Judges 9:15
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"The thornbush said to the trees, 'If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, then let fire come out of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!'

New Living Translation
And the thornbush replied to the trees, 'If you truly want to make me your king, come and take shelter in my shade. If not, let fire come out from me and devour the cedars of Lebanon.'"

English Standard Version
And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade, but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’

New American Standard Bible
"The bramble said to the trees, 'If in truth you are anointing me as king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, may fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon.'

King James Bible
And the bramble said unto 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 Lebanon.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The bramble said to the trees," If you really are anointing me as king over you, come and find refuge in my shade. But if not, may fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon.""

International Standard Version
Then the bramble bush replied to the trees, 'If you really are consecrating me to rule you, come and put your confidence in my shade; but if not, may fire spring out from the bramble bush and burn up the cedars of Lebanon…'

NET Bible
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!'

New Heart English Bible
"The bramble said to the trees, 'If in truth you anoint me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But the thornbush responded to the trees, 'If you really want to anoint me to be your king, then come and take shelter in my shade. But if not, fire will come out of the thornbush and burn up the cedars of Lebanon.'

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the bramble said unto the trees: If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shadow; and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.

New American Standard 1977
“And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in truth you are anointing me as king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, may fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon.’

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and confide under my shadow; and if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.

King James 2000 Bible
And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth you 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 Lebanon.

American King James Version
And the bramble said to the trees, If in truth you 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 Lebanon.

American Standard Version
And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And it answered them: If indeed you mean to make me king, come ye and rest under my shadow: but if you mean it not, let fire come out from the bramble, and devour the cedars of Libanus.

Darby Bible Translation
And 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.

English Revised Version
And the bramble said unto 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 Lebanon.

Webster's Bible Translation
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 Lebanon.

World English Bible
"The bramble said to the trees, 'If in truth you anoint me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.'

Young's Literal Translation
And the bramble saith unto the trees, If in truth ye are anointing me for king over you, come, take refuge in my shadow; and if not -- fire cometh out from the bramble, and devoureth the cedars of Lebanon.
Study Bible
Jotham's Parable
14"Finally all the trees said to the bramble, 'You come, reign over us!' 15"The bramble said to the trees, 'If in truth you are anointing me as king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, may fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon.' 16"Now therefore, if you have dealt in truth and integrity in making Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have dealt with him as he deserved--…
Cross References
Judges 9:14
"Finally all the trees said to the bramble, 'You come, reign over us!'

Judges 9:16
"Now therefore, if you have dealt in truth and integrity in making Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have dealt with him as he deserved--

Psalm 29:5
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
Treasury of Scripture

And the bramble said to the trees, If in truth you 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 Lebanon.

shadow

Isaiah 30:2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; …

Daniel 4:12 The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in …

Hosea 14:7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive …

Matthew 13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it …

let fire

Judges 9:20,49 But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men …

Numbers 21:28 For there is a fire gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of …

Isaiah 1:31 And the strong shall be as wick, and the maker of it as a spark, …

Ezekiel 19:14 And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which has devoured …

the cedars

2 Kings 14:9 And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying…

Psalm 104:16 The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which …

Isaiah 2:13 And on all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and …

Isaiah 37:24 By your servants have you reproached the Lord, and have said, By …

Ezekiel 31:3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and …

(15) If in truth--i.e., with serious purpose. The bramble can hardly believe in the infatuation of the trees.

Put your trust in my shadow.--The mean leaves and bristling thorns of the rhamnus could afford no shadow to speak of, and even such as they could afford would be dangerous; but the fable is full of fine and biting irony.

If not.--The bramble is not only eager to be king, but has spiteful and dangerous threats--the counterpart of those, doubtless, which had been used by Abimelech--to discourage any withdrawal of the offer.

Let fire come out of the bramble.--Some suppose that there is a reference to the ancient notions of the spontaneous ignition of the boughs of the bramble when rubbed together by the wind. The allusion is far more probably to the use of thorns for fuel: Exodus 22:6, "If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn . . . be consumed;" Psalm 58:9, "Or ever your pots be made hot with thorns;" Ecclesiastes 7:6, "the crackling of thorns under a pot."

Verse 15. - If in truth, i.e. truly, as the same phrase is rendered in vers. 16, 19, with integrity of purpose and sincerity of heart. The English would be less ambiguous if it ran, "If ye anoint me king over you in truth." The speech of the bramble indicates the grounds for suspicion already existing between Abimelech and the men of Shechem. Let fire come out, etc. - keeping up the propriety of the image, as the natural function of the bramble was to kindle a fire, and as it had no other use; showing, too, how a base bramble could destroy a noble cedar, and the base-born Abimelech could bring ruin upon the lords of Shechem. And the bramble said unto the trees,.... Accepting of their offer at once:

if ye in trust anoint me king over you; suspecting they were not hearty and cordial in their choice and call to the kingly authority over them:

then come and put your trust in my shadow; promising protection to them as his subjects, requiring their confidence in him, and boasting of the good they should receive from him, as is common with wicked princes at their first entering on their office; but, alas! what shadow or protection can there be in a bramble? if a man attempts: to put himself under it for shelter, he will find it will be of no use to him, but harmful, since, the nearer and closer he comes to it, the more he will be scratched and torn by it:

and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon; signifying, that if they did not heartily submit to his government, and put confidence in him, and prove faithful to him, they should smart for it, and feel his wrath and vengeance, even the greatest men among them, comparable to the cedars of Lebanon; for thorns and brambles catching fire, as they easily do, or fire being put to them, as weak as they are, and placed under the tallest and strongest cedars, will soon fetch them down to the ground; and the words of the bramble, or Abimelech, proved true to the Shechemites, he is made to speak in this parable. 9:7-21 There was no occasion for the trees to choose a king, they are all the trees of the Lord which he has planted. Nor was there any occasion for Israel to set a king over them, for the Lord was their King. Those who bear fruit for the public good, are justly respected and honoured by all that are wise, more than those who merely make a figure. All these fruit-trees gave much the same reason for their refusal to be promoted over the trees; or, as the margin reads it, to go up and down for the trees. To rule, involves a man in a great deal both of toil and care. Those who are preferred to public trust and power, must forego all private interests and advantages, for the good of others. And those advanced to honour and dignity, are in great danger of losing their fruitfulness. For which reason, they that desire to do good, are afraid of being too great. Jotham compares Abimelech to the bramble or thistle, a worthless plant, whose end is to be burned. Such a one was Abimelech.
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