Judges - Chapter 9
2 'Please put this question to the leading men of Shechem: Which is better for you: to be ruled by seventy people -- all Jerubbaal's sons -- or to be ruled by one? Remember too that I am your own flesh and bone.'
4 So they gave him seventy shekels of silver from the temple of Baal-Berith, and with this Abimelech paid violent adventurers to follow him.
5 He then went to his father's house at Ophrah and put his brothers, Jerubbaal's seventy sons, to death on one and the same stone. Jotham, however, Jerubbaal's youngest son, escaped by going into hiding.
7 News of this was brought to Jotham. He went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted at the top of his voice: Hear me, leaders of Shechem, so that God may also hear you!
9 The olive tree replied, 'Must I forgo my oil which gives honour to gods and men, to stand and sway over the trees?'
15 And the thorn bush replied to the trees, 'If you are anointing me in good faith to be your king, come and shelter in my shade. But, if not, fire will come out of the thorn bush and devour the cedars of Lebanon.'
17 my father having fought for you, risked his life and rescued you from the power of Midian,
18 and you today having risen up against my father's family, murdered his sons -- seventy of them on one and the same stone -- and appointed Abimelech, his slave-girl's son, to rule the leading men of Shechem, because he is your brother!-
23 God then sent a spirit of discord between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem, and the leaders of Shechem betrayed Abimelech.
24 And this was so that the crime committed against Jerubbaal's seventy sons should be avenged, and their blood recoil on their brother Abimelech who had murdered them, and on those leaders of Shechem who had helped him to murder his brothers.
27 These went out into the countryside to harvest their vineyards; they trod the grapes and made merry and went into the temple of their god. They ate and drank there and cursed Abimelech.
28 Gaal son of Obed said, 'Who is Abimelech, and what is Shechem, for us to be his slaves? Should not Jerubbaal's son and his lieutenant, Zebul, be serving the men of Hamor, father of Shechem? Why should we be his slaves?
29 Who will put this people under my command, so that I can expel Abimelech? I should say to him, "Reinforce your army and come out!" '
48 he went up Mount Zalmon with all his men. Then taking an axe in his hands, he cut off the branch of a tree, picked it up and put it on his shoulder, and said to the men with him, 'Hurry and do what you have seen me do.'
49 Each of his men similarly cut off a branch; then, following Abimelech, they piled the branches over the crypt and set it on fire over those who were inside; so that all the people in Migdal-Shechem died too, about a thousand men and women.
51 In the middle of the town there was a fortified tower in which all the men and women and all the leading men of the town took refuge. They locked the door behind them and climbed up to the roof of the tower.
53 a woman threw down a millstone on his head and cracked his skull.
Most Popular Bibles
Responsorial Psalm, Luke 1:46-48, 49-50, 53-54
Gospel, John 1:6-8, 19-28
Reading 2, First Thessalonians 5:16-24
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