Abimelech Killed All Seventy Gideon’s Sons
Abimelech was the son of Gideon and a concubine who lived in Shechem (Judges 8:31). One day, Abimelech asked his mother’s brothers to ask the people of Shechem whether it is good to have 70 sons of Gideon rule over them or judt one person. The brothers repeated Abimelech;s words to all the people and the people wanted Abimelech to rule over them because he is related to them.
After that, they gave Abimelech 70 shekels of silver. Abimelech used the 70 shekels of silver to obtain some scoundrel followers.Next, he went to his father’s home and murdered all his 70 sons. The youngest son of Gideon, called Jotham, managed to hide himself from Abimelech. After murdering all 70 sons of Gideon, the people of Shechem and Beth Millo crowned Abimelech as king.
Jotham’s Story of the Thornbush
When Jotham learned that the people had crowned Abimelech as king, he climbed up to Mount Gerizim and told them a story: One day, the trees decided to anoint a king. First, they asked the olive tree to be their king but the olive tree refuse their request because it wants to continue offer up his oil to gods and humans.
Next, the trees asked the fig tree to be their king but the fig tree’s excuse was that it did not want to give up its good and sweet fruits.
Thirdly, the trees asked the vine tree to be their king but the vine tree would not give up its wine which cheer both gods and human.
Finally, the trees came to a thornbush. The thornbush agreed to be their king and let them take refuge in thir shade. However, if one day they did not want to take refuge in the thornbush shade, fire will come out to consume the whole forest of Lebanon.
After 3 years, God stirred the people so that they became hostile towards Abimelech. This happened so that God may take vengeance against the crime of Abimelech. A man called Gaal moved into Shechem. During a festivity at a pagan temple, the people cursed Abimelech. Gaal stood up and persuaded the people to vote him as the new leader and he promised to get rid of Abimelech.
Abimelech Attacked Shechem and Set It On Fire
Zebul, the governor of Shechem, overheard what Gaal said and informed Abimelech about it. He advised Abimelech to lie in wait in the fields and attack the city by sunrise. Abimelech did as Zebul said and ambushed themselves near Shechem.
When Gaal went to stand at the city gate, he saw Abiemlech and his men advancing and he told Zebul about it. Zebul replied they are only shadows of mountains. Gaal said to Zebul again that there are people coming down from the mountain tops. However, Zebul persisted in reasoning that they are only shadows of mountains. But Gaal spoke up again and this time Zebul challenged him to fight him since he ridiculed him during the festival.
Gaal and his men fought Abimelech but many were killed. Then, Zebul drove out Gaal and his clan from Shechem. In the following day, when the people of Shechem went out into the fields. Abimelech and 2 groups of men ambushed in the fields and attacked them. Abimelech and his group attacked the people at the gate entrance while the other two groups attacked the people in the field. Later that day, Abimelech caoured the city and kills the residents. He destroyed the city by scattering salt.
The residents of the tower of Shechem heard the news and hid in the stronghold of the temple of El Berith. Then, Abimelch and his men cut off the branches from Mount Zalmon and piled them up against the stronghold so that everyone in it died.
Abimelech Killed by a Woman
Next, Abimelech besieged Thebez. The people locked themselves up in the tower and climbed up to the tower roof after learning the news. Abimelech tried to use the same strategy and set the tower on fire. A wise woman dropped a millstone on his head and killed Abimelech. When Abimelech knew that he is going to die, he asked his armor bearer to kill him with his sword as he don’t want to be killed by a woman. The soldier ran the sword through him and he died. When the soldiers saw Abimelech had died, they also return home.
What Can We Learn from Abimelech?
Abimelech is selfish. He only think of himself. Because he wants power, he killed all his half brothers. He dishonored his father by taking advantage of his position.
The story of Abimelech tells us that God will help us to take vengeance on our enemies. Jotham did not take vengeance on Abimelech. However, God helped him to make justice by arranging the circumstances in a natural way so taht Abimelech will be destroyed through his own action. God is always watching the people on earth and he will pay back vengenace on those who do crime.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (Philippians 2:3 KJV)
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (James 3:14-16 KJV)
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 KJV)
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (James 2:14 – 17 KJV)
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. (Exodus 20:12 KJV)
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (Romans 12:19 KJV)
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:38-39 KJV)
For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. (Hebrews 10:30 KJV)
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars. (2 Chronicles 16:9 KJV)