Daniel P. Barron

Judges 9

Monday, March 22, 2021 

1 And Abimelech, son of Jerubaal, went to Shechem to his mother's brothers and spoke to them and to all family of house of his mother's father saying, 2 “Please speak in the ears of all lords i of Shechem, 'What is good for you, the one who rules among you, seventy men, all sons of Jerubaal, or one man rule among you? And remember that I am your bone and your flesh.'” 3 And his mother's brothers spoke for him in the ears of all lords of Shechem all these words. And their heart was inclined after Abimelech, for they said, “He is our brother.” 4 And they gave to him seventy of silver from house ii of Covenant Baal. And Abimelech hired with them empty iii and reckless men, and they went after him. iv

5 And he went to his father's house to Ophrah and killed his brothers, sons of Jerubaal, seventy men, upon one stone. And Jotham, v son of Jerubaal, the youngest, remained, for he was hidden. vi 6 And all lords of Shechem gathered together and all House of Millo. vii And they went and made Abimelech king beside terebinth at the standing viii that was in Shechem.

7 And they told Jotham, and he went and stood on top of mount Gerizim. And he lifted up his voice and cried out. And he said to them, “Listen to me, lords of Shechem. And Gods, may he listen to you. 8 Going, the trees went to anoint for themselves a king. And they said to the olive tree, 'Reign over us.' 9 And the olive tree said to them, 'Shall I cease my fatness, ix which in me x they honor Gods and men, and go to sway over the trees?' 10 And the trees said to the fig tree, 'You come reign over us.' 11 And the fig tree said to them, 'Shall I cease my sweetness and my good fruit and go to sway over the trees?' 12 And the trees said to the vine, 'You come reign over us.' 13 And the vine said to them, 'Shall I cease my new wine which cheers Gods and men and go to sway over the trees?' 14 And all the trees said to the bramble, xi 'You come reign over us.' 15 And the bramble said to the trees, 'If in truth you anoint me to be king over you, come seek refuge in my shadow. And if not, let fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon.'”

16 “And now, if in truth and perfection you have made and caused Abimelech to reign, and you have done good with Jerubaal and with his sons, and if you have done to him as his hands deserve, 17 wherewith my father waged war for you, and cast his soul aside, xii and delivered you from hand of Midian. 18 And you, you have risen up against my father's house, and killed his sons, seventy men upon one stone. And you have made Abimelech, son of his female slave, to reign over lords of Shechem, because he is your brother. 19 And if in truth and in perfection you have done with Jerubaal and with his house this day, rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you. 20 And if not, may fire go out from Abimelech and consume lords of Shechem and House of Millo, and may fire go out from lords of Shechem and from House of Millo and consume Abimelech.” 21 And Jotham fled and hurried and went to Well xiii and dwelt there from the face of xiv Abimelech his brother.

22 And Abimelech ruled over Israel for three years. 23 And Gods, he sent a bad spirit xv between Abimelech and lords of Shechem. And lords of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, 24 to bring the violence of the seventy sons of Jerubaal and their blood to be set upon Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and upon lords of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers. 25 And lords of Shechem set ambushes against him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who passed by them on the way. And it was told to Abimelech. 26 And Gaal, xvi son of Servant, xvii and his brothers, came and crossed over into Shechem, and lords of Shechem trusted in him.

27 And they went out into the field and harvested their vineyards and trod and made merry. And they went into house of their gods xviii and ate and drank and cursed Abimelech. 28 And Gaal, son of Servant, said, “Who is Abimelech and who is Shechem that we should serve him? Is he not son of Jerubaal and Zebul xix is his officer? Serve men of Hamor, father of Shechem. So, why should we serve him? 29 And who gives this people into my hand? So, I would remove Abimelech.” And he said to Abimelech, “Increase your army and come out.”

30 And Zebul, leader of the city, heard the words of Gaal, son of Servant, and his anger burned. 31 And he sent messengers to Abimelech in secret saying, “Look, Gaal, son of Servant, and his brothers have come to Shechem. And look, they are fortifying the city against you. 32 And now, arise by night, you and the people who are with you and lie in wait in the field. 33 And it shall be, in the morning, as the sun rises, rise early and rush upon the city. And look, he and the people who are with him shall go out to you. And you shall do to him just as you find in your hand.” 34 And Abimelech arose, and all the people who were with him, by night. And they lay in wait against Shechem, four companies. xx

35 And Gaal, son of Servant, went out and stood at the entrance of the city gate. And Abimelech arose, and the people who were with him from the ambush. 36 And Gaal saw the people and said to Zebul, “Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains.” And Zebul said to him, “You are seeing a shadow of the mountains as men.” 37 And Gaal yet again spoke and said, “Look, people coming down from the center high xxi of the earth, and one company xxii comes from way of soothsayers' xxiii terebinth.” 38 And Zebul said to him, “Where then is your mouth where you said, 'Who is Abimelech that we should serve him?' Is this not the people who you rejected? Go out now, please, and fight against him.”

39 And Gaal went out before lords of Shechem and fought against Abimelech. 40 And Abimelech pursued him, and he fled from his face. And many fell slain xxiv as far as the entrance of the gate. 41 And Abimelech dwelt in Arumah. xxv And Zebul drove out Gaal and his brothers from dwelling in Shechem.

42 And it was, on the next day, so the people went out to the field and told Abimelech. 43 And he took the people and divided them into three companies, xxvi and he lay in wait in the field. And he looked, and look, the people were going out from the city. And he arose against them and struck them. 44 And Abimelech and the companies that were with him rushed and stood at the entrance of the gate of the city, and two companies rushed upon all who were in the field and struck them. 45 And Abimelech fought against that city all that day. And he captured the city and killed the people who were in it. And he tore down the city and sowed it with salt.

46 And all lords of Shechem's tower heard, and they went into a stronghold xxvii of Covenant god's House. 47 And it was told to Abimelech that all lords of Shechem's tower were gathered together. 48 And Abimelech went up to mount Zalmon, xxviii he and all the people who were with him. And Abimelech took the axes xxix in his hand and cut a tree branch and lifted her and put upon his shoulder. And he said to the people who were with him, “What you see me doing, quickly do like me.” 49 And all the people also cut each one a branch. And they went after Abimelech and set them against the stronghold. And they set on fire the stronghold above them, and so men of Shechem's tower died, about a thousand men and women.

50 And Abimelech went to Thebez xxx and encamped against Thebez and captured her. 51 And there was a strong tower in the midst of the city, and all the men and the women and the lords of the city fled there and shut themselves in. And they went up upon the top of the tower. 52 And Abimelech went unto the tower and fought against it and drew near to the entrance of the tower to burn it with fire. 53 And one woman cast an upper millstone upon Abimelech's head, and it crushed his skull. 54 And he quickly called to the young man carrying his things and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, lest they say about me, 'A woman killed him.'” xxxi And his young man pierced him, and he died. 55 And men of Israel saw that Abimelech died, and they went each to his place. 56 So Gods, he brought back the bad of Abimelech which he did to his father for killing his seventy brothers. 57 And Gods, he brought back all the bad of men of Shechem on their heads. And curse xxxii of Jotham, son of Jerubaal, came to them.

Judges 8 - Judges 10

Translated by Darwin Fish. See original pdfs here and here.

  1. י לי על בע) ba`alêy) “lords of” HCSB, ISV, LEB; “men of” NKJV, KJV; “leaders” NAS ^
  2. ית בי) bêyt) “house” KJV, NAS, YLT; “temple” NKJV ^
  3. ים יקי רי) rêyqiym) “empty” - OJB “morally empty”; NKJV, NAS, etc. “worthless”; KJV, YLT “vain” - this is the same word for the “empty” jars in Judges 7:16. ^
  4. i.e. they followed him. ^
  5. ם יותם) yotâm) “Jotham” - found also in Judges 9:7, 21; 57. There is also by this name Azariah's son in 2 Kings 15:5, 7, 30, 32, 36, 38; 16:1; 3:12; 5:17; 2 Chronicles 26:21, 23; 27:1, 6-7, 9; Isaiah 1:1; 7:1; Hosea 1:1; Micah 1:1. There is also the son of Jahdai in 1 Chronicles 2:47. ^
  6. א א בם חב נח) nechbâ') “he was hidden” YLT, NABRE; “he hid himself” NKJV, KJV, NAS; “he had hidden” Green – Niphal (passive) verb. ^
  7. וא לו מי) millo') “Millo” - also found in Judges 9:20 for this location. There is also “House of Millo” (אא[ מיל] millo']) in 2 Kings 12:21(H20). There is also “the Millo” (העמיליוא]) hammillo'] “citadel” BDB) in 2 Samuel 5:9; 1 Kings 9:15, 24; 11:27; 1 Chronicles 11:8; 2 Chronicles 32:5. ^
  8. יב צם מצ) mutstsâv) “the standing” - exact meaning unknown, basic idea is something fixed and standing - variously translated, NKJV, KJV, NAS, etc. “pillar”; YLT “the camp”; Green “the outpost”; DRA, WYC that “stood”; GW, NOG “still standing”; TLB “the garrison”; NLV that “had been set up” ^
  9. י שב די) dishniy) “my fatness” KJV, NAS, YLT, Green, etc.; “my oil” NKJV, etc. - see footnote for Leviticus 1:16. ^
  10. אלשחר־ביי') asher-biy) “which in me” - KJV, etc. “wherewith by me”; NKJV, NAS “with which”; Green, etc. “by which” ^
  11. אםטםד') âtâd) “bramble” - “any of a genus (Rubus) of usually prickly shrubs of the rose family including the raspberries and blackberries” MW – found also in Judges 9:15; Psalm 58:9(H10). ^
  12. ד גח נח מי שו פב ת־נע אח ך לי יעשב) yashlêkh 'et-naphsho mineged) “cast his soul aside” - YLT “cast away his life from [him]”; NKJV, NAS, etc. “risked his life” ^
  13. בבאירםה) be'êrâh) “to Well” - NKJV, etc. “Beer” - see footnote for Numbers 21:16. ^
  14. י ני פב מי) mipnêy) “from the face of” YLT; “because of” NAS; “for fear of” NKJV, KJV; “away from the face of” Green. ^
  15. רםעםה חעַרו) ruach râ`âh) “bad spirit” NLV; “evil spirit” KJV, NAS, YLT, Green; “spirit of ill will” NKJV – found also in 1 Samuel 16:14 (“distressing spirit” NKJV; “evil spirit” KJV, NAS). ^
  16. ל עע גע) ga`al) “Gaal” - found also in Judges 9:28, 30-31, 35-37, 39, 41. ^
  17. ד בח עחב`) eved) “Servant” - NKJV, etc. “Ebed” - same exact word for “servant” e.g. in Judges 2:8; 1 Samuel 29:3; etc. - name for this man found also in Judges 9:28, 30-31, 35. There is also the son of Jonathan in Ezra 8:6. ^
  18. ם יהח להי אל) elohêyhem) “their gods” GNV, GW, NOG; “their god” NKJV, KJV, NAS, YLT, etc.. ^
  19. ל בצ זב) zebul) “Zebul” - found also in Judges 9:30, 36, 38, 41. ^
  20. ם אשי רם) râ'shiym) “companies” - more literally, “heads” ^
  21. בור טב) tabbur) “center high” - YLT, Green, DARBY “high part”; NAS “highest part”; NKJV “center”; KJV “middle” – found also in Ezekiel 38:12. BDB “central and prominent in the earth” ^
  22. רשאאש) ro'sh) “company” - more literally, “head” ^
  23. ם ני עוננ מנ) me`onniym) “soothsayers'” WYC; “diviners'” NKJV, NAS; “Sorcerers'” Green - see footnote for Leviticus 19:26.

    WnnE/[t] (te`onênu) – "soothsaying" NKJV, NAS; KJV "observe times" – found also in Deuteronomy 18:10; Judges 9:37 (NKJV "diviner"); 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 2:6; 57:3 (NKJV "sorceress" hn:nÒ[ o [`onenâh]); Jeremiah 27:9; Micah 5:12(H11). A soothsayer is one who predicts the future. ^

  24. ם לי לל חל) chalâliym) “slain” DRA, LEB, NABRE; “wounded” NKJV, NAS, YLT, etc. - same exact word in e.g. Numbers 23:24 (“slain” NKJV, KJV, NAS); Joshua 11:6 (“slain” NKJV, NAS, KJV); Judges 20:31, 39 (“kill” NKJV, KJV, NAS).  ^
  25. ארומלה') rumâh) “Arumah” - only here. ^
  26. ים אשי רל) râ'shiym) “companies” - more literally, “heads.” ^
  27. חב רי צנ) tsiyach) “stronghold” NKJV, etc.; “inner chamber” NAS; “hold” KJV – exact meaning unknown. Found also in Judges 9:49; 1 Samuel 13:6 (“holes” NKJV). ^
  28. ן צבלנמו) tsalmon) “Zalmon” - found also in 2 Samuel 23:28; Psalm 68:14(H15). ^
  29. ת דמ רנ קב) qardummot) “axes” (plural) GNV, OJB; “ax” NKJV; “axe” KJV, NAS, YLT etc. - this is a different word for “ax” than what is found in e.g. Deuteronomy 19:5; 20:19, ן זן רנ גב) garzen). ^
  30. ץץ ץב ת) têvêts) “Thebez” - found also in Judges 9:50; 2 Samuel 11:21. ^
  31. See 2 Samuel 11:21 ^
  32. “a curse without cause shall not come in” (Proverbs 26:2 TT), but here there was a cause. ^

7 Responses

  1. And Gideon had seventy sons going out his loins, for he had many women. -- Gideon actually had a total of 72 sons (recorded). The concubine's son in verse 31 is an additional (“also”) son, and the youngest, Jotham, mentioned in Judges 9:5, is an additional son, since Abimelech killed seventy, but Jotham escaped.

  2. And Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were quivering, and her voice was not heard. And Eli thought she was drunk. -- םעות נ) nâ`ot) “were quivering” NASB, ISV; “moved” NKJV, KJV; “were moving” NAS – translated “trembled” e.g. in Exodus 20:18 NKJV, NAS; “sway” over trees in Judges 9:9 NKJV; “disturb” (NAS) or “move” (NKJV) bones in 2 Kings 23:18; etc..

  3. And he called him in that day Jerubbaal, saying, “Let the Baal contend against him, because he tore down his altar.” -- ל ר יע ר ב הרבָי) yerubba`al) “Jerubbaal” - means “Let Baal contend” – found also in Judges 7:1; 8:29, 35; 9:1-2, 5, 16, 19, 24, 28, 57; 1 Samuel 12:11.

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