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Abimelech – The Bramble King

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by Insight, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. Insight

    Insight New Member

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    Abimelech – The Bramble King

    Firstly, I would like to say how honoured I am to look within this wonderful chapter. And thank you for the invitation to discuss its substance this evening.

    My approach this evening is to consider as much of the chapters content as possible. I will be providing you a copy of the study for your activity afterwards and hopefully together we can glean some wonderful insight into the Spirit of Yahweh and its manifestation us.

    Set before us tonight is a dreadful account of the basest of men. Rarely are we shown the inner workings and their evil imaginations carried through to their fulfilment and eventual demise.

    Many of you may know that Judges 9 is extremely unique in the book of the Judges. So much so that little work has been done in the brotherhood (or Christendom) compared with other works.

    Thankfully this has forced me to consider its substance and be guided through broader works.

    The way the Spirit has recorded this work is needful consideration. So a brief analysis of the chapter will help position our thinking and prepare us for its many lessons.

    The way the Spirit has recorded the plot is vastly different than all the Chapters in Judges. It breaks away from having the usual paragraph breaks and is considered by many Jewish Scholars to an individual storey, rather than a set of individual small narratives as seen elsewhere.

    The story appears to break away from the Judges-

    If you would come briefly over to Judges 8:28: Now usually we would find the storey of Gideon conclude here…

    [sup]28[/sup]Thus was Median subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.

    We would then see the next Judges period introduced with…

    “the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (Like Judges 2:11;3:7; 6:1)

    But for some reason the story is far from finished!

    Notice what Yahweh introduces in judge’s 8:27 (the verse before) He plants a seed in us to encourage further questions and their consequence.

    [sup]27[/sup]And Gideon [sup]1439[/sup] made [sup]6213[/sup] an ephod [sup]646[/sup] thereof, and put [sup]3322[/sup] it in his city [sup]5892[/sup], [even] in Ophrah [sup]6084[/sup]: and all Israel [sup]3478[/sup] went thither a whoring [sup]2181[/sup] after [sup]310[/sup] it: which thing became a snare [sup]4170[/sup] unto Gideon [sup]1439[/sup], and to his house [sup]1004[/sup].

    Clearly our Father wants us to know what came of Gideon’s house, after the events after his death. His refusal of Kingship is an integral part of the message in terms of our type and antitype of the Judges 8 where we will eventually see Jesus Christ made King over all the earth.

    But what follows is puzzling indeed.

    Judges 9 is extremely slow reading due to the great amount of detail. No other chapter in Judges is like this one! Gideon is only mentioned by the name of Jerubbaal ("Let Baal contend with him" Judges 6:32) and Yahweh is only mentioned in the form of Elohim or mighty ones (angels)7 times.

    There are no favoured people or tribe within the chapter.

    Which leads us to believe that Baal has contended for himself (in the absence of Gideon i.e future Christ) and prevailed over Gods people?

    If we contrast Gideon’s record with Abimelech it is clear Israel is concerned with external threats, whereas Judges 9 is local political dealings where internal issues are presented but highlight the immense cancer within Israel at this time.

    Unlike Gideon’s account there is reference to broader Israel this account only deals with Shechem and only is Israel name in Judges 9:55 and even then the reference is somewhat awkward.

    Another oddity with this record in found in Judges 18:1; 19:1;21:25 although within Judges 9 you get the impression that Abimelech rules extended more broadly than just Shechem Judges 9:22,55.

    I put to you young people we are being taught a very special and unique lesson in this chapter. And it is one we must have front of mind before entering the record.

    _ _ _ Break _ _ _

    Did you notice during our reading how it appeared like the Spirit of God was far removed from the record? You see the removal of the Covenant name; Gideon’s name and the removal of the tribes of Israel teach us an important lesson.

    That while God is behind these events, He has purposefully withdrawn Himself to allow the flesh to rise to the top! The Spirit presents flesh in its rawest state, but to do this what was required? Rom 1:24.

    That’s right! The mighty hand of God almost becomes invisible!

    In fact we find young people this chapter is extremely significant in understanding the ends day before Christ returns, because God will not be seen anywhere! At all! Godlessness is reigning and children like you will need to look so very carefully to see Him at work…though it will appear He has gone completely!

    Actually, to drive this point home even harder – as we go through this chapter try are locate a place for divine intervention (verse Judges 9:23!?!)
    • Unlike the rest of Judges in this chapter Israel is the Oppressor and Yahweh Himself is behind the scenes as sole judge and hero!
    • And both the story of Gideon and Abimelech the principle of Zech 4:6 comes to life before our very eyes and points to the future time when the Kingdom of Israel will not be bought forth “by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts”
    • This chapter proves without doubt Israel and us today are really faithless people (even Gideon was faithless putting Yahweh to the test) he refused at the first to follow His call…and by God’s Grace alone did He entertain his test.
    • This record reveals to us the type of men who are elevated to positions of power and success are subjected to great temptation (like Gideon) where we continually see the spirit of “Thy Kingdom come” is replaced “My Kingdom come”. Though Gideon was extremely courageous and faithful the worldly phrase – worthy of recording is “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely” and only one man has ever had sufficient wisdom to manage this power. See Duet 17:14-20
    Chapter structure as follows
    1. Conspiracy in Shechem Judges 9:1-3
    2. Murder in Israel Judges 9:4-5
    3. Abimelech is Made King Verse Judges 9:6-8
    4. The Bramble King Judges 9:9-15
    5. Jotham predict mutual slaughter between Abimelech and his supporters Judges 9:16-20
    6. Jotham Escapes Judges 9:21
    7. Shechemites tire of Abimelech Judges 9:22-25
    8. Gaal leads the revolt against Abimelech Judges 9:26-29
    9. Zebul intrigues with Abimelech Judges 9:30-33
    10. Abimelech’s Strategy against Gaal Judges 9:34-38
    11. The fire from the bramble consumes Shechem 39-45
    12. Final Stand of the Men of Shechem Judges 9:46-49
    13. Ignoble death of Abimelech killed by a woman in an attack Thebez – Israel relieved of a Tyrant Judges 9:50-55
    14. Divine Retribution Judges 9:56-57
    So let’s begin.
  2. Insight

    Insight New Member

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    Please overlook my poor gramma :)

    [sup]Judges 8:31[/sup]And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech.

    The great sower has sowed a seed and now we desire to look into the matter.

    None of the other sons or wives are mentioned by name only that Gideon took to himself a concubine from Shechem and had a son to her and he named him Abimelech.

    There is a sense of anticipation as we wonder what will happen with the son of this concubine from Shechem. Of course Judges 9:1-6 then proceeds to describe in great detail this sons character, after the death of his Father, Gideon.

    Abimelech has some 5 possible meanings; but most agreed on “my Father is king” and how often do we see people grow into their names?

    Abimelech, after seeing his father die moved to fulfil the evil imaginations of his heart. He moved to Shechem, the home of his mother, clearly in his mind he imagined a vain thing in his heart. (Ps 2:1) And we are left wondering how short lived the glorious victories of Gideon, now dead and buried the memory of him and Yahweh’s victories fades into the background. Now the Flesh and its cunning are revealed to us as the Father renders unto man their evil and wicked practices. When Gideon fell asleep, we read the people turned from the true worship of Yahweh and made Baalberith (The Lord of the Covenant) their god.

    And so there wickedness is seen by Him in the Heavens. And with this rather than rising up a Judge as was usual practice, Yahweh shows restraint and allows king sin to have its way with Israel.

    As we move through Judges 9 watch how the sinfulness of man is “gradual” to begin with, and then increases with intensity. Again the Spirit has recorded this for our learning. (Rom 15:4) Sin can start out this way but eventually envelope your life.

    Judges 9:1-2

    And Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] the son [sup]1121[/sup] of Jerubbaal [sup]3378[/sup] went [sup]3212[/sup] to Shechem [sup]7927[/sup] unto his mother's [sup]517[/sup] brethren [sup]251[/sup], and communed [sup]1696[/sup] with them, and with all the family [sup]4940[/sup] of the house [sup]1004[/sup] of his mother's [sup]517[/sup] father [sup]1[/sup], saying [sup]559[/sup] , Speak [sup]1696[/sup] , I pray you, in the ears [sup]241[/sup] of all the men [sup]1167[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup], Whether [is] better [sup]2896[/sup] for you, either that all the sons [sup]1121[/sup] of Jerubbaal [sup]3378[/sup], [which are] threescore and ten [sup]7657[/sup] persons [sup]376[/sup], reign [sup]4910[/sup] over you, or that one [sup]259[/sup] reign [sup]4910[/sup] over you? remember [sup]2142[/sup] also that I [am] your bone [sup]6106[/sup] and your flesh [sup]1320[/sup].

    First act:

    One wonders how long Abimelech had anticipated the death of his father? His mother’s family where just a vehicle for him to obtain his ambition? But his destination was to cleave to his Canaanitish heritage so he sought the support of his mother’s relatives which included the entire extended family on his mother’s side. (He viewed his family as two separate groups.) He was partial in his judgements!

    Second Act:

    In a true political approach he enlisted his relatives to approach the broader powerbase within the region to gain wider support. The original Hebrew Baale Sekem implies these were the cunning Lords and Masters of Shechem and not its citizens! Power brokers like those senators in the House of Representatives who receive money from corporations to lobby their cause.

    However these are associated with Baal Berith “one who owns a treaty” and many believe these men are they who attested to the treaty itself, meaning they are the signatories of the covenant with their false god. And we draw this conclusion also from verse Judges 9:4 as how would these men otherwise have access to the seventy pieces of silver from the temple coffers? (also Judges 9:46-47 El Berith)

    Now imagine being the recipient of his question “Whether is better for you” or what is good for you?

    Questioning technique (cunning – sales): Its called an open question designed to gain information and buyin!

    What is Abimelech appealing to here? What do nobility today immediately think about when presented with such an open question? “Their self-interest?”

    He presents an argument for them to weigh up in their self-interest.
    1. Would you want one man ruling over you or seventy (confusion)
    2. Is the rule of a relative preferred to the rule of foreigners who will not tolerate your idol worship?

    And he supported any possible objections by stating he was of their own bone and flesh. (See Gen 2:23 – implying ownership and kingship)

    Judges 9:3-4

    And his mother's [sup]517[/sup] brethren [sup]251[/sup] spake [sup]1696[/sup] of him in the ears [sup]241[/sup] of all the men [sup]1167[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup] all these words [sup]1697[/sup]: and their hearts [sup]3820[/sup] inclined [sup]5186[/sup] to follow [sup]310[/sup] Abimelech [sup]40[/sup]; for they said [sup]559[/sup] , He [is] our brother [sup]251[/sup]. And they gave [sup]5414[/sup] him threescore and ten [sup]7657[/sup] [pieces] of silver [sup]3701[/sup] out of the house [sup]1004[/sup] of Baalberith [sup]1170[/sup], wherewith Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] hired [sup]7936[/sup] vain [sup]7386[/sup] and light [sup]6348[/sup] persons [sup]582[/sup], which followed [sup]3212[/sup] him [sup]310[/sup].

    It appears the argument based on blood works quickly turned them. Of course Gideon’s sons had no link whatsoever to Shechem – so these spokesman relayed the message to the city fathers and the rich and wealthy men of Shechem invested their money in the hope of a lucrative return. So they took money from the temple of El/Baal Berith and gave Abimelech the funds to hire a team of assassin’s. Today our equivalent Temple of El/Baal Berith is the shopping centres spread everywhere with their steeple roves which are designed especially for you to spend your money. This fund would have had numerous income streams from the people offering vows, sacrificial offerings, gifts, penalties etc.

    Does anyone here know the price of a slave under the law? (Lev 27:3-7) Adult 50 Shekels Female 30 shekels

    How cheap was life? And how cheap were the empty and reckless men for hire?

    And he went [sup]935[/sup] unto his father's [sup]1[/sup] house [sup]1004[/sup] at Ophrah [sup]6084[/sup], and slew [sup]2026[/sup] his brethren [sup]251[/sup] the sons [sup]1121[/sup] of Jerubbaal [sup]3378[/sup], [being] threescore and ten [sup]7657[/sup] persons [sup]376[/sup], upon one [sup]259[/sup] stone [sup]68[/sup]: notwithstanding yet Jotham [sup]3147[/sup] the youngest [sup]6996[/sup] son [sup]1121[/sup] of Jerubbaal [sup]3378[/sup] was left [sup]3498[/sup] ; for he hid [sup]2244[/sup] himself.

    So Abimelech travelled 48 Kilometres to Ophrah with his hired assassin’s to slaughter Gideon’s sons. Now you all would know that Gideon being dead and buried and Ophrah being the capital city – suspect these 70 men were in some capacity overseeing their father’s affairs and certainly Ophrah would have required from Shechem tribute and taxes from the Canaanite city.

    From what I can gather this stone upon which 69 men were killed appears to have some significance and I know some of our Brethren in the past felt it was a done in sacrificial offering like that under the law. We know that Ophrah was a pagan cult centre (Judges 8:27) so these men were not killed in a wild rage but calculated murder one by one. Some thought they may be been pushed off a nearby cliff upon a stone...but I tend to think it was far more ordered than this. (See 1 Sam 14:33-34? Or Ahabs Sons in 2 Kings 10 (by Jehu))

    These deaths young people were conjured up in the mind of a mad man long before he carried this brutal act out. And if you go over to Judges 8:34-35 we see the Spirit demonstrated how appalling the peoples treatment of Gideon’s family was after his death. (One must question whether God was using Abimelech to judge Gideon’s household?

    And all the men [sup]1167[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup] gathered together [sup]622[/sup] , and all the house [sup]1004[/sup] of Millo [sup]4407[/sup] [sup]1037[/sup], and went [sup]3212[/sup] , and made [sup]4427[/sup] Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] king [sup]4428[/sup], by the plain [sup]436[/sup] of the pillar [sup]5324[/sup] that [was] in Shechem [sup]7927[/sup].

    Finally Abimelech achieved his goal of becoming King (of sorts) over Shechem. The nobility came to acknowledge his position and attend the ceremony naming him King.

    Here Abimelech showed all the powerful men in Shechem he was a bloodthirsty and brutal man willing to horribly murder all Gideon's sons for power and authority. It’s only natural these masters of Shechem feared him greatly. So they agreed to make him king, and arranged a great ceremony to be held under an oak tree in Shechem.

    This location had very special meaning to Israel, but nothing was sacred to this brute of a man.
    • It was the place where Abraham had first been promised the land after entering it (Gen 12:6)
    • It was where Jacob buried the household gods found among his family (Gen 35:4)
    • Where the tribes had assembled to recite the blessings and curses of the Law when they first entered the land under Joshua (Joshua 8:30)
    • And where they entered into solemn agreement to serve Yahweh (Josh 24:1,26)
    Now this disgusting pathetic apostate group gathered under the tree that had witnessed the last duties of the righteous Joshua to elect this brutal murderer as their king!

    This event is one of the most heinous in all Israel. And all this was done without consulting the counsel of God where we know today that no king can be set over Israel (even Jesus) without the knowledge, advice and consent of the whole body of Israel.

    Abimelech is made the Bramble King of Israel under the Oak of Shechem.

    If we reflect on the process of his appointment as King we can make a couple of observations. It is clear that Gideon exercised some form of power in the region and in some way his sons held a de facto power of some sort. You see I believe something more sinister went on here young people but we must put the pieces together. It could have been some unrest between Ophrah and Shechem (possibility) Abimelech rise to power came about by the influence and power of these men of Shechem who by the way had the authority to appoint and name a King. Clearly this government in Shechem held some previous ties with Gideon and so used Abimelech to destroy what was left of that influence.

    What is extremely interesting is how this same government latter shifted their preference away from Abimelech because of his blood lust and gave it to Gaal. Who by the way was a full blood warrior kinsman in Shechem.

    You can read this chapter thinking Abimelech is in control when actually it’s the powerful government and idolatrous business activities behind him that held all the power. (Maybe you might like to think of the Roman Catholic Church with all its obscene wealth granting its power to a confederate Europe to carry out is future machinations???)

    Reference map:

  3. Insight

    Insight New Member

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    Judges 9:7
    And when they told [sup]5046[/sup] [it] to Jotham [sup]3147[/sup], he went [sup]3212[/sup] and stood [sup]5975[/sup] in the top [sup]7218[/sup] of mount [sup]2022[/sup] Gerizim [sup]1630[/sup], and lifted up [sup]5375[/sup] his voice [sup]6963[/sup], and cried [sup]7121[/sup] , and said [sup]559[/sup] unto them, Hearken [sup]8085[/sup] unto me, ye men [sup]1167[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup], that God [sup]430[/sup] may hearken [sup]8085[/sup] unto you.

    All was going according to his plan up until the end of verse 5 where one of Jerubbaals sons, Jotham, the youngest got away from the slaughter. (Notice how Yahweh mentions this in passing and the plot continues, endeavouring to draw us in deeper in the events but leaving us in some anticipation?

    By doing this God wants us to believe Abimelech has got it all his own way!

    Now the focus turns away from Abimelech and towards the young boy Jotham (meaning “The Lord is Perfect/Honest” Upright).

    Clearly somehow we are not told but Jotham received word of Abimelech’s shame appointment as King – it was enough for him to come out of hiding (maybe from Ophrah)

    What were Jotham’s options?
    1. Could he enter Shechem?
    2. He had no political power
    3. Whatever he does he will need to flee straight away for fear of death.
    4. He climbs up into a mountain outside the city
    5. He chooses a parable / fable to communicate certain judgements.

    So we have from verse 8-15 Jotham parable and from 16-20 the interpretation.

    If we took off our political hats for a moment we would now put on our lawyers hat. Because Jotham presents the Men of Shechem with a complaint – he stands overhead where I am told the acoustics are amazing even today whispers can be heard down below Mt Gerizim (Modern Jebel et-Tor on the south side of the Nablus Valley) this ledge overlook the city from the south.

    Jotham uses the power of Yahweh’s Word foretelling of things which are yet to come to pass. Hebrew Scholars believe this to one of the finest poetry containing some beautiful moral lessons for us today.

    Judges 9:8-21

    But the olive tree [sup]2132[/sup] said [sup]559[/sup] unto them, Should I leave [sup]2308[/sup] my fatness [sup]1880[/sup], wherewith by me they honour [sup]3513[/sup] God [sup]430[/sup] and man [sup]582[/sup], and go [sup]1980[/sup] to be promoted [sup]5128[/sup] over the trees [sup]6086[/sup]? And the trees [sup]6086[/sup] said [sup]559[/sup] to the fig tree [sup]8384[/sup], Come [sup]3212[/sup] thou, [and] reign [sup]4427[/sup] over us. But the fig tree [sup]8384[/sup] said [sup]559[/sup] unto them, Should I forsake [sup]2308[/sup] my sweetness [sup]4987[/sup], and my good [sup]2896[/sup] fruit [sup]8570[/sup], and go [sup]1980[/sup] to be promoted [sup]5128[/sup] over the trees [sup]6086[/sup]? Then said [sup]559[/sup] the trees [sup]6086[/sup] unto the vine [sup]1612[/sup], Come [sup]3212[/sup] thou, [and] reign [sup]4427[/sup] over us. And the vine [sup]1612[/sup] said [sup]559[/sup] unto them, Should I leave [sup]2308[/sup] my wine [sup]8492[/sup], which cheereth [sup]8055[/sup] God [sup]430[/sup] and man [sup]582[/sup], and go [sup]1980[/sup] to be promoted [sup]5128[/sup] over the trees [sup]6086[/sup]? Then said [sup]559[/sup] all the trees [sup]6086[/sup] unto the bramble [sup]329[/sup], Come [sup]3212[/sup] thou, [and] reign [sup]4427[/sup] over us.

    Trees behaving like men!

    The trees going from plant to plant in search of a King to reign over them which is not doubt speaking of the Shechemites. The first three candidates’ were prized species in all Israel.
    1. The Olive Tree – the most valuable first the product of the oil in Hebrew is desen “fatness” and was used in everyday use. Cooking oil, medicine, laxative, lubricant, softened leather, fuels for lamps and of course all the sacred rituals where it was used for both holy and unholy use.
    2. The fig tree – used for cakes, eaten fresh, and used in those times as a sweetener.
    3. Grape Vine – not just wine but the Hebrew implies tiros “fresh wine”, actually it implies newly pressed wine. Rather than yayin commonly used word for wine.

    So each plant as approached declined the offer of Kingship because they were too busy serving the people of the day giving of their substance in whatever form that took. Clearly they viewed this role of King as worthless – because they were too busy contributing in their public service.

    Now the parable reaches its climax in verse 14 -15

    Then said [sup]559[/sup] all the trees [sup]6086[/sup] unto the bramble [sup]329[/sup], Come [sup]3212[/sup] thou, [and] reign [sup]4427[/sup] over us.
    And the bramble [sup]329[/sup] said [sup]559[/sup] unto the trees [sup]6086[/sup], (Question) If in truth [sup]571[/sup] ye anoint [sup]4886[/sup] me king [sup]4428[/sup] over you, [then] come [sup]935[/sup] [and] put your trust [sup]2620[/sup] in my shadow [sup]6738[/sup]: (Curse) and if not, let fire [sup]784[/sup] come out [sup]3318[/sup] of the bramble [sup]329[/sup], and devour [sup]398[/sup] the cedars [sup]730[/sup] of Lebanon [sup]3844[/sup].

    So the trees had at last approached the Bramble with the offer of Kingship, and as you all know this plant ironically had nothing to contribute to society at all, neither divine quality of fit for human consumption.

    The species they suggest is the buckthorn - lyceum europaeum.


    Verse 8 & 14,15 really tell us a lot about what’s going on here. Abimelech’s acceptance speech of becoming King gives us further insight into the mind of Abimelech.

    When you read verse 14 it appears Abimelech is questioning their “If in truth” you anoint me King over you, then come and put your trust… If “really” desire to make me King then come and be my subjects!

    The reality from the nobility was made clear that he was really a flippant formality to serve their purpose! But notice how great heights his self-esteem took him! He will not be King over common trees but also over the cedars of Lebanon (government and royalty)!

    Before we move on there is an illusion here which must be dealt with else we will fail to understand the thrust of this chapter.

    What do you make of the language “truly [sup]571[/sup] and sincerelyin verse 15?

    You see now Jotham directs his voice in first person to the township of Shechem to question their integrity in how they have dealt with Gideon’s house!

    Judges 9:16,17

    (Question) Now therefore, if ye have done [sup]6213[/sup] truly [sup]571[/sup] and sincerely [sup]8549[/sup], in that ye have made Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] king [sup]4427[/sup] , and if ye have dealt [sup]6213[/sup] well [sup]2896[/sup] with Jerubbaal [sup]3378[/sup] and his house [sup]1004[/sup], and have done [sup]6213[/sup] unto him according to the deserving [sup]1576[/sup] of his hands [sup]3027[/sup];

    (Curse) But if not, let fire [sup]784[/sup] come out [sup]3318[/sup] from Abimelech [sup]40[/sup], and devour [sup]398[/sup] the men [sup]1167[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup], and the house [sup]1004[/sup] of Millo [sup]4407[/sup] [sup]1037[/sup]; and let fire [sup]784[/sup] come out [sup]3318[/sup] from the men [sup]1167[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup], and from the house [sup]1004[/sup] of Millo [sup]4407[/sup] [sup]1037[/sup], and devour [sup]398[/sup] Abimelech [sup]40[/sup].

    Jotham is piercing their conscience asking them to consider if they have displayed complete integrity, in truth (emeth), or faith and with perfection, sincerely (tamin) Josh 24:14

    The location where Abimelech was made King had special meaning to Israel, but we know nothing was sacred to this brutish man.
    • It was the place where Abraham had first been “promised” the land after entering it (Gen 12:6)
    • It was where Jacob buried the “household gods” found among his family (Gen 35:4)
    • Where the tribes had assembled to recite the blessings and curses of the Law when they first entered the land under Joshua (Joshua 8:30)
    • And where they entered into solemn agreement to serve Yahweh (Josh 24:1,14 - 26)
    A covenant had been entered into which had conditions…to which Yahweh would hold them too and still does to this day.

    It appears to me that Jotham is using covenant language to trigger their minds to the event of MUST READ Joshua 24 !!!!! In the hope they will recall the terms of the covenant which they entered. Jotham understand they were now two covenants in place in Shechem of which Abimelech was now made King. In a word the people were already in covenant with their heavenly King.
  4. Insight

    Insight New Member

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    Judges 9:17-19

    For my father [sup]1[/sup] fought [sup]3898[/sup] for you, and adventured [sup]7993[/sup] his life [sup]5315[/sup] far [sup]5048[/sup], and delivered [sup]5337[/sup] you out of the hand [sup]3027[/sup] of Midian [sup]4080[/sup]: And ye are risen up [sup]6965[/sup] against my father's [sup]1[/sup] house [sup]1004[/sup] this day [sup]3117[/sup], and have slain [sup]2026[/sup] his sons [sup]1121[/sup], threescore and ten [sup]7657[/sup] persons [sup]376[/sup], upon one [sup]259[/sup] stone [sup]68[/sup], and have made Abimelech [sup]40[/sup], the son [sup]1121[/sup] of his maidservant [sup]519[/sup], king [sup]4427[/sup] over the men [sup]1167[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup], because he [is] your brother [sup]251[/sup] If ye then have dealt [sup]6213[/sup] truly [sup]571[/sup] and sincerely [sup]8549[/sup] with Jerubbaal [sup]3378[/sup] and with his house [sup]1004[/sup] this day [sup]3117[/sup], [then] rejoice [sup]8055[/sup] ye in Abimelech [sup]40[/sup], and let him also rejoice [sup]8055[/sup] in you: But if not, let fire [sup]784[/sup] come out [sup]3318[/sup] from Abimelech [sup]40[/sup], and devour [sup]398[/sup] the men [sup]1167[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup], and the house [sup]1004[/sup] of Millo [sup]4407[/sup] [sup]1037[/sup]; and let fire [sup]784[/sup] come out [sup]3318[/sup] from the men [sup]1167[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup], and from the house [sup]1004[/sup] of Millo [sup]4407[/sup] [sup]1037[/sup], and devour [sup]398[/sup] Abimelech [sup]40[/sup].

    But Jotham takes this complaint to another level when he begins to share his pain at the loss of his family.

    In hindsight can you see how Jotham begins by sharing a parable in the 1, third person, and then takes his message 2. directly to the broader townspeople questioning their motives and 3. now he makes it very personal and in verse 17 as he starts a eulogy to his father Gideon.

    It is evident Jotham is upset they could not acknowledge how Gideon had risk his life to bring their safety, as Gideon fought on Shechems behalf against the Midianites. It treachery to kill my father’s sons and further more entering a covenant with the son of a slave girl and one can only imagine the rage Abimelech felt when he heard those words.

    I like how Jotham summed up his discourse by saying if you have a clear conscience then let the two parties celebrate, which no doubt Abimelech and the townsfolk did, but if not, let your treacherous alliance destroy each other.

    And Jotham [sup]3147[/sup] ran away [sup]1272[/sup] , and fled [sup]5127[/sup] , and went [sup]3212[/sup] to Beer (means “well” see 2 Sam 17:18-21) [sup]876[/sup], and dwelt [sup]3427[/sup] there, for fear [sup]6440[/sup] of Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] his brother [sup]251[/sup]. (also see 1 Sam 10-18)

    When reading this one cannot but see that Jotham had a very negative view of Kingship, which he no doubt in his wisdom gleaned from his Father. And we must keep in mind young people that Kingship in the Near East was the most desirable office and converted by all in the regions about. So in this manner Jotham was going against the trend of the common man on the street.

    Israel would continue to be plague with desiring to be like the nations like us wanting to be like the Christians today…many dangerous practices are going on in the brotherhood today and we need to rescue as many as possible.

    Jotham here nowhere claims divine inspiration and what do you make of “Listen to me, lords of Shechem, that God may listen to you” It certainly shows that Jotham was speaking with an understanding of God Himself – what’s interesting is the rest of the chapters goes on to prove Jotham’s predictions correct and that it wasn’t some concoction in his mind.

    Judges 9:22-25

    When Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] had reigned [sup]7786[/sup] three [sup]7969[/sup] years [sup]8141[/sup] over Israel [sup]3478[/sup], Then God [sup]430[/sup] sent [sup]7971[/sup] an evil [sup]7451[/sup] spirit [sup]7307[/sup] between Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] and the men [sup]1167[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup]; and the men [sup]1167[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup] dealt treacherously [sup]898[/sup] with Abimelech [sup]40[/sup]:

    That the cruelty [sup]2555[/sup] [done] to the threescore and ten [sup]7657[/sup] sons [sup]1121[/sup] of Jerubbaal [sup]3378[/sup] might come [sup]935[/sup] , and their blood [sup]1818[/sup] be laid [sup]7760[/sup] upon Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] their brother [sup]251[/sup], which slew [sup]2026[/sup] them; and upon the men [sup]1167[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup], which aided [sup]2388[/sup] [sup]3027[/sup] him in the killing [sup]2026[/sup] of his brethren [sup]251[/sup].

    And the men [sup]1167[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup] set [sup]7760[/sup] liers in wait [sup]693[/sup] for him in the top [sup]7218[/sup] of the mountains [sup]2022[/sup], and they robbed [sup]1497[/sup] all that came [sup]5674[/sup] along that way [sup]1870[/sup] by them: and it was told [sup]5046[/sup] Abimelech [sup]40[/sup].

    He is the sole evidence in this chapter that Gods hand is behind these personalities but the eye of faith needs to be looking very closely.
    1. Notice how Abimelech is not given the dignity of King in verse Judges 9:22? Rather a lessor captain or prince
    1. Over Israel (See Judges 1:27-30) = Israel to mean Canaanite cities also!
    1. Why do you think the length of his reign is mention here and not at the end?
    1. Why do you think Elohim is used and not the Covenant name Yahweh?
    1. What is this evil spirit? Isa 45:7? Practical outworking in 1 Sam 16:14-23? “A bad spirit”
    1. Is this how God removes kings today?
    1. While his death was eventually caused by the women in Thebez it is clear that God instigated the event of calamity with Abimelech’s end in mind.

    Judges 9:26-30

    And Gaal [sup]1603[/sup] the son [sup]1121[/sup] of Ebed [sup]5651[/sup] came [sup]935[/sup] with his brethren [sup]251[/sup], and went over [sup]5674[/sup] to Shechem [sup]7927[/sup]: and the men [sup]1167[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup] put their confidence [sup]982[/sup] in him.

    And they went out [sup]3318[/sup] into the fields [sup]7704[/sup], and gathered [sup]1219[/sup] their vineyards [sup]3754[/sup], and trode [sup]1869[/sup] [the grapes], and made [sup]6213[/sup] merry [sup]1974[/sup], and went [sup]935[/sup] into the house [sup]1004[/sup] of their god [sup]430[/sup], and did eat [sup]398[/sup] and drink [sup]8354[/sup] , and cursed [sup]7043[/sup] Abimelech [sup]40[/sup].

    And Gaal [sup]1603[/sup] the son [sup]1121[/sup] of Ebed [sup]5651[/sup] said [sup]559[/sup] , Who [is] Abimelech [sup]40[/sup], and who [is] Shechem [sup]7927[/sup], that we should serve [sup]5647[/sup] him? [is] not [he] the son [sup]1121[/sup] of Jerubbaal [sup]3378[/sup]? and Zebul [sup]2083[/sup] his officer [sup]6496[/sup]? serve [sup]5647[/sup] the men [sup]582[/sup] of Hamor [sup]2544[/sup] the father [sup]1[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup]: for why should we serve [sup]5647[/sup] him?

    And would to God this people [sup]5971[/sup] were under [sup]5414[/sup] my hand [sup]3027[/sup]! then would I remove [sup]5493[/sup] Abimelech [sup]40[/sup]. And he said [sup]559[/sup] to Abimelech [sup]40[/sup], Increase [sup]7235[/sup] thine army [sup]6635[/sup], and come out [sup]3318[/sup] .

    Eventually they concluded how ridiculous it was to cower to an outsider – Abimelech stood alone with no family at all. So they decided it was in the best interests of Shechem that they serve the father of Shechem (Gen 33:19).

    Now Abimelech was seen as foreigner because he no longer served any benefit to their cause. Gaal made the claim of treuly representing Shechem in Verse Judges 9:29 he boastfully declares that if all the people came under his authority he would rid them of Abimelech.

    And then we see another politically motivated speech where Gaal concludes with a challenge to strengthen his army by coming out against Abimelech.

    Like Abimelech’s speech in verse Judges 9:2 Gaal now skilfully plays the ethnicity card in gaining the support of the Lords of Shechem. If blood was the issue then his was 100% pure and let the kingship come home to Shechem.

    What’s interesting is Abimelech claim his kingship through his mother but all knew that a man identity was determined by his father (custom – his rulership was claimed in weakness) – and so they showed him the same disdain for him as they did his father.

    Note: Can you see how Gaal is not presented openly as God’s representative, but you cannot help but feel his introduction is divinely motivated!
  5. Insight

    Insight New Member

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    Judges 9:30-33

    And when Zebul [sup]2083[/sup] the ruler [sup]8269[/sup] of the city [sup]5892[/sup] heard [sup]8085[/sup] the words [sup]1697[/sup] of Gaal [sup]1603[/sup] the son [sup]1121[/sup] of Ebed [sup]5651[/sup], his anger [sup]639[/sup] was kindled [sup]2734[/sup] .And he sent [sup]7971[/sup] messengers [sup]4397[/sup] unto Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] privily [sup]8649[/sup], saying [sup]559[/sup] , Behold, Gaal [sup]1603[/sup] the son [sup]1121[/sup] of Ebed [sup]5651[/sup] and his brethren [sup]251[/sup] be come [sup]935[/sup] to Shechem [sup]7927[/sup]; and, behold, they fortify [sup]6696[/sup] the city [sup]5892[/sup] against thee.Now therefore up [sup]6965[/sup] by night [sup]3915[/sup], thou and the people [sup]5971[/sup] that [is] with thee, and lie in wait [sup]693[/sup] in the field [sup]7704[/sup]:And it shall be, [that] in the morning [sup]1242[/sup], as soon as the sun [sup]8121[/sup] is up [sup]2224[/sup] , thou shalt rise early [sup]7925[/sup] , and set [sup]6584[/sup] upon the city [sup]5892[/sup]: and, behold, [when] he and the people [sup]5971[/sup] that [is] with him come out [sup]3318[/sup] against thee, then mayest thou do [sup]6213[/sup] to them as thou [sup]3027[/sup] shalt find occasion [sup]4672[/sup].And Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] rose up [sup]6965[/sup] , and all the people [sup]5971[/sup] that [were] with him, by night [sup]3915[/sup], and they laid wait [sup]693[/sup] against Shechem [sup]7927[/sup] in four [sup]702[/sup] companies [sup]7218[/sup].

    Abimelech heard the report in verse Judges 9:25 but here in verse Judges 9:30 he does not appear?

    It appears that Abimelech was out of town with two possibilities:
    1. It’s possible he was in Ophrah holding court having claimed Jerubbaal’s throne after he had slaughtered his half-brothers it would make sense to consolidate his authority there.
    2. Or perhaps Arumah which in verse 41 suggest this township may have served as his capital?

    Of course we see Zebul had not gone with him so one wonders if Abimelech felt a representative was needed in Shechem – Zebul was set over Shechem as a commander as the Hebrew implies.

    When he heard of these matters he covertly sent messengers to Abimelech reporting of Gaal’s stirring up the city against Abimelech. (Judges 9:31)

    He advised Abimelech of a strategy to move against his enemy allowing Abimelech time he was there ready by morning when the sun rose.

    If you read Judges 9:33 it implies the battle would be easily won by Abimelech, again we see the Spirit planting a seed drawing us into the record.

    Judges 9:34-37

    And Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] rose up [sup]6965[/sup] , and all the people [sup]5971[/sup] that [were] with him, by night [sup]3915[/sup], and they laid wait [sup]693[/sup] against Shechem [sup]7927[/sup] in four [sup]702[/sup] companies [sup]7218[/sup].And Gaal [sup]1603[/sup] the son [sup]1121[/sup] of Ebed [sup]5651[/sup] went out [sup]3318[/sup] , and stood [sup]5975[/sup] in the entering [sup]6607[/sup] of the gate [sup]8179[/sup] of the city [sup]5892[/sup]: and Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] rose up [sup]6965[/sup] , and the people [sup]5971[/sup] that [were] with him, from lying in wait [sup]3993[/sup].And when Gaal [sup]1603[/sup] saw [sup]7200[/sup] the people [sup]5971[/sup], he said [sup]559[/sup] to Zebul [sup]2083[/sup], Behold, there come [sup]3381[/sup] [sup]0[/sup] people [sup]5971[/sup] down [sup]3381[/sup] from the top [sup]7218[/sup] of the mountains [sup]2022[/sup]. And Zebul [sup]2083[/sup] said [sup]559[/sup] unto him, Thou seest [sup]7200[/sup] the shadow [sup]6738[/sup] of the mountains [sup]2022[/sup] as [if they were] men [sup]582[/sup]. And Gaal [sup]1603[/sup] spake [sup]1696[/sup] again [sup]3254[/sup] and said [sup]559[/sup] , See there come [sup]3381[/sup] [sup]0[/sup] people [sup]5971[/sup] down [sup]3381[/sup] by the middle [sup]2872[/sup] of the land [sup]776[/sup], and another [sup]259[/sup] company [sup]7218[/sup] come [sup]935[/sup] along by the plain [sup]436[/sup] of [sup]1870[/sup] Meonenim [sup]6049[/sup]

    Abimelech must have had considerable trust in Zebul because he did exactly as he was told! And split his troops in four groups. We are not told how these men were but I suggest they were those of his closest family in verse 1 and maybe armed forces from Ophrah.

    If you read it carefully it appears Zebul’s group was closest to the gate of the city. It looks like Gaal spotted Zebul and tried to distract him by telling him to look up to the surrounding mountains where he would see the allies of the Shechemites come down to their aid. Of Zebul dismissed this comment.

    Zebul did not all for Gaals distractions but rather Zebul his opponent to follow through on his drunkard boasting. If Abimelech is in fact a nobody, then let his men fight him. As we read in front of the city gate Gaal and his army were overcome by Abimelech – but Stanley instead of occupying the city himself he left it to Zebul while Abimelech went back to *Arumah. Evidently the place where his rule from.

    Judges 9:42-45

    And it came to pass on the morrow [sup]4283[/sup], that the people [sup]5971[/sup] went out [sup]3318[/sup] into the field [sup]7704[/sup]; and they told [sup]5046[/sup] Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] And he took [sup]3947[/sup] the people [sup]5971[/sup], and divided [sup]2673[/sup] them into three [sup]7969[/sup] companies [sup]7218[/sup], and laid wait [sup]693[/sup] in the field [sup]7704[/sup], and looked [sup]7200[/sup] , and, behold, the people [sup]5971[/sup] [were] come forth [sup]3318[/sup] out of the city [sup]5892[/sup]; and he rose up [sup]6965[/sup] against them, and smote [sup]5221[/sup] them. And Abimelech [sup]40[/sup], and the company [sup]7218[/sup] that [was] with him, rushed forward [sup]6584[/sup] , and stood [sup]5975[/sup] in the entering [sup]6607[/sup] of the gate [sup]8179[/sup] of the city [sup]5892[/sup]: and the two [sup]8147[/sup] [other] companies [sup]7218[/sup] ran upon [sup]6584[/sup] all [the people] that [were] in the fields [sup]7704[/sup], and slew [sup]5221[/sup] them. And Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] fought [sup]3898[/sup] against the city [sup]5892[/sup] all that day [sup]3117[/sup]; and he took [sup]3920[/sup] the city [sup]5892[/sup], and slew [sup]2026[/sup] the people [sup]5971[/sup] that [was] therein, and beat down [sup]5422[/sup] the city [sup]5892[/sup], and sowed [sup]2232[/sup] it with salt [sup]4417[/sup]

    Well the first noted absence is the Lord’s of Shechem who were no doubt routed the day before. It appears the townsfolk we taking up their daily routines, some who work out in the fields. Abimelech being charged form the previous days events and now for the first time infected with blood lust he divides his men into three groups setting ambushes strategically around the fields. Once they were out in the fields Abimelech moved against those who came near and slew them in cold murder. Maybe the only weapons were their farming instruments. The other two companies attack those remaining farmers killing all of them.

    Abimelech is now fully charge with adrenalin running think through his veins he seeks to move against the city of Shechem for their treason. He takes up position outside of the gates of the city.

    Somehow they must have overpowered the guards at the gates and then we are told after fighting all day they captured the city, slaughtering its people and razed it to the ground and spread salt all over it.

    The adding of salt is seen to accomplish tow things here 1. Renders the use of the soil as useless. 2. Many believe the act was a ritual suggesting he placed a curse on the irrevocable on the land.

    Judges 9:46-49

    And when all the men [sup]1167[/sup] of the tower [sup]4026[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup] heard [sup]8085[/sup] [that], they entered [sup]935[/sup] into an hold [sup]6877[/sup] of the house [sup]1004[/sup] of the god [sup]410[/sup] Berith [sup]1286[/sup] And it was told [sup]5046[/sup] Abimelech [sup]40[/sup], that all the men [sup]1167[/sup] of the tower [sup]4026[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup] were gathered together [sup]6908[/sup] . And Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] gat him up [sup]5927[/sup] to mount [sup]2022[/sup] Zalmon [sup]6756[/sup], he and all the people [sup]5971[/sup] that [were] with him; and Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] took [sup]3947[/sup] an axe [sup]7134[/sup] in his hand [sup]3027[/sup], and cut down [sup]3772[/sup] a bough [sup]7754[/sup] from the trees [sup]6086[/sup], and took [sup]5375[/sup] it, and laid [sup]7760[/sup] [it] on his shoulder [sup]7926[/sup], and said [sup]559[/sup] unto the people [sup]5971[/sup] that [were] with him, What ye have seen [sup]7200[/sup] me do [sup]6213[/sup] , make haste [sup]4116[/sup] , [and] do [sup]6213[/sup] as I [sup]3644[/sup] [have done]. And all the people [sup]5971[/sup] likewise cut down [sup]3772[/sup] every man [sup]376[/sup] his bough [sup]7754[/sup], and followed [sup]3212[/sup] [sup]310[/sup] Abimelech [sup]40[/sup], and put [sup]7760[/sup] [them] to the hold [sup]6877[/sup], and set [sup]3341[/sup] the hold [sup]6877[/sup] on fire [sup]784[/sup] upon them; so that all the men [sup]582[/sup] of the tower [sup]4026[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup] died [sup]4191[/sup] also, about a thousand [sup]505[/sup] men [sup]376[/sup] and women [sup]802[/sup].

    Now it appears Abimelech did not capture the whole city. Not every corner of the city had fallen and I believe he was able to destroy the lowr part of the city but the acropolis (temple or citadel):

    “temple of Baal-Berith [lord of the covenant]” (Judges 9:4), “Beth-Millo [house of the millo/fortress]” (Judges9:6, 20), “temple of their god” (Judges 9:27), “tower [or fortress] of Shechem” (Judges9:46, 49) and “temple of El-Berith [god of the covenant]” (Judges 9:46) all appear to be referring to the same large temple found at the acropolis of Shechem.

    The temple fortress would have higher up raised with the townspeople living all around while the lower part of the city is a much larger area than the temple itself. It was the last line of defence to all move into the temple fortress. Those of the nobles would have been held in the fortress and their families and any others who managed to get in alive. These temples had inner rooms where many could hold up. “Men or Lords of Shechem” the NIV states the “stronghold of the temple of El Berith” which indicates a tower within the temple structure.

    Now Abimelech knew their location and took an axe and led his men to the top of Mount Zalmon (Ebel) 427 metres high (the highest part of Mount Dandenong is 633 meters)

    He cut a limb of a tree placed it on his shoulder and walked all the way back, running on adrenalin and the need to kill he and his men did likewise, placed the branches around the building an lit them up. They stood back and watch the flames engulf the structure and One Thousand men and women died.
    The irony here is the place where they died was the exact same location as their drunken rivalry in verse 27!
    Jotham’s prediction of fire in verse 27 had been fulfilled allowing us to catch a glimpse of Gods hand at work. He had consumed the trees and now the Cedars of Lebanon were all gone.
    Judges 9:50-55
    Then went [sup]3212[/sup] Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] to Thebez [sup]8405[/sup], and encamped [sup]2583[/sup] against Thebez [sup]8405[/sup], and took [sup]3920[/sup] it.
    But there was a strong [sup]5797[/sup] tower [sup]4026[/sup] within [sup]8432[/sup] the city [sup]5892[/sup], and thither fled [sup]5127[/sup] all the men [sup]582[/sup] and women [sup]802[/sup], and all they [sup]1167[/sup] of the city [sup]5892[/sup], and shut [sup]5462[/sup] [it] to them, and gat them up [sup]5927[/sup] to the top [sup]1406[/sup] of the tower [sup]4026[/sup]. And Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] came [sup]935[/sup] unto the tower [sup]4026[/sup], and fought [sup]3898[/sup] against it, and went hard [sup]5066[/sup] unto the door [sup]6607[/sup] of the tower [sup]4026[/sup] to burn [sup]8313[/sup] it with fire [sup]784[/sup]. And a certain [sup]259[/sup] woman [sup]802[/sup] cast [sup]7993[/sup] a piece [sup]6400[/sup] of a millstone [sup]7393[/sup] upon Abimelech's [sup]40[/sup] head [sup]7218[/sup], and all to brake [sup]7533[/sup] his skull [sup]1538[/sup].Then he called [sup]7121[/sup] hastily [sup]4120[/sup] unto the young man [sup]5288[/sup] his armourbearer [sup]5375[/sup] [sup]3627[/sup], and said [sup]559[/sup] unto him, Draw [sup]8025[/sup] thy sword [sup]2719[/sup], and slay [sup]4191[/sup] me, that men say [sup]559[/sup] not of me, A woman [sup]802[/sup] slew [sup]2026[/sup] him. And his young man [sup]5288[/sup] thrust him through [sup]1856[/sup] , and he died [sup]4191[/sup] . And when the men [sup]376[/sup] of Israel [sup]3478[/sup] saw [sup]7200[/sup] that Abimelech [sup]40[/sup] was dead [sup]4191[/sup] , they departed [sup]3212[/sup] every man [sup]376[/sup] unto his place [sup]4725[/sup].

    It would be easily to think after his victory did Abimelech escape the second part of Jotham’s prophecy? In the fullness of his pride and strength he now seeks to widen his kingdom over Israel and Canaan. It is interesting he looks to Thebez which is so close it could be like a satellite town which doesn’t appear to be well fortified again forcing the townspeople and their nobility to seek refuge in their “strong tower”. Under siege they lock the door and go to the roof of the tower while having realised how successful his last efforts in Shechem he begins to burn the doorway which is made of wood.

    We expect this tower would be destroyed but strangely a unknown woman enters the picture – possessing divine strength picked up an millstone and threw it from the roof down upon Abimelech’s head, crushing his skull (verse 53) He was alive long enough to release what had happened suggesting he saw the woman above him; he requests it no be known he died at the hands of a woman. This went straight to his manly pride. Even to his death, he revealed a belligerent, defiant, arrogance character. After all his evil achievements his end is at the hand of a woman. Coming from one who shamelessly lent on a woman to gain his throne is now killed by one.

    Seeing their leader fallen they run off to their homes. The Spirit identifies them as “men of Israel”

    Judges 9:56-57

    Thus God [sup]430[/sup] rendered [sup]7725[/sup] the wickedness [sup]7451[/sup] of Abimelech [sup]40[/sup], which he did [sup]6213[/sup] unto his father [sup]1[/sup], in slaying [sup]2026[/sup] his seventy [sup]7657[/sup] brethren [sup]251[/sup]:
    And all the evil [sup]7451[/sup] of the men [sup]582[/sup] of Shechem [sup]7927[/sup] did God [sup]430[/sup] render [sup]7725[/sup] upon their heads [sup]7218[/sup]: and upon them came [sup]935[/sup] the curse [sup]7045[/sup] of Jotham [sup]3147[/sup] the son [sup]1121[/sup] of Jerubbaal [sup]3378[/sup].

    The chapter concludes with an epilogue identifying Jotham’s Prophecy was fulfilled (quickly) and that God was the force behind the scenes.

    It was God who paid Abimelech back and none other. Its interesting only the people of Shechem were judged allowing the people of Thebez to go free.

    Clearly Abimelech endeavored to live up to his name (My father is King) only to be subject to its true meaning as Gideon understood “My Heavenly Father is King”

    All ego driven rulers will yield to Jesus Christ the King of kings through God his Father and so with this the story
    1. Points to reflect on: God has beautifully integrated this account of Abimelech to reveal that He is total control of Israel even if they do not acknowledge it.
    2. While the Hand of God is hidden its always there “somewhere” we must look harder and deeper to find it
    • Gaal being presented was divinely influenced
    • Abimelech’s initial victory had to take place to fulfill His Word
    • The ease of overcoming Thebez
    • The woman strength and accuracy
    1. It’s about doing what is right and getting what one deserves – this time God does not act in mercy!
    2. Anyone associated with the King got what they deserved (same as today and the world)
    3. What he used to kill his brothers was used to end his life.
    4. Here the enemy is within Israel (Baal Berith) and the covenant they put their trust in ended their lives. Taking on their god and its practices made them spiritual Canaanites
    5. When this happens God is absolved of his responsibilities and able to bring a curse upon them.
    6. This chapter typifies the Spirit of Disaster which will go out across the whole world upon the Lords return.
    7. The seed of apostasy which occurred during Gideon reign came to full blossom in the life of his son. In some part Abimelech must have gleaned his character from his Dad. (Gideon felt inferior in the beginning of his calling)
    8. The crime is not his kingship but that against Gideon and his sons.
    The Irony in his life: 1. Woman framed Abimelech’s life – one gave him life and kingship the other took it all from him. 2. Stone was used to kill and he was killed by a stone. 3 The drunken parties in the temple ended up killing them. His ambition was to be a king but was never recognised as one.

    The End
  6. veteran

    veteran New Member

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    Many Jews hate the Catholic Church so much, they'll go to just about any lengths to slander it, as Insight throws out that suggestion in his coverage of the Bramble of Judges 9...

    By Insight:
    "(Maybe you might like to think of the Roman Catholic Church with all its obscene wealth granting its power to a confederate Europe to carry out is future machinations???)"

    buckthorn - lyceum europaeum" as Insight's 'bramble' bush.

    Talk about "obscene wealth granting its power"? Guess that could never... apply to many of the orthodox Jews among the history of banks and banking that have been guilty of funding both sides in a war.!?! Why do many of the Jews have last names like 'Goldsmith' and 'Silversmith' anyway?

    And why do supposed Messianic Jews claim the Protestant Church, which broke away from the Catholic Church centuries ago, equates Protestants as 'sister harlots' of the Catholic Mother Church???

    If that's what they're teaching in Messianic Jewish Churches today, then those are really ideas from Orthodox Judaism, and not from Christ Jesus' servants who first stood in Him that were also first called 'Christian' at Antioch.