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Abimelech Murders His Brothers

9:1 Now Abimelech son of Jerub-Baal went to Shechem to see his mother’s relatives.1 He said to them and to his mother’s entire extended family,2 9:2 “Tell3 all the leaders of Shechem this: ‘Why would you want4 to have seventy men, all Jerub-Baal’s sons, ruling over you, when you can have just one ruler? Recall that I am your own flesh and blood.’ ”5 9:3 His mother’s relatives6 spoke on his behalf to7 all the leaders of Shechem and reported his proposal.8 The leaders were drawn to Abimelech;9 they said, “He is our close relative.”10 9:4 They paid him seventy silver shekels out of the temple of Baal-Berith. Abimelech then used the silver to hire some lawless, dangerous11 men as his followers.12 9:5 He went to his father’s home in Ophrah and murdered his half-brothers,13 the seventy legitimate14 sons of Jerub-Baal, on one stone. Only Jotham, Jerub-Baal’s youngest son, escaped,15 because he hid. 9:6 All the leaders of Shechem and Beth Millo assembled and then went and made Abimelech king by the oak near the pillar16 in Shechem.


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