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  • Sun Sep 6: Genesis 1-2
  • Mon Sep 7: Genesis 3-5
  • Tue Sep 8: Genesis 6-7
  • Wed Sep 9: Genesis 8-9
  • Thu Sep 10: Genesis 10-12
  • Fri Sep 11: Genesis 13-14
  • Sat Sep 12: Genesis 15-17
  • Sun Sep 13: Genesis 18-19
  • Mon Sep 14: Genesis 20-22
  • Tue Sep 15: Genesis 23-24
  • Wed Sep 16: Genesis 25-26
  • Thu Sep 17: Genesis 27
  • Fri Sep 18: Genesis 28-29
  • Sat Sep 19: Genesis 30
  • Sun Sep 20: Genesis 31-32
  • Mon Sep 21: Genesis 33-34
  • Tue Sep 22: Genesis 35-36
  • Wed Sep 23: Genesis 37-38
  • Thu Sep 24: Genesis 39-40
  • Fri Sep 25: Genesis 41
  • Sat Sep 26: Genesis 42
  • Sun Sep 27: Genesis 43-44
  • Mon Sep 28: Genesis 45-46
  • Tue Sep 29: Genesis 47-48
  • Wed Sep 30: Genesis 49-50
  • Thu Oct 1: Exodus 1-2
  • Fri Oct 2: Exodus 3-4
  • Sat Oct 3: Exodus 5-6
  • Sun Oct 4: Exodus 7-8
  • Mon Oct 5: Exodus 9-10
  • Tue Oct 6: Exodus 11-12
  • Wed Oct 7: Exodus 13-14
  • Thu Oct 8: Exodus 15-16
  • Fri Oct 9: Exodus 17-18
  • Sat Oct 10: Exodus 19-20
  • Sun Oct 11: Exodus 21-22
  • Mon Oct 12: Exodus 23-24
  • Tue Oct 13: Exodus 25-26
  • Wed Oct 14: Exodus 27-28
  • Thu Oct 15: Exodus 29
  • Fri Oct 16: Exodus 30-31
  • Sat Oct 17: Exodus 32-33
  • Sun Oct 18: Exodus 34-35
  • Mon Oct 19: Exodus 36-37
  • Tue Oct 20: Exodus 39
  • Wed Oct 21: Exodus 40
  • Thu Oct 22: Leviticus 1-2
  • Fri Oct 23: Leviticus 3-4
  • Sat Oct 24: Leviticus 5-6
  • Sun Oct 25: Leviticus 7-8
  • Mon Oct 26: Leviticus 9-10
  • Tue Oct 27: Leviticus 11-12
  • Wed Oct 28: Leviticus 13
  • Thu Oct 29: Leviticus 14
  • Fri Oct 30: Leviticus 15
  • Sat Oct 31: Leviticus 16-17
  • Sun Nov 1: Leviticus 18-19
  • Mon Nov 2: Leviticus 20-21
  • Tue Nov 3: Leviticus 22-23
  • Wed Nov 4: Leviticus 24-25
  • Thu Nov 5: Leviticus 26-27
  • Fri Nov 6: Numbers 1
  • Sat Nov 7: Numbers 2
  • Sun Nov 8: Numbers 3
  • Mon Nov 9: Numbers 4
  • Tue Nov 10: Numbers 5-6
  • Wed Nov 11: Numbers 7
  • Thu Nov 12: Numbers 8
  • Fri Nov 13: Numbers 9-10
  • Sat Nov 14: Numbers 11-12
  • Sun Nov 15: Numbers 13-14
  • Mon Nov 16: Numbers 15
  • Tue Nov 17: Numbers 16-17
  • Wed Nov 18: Numbers 18-19
  • Thu Nov 19: Numbers 20-21
  • Fri Nov 20: Numbers 22-23
  • Sat Nov 21: Numbers 24-25
  • Sun Nov 22: Numbers 26
  • Mon Nov 23: Numbers 27-28
  • Tue Nov 24: Numbers 29-30
  • Wed Nov 25: Numbers 31
  • Thu Nov 26: Numbers 32-33
  • Fri Nov 27: Numbers 34
  • Sat Nov 28: Numbers 35-36
  • Sun Nov 29: Deuteronomy 1
  • Mon Nov 30: Deuteronomy 2-3
  • Tue Dec 1: Deuteronomy 4
  • Wed Dec 2: Deuteronomy 5-6
  • Thu Dec 3: Deuteronomy 7-8
  • Fri Dec 4: Deuteronomy 9-10
  • Sat Dec 5: Deuteronomy 11-12
  • Sun Dec 6: Deuteronomy 13-14
  • Mon Dec 7: Deuteronomy 15-16
  • Tue Dec 8: Deuteronomy 17-18
  • Wed Dec 9: Deuteronomy 19-20
  • Thu Dec 10: Deuteronomy 21-22
  • Fri Dec 11: Deuteronomy 23-24
  • Sat Dec 12: Deuteronomy 25-26
  • Sun Dec 13: Deuteronomy 27-28
  • Mon Dec 14: Deuteronomy 28-29
  • Tue Dec 15: Deuteronomy 30-31
  • Wed Dec 16: Deuteronomy 32
  • Thu Dec 17: Deuteronomy 33-34
  • Fri Dec 18: Psalms 1-7
  • Sat Dec 19: Psalms 8-14
  • Sun Dec 20: Psalms 15-18
  • Mon Dec 21: Psalms 19-23
  • Tue Dec 22: Psalms 24-29
  • Wed Dec 23: Psalms 30-33
  • Thu Dec 24: Psalms 34-36
  • Fri Dec 25: Psalms 37-39
  • Sat Dec 26: Psalms 40-44
  • Sun Dec 27: Psalms 45-49
  • Mon Dec 28: Psalms 50-54
  • Tue Dec 29: Psalms 55-59
  • Wed Dec 30: Psalms 60-65
  • Thu Dec 31: Psalms 66-68
  • Fri Jan 1: Psalms 69-71
  • Sat Jan 2: Psalms 72-75
  • Sun Jan 3: Psalms 76-78
  • Mon Jan 4: Psalms 79-81
  • Tue Jan 5: Psalms 82-87
  • Wed Jan 6: Psalms 88-90
  • Thu Jan 7: Psalms 91-96
  • Fri Jan 8: Psalms 97-102
  • Sat Jan 9: Psalms 103-105
  • Sun Jan 10: Psalms 106-107
  • Mon Jan 11: Psalms 108-113
  • Tue Jan 12: Psalms 114-118
  • Wed Jan 13: Psalms 119
  • Thu Jan 14: Psalms 120-125
  • Fri Jan 15: Psalms 126-135
  • Sat Jan 16: Psalms 136-140
  • Sun Jan 17: Psalms 141-145
  • Mon Jan 18: Psalms 146-150
  • Tue Jan 19: Proverbs 1-3
  • Wed Jan 20: Proverbs 4-6
  • Thu Jan 21: Proverbs 7-9
  • Fri Jan 22: Proverbs 10-12
  • Sat Jan 23: Proverbs 13-15
  • Sun Jan 24: Proverbs 16-18
  • Mon Jan 25: Proverbs 19-21
  • Tue Jan 26: Proverbs 23-24
  • Wed Jan 27: Proverbs 24-26
  • Thu Jan 28: Proverbs 27-29
  • Fri Jan 29: Proverbs 30-31
  • Sat Jan 30: Joshua 1-2
  • Sun Jan 31: Joshua 3-5
  • Mon Feb 1: Joshua 6-7
  • Tue Feb 2: Joshua 7-8
  • Wed Feb 3: Joshua 9-10
  • Thu Feb 4: Joshua 11
  • Fri Feb 5: Joshua 12-13
  • Sat Feb 6: Joshua 14-15
  • Sun Feb 7: Joshua 16-18
  • Mon Feb 8: Joshua 19-20
  • Tue Feb 9: Joshua 21-22
  • Wed Feb 10: Joshua 23
  • Thu Feb 11: Joshua 24
  • Fri Feb 12: Judges 1-2
  • Sat Feb 13: Judges 3-4
  • Sun Feb 14: Judges 5-6
  • Mon Feb 15: Judges 7
  • Tue Feb 16: Judges 8-9
  • Wed Feb 17: Judges 9-10
  • Thu Feb 18: Judges 11-12
  • Fri Feb 19: Judges 13-14
  • Sat Feb 20: Judges 15-16
  • Sun Feb 21: Judges 17-18
  • Mon Feb 22: Judges 19-20
  • Tue Feb 23: Judges 21
  • Wed Feb 24: Ruth 1-2
  • Thu Feb 25: Ruth 3-4
  • Fri Feb 26: 1 Samuel 1-2
  • Sat Feb 27: 1 Samuel 3
  • Sun Feb 28: 1 Samuel 4-5
  • Mon Mar 1: 1 Samuel 6-8
  • Tue Mar 2: 1 Samuel 9-10
  • Wed Mar 3: 1 Samuel 11-12
  • Thu Mar 4: 1 Samuel 13-14
  • Fri Mar 5: 1 Samuel 15
  • Sat Mar 6: 1 Samuel 16
  • Sun Mar 7: 1 Samuel 17
  • Mon Mar 8: 1 Samuel 18-19
  • Tue Mar 9: 1 Samuel 20-21
  • Wed Mar 10: 1 Samuel 22-23
  • Thu Mar 11: 1 Samuel 24-25
  • Fri Mar 12: 1 Samuel 26
  • Sat Mar 13: 1 Samuel 27-28
  • Sun Mar 14: 1 Samuel 29-31
  • Mon Mar 15: 2 Samuel 1-2
  • Tue Mar 16: 2 Samuel 3-4
  • Wed Mar 17: 2 Samuel 5-6
  • Thu Mar 18: 2 Samuel 7-8
  • Fri Mar 19: 2 Samuel 9-10
  • Sat Mar 20: 2 Samuel 11-12
  • Sun Mar 21: 2 Samuel 13-14
  • Mon Mar 22: 2 Samuel
  • Tue Mar 23: 2 Samuel 15-16
  • Wed Mar 24: 2 Samuel 17
  • Thu Mar 25: 2 Samuel 18-19
  • Fri Mar 26: 2 Samuel 20
  • Sat Mar 27: 2 Samuel 21-22
  • Sun Mar 28: 2 Samuel 23-24
  • Mon Mar 29: 1 Kings 1
  • Tue Mar 30: 1 Kings 2
  • Wed Mar 31: 1 Kings 3-4
  • Thu Apr 1: 1 Kings 5-6
  • Fri Apr 2: 1 Kings 7
  • Sat Apr 3: 1 Kings 8
  • Sun Apr 4: 1 Kings 9
  • Mon Apr 5: 1 Kings 10-11
  • Tue Apr 6: 1 Kings 12
  • Wed Apr 7: 1 Kings 13-14
  • Thu Apr 8: 1 Kings 15
  • Fri Apr 9: 1 Kings 16-17
  • Sat Apr 10: 1 Kings 18
  • Sun Apr 11: 1 Kings 19
  • Mon Apr 12: 1 Kings 20-21
  • Tue Apr 13: 1 Kings 22
  • Wed Apr 14: 2 Kings 1-2
  • Thu Apr 15: 2 Kings 3-4
  • Fri Apr 16: 2 Kings 5
  • Sat Apr 17: 2 Kings 6-7
  • Sun Apr 18: 2 Kings 8
  • Mon Apr 19: 2 Kings 9-10
  • Tue Apr 20: 2 Kings 11
  • Wed Apr 21: 2 Kings 12-13
  • Thu Apr 22: 2 Kings 14-15
  • Fri Apr 23: 2 Kings 16
  • Sat Apr 24: 2 Kings 17-18
  • Sun Apr 25: 2 Kings 19
  • Mon Apr 26: 2 Kings 20
  • Tue Apr 27: 2 Kings 21-22
  • Wed Apr 28: 2 Kings 23
  • Thu Apr 29: 2 Kings 24-25
  • Fri Apr 30: 1 Chronicles 1-2
  • Sat May 1: 1 Chronicles 3-4
  • Sun May 2: 1 Chronicles 5-6
  • Mon May 3: 1 Chronicles 7
  • Tue May 4: 1 Chronicles 8-9
  • Wed May 5: 1 Chronicles 10-11
  • Thu May 6: 1 Chronicles 12-13
  • Fri May 7: 1 Chronicles 14-15
  • Sat May 8: 1 Chronicles 16-17
  • Sun May 9: 1 Chronicles 18-20
  • Mon May 10: 1 Chronicles 21-22
  • Tue May 11: 1 Chronicles 23-24
  • Wed May 12: 1 Chronicles 25-26
  • Thu May 13: 1 Chronicles 27-28
  • Fri May 14: 1 Chronicles 29
  • Sat May 15: 2 Chronicles 1-3
  • Sun May 16: 2 Chronicles 4-5
  • Mon May 17: 2 Chronicles 6-7
  • Tue May 18: 2 Chronicles 8-9
  • Wed May 19: 2 Chronicles 10-12
  • Thu May 20: 2 Chronicles 13-15
  • Fri May 21: 2 Chronicles 16-17
  • Sat May 22: 2 Chronicles 18-19
  • Sun May 23: 2 Chronicles 20-22
  • Mon May 24: 2 Chronicles 23-24
  • Tue May 25: 2 Chronicles 25-26
  • Wed May 26: 2 Chronicles 27-28
  • Thu May 27: 2 Chronicles 29-30
  • Fri May 28: 2 Chronicles 31
  • Sat May 29: 2 Chronicles 32-33
  • Sun May 30: 2 Chronicles 34
  • Mon May 31: 2 Chronicles 35-36
  • Matthew 1
  • Matthew 2
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  • Matthew 4
  • Matthew 5:1-26
  • Matthew 5:27-48
  • Matthew 6:1-18
  • Matthew 6:19-34
  • Matthew 7
  • Matthew 8:1-17
  • Matthew 8:18-34
  • Matthew 9:1-17
  • Matthew 9:18-38
  • Matthew 10:1-25
  • Matthew 10:26-11:1
  • Matthew 11:2-30
  • Matthew 12:1-21
  • Matthew 12:22-50
  • Matthew 13:1-32
  • Matthew 13:33-58
  • Matthew 14:1-21
  • Matthew 14:22-36
  • Matthew 15:1-20
  • Matthew 15:21-39
  • Matthew 16
  • Matthew 17
  • Matthew 18:1-14
  • Matthew 18:15-35
  • Matthew 19
  • Matthew 20:1-16
  • Matthew 20:17-34
  • Matthew 21:1-22
  • Matthew 21:23-46
  • Matthew 22:1-22
  • Matthew 22:23-46
  • Matthew 23:1-22
  • Matthew 23:23-39
  • Matthew 24:1-28
  • Matthew 24:29-51
  • Matthew 25:1-30
  • Matthew 25:31-46
  • Matthew 26:1-46
  • Matthew 26:47-75
  • Matthew 27:1-31
  • Matthew 27:32-66
  • Matthew 28
  • Mark 1:1-20
  • Mark 1:21-45
  • Mark 2
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  • Mark 4:1-20
  • Mark 4:21-41
  • Mark 5:1-20
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  • Mark 6:1-29
  • Mark 6:30-56
  • Mark 7:1-23
  • Mark 7:24-37
  • Mark 8:1-21
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  • Mark 9:2-29
  • Mark 9:30-50
  • Mark 10:1-31
  • Mark 10:32-52
  • Mark 11:1-14
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  • Mark 12:1-27
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  • Mark 13:1-23
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  • Mark 14:1-31
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  • Mark 15:1-20
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  • Mark 16
  • Luke 1:1-38
  • Luke 1:39-80
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  • Luke 4:1-30
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  • Luke 5:1-16
  • Luke 5:17-39
  • Luke 6:1-16
  • Luke 6:17-49
  • Luke 7:1-35
  • Luke 7:36-50
  • Luke 8:1-25
  • Luke 8:26-56
  • Luke 9:1-27
  • Luke 9:28-62
  • Luke 10:1-24
  • Luke 10:25-42
  • Luke 11:1-28
  • Luke 11:29-54
  • Luke 12:1-34
  • Luke 12:35-59
  • Luke 13:1-17
  • Luke 13:18-35
  • Luke 14:1-14
  • Luke 14:15-35
  • Luke 15:1-10
  • Luke 15:11-32
  • Luke 16
  • Luke 17:1-19
  • Luke 17:20-37
  • Luke 18:1-17
  • Luke 18:18-43
  • Luke 19:1-27
  • Luke 19:28-48
  • Luke 20:1-19
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  • Luke 21:1-19
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  • John 1:1-28
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  • John 14
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  • Acts 1
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  • Acts 6
  • Acts 7:1-29
  • Acts 7:30-8:1
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  • Acts 11
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  • Acts 13:1-25
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  • Acts 14
  • Acts 15:1-21
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  • Acts 18
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  • Acts 24
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  • Acts 28:1-16
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  • Romans 1:1-17
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  • 1 Corinthians 1:1-17
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  • Revelation 21
  • Revelation 22

WILLING TO HELP: Gideon and his men routed the Midianites then pursued them. But Gideon’s men became faint from hunger they stopped at the Israelite town of Sukkoth and asked for food. The people refused to help. They didn’t want the Midianites to later retaliate against them.

1 The Ephraimites said to him, “Why have you done such a thing to us? You did not summon us when you went to fight the Midianites!” They argued vehemently with him. 2 He said to them, “Now what have I accomplished compared to you? Even Ephraim’s leftover grapes are better quality than Abiezer’s harvest! 3 It was to you that God handed over the Midianite generals, Oreb and Zeeb! What did I accomplish to rival that?” When he said this, they calmed down.

4 Now Gideon and his 300 men had crossed over the Jordan River, and even though they were exhausted, they were still chasing the Midianites. 5 He said to the men of Sukkoth, “Give some loaves of bread to the men who are following me because they are exhausted. I am chasing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.” 6 The officials of Sukkoth said, “You have not yet overpowered Zebah and Zalmunna. So why should we give bread to your army?” 7 Gideon said, “Since you will not help, after the Lord hands Zebah and Zalmunna over to me, I will thresh your skin with desert thorns and briers.” 8 He went up from there to Penuel and made the same request. The men of Penuel responded the same way the men of Sukkoth had. 9 He also threatened the men of Penuel, warning, “When I return victoriously, I will tear down this tower.”

10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their armies. There were about 15,000 survivors from the army of the eastern peoples; 120,000 sword-wielding soldiers had been killed. 11 Gideon went up the road of the nomads east of Nobah and Jogbehah and ambushed the surprised army. 12 When Zebah and Zalmunna ran away, Gideon chased them and captured the two Midianite kings, Zebah and Zalmunna. He had surprised their entire army.

13 Gideon son of Joash returned from the battle by the pass of Heres. 14 He captured a young man from Sukkoth and interrogated him. The young man wrote down for him the names of Sukkoth’s officials and city leaders—77 men in all. 15 He approached the men of Sukkoth and said, “Look what I have! Zebah and Zalmunna! You insulted me, saying, ‘You have not yet overpowered Zebah and Zalmunna. So why should we give bread to your exhausted men?’” 16 He seized the leaders of the city, along with some desert thorns and briers; he then “threshed” the men of Sukkoth with them. 17 He also tore down the tower of Penuel and executed the city’s men.

18 He said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “Describe for me the men you killed at Tabor.” They said, “They were like you. Each one looked like a king’s son.” 19 He said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. I swear, as surely as the Lord is alive, if you had let them live, I would not kill you.” 20 He ordered Jether his firstborn son, “Come on! Kill them!” But Jether was too afraid to draw his sword because he was still young. 21 Zebah and Zalmunna said to Gideon, “Come on, you strike us, for a man is judged by his strength.” So Gideon killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and he took the crescent-shaped ornaments that were on the necks of their camels.

22 The men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son, and your grandson. For you have delivered us from Midian’s power.” 23 Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.” 24 Gideon continued, “I would like to make one request. Each of you give me an earring from the plunder you have taken.” (The Midianites had gold earrings because they were Ishmaelites.) 25 They said, “We are happy to give you earrings.” So they spread out a garment, and each one threw an earring from his plunder onto it. 26 The total weight of the gold earrings he requested came to 1,700 gold shekels. This was in addition to the crescent-shaped ornaments, jewelry, purple clothing worn by the Midianite kings, and the necklaces on the camels. 27 Gideon used all this to make an ephod, which he put in his hometown of Ophrah. All the Israelites prostituted themselves to it by worshiping it there. It became a snare to Gideon and his family.

28 The Israelites humiliated Midian; the Midianites’ fighting spirit was broken. The land had rest for 40 years during Gideon’s time. 29 Then Jerub Baal son of Joash went home and settled down. 30 Gideon fathered 70 sons through his many wives. 31 His concubine, who lived in Shechem, also gave him a son, whom he named Abimelech. 32 Gideon son of Joash died at a very old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash located in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

33 After Gideon died, the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They made Baal Berith their god. 34 The Israelites did not remain true to the Lord their God, who had delivered them from all the enemies who lived around them. 35 They did not treat the family of Jerub Baal (that is, Gideon) fairly in return for all the good he had done for Israel.

9:1 Now Abimelech son of Jerub Baal went to Shechem to see his mother’s relatives. He said to them and to his mother’s entire extended family, 2 “Tell all the leaders of Shechem this: ‘Why would you want to have 70 men, all Jerub Baal’s sons, ruling over you when you can have just one ruler? Recall that I am your own flesh and blood.’” 3 His mother’s relatives spoke on his behalf to all the leaders of Shechem and reported his proposal. The leaders were drawn to Abimelech; they said, “He is our close relative.” 4 They paid him 70 silver shekels out of the temple of Baal Berith. Abimelech then used the silver to hire some lawless, dangerous men as his followers. 5 He went to his father’s home in Ophrah and murdered his half brothers, the 70 legitimate sons of Jerub Baal, on one stone. Only Jotham, Jerub Baal’s youngest son, escaped, because he hid. 6 All the leaders of Shechem and Beth Millo assembled and then went and made Abimelech king by the oak near the pillar in Shechem.

7 When Jotham heard the news, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim. He spoke loudly to the people below, “Listen to me, leaders of Shechem, so that God may listen to you!

8 “The trees were determined to go out and choose a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king!’ 9 But the olive tree said to them, ‘I am not going to stop producing my oil, which is used to honor gods and men, just to sway above the other trees!’

10 “So the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and be our king!’ 11 But the fig tree said to them, ‘I am not going to stop producing my sweet figs, my excellent fruit, just to sway above the other trees!’

12 “So the trees said to the grapevine, ‘You come and be our king!’ 13 But the grapevine said to them, ‘I am not going to stop producing my wine, which makes gods and men so happy, just to sway above the other trees!’

14 “So all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘You come and be our king!’ 15 The thornbush said to the trees, ‘If you really want to choose me as your king, then come along, find safety under my branches. Otherwise may fire blaze from the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!’

16 “Now, if you have shown loyalty and integrity when you made Abimelech king, if you have done right to Jerub Baal and his family, if you have properly repaid him— 17 my father fought for you; he risked his life and delivered you from Midian’s power. 18 But you have attacked my father’s family today. You murdered his 70 legitimate sons on one stone and made Abimelech, the son of his female slave, king over the leaders of Shechem just because he is your close relative. 19 So if you have shown loyalty and integrity to Jerub Baal and his family today, then may Abimelech bring you happiness and may you bring him happiness! 20 But if not, may fire blaze from Abimelech and consume the leaders of Shechem and Beth Millo! May fire also blaze from the leaders of Shechem and Beth Millo and consume Abimelech!” 21 Then Jotham ran away to Beer and lived there to escape from Abimelech his half-brother.

22 Abimelech commanded Israel for three years. 23 God sent a spirit to stir up hostility between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem. He made the leaders of Shechem disloyal to Abimelech. 24 He did this so the violent deaths of Jerub Baal’s 70 sons might be avenged and Abimelech, their half-brother who murdered them, might have to pay for their spilled blood, along with the leaders of Shechem who helped him murder them. 25 The leaders of Shechem rebelled against Abimelech by putting bandits in the hills, who robbed everyone who traveled by on the road. But Abimelech found out about it.

26 Gaal son of Ebed came through Shechem with his brothers. The leaders of Shechem transferred their loyalty to him. 27 They went out to the field, harvested their grapes, squeezed out the juice, and celebrated. They came to the temple of their god and ate, drank, and cursed Abimelech. 28 Gaal son of Ebed said, “Who is Abimelech and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? Is he not the son of Jerub Baal, and is not Zebul the deputy he appointed? Serve the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem! But why should we serve Abimelech? 29 If only these men were under my command, I would get rid of Abimelech!” He challenged Abimelech, “Muster your army and come out for battle!”

30 When Zebul, the city commissioner, heard the words of Gaal son of Ebed, he was furious. 31 He sent messengers to Abimelech, who was in Arumah, reporting, “Beware! Gaal son of Ebed and his brothers are coming to Shechem and inciting the city to rebel against you. 32 Now, come up at night with your men and set an ambush in the field outside the city. 33 In the morning at sunrise quickly attack the city. When he and his men come out to fight you, do what you can to him.”

34 So Abimelech and all his men came up at night and set an ambush outside Shechem; they divided into four units. 35 When Gaal son of Ebed came out and stood at the entrance to the city’s gate, Abimelech and his men got up from their hiding places. 36 Gaal saw the men and said to Zebul, “Look, men are coming down from the tops of the hills.” But Zebul said to him, “You are seeing the shadows on the hills—it just looks like men.” 37 Gaal again said, “Look, men are coming down from the very center of the land. A unit is coming by way of the Oak Tree of the Diviners.” 38 Zebul said to him, “Where now are your bragging words, ‘Who is Abimelech that we should serve him?’ Are these not the men you insulted? Go out now and fight them!” 39 So Gaal led the leaders of Shechem out and fought Abimelech. 40 Abimelech chased him, and Gaal ran from him. Many Shechemites fell wounded at the entrance of the gate. 41 Abimelech went back to Arumah; Zebul drove Gaal and his brothers out of Shechem.

42 The next day the Shechemites came out to the field. When Abimelech heard about it, 43 he took his men and divided them into three units and set an ambush in the field. When he saw the people coming out of the city, he attacked and struck them down. 44 Abimelech and his units attacked and blocked the entrance to the city’s gate. Two units then attacked all the people in the field and struck them down. 45 Abimelech fought against the city all that day. He captured the city and killed all the people in it. Then he leveled the city and spread salt over it.

46 When all the leaders of the Tower of Shechem heard the news, they went to the stronghold of the temple of El Berith. 47 Abimelech heard that all the leaders of the Tower of Shechem were in one place. 48 He and all his men went up on Mount Zalmon. He took an ax in his hand and cut off a tree branch. He put it on his shoulder and said to his men, “Quickly, do what you have just seen me do!” 49 So each of his men also cut off a branch and followed Abimelech. They put the branches against the stronghold and set fire to it. All the people of the Tower of Shechem died—about 1,000 men and women.

50 Abimelech moved on to Thebez; he besieged and captured it. 51 There was a fortified tower in the center of the city, so all the men and women, as well as the city’s leaders, ran into it and locked the entrance. Then they went up to the roof of the tower. 52 Abimelech came and attacked the tower. When he approached the entrance of the tower to set it on fire, 53 a woman threw an upper millstone down on his head and shattered his skull. 54 He quickly called to the young man who carried his weapons, “Draw your sword and kill me, so they will not say, ‘A woman killed him.’” So the young man stabbed him and he died. 55 When the Israelites saw that Abimelech was dead, they went home.

56 God repaid Abimelech for the evil he did to his father by murdering his 70 half brothers. 57 God also repaid the men of Shechem for their evil deeds. The curse spoken by Jotham son of Jerub Baal fell on them.

Has something like this ever happened to you? When you’re counting on someone to help you in a time of need to be able to trust God to help you make it, and – unlike Gideon – to forgive those who failed you.