The Bible in Its Traditions

Judges 9:22–41

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22  And Abimelech was prince over Israel three years.

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

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23  And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech;

23  And Abimelech reigned over Israel three years.

23  Then God sent an evil spirit upon Abimeleck and upon the lords of Shechem; and the lords of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimeleck,

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24  that the violence done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and that their blood might be laid upon Abimelech their brother, who slew them, and upon the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to slay his brethren.

24  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  And the Lord put a very grievous spirit between Abimelech and the inhabitants of Shechem, who began to detest him,

25  And the men of Shechem set liers-in-wait for him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them; and it was told Abimelech.

25  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 to place blame for the crime of the killing of the seventy sons of Jerubbaal, and for the shedding of their blood, upon Abimelech, their brother, and upon the rest of the leaders of the Shechemites, who assisted him.

26  And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went on to Shechem; and the men of Shechem put their trust in him.

26  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 they stationed an ambush against him at the summit of the mountains. And while they were waiting for his arrival, they committed robberies, taking spoils from those passing by. And this was reported to Abimelech.

27  And they went out into the field, and gathered their vineyards, and trod the grapes, and held festival, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech.

27  And Gaal son of Jobel came, and his brethren, and passed by Sicima, and the men of Sicima trusted in him.

27  Now Gaal, the son of Ebed, went with his brothers, and crossed over to Shechem. And the inhabitants of Shechem, uplifted by his arrival,

28  And Gaal the son of Ebed said: 'Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? is not he the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve ye the men of Hamor the father of Shechem; but why should we serve him?

28  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  departed into the fields, laying waste to the vineyards, and trampling the grapes. And while singing and dancing, they entered into the shrine of their god. And while feasting and drinking, they cursed Abimelech.

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29  And would that this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech.' And he said to Abimelech: 'Increase thine army, and come out.'

29  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 servant with the son of Emmor the father of Sychem? and why should we serve him?

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30  And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled.

30  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  I wish that someone would set this people under my hand, so that I might take away Abimelech from their midst.” And it was told to Abimelech, “Gather the multitude of an army, and approach.”

31  And he sent messengers unto Abimelech in Tormah, saying: 'Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren are come to Shechem; and, behold, they will incite the city against thee.

31  And Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Jobel, and he was very angry.

31  For Zebul, the ruler of the city, upon hearing the words of Gaal, the son of Ebed, became very angry.

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32  Now therefore, up by night, thou and the people that are with thee, and lie in wait in the field.

32  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.

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33  And it shall be, that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and set upon the city; and, behold, when he and the people that are with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them as thou shalt be able.'

33  And now rise up by night, thou and the people with thee, and lay wait in the field.

33  And in the morning as soon as the sun is up, you must rise early, and march upon the city; and, behold, when he and the people that are with him come out against you, you may do to them as you are able to do.

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

34  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 at first light in the morning, as the sun is rising, rush upon the city. And when he goes out against you, with his people, do to him what you are able to do.”

35  And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city; and Abimelech rose up, and the people that were with him, from the ambushment.

35  And Abimelech and all the people with him rose up by night, and formed an ambuscade against Sychem in four companies.

35  And so Abimelech rose up, with all his army, by night, and he set ambushes near Shechem in four places.

36  And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul: 'Behold, there come people down from the tops of the mountains.' And Zebul said unto him: 'Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as if they were men.'

36  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 Ebed, went out, and he stood at the entrance to the gate of the city. Then Abimelech rose up, and all the army with him, from the places of the ambushes.

37  And Gaal spoke again and said: 'See, there come people down by the middle of the land, and one company cometh by the way of Elon-meonenim.'

37  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 when Gaal had seen the people, he said to Zebul, “Behold, a multitude is descending from the mountains.” And he responded to him, “You are seeing the shadows of the mountains, as if they were the heads of men, and so you are being deceived by this error.”

38  Then said Zebul unto him: 'Where is now thy mouth, that thou saidst: Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? is not this the people that thou hast despised? go out now, I pray, and fight with them.'

38  And Gaal continued to speak and said, Behold, a people comes down westward from the part bordering on the middle of the land, and another company comes by the way of Helon Maonenim.

38  Again, Gaal said, “Behold, a people is descending from the middle of the land, and one company is arriving by the way that looks towards the oak.”

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39  And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech.

39  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.

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40  And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and there fell many wounded, even unto the entrance of the gate.

40  And Gaal went forth before the men of Sychem, and set the battle in array against Abimelech.

40  Therefore, Gaal went out, with the people of Shechem watching, and he fought against Abimelech,

41  And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah; and Zebul drove out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem.

41  And Abimelech pursued him, and he fled from before him; and many fell down slain as far as the door of the gate.

41  who pursued him, fleeing, and drove him into the city. And many were cut down on his side, even to the gate of the city.