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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Judges 9

Introduction

Overview

Judges 9:1, Abimelech by conspiracy with the Shechemites, and murder of his brethren, is made king; Judges 9:7, Jotham by a parable rebukes them, and foretells their ruin; Judges 9:22, Gaal conspires with the Shechemites against him; Judges 9:30, Zebul reveals it; Judges 9:34, Abimelech overcomes them, and sows the city with salt; Judges 9:46, He burns the hold of the god Berith; Judges 9:50, At Thebez he is slain by a piece of a millstone; Judges 9:56, Jotham’s curse if fulfilled.

Verse 1

Abimelech: Judges 8:31

Shechem: Genesis 33:18, Genesis 34:2, 1 Kings 12:1

communed: 2 Samuel 15:6, 1 Kings 12:3, 1 Kings 12:20, Psalms 83:2-4, Jeremiah 18:18

Reciprocal: Genesis 12:6 - Sichem Joshua 17:7 - Shechem Joshua 21:21 - Shechem Joshua 24:1 - Shechem 2 Samuel 15:4 - Oh that I 1 Kings 12:25 - Shechem 2 Chronicles 10:1 - Shechem Jeremiah 41:5 - Shechem Daniel 11:21 - by flatteries

Verse 2

Whether: etc. Heb. What is good

whether: etc

threescore: Judges 8:30

your bone: Genesis 29:14, 2 Samuel 19:13, 1 Chronicles 11:1, Ephesians 5:30, Hebrews 2:14

Reciprocal: Genesis 2:23 - bone Deuteronomy 33:5 - king 2 Samuel 5:1 - we 2 Samuel 19:12 - my bones 1 Kings 1:5 - I will Isaiah 58:7 - thine own

Verse 3

spake: Psalms 10:3, Proverbs 1:11-14

to follow: Heb. after

our brother: Genesis 29:15

Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 15:13 - The hearts

Verse 4

house: Judges 9:46-49, Judges 8:33

vain: etc. Anashim raikim oophochozim, "worthless and dissolute men;" persons who were living on the public, and had nothing to lose. Such was the foundation of his Babel government. By a cunning management of such unprincipled men most revolutions are brought about. Judges 11:3, 1 Samuel 22:2, 2 Chronicles 13:7, Job 30:8, Proverbs 12:11, Acts 17:5

Reciprocal: Judges 9:27 - the house 2 Samuel 6:20 - vain fellows Proverbs 28:19 - but Daniel 11:24 - he shall scatter 2 Corinthians 1:17 - lightness

Verse 5

at Ophrah: Judges 6:24

slew: 2 Kings 10:17, 2 Kings 11:1, 2 Kings 11:2, 2 Chronicles 21:4, Matthew 2:16, Matthew 2:20

Reciprocal: Judges 8:30 - threescore Judges 8:35 - showed Judges 9:18 - are risen 1 Kings 1:12 - the life 1 Kings 11:3 - seven hundred 2 Kings 10:7 - slew seventy 1 Chronicles 5:17 - Jotham 2 Chronicles 13:21 - begat Ecclesiastes 10:8 - that

Verse 6

the house: 2 Samuel 5:9, 2 Kings 12:20

Millo: Probably the name of a person of note in Shechem.

plain: or, oak, Joshua 24:26, 1 Kings 12:1, 1 Kings 12:20, 1 Kings 12:25

Reciprocal: Genesis 35:4 - the oak Judges 9:18 - are risen 1 Kings 9:15 - Millo 1 Chronicles 11:8 - Millo 2 Chronicles 32:5 - Millo John 4:20 - fathers

Verse 7

mount Gerizim: Deuteronomy 11:29, Deuteronomy 27:12, Joshua 8:33, John 4:20

Hearken: Psalms 18:40, Psalms 18:41, Psalms 50:15-21, Proverbs 1:28, Proverbs 1:29, Proverbs 21:13, Proverbs 28:9, Isaiah 1:15, Isaiah 58:6-10, Matthew 18:26-34, James 2:13

Reciprocal: Genesis 4:23 - hear Genesis 37:6 - Hear 1 Samuel 26:13 - the top 2 Samuel 12:1 - There were 1 Kings 20:39 - Thy servant 2 Chronicles 13:4 - Hear me 2 Chronicles 15:2 - Hear ye me Job 13:6 - General Job 21:2 - Hear Proverbs 26:1 - so Isaiah 32:9 - give ear Isaiah 40:9 - get James 2:5 - Hearken

Verse 8

The trees: This is the most ancient fable or apologue extant; and is extremely beautiful, apposite, and intelligible. 2 Kings 14:9, Ezekiel 17:3-10, Daniel 4:10-18

olive tree: The zayith, or olive tree, in the Linnean system, is a genus of the diandra monogynia class of plants. It is of a moderate height, and grows best in sunny places. Its trunk is knotty; bark smooth, of an ash colour: wood solid and yellowish; leaves oblong, almost like those of the willow, of a dark green colour on the upper side, and whitish below. In June it puts forth white flowers, growing in bunches, each of one piece, widening towards the top, and dividing into four parts. After this succeeds the fruit, which is oblong and plump; first green, then pale, and when quite ripe, black. Within it is enclosed a hard stone, filled with oblong seeds. It was the most useful of all trees in the forest; as the bramble was the meanest and most worthless.

Reign: Judges 8:22, Judges 8:23

Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 14:5 - I am indeed 2 Chronicles 25:18 - thistle Ezekiel 17:2 - General Ezekiel 31:9 - all the trees Matthew 13:3 - in Romans 11:17 - and with 1 Corinthians 12:15 - General

Verse 9

wherewith: Exodus 29:2, Exodus 29:7, Exodus 35:14, Leviticus 2:1, 1 Kings 19:15, 1 Kings 19:16, Psalms 89:20, Psalms 104:15, Acts 4:27, Acts 10:38, 1 John 2:20

God: Elohim, rather gods; the parable being adapted to the idolatrous Shechemites.

to be promoted over the trees: Heb. up and down for other trees, Job 1:7, Job 2:2

Reciprocal: Exodus 27:20 - pure oil olive beaten Numbers 15:4 - the fourth Proverbs 27:9 - Ointment Zechariah 4:3 - General Romans 11:17 - and with

Verse 10

Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 2:30 - them

Verse 11

Luke 13:6, Luke 13:7

Verse 13

cheereth: Numbers 15:5, Numbers 15:7, Numbers 15:10, Psalms 104:15, Proverbs 31:6, Ecclesiastes 10:19

Reciprocal: Luke 22:18 - the fruit

Verse 14

bramble: or, thistle, 2 Kings 14:9

Reciprocal: Judges 9:18 - Abimelech Ecclesiastes 10:6 - Folly

Verse 15

shadow: Isaiah 30:2, Daniel 4:12, Hosea 14:7, Matthew 13:32

let fire: Judges 9:20, Judges 9:49, Numbers 21:28, Isaiah 1:31, Ezekiel 19:14

the cedars: 2 Kings 14:9, Psalms 104:16, Isaiah 2:13, Isaiah 37:24, Ezekiel 31:3

Reciprocal: Genesis 19:8 - therefore Judges 9:23 - God Judges 9:44 - rushed forward Judges 9:53 - woman Psalms 91:1 - under Ecclesiastes 7:12 - a defence Song of Solomon 2:3 - I sat Isaiah 16:3 - make Ezekiel 28:18 - therefore

Verse 16

according: Judges 8:35

Reciprocal: Judges 9:23 - dealt Isaiah 8:6 - rejoice

Verse 17

fought: Judges 7:1-25, Judges 8:4-10

adventured his life: Heb. cast his life, Esther 4:16, Romans 5:8, Romans 16:4, Revelation 12:11

Reciprocal: Judges 12:3 - put 1 Samuel 19:5 - put his life 1 Chronicles 11:19 - in jeopardy

Verse 18

are risen: Judges 9:5, Judges 9:6, Judges 8:35, Psalms 109:4

Abimelech: Judges 9:6, Judges 9:14, Judges 8:31

Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 12:12 - Nay Psalms 12:8 - when

Verse 19

rejoice: Isaiah 8:6, Philippians 3:3, James 4:16

Reciprocal: Exodus 21:8 - seeing Leviticus 5:4 - to do evil Ecclesiastes 4:16 - they also Song of Solomon 2:3 - I sat Amos 1:4 - I will Amos 6:13 - which

Verse 20

let fire come out: Judges 9:15, Judges 9:23, Judges 9:56, Judges 9:57, Judges 7:22, 2 Chronicles 20:22, 2 Chronicles 20:23, Psalms 21:9, Psalms 21:10, Psalms 28:4, Psalms 52:1-5, Psalms 120:3, Psalms 120:4, Psalms 140:10

Reciprocal: Numbers 21:28 - a fire Judges 9:44 - rushed forward Judges 9:45 - he took Judges 9:49 - put them Judges 9:53 - woman 2 Samuel 5:9 - Millo 1 Kings 9:15 - Millo 2 Kings 2:24 - cursed them 1 Chronicles 11:8 - Millo Psalms 57:4 - set Proverbs 26:1 - so Ecclesiastes 4:16 - they also Song of Solomon 2:3 - I sat Jeremiah 51:35 - The violence Ezekiel 28:18 - therefore Amos 1:4 - I will Amos 6:13 - which

Verse 21

Beer: Probably the Beer mentioned by Mr. Maundrell, three hours and a half, or about ten miles, north of Jerusalem, towards Shechem. It is situated toward the south, on an easy declivity; and has a fountain of excellent water at the bottom of the hill, from which it has taken its name. Close to the well are the mouldering walls of a ruined khan; and on the summit of the hill two large arches still remain of a ruined convent. Dr. Richardson says, that it seems to have been once a place of considerable consequence. Numbers 21:16, Joshua 19:8, 2 Samuel 20:14

Verse 22

Reciprocal: Judges 11:26 - three hundred

Verse 23

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God: That is, God permitted the evil spirit of jealousy, treachery, and discord, to break out between Abimelech and the Shechemites. Judges 9:15, Judges 9:20, 1 Samuel 16:14-16, 1 Samuel 18:9, 1 Samuel 18:10, 1 Kings 12:15, 1 Kings 22:22, 1 Kings 22:23, 2 Chronicles 10:15, 2 Chronicles 18:19-22, Isaiah 19:2, Isaiah 19:14, 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:12

An: Ex, Is, 258

dealt: Judges 9:16, Isaiah 33:1, Matthew 7:2

Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 19:43 - the words 2 Chronicles 18:21 - Thou shalt Mark 3:24 - General

Verse 24

That the: 1 Samuel 15:33, 1 Kings 2:32, Esther 9:25, Psalms 7:16, Matthew 23:34-36

aided him in the killing of: Heb. strengthened his hands to kill, Sooner or later, God will make inquisition for blood, and will return it on the heads of those that shed it. Accessories will be reckoned with, as well as principals, in that and other sins. The Shechemites, who countenanced Abimelech's pretensions, aided and abetted him in his bloody project, and avowed the fact by making him king after he had done it, must fall with him, fall by him, and fall first. Those that combine together to do wickedly, are justly dashed in pieces one against another. Blood cannot be a lasting cement to any interest.

Reciprocal: Leviticus 20:9 - his blood Judges 9:56 - God rendered 2 Samuel 1:16 - Thy blood 2 Samuel 3:29 - rest 2 Samuel 16:8 - returned Jeremiah 51:35 - The violence

Verse 25

Joshua 8:4, Joshua 8:12, Joshua 8:13, Proverbs 1:11, Proverbs 1:12

Verse 26

brethren: Genesis 13:8, Genesis 19:7

Verse 27

merry: or, songs, Isaiah 16:9, Isaiah 16:10, Isaiah 24:7-9, Jeremiah 25:30, Amos 6:3-6

the house: Judges 9:4, Judges 16:23, Exodus 32:6, Exodus 32:19, Daniel 5:1-4, Daniel 5:23

did eat: Isaiah 22:12-14, Luke 12:19, Luke 12:20, Luke 17:26-29

cursed: Leviticus 24:11, 1 Samuel 17:43, Psalms 109:17

Reciprocal: Judges 9:46 - an hold Judges 16:25 - their hearts Judges 19:6 - let thine heart Psalms 4:7 - the time Psalms 10:5 - he puffeth Proverbs 11:12 - that Hosea 2:8 - her corn Hosea 3:1 - love flagons Hosea 7:14 - assemble Amos 2:8 - they drink Amos 6:13 - which 1 Corinthians 8:10 - sit James 3:9 - therewith curse

Verse 28

Who is Abimelech: 1 Samuel 25:10, 2 Samuel 20:1, 1 Kings 12:16

Hamor: Genesis 34:2, Genesis 34:6

Reciprocal: Judges 9:38 - General Judges 9:41 - Zebul Psalms 78:9 - turned

Verse 29

would to God: The very words and conduct of a sly, hypocritical demagogue. 2 Samuel 15:4, 1 Kings 20:11, Psalms 10:3, Romans 1:30, Romans 1:31

And he said: Rather, "and I would say to Abimelech," as the LXX renders; for as Dr. Wall observes, this was probably not said in the presence of Abimelech; but at an intemperate feast, in his absence, when he boasted he would challenge him.

Increase thine army: 2 Samuel 2:14-17, 2 Kings 14:8, 2 Kings 18:23, Isaiah 36:8, Isaiah 36:9

Reciprocal: Judges 9:38 - General 1 Samuel 21:3 - under thine Proverbs 20:18 - and

Verse 30

kindled: or, hot, Judges 9:30

Reciprocal: Judges 9:41 - Zebul

Verse 31

privily: Heb. craftily, or, to Tormah

they fortify: Under pretence of repairing the walls and towers, they were actually putting the place in a state of defence, intending to seize on the government as soon as they found Abimelech coming against them. Judges 9:31

Verse 32

by night: Job 24:14-17, Psalms 36:4, Proverbs 1:11-16, Proverbs 4:16, Romans 3:15

Reciprocal: Nehemiah 2:12 - I arose

Verse 33

as thou shalt find: Heb. as thine hand shall find, Leviticus 25:26, *marg. 1 Samuel 10:7, 1 Samuel 25:8, Ecclesiastes 9:10

Reciprocal: Matthew 26:40 - What

Verse 34

Reciprocal: 2 Kings 5:2 - by companies

Verse 35

Gaal: Of this person we know no more than is here recorded. He was probably one of the descendants of the Canaanites, who hoped, from the state of the public mind and their disaffection to Abimelech, to cause a revolution, and thus to restore the ancient government as it was under Hamor, the father of Shechem. Josephus says he was a man of authority, who sojourned with them, with his armed men and kinsmen; and that the Shechemites desired that he would allow them a guard during the vintage.

the people: Judges 9:44

Verse 36

seest the shadow: Doubdan states, that in some parts of the Holy Land there are many detached rocks scattered up and down, some growing out of the ground, and others fragments broken off from rocky precipices, the shadow of which, it appears, Josephus thought might be most naturally imagined to look like troops of men at a distance, rather than that of the mountains; for he represents Zebul as saying to Gaal, that he mistook the shadow of the rocks for men. Ezekiel 7:7, Mark 8:24

Verse 37

middle: Heb. navel

Meonenim: or, the regarders of the times, Deuteronomy 18:14

Reciprocal: Ezekiel 38:12 - midst

Verse 38

Judges 9:28, Judges 9:29, 2 Samuel 2:26, 2 Samuel 2:27, 2 Kings 14:8-14, Jeremiah 2:28

Reciprocal: Psalms 10:5 - he puffeth Psalms 78:9 - turned Proverbs 11:12 - that Isaiah 19:12 - where are thy Ezekiel 13:12 - Where

Verse 40

he fled before: 1 Kings 20:18-21, 1 Kings 20:30

Verse 41

Arumah: This place appears from the next verse to have been near Shechem; and is perhaps the same as Ruma, a village of Galilee, mentioned by Josephus, Bell. 1. iii. c. 7.

Zebul: Judges 9:28, Judges 9:30

Verse 43

Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 11:11 - in three 2 Samuel 18:2 - a third part

Verse 44

rushed forward: Judges 9:15, Judges 9:20, Galatians 5:15

Reciprocal: Judges 9:35 - the people

Verse 45

he took: Judges 9:20

beat: Deuteronomy 29:23, 1 Kings 12:25, 2 Kings 3:25, Psalms 107:34, *marg. Ezekiel 47:11, Zephaniah 2:9, James 2:13

sowed: Salt in small quantities renders land extremely fertile; but too much of it destroys vegetation. Every place, says Pliny, in which salt is found is barren, and produces nothing. Hence the sowing of a place with salt was a custom in different nations to express permanent desolation. Sigonius observes, that when Milan was taken, ad 1162, the walls were razed, and it was sown with salt. And Brantome informs us, that it was an ancient custom in France, to sow the house of a man with salt, who had been declared a traitor to his king. Charles IX., king of France, the most base and perfidious of human beings, caused the house of Admiral Coligni - whom he and the Duke of Guise caused to be murdered, with thousands more of Protestants, on the eve of St. Bartholomew, 1572 to be sown with salt!

Reciprocal: Judges 9:56 - God rendered Judges 9:57 - upon them 1 Kings 16:17 - besieged Tirzah 2 Kings 2:20 - salt therein Jeremiah 17:6 - a salt

Verse 46

an hold: Judges 9:4, Judges 9:27, Judges 8:33, 1 Kings 8:26, 2 Kings 1:2-4, Psalms 115:8, Isaiah 28:15-18, Isaiah 37:38

Reciprocal: Joshua 10:18 - General 2 Kings 9:13 - on the top

Verse 48

Zalmon: Psalms 68:14

What ye: Judges 7:17, Judges 7:18, Proverbs 1:11, Proverbs 1:12

me do: Heb. I have done

Reciprocal: Judges 9:52 - General Nehemiah 4:23 - So neither I Nehemiah 8:15 - the mount

Verse 49

put them: Judges 9:15, Judges 9:20, Galatians 5:15, James 3:16

Reciprocal: Judges 9:52 - General Nehemiah 8:15 - the mount

Verse 50

Thebez: According to Eusebius, thirteen miles from Shechem, towards Scythopolis. Judges 9:50

Reciprocal: 1 Kings 16:17 - besieged Tirzah

Verse 51

Reciprocal: Judges 16:27 - the roof 2 Kings 9:13 - on the top

Verse 52

Judges 9:48, Judges 9:49, 2 Kings 14:10, 2 Kings 15:16

Verse 53

woman: Judges 9:15, Judges 9:20, 2 Samuel 11:21, 2 Samuel 20:21, Job 31:3, Jeremiah 49:20, Jeremiah 50:45

and all to: An antiquated expression, meaning "full intention" to complete an object. "All to," observes Dr. Johnson, "is a particle of mere enforcement." The original is wattaritz eth gulgalto, which is simply as the LXX render ךבי וךכבףו פן ךסבםיןם בץפןץ, "and she brake his skull." Plutarch relates, that Pyrrhus was killed at the siege of Thebes, by a piece of a tile, which a woman threw upon his head.

Reciprocal: Ecclesiastes 10:8 - that

Verse 54

Draw thy: 1 Samuel 31:4, 1 Samuel 31:5

And his young man: It was a disgrace to be killed by a woman.

Reciprocal: Judges 4:9 - into Judges 8:21 - Rise thou 2 Samuel 1:7 - Here am I 2 Samuel 1:10 - slew 1 Kings 16:18 - and burnt the king's house 1 Chronicles 10:4 - Draw Jeremiah 38:19 - mock Matthew 27:5 - and departed Acts 16:27 - he drew

Verse 55

2 Samuel 18:16, 2 Samuel 20:21, 2 Samuel 20:22, 1 Kings 22:35, 1 Kings 22:36, Proverbs 22:10

Verse 56

God rendered: Both the fratricide Abimelech and the unprincipled men of Shechem had the iniquity visited upon them of which they had been guilty. Man's judgment may be avoided; but there is no escape from that of God. How many houses have been sown with salt in France, by the just judgment of God, for the massacre of the Protestants on the eve of St. Bartholomew! See note on Judges 9:45. Judges 9:24, Job 31:3, Psalms 9:12, Psalms 11:6, Psalms 58:10, Psalms 58:11, Psalms 94:23, Proverbs 5:22, Matthew 7:2, Acts 28:4, Galatians 6:7, Revelation 19:20, Revelation 19:21

Reciprocal: Judges 9:20 - let fire come out 1 Samuel 12:12 - Nay 2 Samuel 3:29 - rest 2 Samuel 16:8 - returned 1 Kings 16:17 - besieged Tirzah 2 Chronicles 21:4 - slew all 2 Chronicles 21:13 - hast slain Proverbs 26:1 - so Jeremiah 51:35 - The violence

Verse 57

upon them: Judges 9:20, Judges 9:45, Joshua 6:26, 1 Kings 16:34

Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 12:12 - Nay 2 Samuel 3:29 - rest 2 Samuel 16:8 - returned 1 Kings 2:32 - return 1 Kings 16:17 - besieged Tirzah 2 Kings 2:24 - cursed them 2 Chronicles 21:4 - slew all 2 Chronicles 21:13 - hast slain Proverbs 26:1 - so Jeremiah 51:35 - The violence Amos 1:4 - I will

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Judges 9". "Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsk/judges-9.html.