The Bible in Its Traditions

Judges 9:7–21

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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 unto them: 'Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.

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.

Then all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the families of the city of Millo, and they went and appointed Abimelech as king, beside the oak that stood at Shechem.

The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive-tree: Reign thou over us.

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.

When this had been reported to Jotham, he went and stood at the top of Mount Gerizim. And lifting up his voice, he cried out and said: “Listen to me, men of Shechem, so that God may listen to you.

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But the olive-tree said unto them: Should I leave my fatness, seeing that by me they honour God and man, and go to hold sway over the trees?

The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive, Reign over us.

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10  And the trees said to the fig-tree: Come thou, and reign over us.

10  But the olives said to them, Shall I leave my fatness, with which men shall glorify God, and go to be promoted over the trees?

10  And it responded, ‘How could I abandon my fatness, which both gods and men make use of, and depart to be promoted among the trees?’

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11  But the fig-tree said unto them: Should I leave my sweetness, and my good fruitage, and go to hold sway over the trees?

11  And the trees said to the fig-tree, Come, reign over us.

11  But the fig tree said to them, I am not going to leave my sweetness and my good fruit, to be abominated for reigning over the trees.

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12  And the trees said unto the vine: Come thou, and reign over us.

12  But the fig-tree said to them, Shall I leave my sweetness an my good fruits, and go to be promoted over the trees?

12  And it responded to them, ‘How could I abandon my sweetness, and my very sweet fruits, and depart to be promoted among the other trees?’

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13  And the vine said unto them: Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to hold sway over the trees?

13  And the trees said to the vine, Come, reign over us.

13  But the vine said to them, I am not going to leave my wine which cheers the hearts of gods and men, to be abominated for reigning over the trees.

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14  Then said all the trees unto the bramble: Come thou, and reign over us.

14  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  And it responded to them, ‘How could I abandon my wine, which gives joy to God and men, and be promoted among the other trees?’

15  And the bramble said unto the trees: If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shadow; and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.

15  Then all the trees said to the bramble, Come thou and reign over us.

15  And all the trees said to the bramble, ‘Come and reign over us.’

16  Now therefore, if ye have dealt truly and uprightly, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands--

16  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 Libanus.

16  And it responded to them: ‘If truly you would appoint me as king, come and rest under my shadow. But if you are not willing, let fire go forth from the bramble, and let it devour the cedars of Lebanon.’ ”

17  for my father fought for you, and adventured his life, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian;

17  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  So now, if you are upright and without sin in appointing Abimelech as a king over you, and if you have acted well with Jerubbaal, and with his house, and if you have repaid, in turn, the benefits of him who fought on your behalf,

18  and ye 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 maid-servant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother--

18  as my father fought for you, and put his life in jeopardy, and delivered you out of the hand of Madiam;

18  and who gave his life to dangers, so that he might rescue you from the hand of Midian,

19  if ye then have dealt truly and uprightly with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you.

19  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  though you now have risen up against my father’s house, and have killed his sons, seventy men, upon one stone, and have appointed Abimelech, the son of his handmaid, as a king over the inhabitants of Shechem, since he is your brother,

20  But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and Beth-millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from Beth-millo, and devour Abimelech.'

20  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  if therefore you are upright and have acted without fault with Jerubbaal and his house, then you should rejoice on this day in Abimelech, and he should rejoice in you.

21  And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.

21  but if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Sicima, and the house of Bethmaalo; and let fire come out from the men of Sicima and from the house of Bethmaalo, and devour Abimelech.

21  But if you have acted perversely, may fire go forth from him and consume the inhabitants of Shechem and the town of Millo. And may fire go forth from the men of Shechem and from the town of Millo, and devour Abimelech.”