Downfall of Abimelech

22 ¶ When Abimelech had reigned three yeeres ouer Israel,

23 Then God sent an euill spirit betweene Abimelech & the men of Shechem: and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:

24 That the crueltie done to the threescore and ten sonnes of Ierubbaal might come, and their blood be laid vpon Abimelech their brother which slew them, and vpon the men of Shechem which aided him in the killing of his brethren.

25 And the men of Shechem set lyers in wait for him in the toppe of the mountaines, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech.

26 And Gaal the sonne of Ebed came with his brethren, and went ouer to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him.

27 And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode the grapes, and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eate and drinke, and cursed Abimelech.

28 And Gaal the sonne of Ebed said, Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serue him? Is not he the sonne of Ierubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serue the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serue him?

29 And would to God this people were vnder my hand; then would I remoue Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine armie and come out.

30 ¶ And when Zebul the ruler of the citie heard the wordes of Gaal the sonne of Ebed, his anger was kindled.

31 And he sent messengers vnto Abimelech priuily, saying, Behold, Gaal the sonne of Ebed, and his brethren, be come to Shechem, and behold, they fortifie the citie against thee.

32 Now therefore vp by night, thou and the people that is with thee, and lie in wait in the field.

33 And it shalbe, that in the morning assoone as the Sunne is vp, thou shalt rise earely, and set vpon the citie: and behold, when he and the people that is with him, come out against thee, then mayest thou doe to them as thou shalt finde occasion.

34 ¶ And Abimelech rose vp, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in foure companies.

35 And Gaal the sonne of Ebed went out, and stood in the entring of the gate of the citie: and Abimelech rose vp, and the people that were with him, from lying in waite.

36 And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people downe frō the top of the mountaines. And Zebul saide vnto him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountaines, as if they were men.

37 And Gaal spake againe, and said, See, there come people downe by the middle of the land, and another companie come along by the plaine of Meonenim.

38 Then said Zebul vnto him, Where is now thy mouth, wherwith thou saidst, Who is Abimelech, that wee should serue him? Is not this the people that thou hast despised? Goe out, I pray now, and fight with them.

39 And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech.

40 And Abimelech chased him, and hee fledde before him, and many were ouerthrowen and wounded, euen vnto the entring of the gate.

41 And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem.

42 And it came to passe on the morrow, that the people went out into the field, and they tolde Abimelech.

43 And he tooke the people, and diuided them into three companies, and laide waite in the field, and looked, and behold, the people were come forth out of the citie, and he rose vp against them, and smote them.

44 And Abimelech, and the companie that was with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entring of the gate of the citie: and the two other companies ranne vpon all the people that were in the fields, and slew them.

45 And Abimelech fought against the citie all that day, and he tooke the citie, and slewe the people that was therein, and beat downe the citie, and sowed it with salt.

46 ¶ And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard that, they entred into an holde of the house of the god Berith.

47 And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the towre of Shechem were gathered together.

48 And Abimelech gate him vp to mount Zalmon, hee and all the people that were with him, & Abimelech tooke an axe in his hand, and cut downe a bough from the trees, and tooke it, and laide it on his shoulder, and said vnto the people that were with him, What ye haue seene me doe, make haste, and doe as I haue done.

49 And all the people likewise cut downe euery man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the holde, and set the holde on fire vpon them: so that all the men of the towre of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.

50 ¶ Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and tooke it.

51 But there was a strong towre within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the citie, and shut it to them, and gate them vp to the top of the towre.

52 And Abimelech came vnto the towre, and fought against it, and went hard vnto the doore of the towre, to burne it with fire.

53 And a certaine woman cast a piece of a milstone vpon Abimelechs head, and all to brake his scull.

54 Then hee called hastily vnto the young man his armour-bearer, and said vnto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slewe him: and his young man thrust him through, and he died.

55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed euery man vnto his place.

56 ¶ Thus God rendred the wickednesse of Abimelech which hee did vnto his father, in slaying his seuentie brethren.

57 And all the euill of the men of Shechem, did God render vpon their heads: and vpon them came the curse of Iotham the sonne of Ierubbaal.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them (Matt 7:20).

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