Judges (Author Samuel)

9:1And Abimelech son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's brethren, and spoke to them, and to all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying,

9:2Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the citizens of Shechem, Which is better for you, that seventy persons, all sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that one man rule over you? And remember that I am your bone and your flesh.

9:3And his mother's brethren spoke of him in the ears of all the citizens of Shechem all these words. And their heart inclined after Abimelech; for they said, He is our brother.

9:4And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-Berith, and Abimelech hired with them vain and wanton men, and they followed him.

9:5And he came to his father's house, to Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy persons upon one stone; but there remained Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal; for he had hid himself.

9:6And all the citizens of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went and made Abimelech king, by the memorial-oak that is in Shechem.

9:7And they told it to Jotham, and he went and stood on the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said to them, Hearken to me, ye citizens of Shechem, that God may hearken to you.

9:8The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive-tree, Reign over us.

9:9And the olive-tree said to them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to wave over the trees?

9:10And the trees said to the fig-tree, Come thou, reign over us.

9:11But the fig-tree said to them, Should I leave my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to wave over the trees?

9:12Then said the trees to the vine, Come thou, reign over us.

9:13And the vine said to them, Should I leave my new wine, which cheers God and man, and go to wave over the trees?

9:14Then said all the trees to the thorn-bush, Come thou, reign over us.

9:15And the thorn-bush said to the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, come, put confidence in my shadow; but if not, fire shall come out of the thorn-bush and devour the cedars of Lebanon.

9:16Now therefore, if ye have dealt truly and sincerely in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and if ye have done to him according to the deserving of his hands;

9:17-- for my father fought for you, and endangered his life, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian;

9:18but ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, seventy men, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his handmaid, king over the citizens of Shechem, because he is your brother;

9:19-- if ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you;

9:20but if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the citizens of Shechem and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the citizens of Shechem and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech.

9:21And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, because of Abimelech his brother.

9:22And Abimelech ruled over Israel three years.

9:23And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem; and the citizens of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech,

9:24that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, who slew them, and upon the citizens of Shechem, who had strengthened his hands to slay his brethren.

9:25And the citizens of Shechem set liers in wait for him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them. And it was told Abimelech.

9:26And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem; and the citizens of Shechem put confidence in him.

9:27And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode the grapes, and made rejoicings, and went into the house of their god, and ate and drank, and cursed Abimelech.

9:28And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? is he not the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his overseer? Serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem! and why should *we* serve him?

9:29Oh! would that this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.

9:30And Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, and his anger was kindled;

9:31and he sent messengers to Abimelech craftily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren are come to Shechem, and behold, they shut up the city against thee;

9:32and now, rise up by night, thou and the people that are with thee, and lie in ambush in the fields.

9:33And it shall be in the morning when the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and fall upon the city; and behold, he and the people that is with him shall come out against thee, and thou shalt do with him as thou shalt find occasion.

9:34And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they lay in ambush against Shechem in four companies.

9:35And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city. Then Abimelech rose up, and the people that were with him, out of the ambush.

9:36And Gaal saw the people, and said to Zebul, Behold, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains. And Zebul said to him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as men.

9:37And Gaal spoke again, and said, Behold, people are coming down from the high part of the land, and one company is coming along by the way of the Magician's oak.

9:38Then said Zebul to him, Where is now thy mouth, thou that saidst, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? is not this the people that thou hast despised? go out now, I pray, and fight against them.

9:39And Gaal went out before the citizens of Shechem, and fought against Abimelech.

9:40And Abimelech pursued him, and he fled before him, and there fell many wounded, as far as the entrance of the gate.

9:41And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah. And Zebul drove out Gaal and his brethren, that they might not dwell in Shechem.

9:42And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech.

9:43And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and lay in ambush in the field. And he looked, and behold, the people came forth out of the city; and he rose up against them and smote them.

9:44And Abimelech, and the companies that were with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city; and two of the companies ran upon all that were in the fields, and slew them.

9:45And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that were in it, and broke down the city, and sowed it with salt.

9:46And all the men of the tower of Shechem heard that, and they entered into the stronghold of the house of the god Berith.

9:47And it was told Abimelech that all the men of the tower of Shechem had gathered together.

9:48Then Abimelech went up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it up and laid it on his shoulder, and said to the people that was with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, do as I have done.

9:49And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and they followed Abimelech, and put them to the hold, and burned the hold with fire upon them. And all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.

9:50And Abimelech went to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it.

9:51But there was a strong tower in the midst of the city, and thither fled all the men and women, all the citizens of the city; and they shut it behind them, and went up to the roof of the tower.

9:52And Abimelech came to the tower, and fought against it, and he drew near to the entrance of the tower to burn it with fire;

9:53and a woman cast the upper stone of a handmill on Abimelech's head, and crushed his skull.

9:54Then he called hastily to the young man that carried his armour, and said to him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that they say not of me, A woman killed him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died.

9:55And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they went every man to his place.

9:56And God rendered back the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did to his father in slaying his seventy brethren.

9:57And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render back upon their heads; and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.

10:1And after Abimelech, there rose up to save Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir on mount Ephraim.

10:2And he judged Israel twenty-three years; and he died, and was buried in Shamir.

10:3And after him rose up Jair, a Gileadite; and he judged Israel twenty-two years.

10:4And he had thirty sons who rode on thirty ass colts; and they had thirty cities, which are called the villages of Jair to this day, which are in the land of Gilead.

10:5And Jair died, and was buried in Kamon.

10:6And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of Jehovah, and served the Baals, and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; and they forsook Jehovah, and served him not.

10:7And the anger of Jehovah was hot against Israel, and he sold him into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the children of Ammon.

10:8And they oppressed and crushed the children of Israel in that year; eighteen years they oppressed all the children of Israel that were beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead.

10:9And the children of Ammon passed over the Jordan to fight also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim; and Israel was greatly distressed.

10:10And the children of Israel cried to Jehovah, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served the Baals.

10:11And Jehovah said to the children of Israel, Did I not save you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines?

10:12The Zidonians also, and Amalek and Maon oppressed you, and ye cried to me, and I saved you out of their hand.

10:13But ye have forsaken me, and served other gods; therefore I will save you no more.

10:14Go and cry to the gods that ye have chosen: let them save you in the time of your trouble.

10:15And the children of Israel said to Jehovah, We have sinned. Do thou unto us according to all that is good in thy sight; only deliver us, we pray thee, this day.

10:16And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served Jehovah; and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.

10:17And the children of Ammon were called together and encamped in Gilead; and the children of Israel gathered together and encamped in Mizpeh.

10:18And the people, the chief men of Gilead, said one to another, Who is the man that will begin to fight against the children of Ammon? he shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.

11:1Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of a harlot; and Gilead had begotten Jephthah.

11:2And Gilead's wife bore him sons; and when his wife's sons were grown, they expelled Jephthah, and said to him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of another woman.

11:3Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob. And vain men were gathered to Jephthah, and they made expeditions with him.

11:4And it came to pass after some time, that the children of Ammon fought with Israel.

11:5And when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob.

11:6And they said to Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight against the children of Ammon.

11:7And Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? and why are ye come to me now when ye are in trouble?

11:8And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, Therefore we have returned to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be head over all of us the inhabitants of Gilead.

11:9And Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, If ye take me back to fight against the children of Ammon, and Jehovah give them up before me, shall I be your head?

11:10And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Jehovah be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words!

11:11Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them; and Jephthah uttered all his words before Jehovah in Mizpah.

11:12And Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight against my land?

11:13And the king of the children of Ammon said to the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from the Arnon even unto the Jabbok and unto the Jordan; and now restore it peaceably.

11:14And Jephthah sent messengers again to the king of the children of Ammon,

11:15and said to him, Thus saith Jephthah: Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon.

11:16But when they came up from Egypt, then Israel walked through the wilderness as far as the Red sea, and came to Kadesh.

11:17And Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land; but the king of Edom would not hearken. And they also sent to the king of Moab; and he would not. And Israel abode in Kadesh.

11:18And they walked through the wilderness, and went round the land of Edom and the land of Moab, and came by the east of the land of Moab, and encamped beyond the Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab, for the Arnon is the border of Moab.

11:19And Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon, and Israel said to him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land unto my place.

11:20But Sihon trusted not Israel, to let him pass through his border, and Sihon gathered all his people, and they encamped in Jahzah; and he fought with Israel.

11:21And Jehovah the God of Israel gave Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them; and Israel took possession of the whole land of the Amorites, who dwelt in that country.

11:22And they possessed all the borders of the Amorites, from the Arnon unto the Jabbok, and from the wilderness unto the Jordan.

11:23And now Jehovah the God of Israel has dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou take possession of it?

11:24Dost not thou possess what Chemosh thy god puts thee in possession of? and whatever Jehovah our God has dispossessed before us, that will we possess.

11:25And now art thou indeed better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever strive with Israel? did he ever fight against them?

11:26While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and its dependent villages, and in Aroer and its dependent villages, and in all the cities that are along the banks of the Arnon, three hundred years -- why did ye not recover them within that time?

11:27So I have not sinned against thee, but it is thou who doest me wrong in making war against me. Jehovah, the Judge, be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon!

11:28But the king of the children of Ammon hearkened not to the words of Jephthah that he had sent him.

11:29Then the Spirit of Jehovah came upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh, and passed to Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over to the children of Ammon.

11:30And Jephthah vowed a vow to Jehovah, and said, If thou wilt without fail give the children of Ammon into my hand,

11:31then shall that which cometh forth from the door of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, be Jehovah's, and I will offer it up for a burnt-offering.

11:32And Jephthah passed over to the children of Ammon to fight against them; and Jehovah gave them into his hand.

11:33And he smote them from Aroer until thou come to Minnith, twenty cities, even unto Abel-Cheramim, with a very great slaughter; and the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.

11:34And Jephthah came to Mizpah to his house, and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambours and with dances; and she was an only child: besides her he had neither son nor daughter.

11:35And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his garments, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me; for I have opened my mouth to Jehovah, and I cannot go back.

11:36And she said to him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth to Jehovah, do to me according to that which has proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as Jehovah has taken vengeance for thee upon thine enemies, upon the children of Ammon.

11:37And she said to her father, Let this thing be done for me: leave me alone two months, that I may go and descend to the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my companions.

11:38And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months. And she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.

11:39And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned to her father, and he performed on her the vow that he had vowed; and she had known no man. And it became a fixed custom in Israel,

11:40that from year to year the daughters of Israel go to celebrate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in the year.

12:1And the men of Ephraim were called together, and passed over northwards, and said to Jephthah, Why didst thou pass over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? We will burn thy house upon thee with fire.

12:2And Jephthah said to them, I was at great strife, I and my people, with the children of Ammon; and I called you, but ye saved me not out of their hand.

12:3And when I saw that ye would not save me, I put my life in my hand, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and Jehovah gave them into my hand. Why then are ye come up to me this day, to fight against me?

12:4And Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim; and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye, Gilead, ye are fugitives of Ephraim in the midst of Ephraim, and in the midst of Manasseh.

12:5And Gilead took the fords of the Jordan before Ephraim; and it came to pass that when the fugitives of Ephraim said, Let me go over, the men of Gilead said to him, Art thou an Ephraimite? and he said, No.

12:6Then they said to him, Say now Shibboleth! and he said, Sibboleth, and did not manage to pronounce it rightly. Then they took him, and slaughtered him at the fords of the Jordan. And there fell at that time of Ephraim forty-two thousand.

12:7And Jephthah judged Israel six years. And Jephthah the Gileadite died, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

12:8And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel.

12:9And he had thirty sons; and thirty daughters he sent out of the house, and thirty daughters he took in from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years.

12:10And Ibzan died, and was buried at Bethlehem.

12:11And after him Elon, the Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years.

12:12And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Ajalon in the land of Zebulun.

12:13And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, the Pirathonite, judged Israel.

12:14And he had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy ass colts. And he judged Israel eight years.

12:15And Abdon the son of Hillel, the Pirathonite, died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill-country of the Amalekites.

Original from The Bible Foundation - They claim public domain status for their original text.