Abimelech by conspiracy with the Shechemites, and murder of his brethren, is made king.
Judges 9:1 Abimelech the sonne of Ierubaal, wente vnto Siche to his mothers brethren, & spake vnto them, & to all the kynred of his mothers fathers house, and sayde: Judges 9:2 I praye you speake in the eares of all the men at Sichem: What is better for you, that thre score and ten men all children of Ierubaal shulde be lordes ouer you, or that one man shulde be lorde ouer you? Remembre also that I am youre bone and youre flesh. Judges 9:3 Then spake his mothers brethre all these wordes for him, in ye eares of all ye men at Sichem. And their hert enclyned to Abimelech, for they thoughte: He is oure brother: Judges 9:4 and gaue him thre score and ten syluerlinges out of ye house of Baal Berith. And wt them Abimelech hyred men that were vagabundes and of light condicions, which folowed him. Judges 9:5 And he came to his fathers house vnto Aphra, and slew his brethren the children of Ierubaal, euen thre score men and te vpon one stone. But Iotham the yongest sonne of Ierubaal remayned ouer, for he was hydd. Judges 9:6 And all the men of Sichem, and all the house of Millo gathered them selues together, and wente and made Abimelech kynge by the Oke that stondeth at Sichem.
Jotham by a parable rebuketh them, and foretelleth their ruin.
Judges 9:7 Whan this was tolde Iotham, he wente, and stode vpon the toppe of mount Grisim, and lifte vp his voyce, cried, and sayde: Heare me ye men of Sichem, that God maye heare you also Judges 9:8 The trees wente to anointe a kinde ouer them, and sayde vnto the Olyue tre: Be thou oure kynge. Judges 9:9 But the Olyue tre answered them: Shall I go and leaue my fatnesse (which both God and men commende in me) and go to be puft vp aboue the trees? Judges 9:10 Then sayde the trees vnto the fygge tre: Come thou and be kynge ouer vs. Judges 9:11 But the fygge tre sayde vnto the: Shal I leaue my swetnes and my good frute, and go to be puft vp aboue the trees? Judges 9:12 Then sayde the trees vnto the vyne: Come thou and be oure kinge. Judges 9:13 But the vyne sayde vnto them: Shal I leaue my swete wyne, which reioyseth God and men, and go to be puft vp aboue the trees? Judges 9:14 The sayde all the trees vnto the thorne busshe: Come thou, and be kynge ouer vs. Judges 9:15 And the thorne busshe sayde vnto the trees: Yf it be true, yt ye anoynte me to be kynge ouer you, the come, and put youre trust vnder my shadowe. Yf no, then go fyre out of the thorne busshe, & cosume ye Ceder trees of Libano. Judges 9:16 Yf ye haue done right now and iustly, yt ye haue made Abimelech to be kynge: and yf ye haue done well vnto Ierubaal and to his house, and haue done vnto him as he deserued vnto you. Judges 9:17 Which (euen my father) foughte for youre sakes, and ioperde his lyfe, to delyuer out of the Madianites hade, Judges 9:18 eue you, which are rysen vp this daye agaynst my fathers house, & haue slaine his childre, thre score personnes & ten vpon one stone, and haue made you a kynge (euen Abimelech the sonne of his handmaide) ouer the men at Sichem, for so moch as he is youre brother. Judges 9:19 Yf ye haue done right now and iustly vnto Ierubaal and his house this daye, then reioyse ouer Abimelech, and let him reioyse ouer you. Judges 9:20 Yf no, then go fyre out from Abimelech, and cosume the men of Sichem and the house of Millo: And fyre go out also fro the men of Sichem, and from the house of Millo, and consume Abimelech. Judges 9:21 And Iotha (whan he had spoken this out) fled, and gat him out of the waye, and wente vnto Ber, and dwelt there because of his brother Abimelech.
Gaal conspireth with the Shechemites against him.
Judges 9:22 Now whan Abimelech had reigned thre yeare ouer Israel, Judges 9:23 God sent an euell mynde betwene Abimelech and the men of Sichen (for the men of Sichem despysed Abimelech, Judges 9:24 and rehearsed the wronge done to the sonnes of Ierubaal, and their bloude, and layed it vpon Abimelech their brother which slewe them, and vpon the men of Sichem that strengthed his hande therto, that he mighte slaye his brethren. Judges 9:25 And the men of Sichem set an hynder watch vpon the toppes of the mountaynes, and spoyled all them that walked nye them by the waye, and it was tolde Abimelech. Judges 9:26 But there came Gaal the sonne of Ebed and his brethren, and entred into Sichem, and the men of Sichem put their trust in him, Judges 9:27 and wete out in to the felde, and gathered their vynyardes, and pressed them, and made a daunse, and wente in to their gods house, and ate and dranke, and cursed Abimelech. Judges 9:28 And Gaal ye sonne of Ebed sayde: Who is Abimelech? and what is Sichem, that we shulde serue him? Is he not the sonne of Ierubaal, and hath set Sebul his seruaut ouer the men of Hemor the father of Sichem? Wherfore shulde we serue him? Judges 9:29 Wolde God the people were vnder my hade, yt I mighte put downe Abimelech. And it was tolde Abimelech: Increace thine hooste, and departe.
Zebul revealeth it.
Judges 9:30 For Sebul the chefe ruler of the cite, whan he herde the wordes of Gaal ye sonne of Ebed, he was wrothfully displeased, Judges 9:31 and sente message secretly to Abimelech, and caused to saye vnto him: Beholde, Gaal the sonne of Ebed and his brethren are come to Sichem, and make the cite to be agaynst the. Judges 9:32 Arise therfore by nyght, thou and thy people that is with the, and laye wayte for the in the felde: Judges 9:33 and tomorow whan the Sonne aryseth, get the vp soone, and fall vpon the cite: and yf he and the people that is with him come out vnto the, the deale with him, as thyne hande fyndeth.
Abimelech overcometh them, and soweth the city with salt.
Judges 9:34 Abimelech stode vp by night, and all the people that was with him, and layed wayte for Sichem with foure companies of men of warre. Judges 9:35 And Gaal the sonne of Ebed we out and stode at the dore of the gate of the cite. But Abimelech gat him vp out of the hinder watch, and the people that was with him. Judges 9:36 Now whan Gaal sawe the people, he sayde vnto Sebul: Beholde, there commeth a people downe from the toppe of ye mount. Sebul saide vnto him: Thou seist ye shadowe of the mountaines as though they were me. Judges 9:37 Gaal spake yet more and sayde: Beholde, there commeth a people downe from ye myddes of the londe, & one bonde of men cometh by the waye to ye witch Oke. Judges 9:38 The sayde Sebul: Where is now yi mouth yt sayde: Who is Abimelech, that we shulde serue him? Is not this ye people, whom thou hast refused? Go forth now, and fighte with him. Judges 9:39 Gaal wente forth before the citesyns of Sichem, and foughte with Abimelech. Judges 9:40 But Abimelech chaced him, so that he fled, and there fell many slayne euen vnto the gate of the cite. Judges 9:41 And Abimelech abode at Aruma. But Sebul droue awaye Gaal and his brethren, so that they must not remayne at Sichem. Judges 9:42 Vpon the morowe wente the people forth into ye felde. Wha this was tolde Abimelech, Judges 9:43 he toke the people, and parted them into thre bodes of men, and wayted for the in the felde. Now whan he sawe yt the people wete out of the cite, he rose agaynst the, and smote them. Judges 9:44 Abimelech and ye company of men that was with him, fell vpon them, and stepte vnto the dore of the porte: but the other two companies fell vpon all them that were in the felde, and slewe them. Judges 9:45 The foughte Abimelech agaynst the cite all ye same daye, and wanne it, and slewe the people that was there in, and brake downe ye cite, and sowed salt theron.
He burneth the hold of the god Berith.
Judges 9:46 Whan all the men of the tower of Sichem herde this, they wente in to a stronge holde of ye house of their God Berith. Judges 9:47 But whan Abimelech herde, that all the men of the tower of Sichem had gathered the selues together, Judges 9:48 he wente vp vnto mount Zelmon, and all the people that was with him, and toke an axe in his hade, and hewed downe a braunch of a tre, and toke it vp, & layed it vpon his shulder, and sayde vnto all the people that was with him: As ye haue sene me do, make ye haist, and do euen so as I. Judges 9:49 Then all the people hewed downe euery one a brauch, and folowed Abimelech: and they layed them to the holde, and set fyre vpon them agaynst them and the holde: and all the men of the tower of Sichem dyed thorow the smoke and fyre, vpon a thousande men and wemen.
At Thebez he is slain by a piece of a millstone.
Judges 9:50 As for Abimelech, he wete vnto Thebetz, and layed sege vnto it, and wanne it. Judges 9:51 But in the myddes of the cite, there was a stronge tower, vnto the which all the men and wemen, and all the citesyns of the cite fled, and shutt it after them, and clymmed vp to the toppe of the tower. Judges 9:52 Then came Abimelech vnto the tower, and soughte agaynst it, and came nye vnto the dore of the tower, that he might burne it with fyre. Judges 9:53 But a woman cast a pece of a mylstone vpon Abimelechs heade, and brake his brane panne. Judges 9:54 Then Abimelech in all the haist, called the seruaunt that bare his wapen, and sayde vnto him: Drawe out thy swerde, and kyll me, that it be not sayde of me: A woman hath slayne him. Then his seruaunt thrust him thorow, and he dyed. Judges 9:55 Whan the Israelites which were with him, sawe, yt Abimelech was deed, they gatt them awaye euery one vnto his awne place.
Jotham's curse is fulfilled.
Judges 9:56 Thus God recompenced Abimelech the euell that he had done vnto his father, wha he slewe his threscore and ten brethren: Judges 9:57 likewyse all the euell of the men of Sichem, dyd God rewarde them vpon their heade: and so the curse of Iotham ye sonne of Ierubaal came vpon them.