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2017 August 20
The Massacres of the [Second] Triumvirate (1566)
Antoine Caron (1521-1599)
Northern Mannerism Style; School of Fontainebleau
Musee du Louvre, Paris, France
Image Source: Web Gallery of Art
[ I will again be working through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. I will be adding links, resources, images, and the like, upgrading the former work-through which began with the 2013-10-12 posting which can be found, along with the full Genesis to Revelation postings, in the Archive Page. Postings will be at midnight Eastern Time, as I am able. However, no chapters will be skipped, even though a posting may be late. And all postings will be housed in the Archive Page. ]
Explanation: In Judges 9, Abimelech, the son of Jerubbaal (Gideon) by his concubine, went to Shechem, where his mother's kin lived, and offered, as a close kin, to rule over them instead of Gideon's seventy sons (1-2).
His relatives made this offer to the men of Shechem who accepted it. And they gave him 70 pieces of silver from the house of the god Baalberith with which Abimelech hired "vain and light persons" who went with him to the house of his father Gideon in Ophrah. There they slew all but one of Gideon's seventy sons (Abimelech's half-brothers). And the men of Shechem made Abimelech king in Shechem (3-6).
This kingship was local in the sense that only one town (Shechem) and towns within its sphere of influence made Abimelech king. However, it appears from verse 22 that Abimelech held power or dominion (Hebrew, "sur") over Israel through this usurpation of the family of Gideon to whom Israel had looked for guidance and leadership. Thus, Abimelech could be considered Israel's first king, though not by common consent of all the tribes -- but merely by holding a position of dominance over them.
Jotham, who had escaped the massacre, stood on the top of mount Gerizim and delivered the Allegory of the Bramble to the men of Shechem. The allegory tells how the trees sought a king to rule over them. The olive tree refused because it would have to forsake its sweetness and good fruit. The vine refused because it would have to forsake its wine which cheers God and man. Finally, they asked the bramble. And the bramble told them to put their trust in its shadow; but if not, let fire come out and devour the cedars of Lebanon (7-15).
And Jotham told the men of Shechem that if they had dealt well with Jerubbaal (Gideon) and his house, who fought for them and delivered them, then may they rejoice in Abimelech and he in them. But, if they dealt falsely, then may fire come out from Abimelech and devour the men of Shechem and the hose of Millo; and may fire come out from Shechem and the house of Millo and devour Abimelech. And, having said these things, Jotham fled (16-21).
After three years Abimelech and the men of Shechem had a falling out; and the Shechemites robbed all who came near them (22-25).
Gaal then challenged Abimelech for his throne (26-29).
Zebul informed Abimelech that Gaal and the Shechemites had fortified the city against him (30-33).
So Abimelech arose up by night and lay in wait against Shechem. Gaal saw them coming down the mountains, but, to confuse him, Zebul told him he was seeing shadows on the mountain. But Gaal saw two other groups coming. So Zebul dropped the pretence and reproached Gaal for being dismissive of Abimelech and challenged him to go fight with him. Gaal and the men of Shechem went out to fight; but Abimelech chased them back to the city. Abimelech then went to Arumah; and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren from Shechem (34-41).
The next day, Abimelech attacked the people of Shechem who were in the field (perhaps gathering crops) and killed them, beat down the city, and sowed it with salt (42-45).
The rest of the men of Shechem entered a stronghold which Abimelech burned down, killing about a thousand men and women (46-49).
Abimelech then went to Thebez and took it. But some went into a stronghold which Abimelech attempted to burn as he had at Shechem. However, a woman cast a piece of a millstone on Abimelech's head, breaking his skull. While he was still alive he had one of his soldiers kill him so that he could avoid the embarrassment of being killed by a woman. Abimelech's troops scattered; and by these means God punished the wickedness of Abimelech which he did to his father and his seventy brethren. And likewise, the men of Shechem were punished in accord with the curse of Jotham (50-57).
[ Sermons: Brian Borgman. William Still. Various. ]
[ Illustration: Today's chapter describes a second slaughter which came upon the household of Gideon, the first (an act of war) being described in the previous chapter. As in the painting above, this second slaughter was for political gain -- Abimelech did it to become king. ]
PLEASE NOTE: Use the resources on this and other sites thoughtfully, particularly the commentaries and encyclopedias. I have attempted to list conservative, scholarly resources. However, some providers use liberal or liberal-influenced commentaries such as the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (in Bible Hub). Such commentaries are undoubtedly included by the provider for the wealth of useful information and comments which they provide. By consulting several commentaries, it should be fairly easy to sort out the wheat from the chaff. If, however, you would like personal assistance, write to me at AD LIB ARTS EMAIL.
[ THEMATICALLY AND CHRONOLOGICALLY RELATED SCRIPTURES: Judges 9:
 Judges 9:46; Judges 9:49; Joshua 24:11; Judges 21:5; 1 Samuel 23:11; 2 Samuel 11:20; Judges 1:32; Judges 8:1; 2 Samuel 20:1; 1 Kings 12:16; Judges 8:23; Genesis 2:23; Genesis 29:14; 2 Samuel 5:1; 2 Samuel 19:12.
 Judges 8:26; 1 Kings 15:18; Judges 11:3; 1 Samuel 22:2; 2 Samuel 15:1; 1 Kings 11:24; 1 Kings 1:5; 2 Chronicles 13:7; 1 Samuel 22:2; Genesis 49:4; Zephaniah 3:4.
 2 Samuel 13:23; 1 Kings 15:29; 1 Kings 16:11; 2 Kings 10:7; 2 Kings 15; 2 Kings 11:1; 2 Kings 10:7.
 Judges 9:46-49; 2 Samuel 5:9; 2 Kings 12:21; Genesis 25:11; Isaiah 29:3; Joshua 24:26; Genesis 35:4; Genesis 12:6; Judges 9:37.
 2 Samuel 12:1-4; Psalms 80; Isaiah 5:1-6; 2 Kings 14:9; 1 Corinthians 12:14-19; Judges 6:31; Judges 8:2.
 Genesis 28:18; Exodus 30:24; Leviticus 3:1-16; James 5:15; Luke 10:34; Isaiah 19:1; Isaiah 29:9; Lamentations 4:14.
 Exodus 29:40; Numbers 15:7; Numbers 15:10.
 Exodus 22:6; Psalm 58:9; Ecclesiastes 7:6.
 Philippians 2:30; Isaiah 53:12.
 Judges 8:31.
 Numbers 21:16; Isaiah 15:8.
 1 Samuel 16:14; Numbers 14:24.
 1 Kings 2:5; Matthew 23:35; Matthew 27:25.
 Isaiah 16:9-10; Jeremiah 25:30; Leviticus 19:24; Judges 16:23; 2 Kings 19:37; 1 Corinthians 8:10.
 1 Samuel 25:10; Genesis 26:1; Genesis 33:19; Joshua 24:32.
 2 Samuel 15:4; Joshua 7:26.
 1 Samuel 10:7; 1 Samuel 25:8.
 Judges 7:16.
 Joshua 20:4.
 Ezekiel 38:12; Genesis 35:4.
 1 Kings 16:18.
 2 Samuel 17:13; Micah 3:12; Psalm 107:34; Deuteronomy 29:23; Job 39:6.
 Psalm 68:14; Judges 7:17.
 Judges 8:9.
 2 Samuel 11:21; 2 Samuel 1:9; 1 Samuel 31:4.
 1 Samuel 17:51.
-- From Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers ]
[ CHRONOLOGY: GENERAL. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]
[ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]
[ COMMENTARIES, ETC: GENERAL: Bible Study Tools; Bible Hub: Study Light; Blue Letter Bible // PSALMS: Monergism: Precept Austin: The Treasury of David; John Gill; John Calvin - Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
[ MUSIC: GENERAL: The Cyber Hymnal // PSALMS: Genevan Psalter (Instrumental). VARIOUS ARTISTS: Micha'el Ben David. Sons of Korah. Fernando Ortega. Janet Isaac Morrison. Music of the Bible Revealed - Suzanne Haik-Vantoura. Dr. David Erb. Gregorian Chants. ]
HARMONY OF THE LAW
HEBREW AND GREEK INTERLINEAR BIBLES
Judges Detailed Outline
Note: The Book of Judges teaches Israel's unfaithfulness. (The previous book, The Book of Joshua, teaches the Lord's faithfulness.)
Note: Some of the Judges may overlap each other chronologically and may have served in only part of the country.
1. The Historical Setting (1:1 - 3:6) - (1390 - 1377 B.C. Israel)
A. The Present Setting [in the Time of the Judges - This is the Second Campaign of Judah] (1:1-7)
B. The Past Setting [in Joshua's Time - First Campaigns of 6 Tribes] (1:8 - 3:6)
2. The History of the Judges (3:7 - 16:31) - (1377 - 1055 B.C. Israel)
1 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,
2 Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.
3 And his mother's brethren spake of 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.
4 And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baalberith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed [walked behind] him.
5 And he went unto his father's house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone : notwithstanding yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself.
6 And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar that was in Shechem.
7 And 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.
8 The trees went forth [to go they went] on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us.
9 But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
10 And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us.
11 But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?
12 Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us.
13 And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
14 Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us.
15 And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.
16 Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king [Abimelech you have made king], and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands;
17 (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian:
18 And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king [and have made king, Abimelech, the son of his maidservant], over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother;)
19 If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you:
20 But 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.
21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
22 When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel,
23 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:
24 That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren.
25 And the men of Shechem set liers in wait for him in the top of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech.
26 And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him.
27 And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode the grapes, and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech.
28 And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? is not he the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him?
29 And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.
30 And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled.
31 And he sent messengers unto Abimelech privily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify the city against thee.
32 Now therefore up by night, thou and the people that is with thee, and lie in wait in the field:
33 And it shall be, that 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 is with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them as thou shalt find occasion.
34 And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies.
35 And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up, and the people that were with him, from lying in wait.
36 And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people down from the top of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as if they were men.
37 And Gaal spake again and said, See there come people down by the middle of the land, and another company come along by the plain of Meonenim.
38 Then said Zebul unto him, Where is now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? is not this the people that thou hast despised? go out, I pray now, and fight with them.
39 And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech.
40 And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown and wounded, even unto the entering of the gate.
41 And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem.
42 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech.
43 And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait 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.
44 And 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.
45 And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.
46 And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard that, they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith.
47 And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.
48 And Abimelech gat him 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.
49 And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed [walked behind] Abimelech, and put them to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.
50 Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it.
51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut it to them, and gat them up to the top of the tower.
52 And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire.
53 And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech's head, and all to brake his skull.
54 Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died.
55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man unto his place.
56 Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren:
57 And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.
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