Neviim Rishonim :

Sefer Softim 9

Book of Judges Chapter 9

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Career of Benai Gid'on Avi-melekh

9:1 And Avi-Melekh Ben Yeruba'al went to Sh'khem to his mother's brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family of the bayit his mother's father, saying,

9:2 Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Sh'khem, Whether [is] better for you, either that all the Benai Yeruba'al, [which are] shibim (70) persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I [am] your bone and your flesh.

9:3 And his mother's brethren spoke of him in the ears of all the men of Sh'khem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Avi-Melekh; for they said, He [is] our brother.

9:4 And they gave him shibim (70) [pieces] of silver out of the bayit Ba'al-brit, wherewith Avi-Melekh hired vain and light persons, which followed him.

9:5 And he went to his father's house at Ofrah, and slew his brethren the Benai Yeruba'al, [being] shibim (70) persons, upon one stone: notwithstanding yet Yotam the youngest son of Yeruba'al was left; for he hid himself.

9:6 And all the men of Sh'khem gathered together, and all the bayit Millo, and went, and made Avi-Melekh king, by the plain of the pillar that [was] in Sh'khem.

9:7 And when they told [it] to Yotam, he went and stood in the top of har Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said to them, Listen to me, ye men of Sh'khem, that Elohim (אלהים) may listen to you.

9:8 The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive tree, Reign you over us.

9:9 But the olive tree said to them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour Elohim (אלהים) and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?

9:10 And the trees said to the fig tree, Come you, [and] reign over us.

9:11 But the fig tree said to them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?

9:12 Then said the trees to the vine, Come you, [and] reign over us.

9:13 And the vine said to them, Should I leave my wine, which cheers Elohim (אלהים) and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?

9:14 Then said all the trees to the bramble, Come you, [and] reign over us.

9:15 And the bramble said to the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Levanon.

9:16 Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Avi-Melekh king, and if ye have dealt well with Yeruba'al and his house, and have done to him according to the deserving of his hands;

9:17 (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the yad Midyan:

9:18 And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, shibim (70 , threescore n 10) persons, upon one stone, and have made Avi-Melekh, Ben his maidservant, king over the men of Sh'khem, because he [is] your brother;)

9:19 If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Yeruba'al and with his house this day, [then] rejoice ye in Avi-Melekh, and let him also rejoice in you:

9:20 But if not, let fire come out from Avi-Melekh, and devour the men of Sh'khem, and the bayit Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Sh'khem, and from the bayit Millo, and devour Avi-Melekh.

9:21 And Yotam ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Avi-Melekh his brother.

Avi-Melekh n Sh'khem punished

9:22 When Avi-Melekh had reigned three years over Yisrael,

9:23 Then Elohim (אלהים) sent an evil spirit between Avi-Melekh and the men of Sh'khem; and the men of Sh'khem dealt treacherously with Avi-Melekh:

9:24 That the cruelty [done] to the shibim (70 , threescore n 10) Benai Yeruba'al might come, and their blood be laid upon Avi-Melekh their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Sh'khem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren.

9:25 And the men of Sh'khem set liers in wait for him in the top of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Avi-Melekh.

9:26 And Gaal the son of a slave came with his brethren, and went over to Sh'khem: and the men of Sh'khem put their confidence in him.

9:27 And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode [the grapes], and made merry, and went into the bayit their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Avi-Melekh.

9:28 And Gaal the son of a slave said: "Who [is] Avi-Melekh, and who [is] Sh'khem, that we should serve him? [is] not [he] Ben Yeruba'al? and Zevul his officer? serve the men of Hamor the father of Sh'khem: for why should we serve him?

9:29 And would to Elohim (אלהים) this people were under my hand! then would I remove Avi-Melekh. And he said to Avi-Melekh, Increase your army, and come out. "

9:30 And when Zevul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal Ben Ebed, his anger was kindled.

9:31 And he sent messengers to Avi-Melekh privily, saying, hinei, Gaal Ben Ebed and his brethren be come to Sh'khem; and, hinei, they fortify the city against you.

9:32 Now therefore up by night, you and the people that [is] with you, and lie in wait in the field:

9:33 And it shall be, [that] in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you shall rise early, and set upon the city: and, hinei, [when] he and the people that [is] with him come out against you, then may you do to them as you shall find occasion.

9:34 And Avi-Melekh rose up, and all the people that [were] with him, by night, and they laid wait against Sh'khem in four companies.

9:35 And Gaal the son of a slave went out, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and Avi-Melekh rose up, and the people that [were] with him, from lying in wait.

9:36 And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zevul, hinei, there come people down from the top of the mountains. And Zevul said to him, You seest the shadow of the mountains as [if they were] men.

9:37 And Gaal spoke again and said, See there come people down by the middle of the land, and another company come along by the plain of Meonenim.

9:38 Then said Zevul to him, Where [is] now your mouth, wherewith you saidst, Who [is] Avi-Melekh, that we should serve him? [is] not this the people that you have despised? go out, I pray now, and fight with them.

9:39 And Gaal went out before the men of Sh'khem, and fought with Avi-Melekh.

9:40 And Avi-Melekh chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] to the entering of the gate.

9:41 And Avi-Melekh dwelt at Arumah: and Zevul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Sh'khem.

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

9:43 And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, hinei, the people [were] come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them.

9:44 And Avi-Melekh, and the company that [was] with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two [other] companies ran upon all [the people] that [were] in the fields, and slew them.

9:45 And Avi-Melekh fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that [was] therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.

9:46 And when all the men of the tower of Sh'khem heard [that], they entered into an hold of the bayit the god brit.

9:47 And it was told Avi-Melekh, that all the men of the tower of Sh'khem were gathered together.

9:48 And Avi-Melekh gat him up to har Zalmon, he and all the people that [were] with him; and Avi-Melekh took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid [it] on his shoulder, and said to the people that [were] with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, [and] do as I [have done].

9:49 And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Avi-Melekh, and put [them] to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Sh'khem died also, about a thousand men and women.

9:50 Then went Avi-Melekh to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it.

9:51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut [it] to them, and gat them up to the top of the tower.

9:52 And Avi-Melekh came to the tower, and fought against it, and went hard to the door of the tower to burn it with fire.

9:53 And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Avi-Melekh's head (rosh), and all to brake his skull (גּלגּלת gulgolet).

9:54 Then he called hastily to the young man his armourbearer, and said to him, Draw your sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died.

9:55 And when the men of Yisrael saw that Avi-Melekh was dead, they departed every man to his place.

9:56 Thus Elohim (אלהים) rendered the wickedness of Avi-Melekh, which he did to his father, in slaying his seventy brethren:

9:57 And all the evil of the men of Sh'khem did Elohim (אלהים) render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Yotam Ben Yeruba'al.

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