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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
The position of Zebul is here that of a deputy to Abimelech, who lived in Arumah (Judges 9:41 ). When Gaal came to Shechem, a newcomer with a band of men, he seized the opportunity at a vintage feast to attack Abimelech and express a desire to lead a revolt against him (Judges 9:26-29 ). Zebul heard these words and reported the matter to his master, vising him to make s sudden rush upon the city (Judges 9:30-33 ). This Abimelech does, and Gaal, on noticing the troops, tells Zebul, who turns upon him and bids him make good his bragging words. Gaal is thus forced to go out and fight Abimelech, and is defeated (Judges 9:34-40 ).
If this be the correct interpretation of the narrative so far, it is fairly simple and clear. Some, however, maintain that the words of Gaal about Zebul in Judges 9:28 are meant as an insult to the governor of the city; this is the view of Wellbausch ( Compos ., 353 f, note) and Nowack (Handkomm .; compare also his Archdologie , I, 304, 308, for the meaning of
The questions that arise from Judges 9:41 ff need only be referred to here. Many critics have seen in 9:22-45 more than one source. Moore groups the verses thus: (1) Judges 9:22-23 , Judges 9:25 , Judges 9:42 ff as due to the Elohist (E), with Judges 9:24 from RJE; (2) 9:26-41 due to J. It is doubtful if the division is as clear as this. There seem however to be parallels: (1) The plans of Abimelech in Judges 9:34-40 are very similar to those in Judges 9:42 ff. (2) Judges 9:41 seems to give in short what we find related in Judges 9:34-40 . (3) Septuagint in Judges 9:31 has suggested to many that we should read there, "and he sent messengers unto Abimelech
Introductory, Judges 9:23-25; then Judges 9:26-29 , Judges 9:30 common to both, and so possibly part of Judges 9:31 and Judges 9:32 f. Then we have two accounts of the event: (a) Judges 9:31 (part), 34-40; (b) Judges 9:41-45 , followed by Judges 9:46 ff.
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Zebul'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/z/zebul.html. 1915.