Judges 9:2-4

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 When the brothers repeated all this to the citizens of Shechem, they were inclined to follow Abimelek, for they said, “He is related to us.”
4 They gave him seventy shekels[a] of silver from the temple of Baal-Berith, and Abimelek used it to hire reckless scoundrels, who became his followers.

Judges 9:2-4 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JUDGES 9

This chapter contains an account of the craft and cruelty of Abimelech, by which he got himself made king of the Shechemites, Jud 9:1-6 of the parable of Jotham, the youngest son of Gideon, concerning the trees, in which he exposes their folly in making Abimelech king, and foretells the ruin of them both, Jud 9:7-21 of the contentions which arose between Abimelech, and the men of Shechem, increased by Gaal the son of Ebed, Jud 9:22-29 who was drawn into a battle with Abimelech, and beaten and forced to fly, Jud 9:30-41 but the quarrel between Abimelech and the men of Shechem ceased not, but still continued, which issued in the entire ruin of the city and the inhabitants of it, Jud 9:42-49 and in the death of Abimelech himself, according to Jotham's curse, Jud 9:50-57.

Judges 9:2-4 In-Context

1 Abimelek 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 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 When the brothers repeated all this to the citizens of Shechem, they were inclined to follow Abimelek, for they said, “He is related to us.”
4 They gave him seventy shekels of silver from the temple of Baal-Berith, and Abimelek used it to hire reckless scoundrels, who became his followers.
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 the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo gathered beside the great tree at the pillar in Shechem to crown Abimelek king.
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.

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Genesis 29:14; Judges 8:30
  • 2. S Judges 8:33
  • 3. Judges 11:3; 1 Samuel 25:25; 2 Chronicles 13:7; Job 30:8

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. That is, about 1 3/4 pounds or about 800 grams
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