Abimelech by conspiracy with the Shechemites, and murder of his brethren, is made king.
Judges 9:1 For Abimelech the sonne of Ierobaal went to Sichem, vnto hys mothers brethren, & communed wt them, & with al hys mothers, fathers kynred saying: Judges 9:2 say I pray you, in the eares of all the enhabytours of Sichem: whether is better for you that al the sonnes of Ierobaal whiche are .lxx. personnes raigne ouer you, eyther that one raygne ouer you. And remember therto, that I am youre bones and your flesh. Judges 9:3 And his mothers brethren rehersed of hym in the audience of al the Citezens of Sichem, all these wordes, & moued theyr hartes to folowe Abimelech, in that they sayd how he was theyr brother. Judges 9:4 And thei gaue him .lxx. peces of syluer out of the house of Baal Berith, wyth whiche Abimelech hyred Iehel, and lyght persons which went with him. Judges 9:5 And they went vnto his fathers house at Ephrah, & slewe all his brethren, the sonnes of Ierobaal, euen .lxx. personnes wyth one stone. Notwithstandynge yet Ioatham the youngest sonne of Ierobaal escaped: for he hyd hym selfe. Judges 9:6 And all the cytezens of Sichem gathered together wyth all the house of Mello, & went and made Abimelech kynge at a certen ocke that was by Sichem.
Jotham by a parable rebuketh them, and foretelleth their ruin.
Judges 9:7 And when it was tolde Ioatham, he went & stode in the toppe of mount Garizim, & lyfte vp hys voyce & called, & sayd vnto them: Herken vnto me you citezens of Sichem, that God may herken vnto you. Judges 9:8 The trees went to anoynt a Kynge ouer them, & sayde vnto the olyue tree raygne ouer vs. Judges 9:9 But the olyue tree sayd vnto them: shuld I leaue my fattenesse which both God & man prayseth in me, and go to be promoted ouer the trees. Judges 9:10 Then sayde the trees to the fygge tree, come thou and be kyng ouer vs. Judges 9:11 And the fygge tree aunswered them, shuld I forsake my swetnes & my good frute, & shuld go to be promoted ouer the trees. Judges 9:12 Then sayde the trees vnto the vyne, come thou & be Kyng ouer vs. Judges 9:13 And the vyne aunswered, shulde I leaue my wyne that cheareth both God & man & go to be promoted ouer the trees. Judges 9:14 Then said all the trees vnto the fyrre bushe come thou and ragne ouer vs. Judges 9:15 And the fyrre bushe sayd vnto the trees: yf it be true that ye wyl anoint me Kynge ouer you, then come and reste vnder my shadowe, & ye shall se that a fyre shall come out of the fyrre bushe, & waste the Cyper trees of Lybanon. Judges 9:16 And euen so now, yf ye haue done trulye & vncorruptlye to make Abimelech kyng. And yf ye haue dealte well wyth Ierobaal & hys house, & haue done vnto hym according to the deseruynge of hys handes, Judges 9:17 for as muche as my father fought for you, and aduentured his lyfe And rydde you out of the handes of the Madianites. Judges 9:18 And ye are rysen vp agaynst my fathers house thys daye. And haue slayne hys chyldren, euen .lxx. persones wyth one stone and haue made Abimelech the sonne of hys mayde seruaunt Kynge ouer the cytezens of Sichem, because he is youre brother, Judges 9:19 yf then ye haue dealte purelye and truelye wyth Ierobaal & wyth hys house this day: then reioyce ye in Abimelech, and let hym also reioyce in you. Judges 9:20 But yf you haue not dealte trulye, then I praye God a fyre maye come oute of Abymelech & consume the cytezens of Sichem and the house of Mello. And þt there come a fyre out of the cytezens of Sichem, and oute of the house of Mello, and consume Abimelech. Judges 9:21 And Ioatham ranne awaye and fledde & wente to Beer, & dwelte there, for feare of Abimelech hys brother.
Gaal conspireth with the Shechemites against him.
Judges 9:22 When Abimelech had raygned thre yere Judges 9:23 God sent an hate betwene Abymelech & the cytezens of Sichem. And the cytezens of Sichem rayled vpon Abimelech, Judges 9:24 and wyshed that the wyckednes done to the .lxx. sonnes of Ieroboal myght come on hym, and layde the bloude of them vnto Abimelech theyr brother which slewe them, & vnto þe other citezens of Sichem whiche ayded hym in the kyllyng of his brethren. Judges 9:25 And þe cytezens of Sichem set men to laye awayte for hym in the toppe of the mountaynes, which men robbed all þt came a longe the waye by them. And it was tolde Abymelech. Judges 9:26 And Gaal the sonne of Abed & his brethren went & gat them to Sichem. And the men of Sichem, put theyr confidence in hym. Judges 9:27 And they went out into þe feldes, & gathered in theyr grapes & troade them, & made mery: and went into the house of theyr God, & dyd eate & dryncke & cursed Abimelech. Judges 9:28 And Gaal the sonne of Abed sayde: what is Abimelech? and what is Sichem? that we shuld serue him, is he not the sonne of Ierobaal? and Zebul is his offycer? serue suche as come of Hemor the father of Sichem, for what reason is it that we shulde serue him? Judges 9:29 wold God thys people were vnder my hande, then I wolde take Abimelech oute of the waye. And one sayd vnto Abimelech: make thyne hosts greater and go oute.
Zebul revealeth it.
Judges 9:30 And when Zebul the ruler of the cytye hearde the wordes of Gaal the sonne of Abed he was wroth Judges 9:31 and sent messengers vnto Abimelech pryuely saying: Beholde Gaal the sonne of Abed and hys brethren be come to Sichem: and beholde they set the cytye agaynste the. Judges 9:32 Now therfore vp by nyghte, bothe thou and all the people that is wyth the, and lye in wayte in the feldes. Judges 9:33 And ryse erly in the mornynge as sone as the sunne is vp, and come vpon the cytye. And when he & the people that is with him come out agaynst the, do to him what thyne handes shalbe able.
Abimelech overcometh them, and soweth the city with salt.
Judges 9:34 And Abimelech rose vp, & all the people that were with him, by nyght. And they layde awayt to the cytye in foure companies, Judges 9:35 And Gaal the sonne of Abed went oute & stode in the entrynge of the gate of the cytye. And Abimelech rose vp & the folcke þt were with hym, from laying awayt. Judges 9:36 And when Gaal sawe the people, he sayd to Zebul: Beholde there come people doune from the toppe of the mountaynes. And Zebul sayde vnto him: the shadow of the hylles seme men vnto the. Judges 9:37 And Gaal aunswered agayne & sayd: se there come folcke doune by the mydle of the land, & another companye come a longe by the charmars Ocke. Judges 9:38 Then sayde Zebul vnto hym: where is now thy mouthe that sayde, what felow is Abimelech, that we shulde serue him. These are the people that thou so despysedest. Go oute now a feloushyppe & fyght with them. Judges 9:39 And Gaal went out before the cytezens of Sichem, & fought with Abimelech Judges 9:40 And Abimelech chased him that he fled before him & manye were ouerthrowen and slayne, euen vntyll they came vnto the enteryng of the gate. Judges 9:41 And then Abimelech went & dwelt at Arumah. And then Zebul thrust out Gaal & his brethren, & wolde not suffer them to dwelle in Sichem. Judges 9:42 And on the morowe þe people went out into the felde. And it was tolde Abimelech. Judges 9:43 And he toke his people & deuyded them into thre companies, and laye awayte in the feldes. And when he sawe that þe people were come out of the citye, he ranne vpon them and layde vpon them. Judges 9:44 And Abimelech and the companyes þt were wt him, ranne & stode in the entrynge of the gate of the cytie. And the two other companyes ranne vpon all the people þt were in the feldes & slue them. Judges 9:45 And then Abimelech fought agaynste the cytye all that daye, & toke it, & slew the people that was therin, & destroyed the cytye & sowed salt in the place.
He burneth the hold of the god Berith.
Judges 9:46 And when all the men of the toure of Sichem hearde that, they entred into a stronge holde of the house of theyr God Baal Berith. Judges 9:47 And when it was tolde Abimelech, that all the men of the toure of Sichem were gathered together, Judges 9:48 he gat hym to mount Zelmon, both he & al that were wt him, & toke axes with him, & cut doune an arme of a tree, & toke it vp, & put it on hys shoulder, & sayde vnto the folcke that were wyth hym, whatsoeuer ye se me do, spede youre selues & do lykewyse. Judges 9:49 And all the people cut doune also euery man a bough, & folowed Abimelech, and put them into the holde, and set the holde a fyre vpon them: so that al the men of the toure of Sichem were slayne, vpon a thousande persones what of men and wemen together.
At Thebez he is slain by a piece of a millstone.
Judges 9:50 Then went Abimelech to Thebez & beseged it, & toke it. Judges 9:51 But there was a strong toure in the myddes of the cytye, & thyther ranne al the men & wemen, & al the cytezens of þe cytye & shut it to them, and gotte them vp vpon the toppe of the toure. Judges 9:52 Then came Abimelech vnto the toure & foughte agaynst it, & went harde vnto the enteryng of the gate, to set it on fyre. Judges 9:53 But a woman cast a pece of a mylstone vpon hys head, & all to brake hys brayne panne. Judges 9:54 Then Abimelech called hastelye vnto the younge man that bare hys harnes, and sayde vnto him: drawe thy swerde and slee me, that men saye not of me, a woman slewe him. And hys ladde thrust hym thorowe, and he dyed. Judges 9:55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed, euerye man vnto hys owne house.
Jotham's curse is fulfilled.
Judges 9:56 And thus al the wickednesse of Abimelech which he hyd vnto hys father, in sleyng his .lxx. brethren, Judges 9:57 & therto al the wyckednesse of the men of Sichem, God dyd bryng vpon theyr heades: And vpon them came the curse of Ioatham the sonne of Ierobaal.