Judges 9:7-21

Jotham’s fable

7 When Jotham was told about this, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim. He raised his voice and called out, "Listen to me, you leaders of Shechem, so that God may listen to you!
8 “Once the trees went out to anoint a king over themselves. So they said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king!'
9 “But the olive tree replied to them, ‘Should I stop producing my oil, which is how gods and humans are honored, so that I can go to sway over the trees?'
10 “So the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and be king over us!'
11 “The fig tree replied to them, ‘Should I stop producing my sweetness and my delicious fruit, so that I can go to sway over the trees?'
12 “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and be king over us!'
13 “But the vine replied to them, ‘Should I stop providing my wine that makes gods and humans happy, so that I can go to sway over the trees?'
14 “Finally, all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘You come and be king over us!'
15 “And the thornbush replied to the trees, ‘If you're acting faithfully in anointing me king over you, come and take shelter in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the thornbush and burn up the cedars of Lebanon.'
16 "So now, if you acted faithfully and innocently when you made Abimelech king, and if you've done right by Jerubbaal and his household, and have treated him as his actions deserve—
17 my father fought for you and risked his life to rescue you from Midian's power,
18 but today you've risen up against my father's household, killed his seventy sons on a single stone, and made Abimelech, his female servant's son, king over the leaders of Shechem, because he's your relative—
19 so if you've acted faithfully and innocently toward Jerubbaal and his household today, then be happy with Abimelech and let him be happy with you.
20 But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and burn up the leaders of Shechem and Beth-millo; and let fire come out from the leaders of Shechem and Beth-millo and burn up Abimelech."
21 Then Jotham ran away. He fled to Beer and stayed there for fear of his brother Abimelech.