Abimelech by conspiracy with the Shechemites, and murder of his brethren, is made king.
Judges 9:1 Abimelech the sonne of Ierobaal went to Sichem vnto his mothers brethren, & communed with them, & with all the kynrede of the house of his mothers father, saying: Judges 9:2 Saye I pray you, in the eares of all the men of Sichem, whether is better for you, that all the sonnes of Ierobaal, (which are threescore and ten persons) raigne ouer you: either that one raigne ouer you? Remember that I am of your bone, and of your fleshe. Judges 9:3 And his mothers brethren spake of him in the audience of all the men of Sichem all these wordes, & their heartes were moued to folow Abimelech: For they sayde, He is our brother. Judges 9:4 And they gaue him threescore and ten peeces of siluer out of the house of Baal Berith, wherwith Abimelech hyred vayne and light persons, which went with hym. Judges 9:5 And he went vnto his fathers house at Ephrah, and slue his brethren, the sonnes of Ierobaal, beyng threescore & ten persons, vpon one stone: Notwithstandyng, yet Ioatham the youngest sonne of Ierobaal escaped, for he hyd hymselfe. Judges 9:6 And all the men of Sichem gathered together, and al the house of Mello, and came and made Abimelech kyng in the playne, where the stone was in Sichem.
Jotham by a parable rebuketh them, and foretelleth their ruin.
Judges 9:7 And when they tolde it to Ioatham, he went and stoode in the top of mount Garizim, and lyft vp his voyce, & cryed, and sayd vnto them: Hearken vnto me you men of Sichem, that God may hearken vnto you. Judges 9:8 The trees went foorth to annoynt a kyng ouer them, and sayde vnto the Olyue tree: Raigne thou ouer vs. Judges 9:9 But the Olyue tree sayd vnto them: Should I leaue my fatnesse wherwith by me they honour God and man, & to be promoted ouer the trees? Judges 9:10 And the trees sayd to the figge tree: Come thou, and be kyng ouer vs. Judges 9:11 The figge tree aunswered them: should I forsake my sweetnes, and my good fruite, and go to be promoted ouer the trees? Judges 9:12 Then sayde the trees vnto the vine: Come thou and be kyng ouer vs. Judges 9:13 The vine sayde vnto them: Should I leaue my wine wherby I cheare both God and man, and go to be promoted ouer the trees? Judges 9:14 Then said all the trees vnto the bryer: Come thou and raigne ouer vs. Judges 9:15 And the bryer sayde vnto the trees: If it be true that ye will annoynt me kyng ouer you, then come and put your trust vnder my shadow: If no, the fyre come out of the bryer, & waste the Cedar trees of Libanon. Judges 9:16 Nowe therfore, if ye do truely and vncorruptly to make Abimelech kyng, and if ye haue dealte well with Ierobaal & his house, and haue done vnto hym according to the deseruing of his handes: Judges 9:17 (For euen my father fought for you, and aduentured his life, and ridde you out of the hande of Madian. Judges 9:18 And ye are rysen vp agaynst my fathers house this day, and haue slayne his children, beyng threescore & ten persones vpon one stone, and haue made Abimelech the sonne of his mayde seruaunt, king ouer the men of Sichem, because he is your brother.) Judges 9:19 If ye then haue dealt truely and purely with Ierobaal and with his house this day, then reioyce ye with Abimelech, and let him reioyce with you. Judges 9:20 But if you haue not dealt truely, then let a fire come out of Abimelech, & consume the men of Sichem, & the house of Mello: and let there come out a fire fro among the men of Sichem, & out of the house of Mello, & consume Abimelech. Judges 9:21 And Ioatham ran away and fledde, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for feare of Abimelech his brother.
Gaal conspireth with the Shechemites against him.
Judges 9:22 When Abimelech had raigned three yeres ouer Israel, Judges 9:23 God sent an euyll spirite betweene Abimelech, & the men of Sichem: and the citezins of Sichem brake their promise to Abimelech, Judges 9:24 That the wickednes done to the three score and ten sonnes of Ierobaal might come on him, and that God might lay the blood of them vnto Abimelech their brother, which slue them, and vpon the other men of Sichem which ayded him in the killing of his brethren. Judges 9:25 And the citezins of Sichem set men to lay awayte for hym in the toppe of the mountaynes, which men robbed al that came along the way by them: And it was tolde Abimelech. Judges 9:26 And Gaal the sonne of Obed came with his brethren, and they gat them to Sichem: and the men of Sichem put their confidence in him. Judges 9:27 And they went out into the fieldes, and gathered in their grapes, & trode them, and made mery, & went into the house of their god, and dyd eate and drinke, and cursed Abimelech. Judges 9:28 And Gaal the sonne of Obed sayde: what is Abimelech? & what is Sichem, that we shoulde serue him? Is he not the sonne of Ierobaal? & Zebul is his officer? Serue such as come of Hemor the father of Sichem: for what reason is it that we shoulde serue him? Judges 9:29 Woulde God this people were vnder my hande, then would I take Abimelech out of ye way. And he spake against Abimelech: Make thine hoast greater, and go out.
Zebul revealeth it.
Judges 9:30 And when Zebul the ruler of the citie hearde the wordes of Gaal the sonne of Obed, he was wroth. Judges 9:31 And sent messengers vnto Abimelech priuyly, saying: Behold, Gaal the sonne of Obed and his brethren be come to Sichem, and beholde they fortifie the citie agaynst thee. Judges 9:32 Now therfore vp by night, thou and the people that is with thee, and lye in wayte in the fielde. Judges 9:33 And rise early in the morning assone as the sunne is vp, and fall vpon the citie: And if he & the people that is with hym come out against thee, do to hym what thine handes shalbe able.
Abimelech overcometh them, and soweth the city with salt.
Judges 9:34 And Abimelech rose vp, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they layde awayte against Sichem in foure companies. Judges 9:35 And Gaal the sonne of Obed went out, and stoode in the entring of the gate of the citie: And Abimelech rose vp, and the folke that were with him, from lying in wayte. Judges 9:36 And when Gaal sawe ye people, he sayd to Zebul: Beholde, there come people downe from the top of the mountaines. And Zebul sayd vnto him: The shadow of the hylles seeme men vnto thee. Judges 9:37 And Gaal aunswered agayne, & sayd: See, there come folke downe by ye middle of the land, & another company come along by the playne of the charmars. Judges 9:38 Then sayd Zebul vnto him: Where is nowe thy mouth that said, what felowe is Abimelech, that we should serue him? Is not this the people that thou hast despysed? Go out now & fight with the. Judges 9:39 And Gaal went out before the citezins of Sichem, & fought with Abimelech. Judges 9:40 And Abimelech chased him, that he fled before him, and many were ouerthrowen & wounded, euen vnto the entring of the gate. Judges 9:41 And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal & his brethre that they shoulde not dwell in Sichem. Judges 9:42 And on the morow, the people wet out into the fielde: And they told Abimelech. Judges 9:43 And he toke the people, & deuided them into three copanies, & layd awayte in the fielde, and loked, and behold the people were come out of the citie, and he ran vpon them, and smote them. Judges 9:44 And Abimelech and the companions that were with him, rushed forward, & stoode in the entring of the gate of the citie: and the two other companions ran vpon all the people that were in the fieldes, and slue them. Judges 9:45 And when Abimelech had fought against the citie al that day, he toke it, and slue the people that was therin, and destroyed the citie, and sowed salte in it.
He burneth the hold of the god Berith.
Judges 9:46 And when all the men of the towre of Sichem heard that, they entred into an holde of the house of the god Berith. Judges 9:47 And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the towre of Sichem were gathered together. Judges 9:48 And Abimeleh gat him to mount Zelmon, both he & all the people that were with him, & toke axes with him, and cut downe bowes of trees, & toke them and bare them on his shulder, & sayde vnto the folke that were with hym: what ye haue seene me do, speede your selues, & do lykewyse as I haue done. Judges 9:49 And al the men that were among the people, cut downe bowes, and folowed Abimelech, and put them into the hold, and set the holde a fire by them: so that al the men of the towre of Sichem died also, vpon a thousande men & women.
At Thebez he is slain by a piece of a millstone.
Judges 9:50 Then went Abimelech to Thebez, & besieged it, and toke it. Judges 9:51 But there was a strong towre within the citie, and thyther ranne all the men and women, and all the chiefe that were in the citie, and shut it to them, and gate them vp to the toppe of the towre. Judges 9:52 And Abimelech came vnto the towre, and fought agaynst it, and went harde vnto the doore of ye towre to set it on fire. Judges 9:53 And a certayne woman cast a peece of a mylstone vpon his head, & all to brake his brayne panne. Judges 9:54 Then Abimelech called hastyly vnto the young man that bare his harnesse, and sayde vnto him: Drawe thy sworde and slea me, that men say not of me, A woman slue him: And his lad thrust him thorowe, and he died. Judges 9:55 And when the men of Israel sawe that Abimelech was dead, they departed euery man vnto his owne house.
Jotham's curse is fulfilled.
Judges 9:56 Thus God rendred the wickednesse of Abimelech which he dyd vnto his father, in sleyng his seuentie brethren. Judges 9:57 And therto all the wickednesse of the men of Sichem, dyd God bryng vpon their heades: And vpon them came the curse of Ioatham the sonne of Ierobaal.