Judges 9 (Joathim’s Curse Comes to Pass)

Judges Chapter 9

Joathim’s Curse Comes to Pass
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1 And Abimelech son of Jerobaal went to Sychem to his mother’s brethren; and he spoke to them and to all the kindred of the house of his mother’s father, saying, 2 Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Sychem, saying, Which is better for you, that seventy men, even all the sons of Jerobaal, should reign over you, or that one man should reign over you? and remember that I am your bone and your flesh. 3 And his mother’s brethren spoke concerning him in the ears of all the men of Sychem all these words; and their heart turned after Abimelech, for they said, He is our brother. 4 And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baalberith; and Abimelech hired for himself vain and cowardly men, and they went after him. 5 And he went to the house of his father to Ephratha, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerobaal, sevent men upon one stone; but Joatham the youngest son of Jerobaal was left, for he hid himself.

6 And all the men of Sicima, and all the house of Bethmaalo, were gathered together, and they went and made Abimelech king by the oak of Sedition, which was at Sicima.

7 And it was reported to Joatham, and he went and stood on the top of mount Garizin, and lifted up his voice, and wept, and said to them. Hear me, ye men of Sicima, and God shall hear you 8 The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive, Reign over us. 9 But the olive said to them, Shall I leave my fatness, with which men shall glorify God, and go to be promoted over the trees? 10 And the trees said to the fig-tree, Come, reign over us. 11 But the fig-tree said to them, Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruits, and go to be promoted over the trees? 12 And the trees said to the vine, Come, reign over us. 13 And the vine said to them, Shall I leave my wine that cheers God and men, and go to be promoted over the trees? 14 Then all the trees said to the bramble, Come thou and reign over us. 15 And the bramble said to the trees, If ye in truth anoint me to reign over you, come, stand under my shadow; and if not, let fire come out from me and devour the cedars of Libans.

16 And now, if ye have done it in truth and integrity, and have made Abimelech king, and if ye have wrought well with Jerobaal, and with his house, and if ye have done to him according to the reward of his hand, 17 as my father fought for you, and put his life in jeopardy, and delivered you out of the hand of Madiam; 18 and ye are risen up this day against the house of my father, and have slain his sons, being seventy men, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech the son of his bondwoman king over the men of Sicima, because he is your brother: 19 if then ye have done truly and faithfully with Jerobaal, and with his house this day, rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice over you: 20 but if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Sicima, and the house of Beth-maalo; and let fire come out from the men of Sicima and from the house of Beth-maalo, and devour Abimelech.

21 And Joatham fled, and ran away, and went as far as Baeer, and dwelt there out of the way of his brother Abimelech.

22 And Abimelech reigned over Israel three years. 23 And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Sicima; and the men of Sicima dealt treacherously with the house of Abimelech: 24 to bring the injury done to the seventy sons of Jerobaal, and to lay their blood upon their brother Abimelech, who slew them, and upon the men of Sicima, because they strengthened his hands to slay his brethren. 25 And the men of Sicima set liers in wait against him on the top of the mountains, and robbed every one who passed by them on the way; and it was reported to the king Abimelech.

26 And Gaal son of Jobel came, and his brethren, and passed by Sicima, and the men of Sicima trusted in him. 27 And they went out into the field, and gathered their grapes, and trod them, and made merry and they brought the grapes into the house of their god, and ate and drank, and cursed Abimelech. 28 And Gaal the son of Jobel said, Who is Abimelech, and who is the son of Sychem, that we should serve him? Is he not the son of Jerobaal, and is not Zebul his steward, his serveant with the son of Emmor the father of Sychem? and why should we serve him? 29 And would that this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech, and I would say to him, Multiply thy host, and come out.

30 And Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Jobel, and he was very angry. 31 And he sent messengers to Abimelech secretly, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Jobel and his brethren are come to Sychem; and behold, they have besieged the city against thee. 32 And now rise up by night, thou and the people with thee, and lay wait in the field. 33 And it shall come to pass in the morning at sunrising, thou shalt rise up early and draw toward the city; and behold, he and the people with him will come forth against thee, and thou shalt do to him according to thy power.

34 And Abimelech and all the people with him rose up by night, and formed an ambuscade against Sychem in four companies. 35 And Gaal the son of Jobel went forth, and stood by the door of the gate of the city: and Abimelech and the people with him rose up from the ambuscade. 36 And Gaal the son of Jobel saw the people, and said to Zebul, Behold, a people comes down from the top of the mountains: and Zebul said to him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as men. 37 And Gaal continued to speak and said, Behold, a people come down westward from the part bordering in the middle of the land, and another company comes by the way of Helon Maonenim. 38 And Zebul said to him, And where is thy mouth as thou spokest, Who is Abimelech that we should serve him? Is not this the people whom thou despisedst? go forth now, and set the battle in array against him. 39 And Gaal went forth before the men of Sychem, and set the battle in array against Abimelech. 40 And Abimelech pursued him, and he fled from before him; and many fell down slain as far as the door of the gate.

41 And Abimelech entered into Arema, and Zebul cast out Gaal and his brethren, so that they should not dwell in Sychem.

42 And it came to pass on the second day that the people went out into the field, and one brought word to Abimelech. 43 And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and formed an ambus in the field; and he looked, and, behold, the people went forth out of the city, and he rose up against them, and smote them. 44 And Abimelech and the chiefs of companies that were with him rushed forward, and stood by the door of the gate of the city; and the two other companies rushed forward upon all that were in the field, and smote them. 45 And Abimelech fought against the city all that day, and took the city, and slew the people that were in it, and destroyed the city, and sowed it with salt.

46 And all the men of the tower of Sychem heard, and came to the gathering of Baethel-berith. 47 And it was reported to Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Sychem were gathered together. 48 And Abimelech went up to the mount of Selmon, and all the peopl ethat were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a branch of a tree, and took it, and laid it on his shoulders; and said to the people that were with him, What ye see me doing, do quickly as I. 49 And they cut down likewise even every man a branch, and went after Abimelech, and laid them against the place of gathering, and burn the place of gathering over them with fire; and they died, even all the men of the tower of Sicima, about a thousand men and women.

50 And Abimelech went out of Baethel-berith, and encamped against Thebes, and took it. 51 And there was a strong tower in the midst of the city; and thither all the men and the women of the city fled, and shut the door without them, and went up on the roof of the tower. 52 And Abimelech drew near to the tower, and they besieged it; and Abimelech drew near to the door of the tower to burn it with fire. 53 And a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon the head of Abimelech, and broke his skull. 54 And he cried out quickly to the young man his armour-bearer, and said to him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, lest at any time they should say, A woman slew him: and his young man thrust him through and he died. 55 And the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead; and they went each to his place.

56 So God requited the wickedness of Abimelech, which he wrought against his father, in slaying his seventy brethren. 57 And all the wickedness of the men of Sychem God requited upon their head; and the curse of Joathim the son of Jerobaal came upon them.

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