Judges 9; Judges 10; Luke 5:17-39

1 Gideon's son Abimelech went to the town of Shechem, where all his mother's relatives lived, and told them 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." 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. 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. 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. 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. 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! 8 Once upon a time the trees went out to choose 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.' 10 Then the trees said to the fig tree, "You 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.' 12 So the trees then said to the grapevine, "You 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.' 14 So then all the trees said to the thorn bush, "You 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.' 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? 17 Remember that my father fought for you. He risked his life to save you from the Midianites. 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. 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. 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." 21 Then because he was afraid of his brother Abimelech, Jotham ran away and went to live at Beer. 22 Abimelech ruled Israel for three years. 23 Then God made Abimelech and the men of Shechem hostile to each other, and they rebelled 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. 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. 26 Then Gaal son of Ebed came to Shechem with his brothers, and the men of Shechem 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. 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! 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!' " 30 Zebul, the ruler of the city, became angry when he heard what Gaal had said. 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. 32 Now then, you and your men should move by night and hide 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!" 34 So Abimelech and all his men made their move at night and hid outside Shechem in four groups. 35 When Abimelech and his men saw Gaal come out and stand at the city gate, they got up from their hiding places. 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." 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!" 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." 39 Gaal led the men of Shechem out and fought Abimelech. 40 Abimelech started after Gaal, and Gaal ran. Many were wounded, even at the city gate. 41 Abimelech lived in Arumah, and Zebul drove Gaal and his brothers out of Shechem, so that they could no longer live there. 42 The next day Abimelech found out that the people of Shechem were planning to go out into the fields, 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. 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. 45 The fighting continued all day long. Abimelech captured the city, killed its people, tore it down, and covered the ground with salt. 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. 47 Abimelech was told that they had gathered 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. 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. 50 Then Abimelech went to Thebez, surrounded that city, 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. 52 When Abimelech came to attack the tower, he went up to the door to set the tower on fire. 53 But a woman threw a millstone down on his head and fractured 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. 55 When the Israelites saw that Abimelech was dead, they all 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. 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.
1 After Abimelech's death Tola, the son of Puah and grandson of Dodo, came to free Israel. He was from the tribe of Issachar and lived at Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. 2 He was Israel's leader for twenty-three years. Then he died and was buried at Shamir. 3 After Tola came Jair from Gilead. He led Israel for twenty-two years. 4 He had thirty sons who rode thirty donkeys. They had thirty cities in the land of Gilead, which are still called the villages of Jair. 5 Jair died and was buried at Kamon. 6 Once again the Israelites sinned against the Lord by worshiping the Baals and the Astartes, as well as the gods of Syria, of Sidon, of Moab, of Ammon, and of Philistia. They abandoned the Lord and stopped worshiping him. 7 So the Lord became angry with the Israelites, and let the Philistines and the Ammonites conquer them. 8 For eighteen years they oppressed and persecuted all the Israelites who lived in Amorite country east of the Jordan River in Gilead. 9 The Ammonites even crossed the Jordan to fight the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim. Israel was in great distress. 10 Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord and said, "We have sinned against you, for we left you, our God, and worshiped the Baals." 11 The Lord gave them this answer: "The Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12 the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites oppressed you in the past, and you cried out to me. Did I not save you from them? 13 But you still left me and worshiped other gods, so I am not going to rescue you again. 14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them rescue you when you get in trouble." 15 But the people of Israel said to the Lord, "We have sinned. Do whatever you like, but please, save us today." 16 So they got rid of their foreign gods and worshiped the Lord; and he became troubled over Israel's distress. 17 Then the Ammonite army prepared for battle and camped in Gilead. The people of Israel came together and camped at Mizpah in Gilead. 18 There the people and the leaders of the Israelite tribes asked one another, "Who will lead the fight against the Ammonites? Whoever does will be the leader of everyone in Gilead."
17 One day when Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of the Law were sitting there who had come from every town in Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was present for Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a bed, and they tried to carry him into the house and put him in front of Jesus. 19 Because of the crowd, however, they could find no way to take him in. So they carried him up on the roof, made an opening in the tiles, and let him down on his bed into the middle of the group in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw how much faith they had, he said to the man, "Your sins are forgiven, my friend." 21 The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees began to say to themselves, "Who is this man who speaks such blasphemy! God is the only one who can forgive sins!" 22 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Why do you think such things? 23 Is it easier to say, "Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, "Get up and walk'? 24 I will prove to you, then, that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." So he said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, pick up your bed, and go home!" 25 At once the man got up in front of them all, took the bed he had been lying on, and went home, praising God. 26 They were all completely amazed! Full of fear, they praised God, saying, "What marvelous things we have seen today!" 27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting in his office. Jesus said to him, "Follow me." 28 Levi got up, left everything, and followed him. 29 Then Levi had a big feast in his house for Jesus, and among the guests was a large number of tax collectors and other people. 30 Some Pharisees and some teachers of the Law who belonged to their group complained to Jesus' disciples. "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and other outcasts?" they asked. 31 Jesus answered them, "People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call respectable people to repent, but outcasts." 33 Some people said to Jesus, "The disciples of John fast frequently and offer prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same; but your disciples eat and drink." 34 Jesus answered, "Do you think you can make the guests at a wedding party go without food as long as the bridegroom is with them? Of course not! 35 But the day will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast." 36 Jesus also told them this parable: "You don't tear a piece off a new coat to patch up an old coat. If you do, you will have torn the new coat, and the piece of new cloth will not match the old. 37 Nor do you pour new wine into used wineskins, because the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will pour out, and the skins will be ruined. 38 Instead, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins! 39 And you don't want new wine after drinking old wine. "The old is better,' you say."
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