And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's brothers, and communed with them…
Many are misled, because they judge themselves too much by the impression they make upon those around them. To them, in that sense, vox populi is vox Dei. If they are popular in their own circle, they think proportionately well of themselves. But this is manifestly an empirical judgment. It depends very much on the circle to which we belong; on the mental and moral attainments of those in it; on the natural affection they cherish towards us, which predisposes them in our favour; and on the ideal they hold generally of character and worth. A solid is buoyant in a liquid in proportion as it is light, and the liquid heavy, floating or sinking according as it is heavier or lighter, bulk for bulk, than the liquid it is in. And similarly we may judge of a man's moral and intellectual weight by the kind of society he floats in. The company which will buoy up one man will not sustain another, and in light, frivolous society, a silly, empty fellow may successfully keep on the surface, inflated only with his own self-conceit. In judging ourselves by the opinions of those around us, therefore, let us ask what their opinions are worth, and how far they are determined by principles which will decide eternal destiny.
(A. Rowland, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem unto his mother's brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying,