Judges 9 - Prayer Tents



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Judges 9
New Living Translation

Abimelech Rules over Shechem

9One day Gideon's 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,H40H1121H3378H3212H7927H517H251H1696H4940H1004H517H1H559 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!"H1696H241H1167H7927H2896H1121H3378H7657H376H4910H259H4910H2142H6106H1320 3So 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.H517H251H1696H241H1167H7927H1697H3820H5186H310H40H559H251 4They gave him seventy silver coins from the temple of Baal-berith, which he used to hire some reckless troublemakers who agreed to follow him.H5414H7657H3701H1004H1170H40H7936H7386H6348H582H3212H310 5He 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. But the youngest brother, Jotham, escaped and hid.H935H1H1004H6084H2026H251H1121H3378H7657H376H259H68H3147H6996H1121H3378H3498H2244 6Then all the leading citizens of Shechem and Beth-millo called a meeting under the oak beside the pillar at Shechem and made Abimelech their king.H1167H7927H622H1004H4407H1037H3212H4427H40H4428H436H5324H7927

Jotham’s Parable

7When 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!H5046H3147H3212H5975H7218H2022H1630H5375H6963H7121H559H8085H1167H7927H430H8085 8Once upon a time the trees decided to choose a king. First they said to the olive tree, 'Be our king!'H6086H1980H1980H4886H4428H559H2132H4427 9But 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?'H2132H559H2308H1880H3513H430H582H1980H5128H6086 10"Then they said to the fig tree, 'You be our king!'H6086H559H8384H3212H4427 11But the fig tree also refused, saying, 'Should I quit producing my sweet fruit just to wave back and forth over the trees?'H8384H559H2308H4987H2896H8570H1980H5128H6086 12"Then they said to the grapevine, 'You be our king!'H559H6086H1612H3212H4427 13But 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?'H1612H559H2308H8492H8055H430H582H1980H5128H6086 14"Then all the trees finally turned to the thornbush and said, 'Come, you be our king!'H559H6086H329H3212H4427 15And 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.'"H329H559H6086H571H4886H4428H935H2620H6738H784H3318H329H398H730H3844 16Jotham 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?H6213H571H8549H40H4427H6213H2896H3378H1004H6213H1576H3027 17For he fought for you and risked his life when he rescued you from the Midianites.H1H3898H7993H5315H5048H5337H3027H4080 18But 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.H6965H1H1004H3117H2026H1121H7657H376H259H68H40H1121H519H4427H1167H7927H251 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.H6213H571H8549H3378H1004H3117H8055H40H8055 20But 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!"H784H3318H40H398H1167H7927H1004H4407H1037H784H3318H1167H7927H1004H4407H1037H398H40 21Then Jotham escaped and lived in Beer because he was afraid of his brother Abimelech.H3147H1272H5127H3212H876H3427H6440H40H251

Shechem Rebels against Abimelech

22After Abimelech had ruled over Israel for three years,H40H7786H7969H8141H3478 23God sent a spirit that stirred up trouble between Abimelech and the leading citizens of Shechem, and they revolted.H430H7971H7451H7307H40H1167H7927H1167H7927H898H40 24God was punishing Abimelech for murdering Gideon's seventy sons, and the citizens of Shechem for supporting him in this treachery of murdering his brothers.H2555H7657H1121H3378H935H1818H7760H40H251H2026H1167H7927H2388H3027H2026H251 25The 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.H1167H7927H7760H693H7218H2022H1497H5674H1870H5046H40 26One day Gaal son of Ebed moved to Shechem with his brothers and gained the confidence of the leading citizens of Shechem.H1603H1121H5651H935H251H5674H7927H1167H7927H982 27During the annual harvest festival at Shechem, held in the temple of the local god, the wine flowed freely, and everyone began cursing Abimelech.H3318H7704H1219H3754H1869H6213H1974H935H1004H430H398H8354H7043H40 28"Who is Abimelech?" Gaal shouted. "He's not a true son of Shechem, 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?H1603H1121H5651H559H40H7927H5647H1121H3378H2083H6496H5647H582H2544H1H7927H5647 29If I were in charge here, I would get rid of Abimelech. I would say to him, 'Get some soldiers, and come out and fight!'"H5971H5414H3027H5493H40H559H40H7235H6635H3318 30But when Zebul, the leader of the city, heard what Gaal was saying, he was furious.H2083H8269H5892H8085H1697H1603H1121H5651H639H2734 31He sent messengers to Abimelech in Arumah, 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.H7971H4397H40H8649H559H1603H1121H5651H251H935H7927H6696H5892 32Come by night with an army and hide out in the fields.H6965H3915H5971H693H7704 33In 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."H1242H8121H2224H7925H6584H5892H5971H3318H6213H3027H4672 34So Abimelech and all his men went by night and split into four groups, stationing themselves around Shechem.H40H6965H5971H3915H693H7927H702H7218 35Gaal was standing at the city gates when Abimelech and his army came out of hiding.H1603H1121H5651H3318H5975H6607H8179H5892H40H6965H5971H3993 36When Gaal saw them, he said to Zebul, "Look, there are people coming down from the hilltops!" Zebul replied, "It's just the shadows on the hills that look like men."H1603H7200H5971H559H2083H3381H5971H3381H7218H2022H2083H559H7200H6738H2022H582 37But again Gaal said, "No, people are coming down from the hills. And another group is coming down the road past the Diviners' Oak."H1603H1696H3254H559H3381H5971H3381H2872H776H259H7218H935H436H1870H6049 38Then Zebul turned on him and asked, "Now where is that big mouth of yours? Wasn't it you that said, 'Who is Abimelech, and why should we be his servants?' The men you mocked are right outside the city! Go out and fight them!"H559H2083H645H6310H559H40H5647H5971H3988H3318H4994H3898 39So Gaal led the leading citizens of Shechem into battle against Abimelech.H1603H3318H6440H1167H7927H3898H40 40But Abimelech chased him, and many of Shechem's men were wounded and fell along the road as they retreated to the city gate.H40H7291H5127H6440H7227H5307H2491H6607H8179 41Abimelech returned to Arumah, and Zebul drove Gaal and his brothers out of Shechem.H40H3427H725H2083H1644H1603H251H3427H7927 42The next day the people of Shechem went out into the fields to battle. When Abimelech heard about it,H4283H5971H3318H7704H5046H40 43he divided his men into three groups and set an ambush in the fields. When Abimelech saw the people coming out of the city, he and his men jumped up from their hiding places and attacked them.H3947H5971H2673H7969H7218H693H7704H7200H5971H3318H5892H6965H5221 44Abimelech and his group stormed the city gate to keep the men of Shechem from getting back in, while Abimelech's other two groups cut them down in the fields.H40H7218H6584H5975H6607H8179H5892H8147H7218H6584H7704H5221 45The battle went on all day before Abimelech finally captured the city. He killed the people, leveled the city, and scattered salt all over the ground.H40H3898H5892H3117H3920H5892H2026H5971H5422H5892H2232H4417 46When the leading citizens who lived in the tower of Shechem heard what had happened, they ran and hid in the temple of Baal-berith.H1167H4026H7927H8085H935H6877H1004H410H1286 47Someone reported to Abimelech that the citizens had gathered in the temple,H5046H40H1167H4026H7927H6908 48so he led his forces to Mount Zalmon. He took an ax and chopped some branches from a tree, then put them on his shoulder. "Quick, do as I have done!" he told his men.H40H5927H2022H6756H5971H40H3947H7134H3027H3772H7754H6086H5375H7760H7926H559H5971H7200H6213H4116H6213H3644 49So each of them cut down some branches, following Abimelech's example. They piled the branches against the walls of the temple and set them on fire. So all the people who had lived in the tower of Shechem died—about 1,000 men and women.H5971H3772H376H7754H3212H310H40H7760H6877H3341H6877H784H582H4026H7927H4191H505H376H802 50Then Abimelech attacked the town of Thebez and captured it.H3212H40H8405H2583H8405H3920 51But there was a strong tower inside the town, and all the men and women—the entire population—fled to it. They barricaded themselves in and climbed up to the roof of the tower.H5797H4026H8432H5892H5127H582H802H1167H5892H5462H5927H1406H4026 52Abimelech followed them to attack the tower. But as he prepared to set fire to the entrance,H40H935H4026H3898H5066H6607H4026H8313H784 53a woman on the roof dropped a millstone that landed on Abimelech's head and crushed his skull.H259H802H7993H6400H7393H40H7218H7533H1538 54He quickly said to his young armor bearer, "Draw your sword and kill me! Don't let it be said that a woman killed Abimelech!" So the young man ran him through with his sword, and he died.H7121H4120H5288H5375H3627H559H8025H2719H4191H559H802H2026H5288H1856H4191 55When Abimelech's men saw that he was dead, they disbanded and returned to their homes.H376H3478H7200H40H4191H3212H376H4725 56In this way, God punished Abimelech for the evil he had done against his father by murdering his seventy brothers.H430H7725H7451H40H6213H1H2026H7657H251 57God also punished the men of Shechem for all their evil. So the curse of Jotham son of Gideon was fulfilled.H7451H582H7927H430H7725H7218H935H7045H3147H1121H3378


New Living Translation (NLT). Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. More details.

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