem so that the leaders of Shechem turned against him. 23 God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem, who acted treacherously against Abimelech.
24 Abimelech had killed Gideon'sn seventy sons, his own brothers, and the leaders of Shechem had helped him. So God sent the evil spirit to punish them. 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 leaders of Shechem were against Abimelech then. They put men on the hilltops in ambush who robbed everyone going by. And Abimelech was told. 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 A man named Gaal son of Ebed and his brothers moved into Shechem, and the leaders of Shechem trusted him. 26 Now Gaal son of Ebed moved with his brothers into Shechem, and its citizens put their confidence in him.
27 They went out to the vineyards to pick grapes, and they squeezed the grapes. Then they had a feast in the temple of their god, where they ate and drank and cursed 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 son of Ebed said, "We are the men of Shechem. Who is Abimelech that we should serve him? Isn't he one of Gideon's sons, and isn't Zebul his officer? We should serve the men of Hamor, Shechem's father. Why should we serve Abimelech? 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 If you made me commander of these people, I would get rid of Abimelech. I would say to him, 'Get your army ready and come out to battle.'" 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 Now when Zebul, the ruler of Shechem, heard what Gaal son of Ebed said, he was very angry. 30 When Zebul the governor of the city heard what Gaal son of Ebed said, he was very angry.
31 He sent secret messengers to Abimelech, saying, "Gaal son of Ebed and Gaal's brothers have come to Shechem, and they are turning the city against you! 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 You and your men should get up during the night and hide in the fields outside the city. 32 Now then, during the night you and your men should come and lie in wait in the fields.
33 As soon as the sun comes up in the morning, attack the city. When Gaal and his men come out to fight you, do what you can to them." 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 soldiers got up during the night and hid near 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 Gaal son of Ebed went out and was standing at the entrance to the city gate. As he was standing there, Abimelech and his soldiers came out of 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 When Gaal saw the soldiers, he said to Zebul, "Look! There are people coming down from the mountains!" But Zebul said, "You are seeing the shadows of the mountains. The shadows just look like people." 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 But again Gaal said, "Look, there are people coming down from the center of the land, and there is a group coming from the fortune-tellers' tree!" 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 Zebul said to Gaal, "Where is your bragging now? You said, 'Who is Abimelech that we should serve him?' You made fun of these men. Now go out 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 So Gaal led the men of Shechem out to fight Abimelech. 39 So Gaal led out the citizens of Shechem and fought Abimelech.
40 Abimelech and his men chased them, and many of Gaal's men were killed before they could get back to the city gate. 40 Abimelech chased him, and many fell wounded in the flight--all the way to the entrance to the gate.
41 While Abimelech stayed at Arumah, Zebul forced Gaal and his brothers to leave Shechem. 41 Abimelech stayed in Arumah, and Zebul drove Gaal and his brothers out of Shechem.
42 The next day the people of Shechem went out to the fields. When Abimelech was told about it, 42 The next day the people of Shechem went out to the fields, and this was reported to Abimelech.
43 he separated his men into three groups and hid them in the fields. When he saw the people coming out of the city, he jumped up and attacked 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 Abimelech and his group ran to the entrance gate to the city. The other two groups ran out to the people in the fields and struck them down. 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 Abimelech and his men fought the city of Shechem all day until they captured it and killed its people. Then he tore it down and threw saltn over the ruins. 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 the leaders who were in the Tower of Shechem heard what had happened to Shechem, they gathered in the safest room of the temple of El Berith. 46 On hearing this, the citizens in the tower of Shechem went into the stronghold of the temple of El-Berith.
47 Abimelech heard that all the leaders of the Tower of Shechem had gathered there. 47 When Abimelech heard that they had assembled there,
48 So he and all his men went up Mount Zalmon, near Shechem. Abimelech took an ax and cut some branches and put them on his shoulders. He said to all those with him, "Hurry! Do what I have done!" 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 all those men cut branches and followed Abimelech and piled them against the safest room of the temple. Then they set them on fire and burned the people inside. So all the people who were at the Tower of Shechem also 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 the city of Thebez. He surrounded the city, attacked it, and captured it. 50 Next Abimelech went to Thebez and besieged it and captured it.
51 But inside the city was a strong tower, so all the men, women, and leaders of that city ran to the tower. When they got inside, they locked the door behind them. Then they climbed up to the roof of the tower. 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 Abimelech came to the tower to attack it. He approached the door of the tower to set it 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 as he came near, a woman dropped a grinding stone on his head, crushing his skull. 53 a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.
54 He quickly called to the officer who carried his armor and said, "Take out your sword and kill me. I don't want people to say, 'A woman killed Abimelech.'" So the officer stabbed Abimelech, 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 people of Israel saw Abimelech was dead, they all returned home. 55 When the Israelites saw that Abimelech was dead, they went home.
56 In that way God punished Abimelech for all the evil he had done to his father by 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 punished the men of Shechem for the evil they had done. So the curse spoken by Jotham, the youngest son of Gideon, came true. Tola, the Judge 57 God also made the men of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal came on them.