(Show plain text in new window)
And Abimelek son of Yerubba`al went to Shekem, to his mother`s brothers, and spoke with them and with all the clan of the house of his mother`s father, saying,
'Please speak in the hearing of all the masters of Shekem, 'Which is better for you, that seventy men, all the sons of Yerubba'al rule over you, or that one man rule over you?' And you shall remember that I am your own flesh and bone.'
And his mother's brothers spoke all these words concerning him in the hearing of all the masters of Shekem. And their heart inclined toward Abimelek, for they said, 'He is our brother.'
And they gave him seventy pieces of silver from the house of Ba'al-Berith, with which Abimelek hired worthless and reckless men. And they followed him.
And he went to his father's house at Ophrah and slew his brothers, the seventy sons of Yerubba'al, on one stone. But Yotham the youngest son of Yerubba'al was left, because he hid himself.
And all the masters of Shekem gathered together, and all of Beyth Millo, and they went and made Abimelek sovereign beside the terebinth tree at the post that was in Shekem.
And they informed Yotham, and he went and stood on top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and cried out, and said to them, 'Hear me, you masters of Shekem, and let Elohim hear you!
'The trees went forth to anoint a sovereign over them. And they said to the olive tree, 'reign over us!'
'And the olive tree said to them, 'Shall I leave my oil, with which they esteem mighty ones and men, and go to sway over trees?'
'Then the trees said to the fig tree, 'Come, reign over us!'
'And the fig tree said to them, 'Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to sway over trees?'
'Then the trees said to the vine, 'Come, reign over us!'
'And the vine said to them, 'Shall I leave my new wine, which rejoices mighty ones and men, and go to sway over trees?'
'Then all the trees said to the bramble, 'Come, reign over us!'
'And the bramble said to the trees, 'If in truth you anoint me as sovereign over you, come, take shelter in my shade. But if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon!'
'And now, if you have acted in truth and integrity in setting up Abimelek to reign, and if you have acted well with Yerubba'al and his house, and have done to him as his hands did to you -
for my father fought for you and risked his life, and delivered you out of the hand of Midyan,
but you have risen up against my father's house today, and slew his seventy sons on one stone, and set up Abimelek, the son of his female servant, to reign over the masters of Shekem, because he is your brother -
if then you have acted in truth and integrity with Yerubba'al and with his house this day, then rejoice in Abimelek, and let him also rejoice in you.
'But if not, let fire come out from Abimelek and devour the masters of Shekem and Beyth Millo, and let fire come out from the masters of Shekem and from Beyth Millo and devour Abimelek!'
Then Yotham ran away and fled, and he went to Be'er and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelek his brother.
And Abimelek governed Yisra'el three years,
and Elohim sent an evil spirit between Abimelek and the masters of Shekem. And the masters of Shekem acted treacherously against Abimelek,
in order that the violence done to the seventy sons of Yerubba'al might come, and their blood be laid on Abimelek their brother, who slew them, and on the masters of Shekem, who strengthened his hands to slay his brothers.
And the masters of Shekem set men in ambush against him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who passed over by them along that way. And it was reported to Abimelek.
And Ga'al son of Ebed came with his brothers and passed over to Shekem. And the masters of Shekem put their trust in him,
and went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards and trod out, and held a feast. And they went into the house of their mighty one, and ate and drank, and cursed Abimelek.
And Ga'al son of Ebed said, 'Who is Abimelek, and who is Shekem, that we should serve him? Is he not the son of Yerubba'al, and is not Zebul his officer? Serve the men of Hamor the father of Shekem! But why should we serve him?
'If only this people were under my hand! Then I would remove Abimelek.' And he said to Abimelek, 'Increase your army and come out!'
And when Zebul, the governor of the city, heard the words of Ga'al son of Ebed, his displeasure burned.
And he sent messengers to Abimelek by deceit, saying, 'See, Ga'al son of Ebed and his brothers have come to Shekem. And see, they are besieging the city against you.
'And now, get up by night, you and the people who are with you, and lie in wait in the field.
'And it shall be, as soon as the sun is up in the morning, then rise early and rush upon the city. And see, when he and the people who are with him come out against you, you shall do to them as your hand finds to do.'
And Abimelek and all the people who were with him rose up by night, and laid in wait against Shekem in four companies.
Now Ga'al son of Ebed went out and stood in the entrance to the city gate, and Abimelek and the people who were with him rose from lying in wait.
And when Ga'al saw the people, he said to Zebul, 'See, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains!' But Zebul said to him, 'You are seeing the shadows of the mountains like men.'
And Ga'al spoke again and said, 'See, people are coming down from the high part of the land, and another company is coming from the Diviners' Terebinth Tree.'
And Zebul said to him, 'Now where is your mouth with which you said, 'Who is Abimelek, that we should serve him?' Are not these the people whom you despised? I beg you, go out and fight them now.'
So Ga'al went out, leading the masters of Shekem, and fought Abimelek.
And Abimelek pursued him, and he fled from him. And many fell wounded, up to the entrance of the gate.
And Abimelek stayed at Arumah, and Zebul drove out Ga'al and his brothers, so that they would not dwell in Shekem.
And it came to be the next day that the people went out into the field, and they informed Abimelek.
And he took his people, and divided them into three companies, and laid in wait in the field, and looked and saw the people coming out of the city. And he rose against them and smote them.
And Abimelek and the company that was with him rushed forward and stood at the entrance of the gate of the city. And the other two companies rushed upon all who were in the fields and smote them.
And Abimelek fought against the city all that day, and captured the city and slew the people who were in it. And he broke down the city and sowed it with salt.
And all the masters of the tower of Shekem had heard that, and entered the stronghold of the house of El Berith.
And it was reported to Abimelek that all the masters of the tower of Shekem were gathered together.
So Abimelek went up to Mount Tsalmon, he and all the people who were with him. And Abimelek took an axe in his hand and cut down a branch from the trees, and took it and laid it on his shoulder. Then he said to the people who were with him, 'What you have seen me do, hurry, do as I have done.'
And all the people likewise cut down each one his own branch and followed Abimelek, and put them against the stronghold, and set the stronghold on fire above them, so that all the men of the tower of Shekem died, about a thousand men and women.
Abimelek then went to Thebets, and he encamped against Thebets and captured it.
However, there was a strong tower in the city, and all the men and women and all the masters of the city fled there and shut themselves in, and went up to the top of the tower.
And Abimelek came to the tower and fought against it, and approached the door of the tower to burn it with fire.
But a certain woman dropped an upper millstone on the head of Abimelek, and crushed his skull.
He then immediately called the young man, his armour-bearer, and said to him, 'Draw your sword and kill me, lest men say of me, 'A woman killed him.'' And his young man thrust him through, and he died.
And when the men of Yisra'el saw that Abimelek was dead, each one went to his own place.
Thus did Elohim repay the evil of Abimelek, which he had done to his father to slay his seventy brothers.
And all the evil of the men of Shekem Elohim turned back on their own heads, and the curse of Yotham son of Yerubba'al came on them.