9:1-57.Internal Disorders.

B  A  1-6. Abimalech's usurpation.
    B  7-21. Action of Jotham.
    B  22-55. Action of God.
   A  56,57. Abilech's usurpation avenged.

1178 B.C.
Judges 9)

1: And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's brethren (Fig., put for other relatives), and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying,
2: “Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men (Heb. baalîm = masters, lords, or owners) of Shechem, ‘Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.’ ”
3: And his mother's brethren spoke of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, “He is our brother.”
4: And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and rash persons, which followed him.
5: And he went to his father's house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone: notwithstanding yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself.
6: And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar (that is to say the pillar made of oak. See Josh.24:36. Cp. Gen. 28:18,22; 31:13,45; 35:14,15. 2 Sam. 18:18) that was in Shechem.

7-21. Action of Jotham.

B  c  7. Jothan's comming forth.
    d  8-15. Parable given.
    d  16-20. Parable interpreted.
   c  21. Jothan's fleeing away.

7: And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said to them, “Listen to me, all you men of Shechem, that God (Elohim) (not Yehovah in covenant) may listen to you.

8: The trees (this is pure allegory. The interpretation is local and historical. The application is dispensation) went forth (very emphatic = "a going forth they went forth", or went forth with great earnestness of purpose) on a time to anoint a king over them; (Bear in mind, at this time Israel has no king, but they’re wanting one.) and they said to the olive tree (= Israel's religious privileges. Rom. 11), ‘Reign you over us.’ (Now our Father many times utilizes trees as people. Christ would even be healing a person one time from blindness and the man said, “Oh, I see dimly… dimly I can see a little bit.” And many say, “Well that’s because he was weak and he was tired”. Christ was never weak. He was giving you an example; that with truth, you must have all of it to see clearly or you’re blind. I don’t care if you have 20/20 vision, you can still be blind if you don’t have the truth. If you’re blind, you can’t see things as they are. And God Himself would say, “His planting, His trees”, so he utilizes trees many times.)
9: But the olive tree said to them, ‘Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honor God and man (cp. Ex. 27:20,21. Lev. 2:1. The interpretation of these three - "honor", &c. - is clear from the context.An application may be made as to what should be seen in Israel and ourselves), and march about (instead of fulfilling my mission) to be promoted over the trees?’ (“I think my job is a little more important than that!” That’s what the olive tree said.)
10: And the trees said to the fig tree (Israel's national privileges [Matt. 21:19,20. Mark 11:13,20,21. Luke 13:6-9]), “Come you, and reign over us.’ (“You do it fig tree.”)
11: But the fig tree said to them, ‘Should I forsake (same word as "leave" in vv.9,13) my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?’ (“I'm not going to do it”)
12: Then said the trees to the vine (Israel's spiritual privileges [Isa. 5. John 15]), ‘Come you, and reign over us.’
13: And the vine said to them, ‘Should I leave my new wine, which cheers God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?’ (Now many people get a little upset when they see this, that it cheers God and man, but they forget that wine is symbolic of the blood of Christ. It was the first miracle that Christ performed on the earth. So just keep your shirt on and do get all in lather until you understand the depth of the parable. Don’t let that shut you off from using wine for what it signifies spiritually or you’re going to end up way short.)
14: Then said all the trees to the bramble (this is prophetic of the false nation under the rule of anti-Christ, which will devour the nation as fore-shown in v.20), ‘Come you, and reign over us.’(Now what are the cedars of Lebanon? Now remember, this is a parable, so symbolism is very important and that you understand it. The cedars of Lebanon are God’s children. You can pick up on that from Ezekiel chapter 31 whereby it stipulates that Satan himself was only a t’asshure, but they were these cedars of Lebanon. In other words, they are the grandest cedars of all. It’s not that God plays favorites or anything of that nature. And He says, “and devour the cedars of Lebanon”. In other words, this fake wants to devour God’s children and it makes it very clear and he says,“but you’ve got to trust me” Just trust me all the way and come under my shadow.” Do you know what a bramble bush is? It’s a thorn bush. Have you ever been out in the desert and tried to take shelter under a bramble bush? It doesn’t have a shadow! He’s lying! There is no comfort there! There is no shadow whatsoever as far as comforting one in a hot desert hike. And boy does a bramble make a hot fire. And this is symbolic of Satan, of course, the fake. So this is a beautiful chapter when you take the time to peek behind the scene here, or to the real truth, better said. And to see what God is saying to you whereby you have a panorama of how it’s going to be in the end. The wing shadow that you want to come under is the true God, our Father. See the Song of Moses from Deuteronomy chapter 32.)
15: And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in truth you all anoint me king over you, then come and flee for refuge in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’

16: Now therefore, if you all have done truly and sincerely, in that you all have made Abimelech king, and if yo all have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done to him according to the deserving of his hands;
17: (note the parenthesis of vv.17,18) {For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian:
18: And you all are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother;}
19: If you all then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice you all in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you:
20: But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech.”
21: And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.

22-55. Action of God.

B  C¹  D  22,23. Evil spirit sent out. Pupose.
        E  F  24-. Against Abimelech. Purpose.
            G  -24. Against Shechemites. Purpose.
   C²  D  25-41. Evil spirit in operation. Accomplishment
        E   G  42-49. Against Shechemites. Accomplishment
           F  50-55. Against Abimelech. Accomplishment.

1178 to 1176 B.C.

22: When Abimelech had exercised power three years over Israel (a usurpation, and therefore not included in Anno Dei reckoning. They are concurrent with Tola's first three),
23: Then God sent an evil spirit (an evil rûach) between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:

24: That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them;

and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren.

25-55. Evil spirit in Operation.

C²  H¹  e  25. Shechemites.
         f  26-. Gaal.
        e  -26,27. Shechemites.
         f  28,29. Gaal.
          J¹  30-33. Zebul. Conspiracy.
    H²  g  34. Abimelech.
         h  35-. Gaal.
        g  -35. Abimelech.
         h  36-38. Gaal.
          J²  39-41. Zebu. Flight.
    H³  i  42-45. Shechemites.
         k  46-49. Tower of Shechem.
        i  50. Thebez.
         k  Tower of Thebez.

25: And the men of Shechem set lairs in wait for him in the top of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech.

26: And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem:

and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him.
27: And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and tread the grapes, and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech.

28: And Gaal the son of Ebed said, “Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem (some codices read, "the son of Shechem), that we should serve him? is not he the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him?
29: And would that this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech.” And he said (the Sept. reads, "and say") to Abimelech, “Increase your army, and come out.”

30: And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled.
31: And he sent messengers to Abimelech deceitfully (or craftily), saying, “Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify the city against you.
32: Now therefore up by night, you and the people that is with you, and lie in wait in the field:
33: And it shall be, that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you shalt rise early, and set upon the city: and, behold, when he and the people that is with him come out against you, then may you do to them according as you shall find occasion.”

34: And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies.

35: And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city:

and Abimelech rose up, and the people that were with him, from lying in wait.

36: And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, “Behold, there come people down from the top of the mountains.” And Zebul said to him, “You see the shadow of the mountains as if they were men.”
37: And Gaal spoke again and said, “See there come people down by the middle of the land, and another company come along by the oak of Meonenim.”
38: Then said Zebul to him, “Where is now your mouth, wherewith you said, ‘Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him?’ is not this the people that you have despised? go out, I pray now (a special various reading called Sevir has "you" [emphatic] instead of "now" = I pray you, you &c.), you fight with them.”

39: And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech.
40: And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown and wounded, even to the entering of the gate.
41: And Abimelech waited (or sat down) at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem.

42: And it came to pass on the next day, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech.
43: And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people were come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them.
44: And Abimelech, and the company that was with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two other companies rushed upon all the people that were in the fields, and slew them.
45: And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.

46-49. The Tower of Shechem.

51-55. Tower of Thebez.

H³  k  l  46,47. Refuge.
        m  o  48. Brushwood.
            p  49-. Burning.
             n  -49. Deaths. Shechemites.
    k  l  51. Refuge.
        m   p  52. Burning.
           o  53. Millstone.
             n  54,55. Death. Abimelech.

46: And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard that, they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith (= covenant = a sanctuary).
47: And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.

48: And Abimelech got him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the brushwood, and took it, and laid it on his shoulder, and said to the people that were with him, “What you all have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done.”

49: And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them;

so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.

50: Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it.

51: But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut it to them, and gat them up to the top of the tower.

52: And Abimelech came to the tower, and fought against it, and went close to the door of the tower to burn it with fire.

53: And a certain woman cast an upper millstone upon Abimelech's head, and altogether broke his skull.

54: Then he called hastily to the young man his armourbearer, and said to him, “Draw your sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, “A woman slew him” (see 4:21). And his young man thrust him through, and he died.
55: And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man to his place.

56: Thus God requited (Heb. brought back) the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did to his father, in slaying his seventy brethren:
57: And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God requite upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.

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