Judges 9:1-57 RSV/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Now Abim'elech the son of Jerubba'al went to Shechem to his mother's kinsmen and said to them and to the whole clan of his mother's family, 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 "Say in the ears of all the citizens of Shechem, 'Which is better for you, that all seventy of the sons of Jerubba'al rule over you, or that one rule over you?' Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh." 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 And his mother's kinsmen spoke all these words on his behalf in the ears of all the men of Shechem; and their hearts inclined to follow Abim'elech, for they said, "He is our brother." 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 And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Ba'al-be'rith with which Abim'elech hired worthless and reckless fellows, who followed 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 And he went to his father's house at Ophrah, and slew his brothers the sons of Jerubba'al, seventy men, upon one stone; but Jotham the youngest son of Jerubba'al was left, for he hid himself. 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 And all the citizens of Shechem came together, and all Beth-millo, and they went and made Abim'elech king, by the oak of the pillar at Shechem. 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 it was told to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Ger'izim, and cried aloud and said to them, "Listen to me, you men of Shechem, that 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 The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive tree, 'Reign 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 to them, 'Shall I leave my fatness, by which gods and men are honored, and go to sway over the 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 And the trees said to the fig tree, 'Come you, and reign over us.' 10 "Next, the trees said to the fig tree, 'Come and be our king.'
11 But the fig tree said to them, 'Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to sway over the trees?' 11 "But the fig tree replied, 'Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?'
12 And the trees said to the vine, 'Come you, and reign over us.' 12 "Then the trees said to the vine, 'Come and be our king.'
13 But the vine said to them, 'Shall I leave my wine which cheers gods and men, and go to 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 bramble, 'Come you, and reign over us.' 14 "Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, 'Come and be our king.'
15 And the bramble said to the trees, 'If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour 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 therefore, if you acted in good faith and honor when you made Abim'elech king, and if you have dealt well with Jerubba'al and his house, and have done to him as his deeds 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 for my father fought for you, and risked his life, and rescued you from the hand of Mid'ian; 17 and to think that my father fought for you, risked his life to rescue you from the hand of Midian
18 and you have risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, seventy men on one stone, and have made Abim'elech, the son of his maidservant, king over the citizens of Shechem, because he is your kinsman-- 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 if you then have acted in good faith and honor with Jerubba'al and with his house this day, then rejoice in Abim'elech, and let him also rejoice in 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, let fire come out from Abim'elech, and devour the citizens of Shechem, and Beth-millo; and let fire come out from the citizens of Shechem, and from Beth-millo, and devour Abim'elech." 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 And Jotham ran away and fled, and went to Beer and dwelt there, for fear of Abim'elech his brother. 21 Then Jotham fled, escaping to Beer, and he lived there because he was afraid of his brother Abimelech.
22 Abim'elech ruled over Israel three years. 22 After Abimelech had governed Israel three years,
23 And God sent an evil spirit between Abim'elech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abim'elech; 23 God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem, who acted treacherously against Abimelech.
24 that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubba'al might come and their blood be laid upon Abim'elech their brother, who slew them, and upon the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to slay his brothers. 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 And the men of Shechem put men in ambush against him on the mountain tops, and they robbed all who passed by them along that way; and it was told Abim'elech. 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 And Ga'al the son of Ebed moved into Shechem with his kinsmen; and the men of Shechem put confidence in him. 26 Now Gaal son of Ebed moved with his brothers into Shechem, and its citizens put their confidence in him.
27 And they went out into the field, and gathered the grapes from their vineyards and trod them, and held festival, and went into the house of their god, and ate and drank and reviled Abim'elech. 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 And Ga'al the son of Ebed said, "Who is Abim'elech, and who are we of Shechem, that we should serve him? Did not the son of Jerubba'al and Zebul his officer serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem? Why then should we serve him? 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 Would that this people were under my hand! then I would remove Abim'elech. I would say to Abim'elech, 'Increase your army, and come out.'" 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 When Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Ga'al the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled. 30 When Zebul the governor of the city heard what Gaal son of Ebed said, he was very angry.
31 And he sent messengers to Abim'elech at Aru'mah, saying, "Behold, Ga'al the son of Ebed and his kinsmen have come to Shechem, and they are stirring up 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 Now therefore, go by night, you and the men that are with you, and lie in wait in the fields. 32 Now then, during the night you and your men should come and lie in wait in the fields.
33 Then in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, rise early and rush upon the city; and when he and the men that are with him come out against you, you may do to them as occasion offers." 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 And Abim'elech and all the men that were with him rose up by night, and laid wait against Shechem in four companies. 34 So Abimelech and all his troops set out by night and took up concealed positions near Shechem in four companies.
35 And Ga'al the son of Ebed went out and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city; and Abim'elech and the men that were with him rose from the ambush. 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 And when Ga'al saw the men, he said to Zebul, "Look, men are coming down from the mountain tops!" And Zebul said to him, "You see the shadow of the mountains as if they were men." 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 Ga'al spoke again and said, "Look, men are coming down from the center of the land, and one company is coming from the direction of the Diviners' Oak." 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 your mouth now, you who said, 'Who is Abim'elech, that we should serve him?' Are not these the men whom you despised? Go out now and fight with 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 And Ga'al went out at the head of the men of Shechem, and fought with Abim'elech. 39 So Gaal led out the citizens of Shechem and fought Abimelech.
40 And Abim'elech chased him, and he fled before him; and many fell wounded, up to the entrance of the gate. 40 Abimelech chased him, and many fell wounded in the flight--all the way to the entrance to the gate.
41 And Abim'elech dwelt at Aru'mah; and Zebul drove out Ga'al and his kinsmen, so that they could not live on at Shechem. 41 Abimelech stayed in Arumah, and Zebul drove Gaal and his brothers out of Shechem.
42 On the following day the men went out into the fields. And Abim'elech was told. 42 The next day the people of Shechem went out to the fields, and this was reported to Abimelech.
43 He took his men and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the fields; and he looked and saw the men coming out of the city, and he rose against them and slew 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 Abim'elech and the company that was with him rushed forward and stood at the entrance of the gate of the city, while the two companies rushed upon all who were in the fields and slew them. 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 And Abim'elech fought against the city all that day; he took the city, and killed the people that were in it; and he razed the city and sowed it 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 people of the Tower of Shechem heard of it, they entered the stronghold of the house of El-be'rith. 46 On hearing this, the citizens in the tower of Shechem went into the stronghold of the temple of El-Berith.
47 Abim'elech was told that all the people of the Tower of Shechem were gathered together. 47 When Abimelech heard that they had assembled there,
48 And Abim'elech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the men that were with him; and Abim'elech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bundle of brushwood, and took it up and laid it on his shoulder. And he said to the men that were with him, "What you have seen me do, make haste to do, as 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 every one of the people cut down his bundle and following Abim'elech put it against the stronghold, and they set the stronghold on fire over them, so that all the people of 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 Abim'elech went to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it. 50 Next Abimelech went to Thebez and besieged it and captured it.
51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and all the people of the city fled to it, all the men and women, and shut themselves in; and they went 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 And Abim'elech came to the tower, and fought against it, and drew near to the door of the tower to burn it with 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 And a certain woman threw an upper millstone upon Abim'elech's head, and crushed his skull. 53 a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.
54 Then he called hastily to the young man his armor-bearer, and said to him, "Draw your sword and kill me, lest men say of me, 'A woman killed him.'" And his young man thrust 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 And when the men of Israel saw that Abim'elech was dead, they departed every man to his home. 55 When the Israelites saw that Abimelech was dead, they went home.
56 Thus God requited the crime of Abim'elech, which 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 and God also made all the wickedness of the men of Shechem fall back upon their heads, and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubba'al. 57 God also made the men of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal came on them.