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1And Abimelech, the son of Jerubbaal, went to Shechem unto his mother’s brethren and spoke with them and with all the family of the house of his mother’s father, saying,2Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, What would seem better unto you, that seventy persons reign over you, all the sons of Jerubbaal; or that one reign over you? Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.3And his mother’s brethren spoke for him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words, and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, He is our brother.4And they gave him seventy shekels of silver out of the house of Baalberith, with which Abimelech hired vain and light men who followed him.5And coming unto his father’s house at Ophrah, he slew his brethren, the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy persons, upon a stone; yet Jotham, the youngest son of Jerubbaal, was left, for he hid himself.6And all the men of Shechem gathered together with all the house of Millo {Heb. the congregation} and went and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar that was in Shechem.
7And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of Mount Gerizim and lifted up his voice and cried and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.8The trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us.9But the olive tree replied, Should I leave my fatness, which because of me, God and man are honoured, to go and sway over the trees?10And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou and reign over us.11But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness and my good fruit to go and sway over the trees?12Then the trees said unto the vine, Come thou and reign over us.13And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheers God and man, to go and sway over the trees?14Then all the trees said unto the bramble, Come thou and reign over us.15And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and confide under my shadow; and if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.16Now therefore, if ye have proceeded with truth and integrity in making Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house and have recompensed him according to the work of his hands17(For my father fought for you and cast his life far from him to deliver you out of the hand of Midian;18and ye are risen up against my father’s house this day and have slain his sons, seventy men, upon a stone and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem because he is your brother;)19if ye then have dealt in truth and integrity with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you.20But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and devour the men of Shechem and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem and from the house of Millo and devour Abimelech.21And Jotham ran away and fled and went to Beer and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
22When Abimelech had dominated over Israel three years,23then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem, and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech24that the cruelty done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal and their blood might come to be laid upon Abimelech their brother who slew them and upon the men of Shechem, who aided him in the killing of his brethren.25And the men of Shechem set ambushers for him in the top of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them; and it was told Abimelech.26And Gaal, the son of Ebed, came with his brethren and went over to Shechem; and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him.27And they went out into the fields and gathered their vineyards and trod the grapes and made merry and went into the house of their gods and ate and drank and cursed Abimelech.28And Gaal, the son of Ebed, said, Who is Abimelech and who is Shechem that we should serve him? Is he not the son of Jerubbaal? And is not Zebul his deputy? Serve the men of Hamor, the father of Shechem. For why should we serve him?29If these people were under my hand, then I would remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army and come out.30And when Zebul, the prince of the city, heard the words of Gaal, the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled.31And he sent messengers unto Abimelech astutely, saying, Behold, Gaal, the son of Ebed, and his brethren have come to Shechem; and, behold, they have fortified the city against thee.32Now, therefore, rise up by night, thou and the people that are with thee, and put an ambush in the field.33And in the morning as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early and set upon the city; and, behold, when he and the people that are with him come out against thee, then thou may do to them as thou shalt find occasion.34And Abimelech rose up and all the people that were with him, by night, and they put an ambush against Shechem in four companies.35And Gaal, the son of Ebed, went out and stood in the entering of the gate of the city; and Abimelech and all the people that were with him rose up from the ambush.36And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold people that come down from the tops of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as if they were men.37And Gaal spoke again and said, See there come people who descend through the middle of the land, and another company comes along by the plain of Meonenim.38Then Zebul said unto him, Where is now thy mouth, with which thou didst say, Who is Abimelech that we should serve him? Is not this the people that thou hast despised? Go out now and fight with them.39And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem and fought with Abimelech.40And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown and wounded, even unto the entering of the gate.41And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah; and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren that they should not dwell in Shechem.42And it came to pass on the next day that the people went out into the field, and they told Abimelech.43And he took the people and divided them into three companies and set ambushes in the field and looked, and, behold, the people were come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them and smote them.44And Abimelech and the company that was with him rushed forward and stood in the entering of the gate of the city, and the two other companies ran upon all the people that were in the fields and slew them.45And Abimelech fought against the city all that day, and he took the city and slew the people that were therein and beat down the city and sowed it with salt.46And when those of the tower of Shechem heard that, they entered into the stronghold of the temple of the god Berith.47And it was told Abimelech how all those of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.48Then Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand and cut down a bough from the trees and took it and laid it on his shoulder and said unto the people that were with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste and do as I have done.49And all the people likewise cut down each one his bough and followed Abimelech and put them next to the stronghold and set the stronghold on fire upon them; so that all those of the tower of Shechem died, about a thousand men and women.
50Then Abimelech went to Thebez and laid siege against Thebez and took it.51But in the midst of the city there was a strong tower, and all the men and women fled there, and all those of the city, and shutting the doors behind them, they climbed up to the top of the tower.52And Abimelech came to the tower, and fighting against it, he came to the door of the tower to burn it with fire.53But a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull.54Then he called hastily unto the young man, his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword and slay me that it not be said of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died.55And when the Israelites saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed each one unto his place.56Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did against his father in slaying his seventy brethren.57And all the evil of the men of Shechem God rendered upon their heads, and upon them came the curse of Jotham, the son of Jerubbaal.