Judges 9
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1And Abimelech son of Jerubba‘al goes to Shechem, to his mother’s brothers, and speaks to them, and to all the family of the house of his mother’s father, saying, 2“Now speak in the ears of all the masters of Shechem, Which [is] good for you—seventy men ruling over you (all the sons of Jerubba‘al), or one man ruling over you? And you have remembered that I [am] your bone and your flesh.” 3And his mother’s brothers speak concerning him, in the ears of all the masters of Shechem, all these words, and their heart inclines after Abimelech, for they said, “He [is] our brother”; 4and they give seventy [pieces] of silver out of the house of Ba‘al-Berith to him, and Abimelech hires vain and unstable men with them, and they go after him; 5and he goes into the house of his father at Ophrah, and slays his brothers, sons of Jerubba‘al, seventy men, on one stone; and Jotham, youngest son of Jerubba‘al, is left, for he was hidden. 6And all the masters of Shechem are gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and come and cause Abimelech to reign for king at the oak of the camp which [is] in Shechem;

7and they declare [it] to Jotham, and he goes and stands on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifts up his voice, and calls, and says to them, “Listen to me, O masters of Shechem, and God listens to you: 8The trees have diligently gone to anoint a king over them, and they say to the olive, Reign over us. 9And the olive says to them, Have I ceased from my fatness, by which they honor gods and men, that I have gone to stagger over the trees? 10And the trees say to the fig, Come, reign over us. 11And the fig says to them, Have I ceased from my sweetness, and my good increase, that I have gone to stagger over the trees? 12And the trees say to the vine, Come, reign over us. 13And the vine says to them, Have I ceased from my new wine, which is making gods and men glad, that I have gone to stagger over the trees? 14And all the trees say to the bramble, Come, reign over us. 15And the bramble says to the trees, If in truth you are anointing me for king over you, come, take refuge in my shadow; and if not—fire comes out from the bramble, and devours the cedars of Lebanon.

16And now, if you have acted in truth and in sincerity when you make Abimelech king; and if you have done good with Jerubba‘al, and with his house; and if you have done to him according to the deed of his hands— 17because my father has fought for you, and casts his life away from [him], and delivers you from the hand of Midian; 18and you have risen against the house of my father today, and slay his sons, seventy men, on one stone, and cause Abimelech son of his handmaid to reign over the masters of Shechem, because he [is] your brother— 19indeed, if in truth and in sincerity you have acted with Jerubba‘al and with his house this day, rejoice in Abimelech, and he rejoices—even he—in you; 20and if not—fire comes out from Abimelech and devours the masters of Shechem and the house of Millo, and fire comes out from the masters of Shechem and from the house of Millo, and devours Abimelech.” 21And Jotham hurries, and flees, and goes to Beer, and dwells there, from the face of his brother Abimelech.

22And Abimelech is prince over Israel [for] three years, 23and God sends an evil spirit between Abimelech and the masters of Shechem, and the masters of Shechem deal treacherously with Abimelech, 24for [the] coming in of [the] violence [against] seventy sons of Jerubba‘al, and to place their blood on their brother Abimelech, who slew them, and on the masters of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to slay his brothers. 25And the masters of Shechem set ambushes for him on the top of the hills, and rob everyone who passes over by them in the way, and it is declared to Abimelech.

26And Gaal son of Ebed comes—also his brothers—and they pass over into Shechem, and the masters of Shechem trust in him, 27and go out into the field, and gather their vineyards, and tread, and make praises, and go into the house of their god, and eat and drink, and revile Abimelech. 28And Gaal son of Ebed says, “Who [is] Abimelech, and who [is] Shechem, that we serve him? Is [he] not son of Jerubba‘al? And his commander Zebul? The men of Hamor father of Shechem serve you, and why do we serve him—we? 29And oh that this people were in my hand—then I turn Abimelech aside”; and he says to Abimelech, “Increase your host, and come out.”

30And Zebul, prince of the city, hears the words of Gaal son of Ebed, and his anger burns, 31and he sends messengers to Abimelech deceitfully, saying, “Behold, Gaal son of Ebed and his brothers are coming into Shechem, and behold, they are fortifying the city against you; 32and now, rise by night, you and the people who [are] with you, and lay wait in the field, 33and it has been, in the morning, about the rising of the sun, you rise early, and have pushed against the city; and behold, he and the people who [are] with him are going out to you—and you have done to him as your hand finds.”

34And Abimelech rises, and all the people who [are] with him, by night, and they lay wait against Shechem—four detachments; 35and Gaal son of Ebed goes out, and stands at the opening of the gate of the city, and Abimelech rises—also the people who [are] with him—from the ambush, 36and Gaal sees the people and says to Zebul, “Behold, people are coming down from the top of the hills”; and Zebul says to him, “You are seeing the shadow of the hills like men.” 37And Gaal adds yet to speak and says, “Behold, people are coming down from the high part of the land, and another detachment is coming by the way of the oak of Meonenim.” 38And Zebul says to him, “Where [is] your mouth now, in that you say, Who [is] Abimelech that we serve him? Is this not the people against which you have kicked? Please go out now and fight against it.” 39And Gaal goes out before the masters of Shechem, and fights against Abimelech, 40and Abimelech pursues him, and he flees from his presence, and many fall wounded—to the opening of the gate. 41And Abimelech abides in Arumah, and Zebul casts out Gaal and his brothers from dwelling in Shechem.

42And it comes to pass, on the next day, that the people go out to the field, and they declare [it] to Abimelech, 43and he takes the people, and divides them into three detachments, and lays wait in a field, and looks, and behold, the people are coming out from the city, and he rises against them, and strikes them. 44And Abimelech and the detachments who [are] with him have pushed on, and stand at the opening of the gate of the city, and the two detachments have pushed against all who are in the field, and strike them, 45and Abimelech has fought against the city all that day, and captures the city, and has slain the people who [are] in it, and he breaks down the city, and sows it [with] salt.

46And all the masters of the Tower of Shechem hear, and go into the high place of the house of the god Berith, 47and it is declared to Abimelech that all the masters of the Tower of Shechem have gathered themselves together, 48and Abimelech goes up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people who [are] with him, and Abimelech takes the great axe in his hand, and cuts off a bough of the trees, and lifts it up, and sets [it] on his shoulder, and says to the people who [are] with him, “What you have seen me do—hurry, do as I [have done].” 49And every one of the people cuts down his bough and goes after Abimelech, and sets [them] at the high place, and burns the high place with fire by these, and also all the men of the Tower of Shechem die—about one thousand men and women.

50And Abimelech goes to Thebez, and encamps against Thebez, and captures it, 51and a strong tower has been in the midst of the city, and all the men and the women flee there, and all the masters of the city, and they shut [it] behind them, and go up on the roof of the tower. 52And Abimelech comes to the tower, and fights against it, and draws near to the opening of the tower to burn it with fire, 53and a certain woman casts a piece of a millstone on the head of Abimelech, and breaks his skull, 54and he calls quickly to the young man carrying his weapons and says to him, “Draw your sword, and you have put me to death, lest they say of me—A woman slew him”; and his young man pierced him through, and he dies. 55And the men of Israel see that Abimelech [is] dead, and each one goes to his place;

56and God turns back the evil of Abimelech which he did to his father to slay his seventy brothers; 57and God has returned all the evil of the men of Shechem on their [own] head, and the cursing of Jotham son of Jerubba‘al comes to them.

Literal Standard Version
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Judges 8
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