9 And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem unto ahis mother’s brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother’s father, saying, 2 Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all bthe men of Shechem, †Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are cthreescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am dyour bone and your flesh. 3 And his mother’s brethren spake of him in the ears of all bthe men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined †to follow Abimelech; for they said, He is our ebrother. 4 And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of fBaal-berith, wherewith Abimelech hired gvain and hlight persons, which followed him. 5 And he went unto his father’s house iat Ophrah, and jslew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone: notwithstanding yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself. 6 And all bthe men of Shechem gathered together, and all kthe house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, ||by the plain of lthe pillar that was in Shechem.
7 And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mmount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye bmen of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. 8 nThe trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, oReign thou over us. 9 But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, pwherewith by me they honour God and man, and ||go to be promoted over the trees? 10 And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us. 11 But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? 12 Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us. 13 And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, qwhich cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? 14 Then said all the trees unto the ||bramble, Come thou, and reign over us. 15 And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my rshadow: and if not, slet fire come out of the bramble, and devour tthe cedars of Lebanon. 16 Now therefore, if ye have done utruly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to wthe deserving of his hands; 17 (For my father fought for you, and †adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: 18 And ye are risen up against my father’s house this day, and xhave slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, ythe son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, zbecause he is your brother;) 19 If ye then have dealt utruly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then arejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: 20 But if not, blet fire come out from Abimelech, and devour cthe men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. 21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to dBeer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
22 *When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel, 23 Then eGod sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem fdealt treacherously with Abimelech: 24 gThat the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which †aided him in the killing of his brethren. 25 And the men of Shechem set liers in wait for him in the top of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech. 26 And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him. 27 And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode the grapes, and made ||merry, and went into hthe house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech. 28 And Gaal the son of Ebed said, iWho is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? is not he the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve the men of jHamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him? 29 And kwould to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out. 30 And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was ||kindled. 31 And he sent messengers unto Abimelech †privily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify the city against thee. 32 Now therefore up by night, thou and the people that is with thee, and lie in wait in the field: 33 And it shall be, that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and set upon the city: and, behold, when he and the people that is with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them †as thou shalt find occasion. 34 And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies. 35 And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up, and the people that were with him, from lying in wait. 36 And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people down from lthe top of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as if they were men. 37 And Gaal spake again and said, See there come people down by the †middle of the land, and another company come along by mthe plain of ||Meonenim. 38 Then said Zebul unto him, Where is now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst, nWho is Abimelech, that we should serve him? is not this the people that thou hast despised? go out, I pray now, and fight with them. 39 And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. 40 And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown and wounded, even unto the entering of the gate. 41 And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. 42 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. 43 And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people were come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. 44 And Abimelech, and the company that was with him, orushed forward, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two other companies oran upon all the people that were in the fields, and slew them. 45 And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and pbeat down the city, and sowed it with qsalt. 46 And when all the men of the rtower of Shechem heard that, they entered into an shold of the house tof the god Berith. 47 And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the rtower of Shechem were gathered together. 48 And Abimelech gat him up to mount uZalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid it on his shoulder, and said unto the people that were with him, What ye have seen †me do, make haste, and do as I have done. 49 And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the shold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the stower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.
50 Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it. 51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and xshut it to them, and gat them up to the top of the tower. 52 And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire. 53 And a certain woman ycast a zpiece of a amillstone upon Abimelech’s head, and all to brake his skull. 54 Then bhe called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died. 55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man unto his place. 56 cThus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren: 57 And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came dthe curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.
About King James Version
This King James Version is based upon the Pure Cambridge Edition first published around 1900. It has been carefully typeset to remove any typographical errors and accurately reflects the original text.