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Judges 9 New Living Translation (NLT)
Abimelech Rules over Shechem
9 One day Gideon’s[a] son Abimelech went to Shechem to visit his uncles—his mother’s brothers. He said to them and to the rest of his mother’s family, 2 “Ask the leading citizens of Shechem whether they want to be ruled by all seventy of Gideon’s sons or by one man. And remember that I am your own flesh and blood!”

3 So Abimelech’s uncles gave his message to all the citizens of Shechem on his behalf. And after listening to this proposal, the people of Shechem decided in favor of Abimelech because he was their relative. 4 They gave him seventy silver coins from the temple of Baal-berith, which he used to hire some reckless troublemakers who agreed to follow him. 5 He went to his father’s home at Ophrah, and there, on one stone, they killed all seventy of his half brothers, the sons of Gideon.[b] But the youngest brother, Jotham, escaped and hid.

6 Then all the leading citizens of Shechem and Beth-millo called a meeting under the oak beside the pillar[c] at Shechem and made Abimelech their king.

Jotham’s Parable
7 When Jotham heard about this, he climbed to the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted,

“Listen to me, citizens of Shechem!
Listen to me if you want God to listen to you!
8 Once upon a time the trees decided to choose a king.
First they said to the olive tree,
‘Be our king!’
9 But the olive tree refused, saying,
‘Should I quit producing the olive oil
that blesses both God and people,
just to wave back and forth over the trees?’

10 “Then they said to the fig tree,
‘You be our king!’
11 But the fig tree also refused, saying,
‘Should I quit producing my sweet fruit
just to wave back and forth over the trees?’

12 “Then they said to the grapevine,
‘You be our king!’
13 But the grapevine also refused, saying,
‘Should I quit producing the wine
that cheers both God and people,
just to wave back and forth over the trees?’

14 “Then all the trees finally turned to the thornbush and said,
‘Come, you be our king!’
15 And the thornbush replied to the trees,
‘If you truly want to make me your king,
come and take shelter in my shade.
If not, let fire come out from me
and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’”

16 Jotham continued, “Now make sure you have acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelech your king, and that you have done right by Gideon and all of his descendants. Have you treated him with the honor he deserves for all he accomplished? 17 For he fought for you and risked his life when he rescued you from the Midianites. 18 But today you have revolted against my father and his descendants, killing his seventy sons on one stone. And you have chosen his slave woman’s son, Abimelech, to be your king just because he is your relative.

19 “If you have acted honorably and in good faith toward Gideon and his descendants today, then may you find joy in Abimelech, and may he find joy in you. 20 But if you have not acted in good faith, then may fire come out from Abimelech and devour the leading citizens of Shechem and Beth-millo; and may fire come out from the citizens of Shechem and Beth-millo and devour Abimelech!”

21 Then Jotham escaped and lived in Beer because he was afraid of his brother Abimelech.

Shechem Rebels against Abimelech
22 After Abimelech had ruled over Israel for three years, 23 God sent a spirit that stirred up trouble between Abimelech and the leading citizens of Shechem, and they revolted. 24 God was punishing Abimelech for murdering Gideon’s seventy sons, and the citizens of Shechem for supporting him in this treachery of murdering his brothers. 25 The citizens of Shechem set an ambush for Abimelech on the hilltops and robbed everyone who passed that way. But someone warned Abimelech about their plot.

26 One day Gaal son of Ebed moved to Shechem with his brothers and gained the confidence of the leading citizens of Shechem. 27 During the annual harvest festival at Shechem, held in the temple of the local god, the wine flowed freely, and everyone began cursing Abimelech. 28 “Who is Abimelech?” Gaal shouted. “He’s not a true son of Shechem,[d] so why should we be his servants? He’s merely the son of Gideon, and this Zebul is merely his deputy. Serve the true sons of Hamor, the founder of Shechem. Why should we serve Abimelech? 29 If I were in charge here, I would get rid of Abimelech. I would say[e] to him, ‘Get some soldiers, and come out and fight!’”

30 But when Zebul, the leader of the city, heard what Gaal was saying, he was furious. 31 He sent messengers to Abimelech in Arumah,[f] telling him, “Gaal son of Ebed and his brothers have come to live in Shechem, and now they are inciting the city to rebel against you. 32 Come by night with an army and hide out in the fields. 33 In the morning, as soon as it is daylight, attack the city. When Gaal and those who are with him come out against you, you can do with them as you wish.”

 

5 thoughts on “Judges 9 Daily Bible Reading with Paul Nison

  1. Interesting how Yhwh uses an evil or distressing spirit to accomplish His will. We see this with King Sh’aul, too. With such a murderer as Abimelech, Yhwh waits 3 years to bring judgment on him… and in speaking, notice how Yotham brings a curse onto Abimelech (vs 57). He was honorable in the just way he worded it, IMHO.

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