Judges 9: Abimelech’s Mess


Abilemech, one of the sons of Gideon, goes to visit his mother’s father’s family. He tells them, wouldn’t it be better to be ruled over by just one person, a kin, rather than 70?  So, the men of Sechem rally around him and go to Ophrah and kill all 70 of Abilemech’s brothers and set Abilemech up as king. All except 1, Jotham, who was the youngest, who hid. Jotham curses Abilemech and the people of Sechem. The men of Sechem start robbing everyone that comes to the top of the hill. Gaal, son of Ebed, convinces the men of Sechem to revolt against Abilemech. Abilemech is told of this treachery. Abilemech gathers are army of 3 companies and they attach Sechem and burn the tower where the men of Sechem had taken shelter. 1,00 men and women died. They then camped and fought against Thebez and took it. They tried to burn the tower where everyone was hiding, but a woman threw a rock down and hit Abilemech in the head. He asked his armor bearer to kill him so that he wouldn't die at a woman’s hand. And so Abilemech died along with all the evil people of Sechem.

In other words:

Abilemech kills all his brothers and takes over, but then his supporters turn on him and they all wind up dead.

Favorite bit:

Judges 9:36 – And when Gaal saw the people he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people down from the top of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou seesest the shadow of the mountains as if they were men. (Note: Zebul is loyal to Abilemech and is tricking Gaal – who is leading the revolt against Abilemech).  Nope, that isn't an army approaching, you’re seeing things!

Least favorite bit:

Judges 9:7-15 – Jotham goes on for a bit with a parable about how silly it is to ask trees to rule over bushes and how silly it is for vines to be asked to rule over trees. It’s a bit weird to be perfectly honest. The curse that follows is good though.

Moral Lesson Learned:

People who are willing to kill, are not people you can trust. (Judges 9)