Larry Hunt's Bible Commentary


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Judges 9

Chapter 9

Note the frequent use of “Jerubbaal” in honoring his memory.  I do not think “Gideon” is used at all in the chapter.

v. 8:  This is an interesting parable by Jotham.  It seems that Jerubbaal was really the first (in the book of Judges) to emphasize the point that God was king of Israel.  The fact that these three trees refuse to be king seems to indicate that his sons followed his example.  I suppose they all ruled as a body of elders (as was the case in the city of Succoth [8:14]).

v. 9:  Note that each tree refuses because he would be surrendering his goodness to be ruler.

So, why is the story of Abimelech even in the book of Judges?  He certainly was not a judge in the sense of being a deliverer.[1]  Perhaps he is included in the book to serve as the antithesis of Jerubbaal, thus emphasizing even more starkly the theme that God is king of Israel.  Otherwise, his story seems like it would be more appropriately told as a separate book.  The story of Ruth, for instance, takes place in the time of the judges but does not concern the career of a judge.

[1] The Hebrew word translated as judge means “deliverer.”


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