Judges 9 NLT/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 One day Gideon's son Abimelech went to Shechem to visit his mother's brothers. He said to them and to the rest 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 "Ask the people of Shechem whether they want to be ruled by all seventy of Gideon's sons or by one man. And remember, I am 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 So Abimelech's uncles spoke to all the people of Shechem on his behalf. And after listening to their proposal, they decided in favor of 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 silver coins from the temple of Baal-berith, which he used to hire some soldiers who agreed to follow 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 took the soldiers to his father's home at Ophrah, and there, on one stone, they killed all seventy of his half brothers. But the youngest brother, Jotham, escaped and hid. 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 the people of Shechem and Beth-millo called a meeting under the oak beside the pillar at Shechem and 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 about this, he climbed to the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted, "Listen to me, people of Shechem! Listen to me if you want God to 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 decided to elect a king. First 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 But it refused, saying, 'Should I quit producing the olive oil that blesses both God and people, just to wave back and forth 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 "Then they said to the fig tree, 'You be our king!' 10 "Next, the trees said to the fig tree, 'Come and be our king.'
11 But the fig tree also refused, saying, 'Should I quit producing my sweet fruit just to wave back and forth 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 "Then they said to the grapevine, 'You be our king!' 12 "Then the trees said to the vine, 'Come and be our king.'
13 But the grapevine replied, 'Should I quit producing the wine that cheers both God and people, just to wave back and forth 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 finally turned to the thornbush and said, 'Come, you be our king!' 14 "Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, 'Come and be our king.'
15 And the thornbush replied, 'If you truly want to make me your king, come and take shelter in my shade. If not, let fire come out from me 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 make sure you have acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelech your king, and that you have done right by Gideon and all of his descendants. Have you treated my father with the honor he deserves? 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 he fought for you and risked his life when he rescued 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 now you have revolted against my father and his descendants, killing his seventy sons on one stone. And you have chosen his slave woman's son, Abimelech, to be your king 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 If you have acted honorably and in good faith toward Gideon and his descendants, then may you find joy in Abimelech, and may he find joy 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 you have not acted in good faith, then may fire come out from Abimelech and devour the people of Shechem and Beth-millo; and may fire come out from the people of Shechem and Beth-millo and devour 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 escaped and lived in Beer 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 After Abimelech had ruled over Israel for three years, 22 After Abimelech had governed Israel three years,
23 God stirred up trouble between Abimelech and the people of Shechem, and they revolted. 23 God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem, who acted treacherously against Abimelech.
24 In the events that followed, God punished Abimelech and the men of Shechem for murdering Gideon's seventy sons. 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 people of Shechem set an ambush for Abimelech on the hilltops and robbed everyone who passed that way. But someone warned Abimelech about their plot. 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 At that time Gaal son of Ebed moved to Shechem with his brothers and gained the confidence of the people of Shechem. 26 Now Gaal son of Ebed moved with his brothers into Shechem, and its citizens put their confidence in him.
27 During the annual harvest festival at Shechem, held in the temple of the local god, the wine flowed freely, and everyone began cursing 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 "Who is Abimelech?" Gaal shouted. "He's not a true descendant of Shechem! Why should we be Abimelech's servants? He's merely the son of Gideon, and Zebul is his administrator. Serve the men of Hamor, who are Shechem's true descendants. 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 I were in charge, I would get rid of Abimelech. I would say to him, 'Get some more soldiers, and come 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 But when Zebul, the leader of the city, heard what Gaal was saying, he was furious. 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 in Arumah, telling him, "Gaal son of Ebed and his brothers have come to live in Shechem, and now they are inciting the city to rebel 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 Come by night with an army and hide out in the fields. 32 Now then, during the night you and your men should come and lie in wait in the fields.
33 In the morning, as soon as it is daylight, storm the city. When Gaal and those who are with him come out against you, you can do with them as you wish." 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 his men went by night and split into four groups, stationing themselves around Shechem. 34 So Abimelech and all his troops set out by night and took up concealed positions near Shechem in four companies.
35 Gaal was standing at the city gates when Abimelech and his army came out of hiding. 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 them, he said to Zebul, "Look, there are people coming down from the hilltops! "Zebul replied, "It's just the shadows of the hills that look like 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 But again Gaal said, "No, people are coming down from the hills. And another group is coming down the road past 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 turned on him triumphantly. "Now where is that big mouth of yours?" he demanded. "Wasn't it you that said, 'Who is Abimelech, and why should we be his servants?' The men you mocked are right outside the city! 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 Gaal then led the men of Shechem into battle against Abimelech, 39 So Gaal led out the citizens of Shechem and fought Abimelech.
40 but he was defeated and ran away. Many of Shechem's warriors were killed, and the ground was covered with dead bodies all the way 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 Abimelech stayed in Arumah, and Zebul drove Gaal and his brothers out of 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 into the fields to battle. When Abimelech heard about it, 42 The next day the people of Shechem went out to the fields, and this was reported to Abimelech.
43 he divided his men into three groups and set an ambush in the fields. When Abimelech saw the people coming out of the city, he and his men jumped up from their hiding places 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 stormed the city gate to keep the men of Shechem from getting back in, while Abimelech's other two groups cut them down in the fields. 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 battle went on all day before Abimelech finally captured the city. He killed the people, leveled the city, and scattered salt all over the ground. 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 people who lived in the tower of Shechem heard what had happened, they took refuge within the walls of the temple of Baal-berith. 46 On hearing this, the citizens in the tower of Shechem went into the stronghold of the temple of El-Berith.
47 Someone reported to Abimelech that the people were gathered together in the temple, 47 When Abimelech heard that they had assembled there,
48 so he led his forces to Mount Zalmon. He took an ax and chopped some branches from a tree, and he put them on his shoulder. "Quick, do as I have done!" he told his men. 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 each of them cut down some branches, following Abimelech's example. They piled the branches against the walls of the temple and set them on fire. So all the people who had lived in the tower of Shechem 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 attacked the city of Thebez and captured it. 50 Next Abimelech went to Thebez and besieged it and captured it.
51 But there was a strong tower inside the city, and the entire population fled to it. They barricaded themselves in and 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 followed them to attack the tower. But as he prepared to set fire to the entrance, 52 Abimelech went to the tower and stormed it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire,
53 a woman on the roof threw down a millstone that landed on Abimelech's head and crushed his skull. 53 a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.
54 He said to his young armor bearer, "Draw your sword and kill me! Don't let it be said that a woman killed Abimelech!" So the young man stabbed him with his sword, 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 Abimelech's men saw that he was dead, they disbanded and returned to their homes. 55 When the Israelites saw that Abimelech was dead, they went home.
56 Thus, God punished Abimelech for the evil he had done against his father by murdering 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 all their evil. So the curse of Jotham son of Gideon came true. 57 God also made the men of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal came on them.