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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Judges 9:1-6

We are here told by what arts Abimelech got into authority, and made himself great. His mother perhaps had instilled into his mind some towering ambitious thoughts, and the name his father gave him, carrying royalty in it, might help to blow up these sparks; and now that he has buried his father nothing will serve his proud spirit but he will succeed him in the government of Israel, directly contrary to his father's will, for he had declared no son of his should rule over them. He had no call... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Judges 9:2

Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem ,.... Which, though the Targum calls the inhabitants of the place, Ben Melech better interprets it the lords of Shechem, as the phrase will bear to be rendered; for it is more likely he would have this first whispered and suggested to the principal men of the city, before the common people were acquainted with it, and indeed in order to use their influence with them: whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, ... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Judges 9:2

Whether is better for you , either that all the sons - This was a powerful argument: Whether will you have seventy tyrants or only one? For, as he had no right to the government, and God alone was king at that time in Israel; so he must support his usurped rule by whatever means were most likely to effect it: a usurped government is generally supported by oppression and the sword. read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Judges 9:2

The men of Shechem - literally, “the masters.” Compare Joshua 24:11; 1 Samuel 23:11-12. read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - Judges 9:1-3

Judges 9:1-3. Abimelech went to Shechem unto his mother’s brethren That is, her relations; and communed with them To try if he could engage them to favour and aid the design he had conceived to usurp the government of Israel, in direct opposition to his father’s will, who had declared no son of his should rule over them. His mother had, probably, instilled into his mind some ambitious thoughts, and the name his father had given him, carrying royalty in its meaning, might help to blow up... read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - Judges 9:1-57

The story of Abimelech (9:1-57)Gideon had about seventy sons. One of these, Abimelech, was not a full-blooded Israelite, for his mother was a Shechemite. (The Shechemites were a group of Canaanites who lived peaceably among the Israelites; see Genesis 12:6; Genesis 34:1-31; Joshua 24:32.) With the help of some worthless Shechemites, Abimelech killed all his brothers (except one who escaped) and established himself ‘king’ in Shechem. His ‘kingdom’ probably consisted only of Shechem and a few... read more

Thomas Coke

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible - Judges 9:2

Judges 9:2. In the ears of all the men of Shechem— We are prepared for this exploit of Abimelech, by the mention of him in the 31st verse of the foregoing chapter. His mother, it is conjectured by some, gave him the name of Abimelech, i.e. my father a king, out of pride and arrogance; and possibly the early impressions of this sort which he received were the foundation of that cruel ambition which occasioned his ruin. What we render men of Shechem, Houbigant renders nobles or princes; because,... read more

Robert Jamieson; A. R. Fausset; David Brown

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Judges 9:2

2. Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, . . . or that one reign over you—a false insinuation, artfully contrived to stir up jealousy and alarm. Gideon had rejected, with abhorrence, the proposal to make himself or any of his family king, and there is no evidence that any of his other sons coveted the title. read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Judges 9:1-6

Abimelech’s murders and election as king 9:1-6Though Gideon had rejected kingship officially (Judges 8:23), though not practically, Abimelech desired it for himself. He also hated his half-brothers, presumably because he was the son of a concubine rather than the son of one of Gideon’s wives (Judges 8:31). Shechem was one of the older city-states in Canaan. Canaanites were its primary inhabitants, as is evident from this story. They seem to have been even more open to having a king over them... read more

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