Judges 9:7-15

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 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 answered, ‘Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and humans are honored, to hold sway over the trees?’
10 “Next, the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and be our king.’
11 “But the fig tree replied, ‘Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?’
12 “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come and be our king.’
13 “But the vine answered, ‘Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and humans, to hold sway over the trees?’
14 “Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘Come and be our king.’
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!’

Judges 9:7-15 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 9:7-15 In-Context

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.
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 answered, ‘Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and humans are honored, to hold sway over the trees?’
10 “Next, the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and be our king.’
11 “But the fig tree replied, ‘Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?’
12 “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come and be our king.’
13 “But the vine answered, ‘Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and humans, to hold sway over the trees?’
14 “Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘Come and be our king.’
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 “Have you acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelek king? Have you been fair to Jerub-Baal and his family? Have you treated him as he deserves?
17 Remember that my father fought for you and risked his life to rescue you from the hand of Midian.

Cross References 6

  • 1. S ver 5
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 11:29; Deuteronomy 27:12; John 4:20
  • 3. S Genesis 14:18; Ecclesiastes 2:3; Song of Songs 4:10
  • 4. Isaiah 30:2
  • 5. ver 20
  • 6. S Deuteronomy 3:25; 1 Kings 5:6; Psalms 29:5; Psalms 92:12; Isaiah 2:13