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Bible Commentaries
Judges 9

Hampton's Commentary on Selected BooksHampton's Commentary

Verses 1-21

Among Gideon's 70 sons was Abimelech who was born to him of a concubine from Shechem. He got the people of that city to pay him 70 shekels of silver and used it to enlist the help of some worthless and reckless men. They went out and killed the other sons of Jerubbaal, except for Jotham, the youngest. When he learned of the death of his brothers, he stood on top of Mount Gerizim and told a parable of the trees anointing a king.

When the trees first decided they wanted a king to rule over them, they asked the olive tree to take the job. However, the olive tree said it could not quit providing oil which was used to honor God and men. Next, the trees asked the fig tree to be their ruler, but the fig said it could not cease producing sweet fruit. When they approached the vine, it asked if it should stop producing wine which gave cheer to God and man. Finally, the trees asked the bramble to rule over them. The bramble responded by saying, "If in truth you anoint me as king over you, Then come and take shelter in my shade; But if not, let fire come out of the bramble And devour the cedars of Lebanon!" Jotham then noted the terrible way the men of Shechem had rewarded Gideon for leading in the fight against their enemies and risking his life. He said fire would go out from Abimelech and destroy them and fire would go out from them to destroy Abimelech. Jotham then hid in Beer for fear of his brother ( Jdg_9:1-21 ).

Verses 22-57

Abimelech ruled over Israel for three years and, though he was wicked, is considered to be the next judge. After that time, God caused a spirit of ill will to arise between the men of Shechem and Abimelech. The men of Shechem set ambushes for Abimelech and the men who had helped him kill his brothers. They robbed anyone who passed along that way. They also chose Gaal the son of Ebed to be their new ruler. They made wine, ate, drank and cursed Abimelech. Gaal, in the midst of the celebration, challenged Abimelech to gather an army and come out to meet him in battle.

When Abimelech did, he defeated the city and burned all the people who locked themselves in the tower for protection. Then, he fought against Thebez. When he approached their tower, a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and crushed his skull. He had his armorbearer kill him with a sword so people would not say he had been killed by a woman. So, God repayed him for murdering his brothers ( Jdg_9:22-57 ).

Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Judges 9". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/judges-9.html. 2014.
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