Judges 9:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Ask all the citizens of Shechem, 'Which is better for you: to have all seventy of Jerub-Baal's sons rule over you, or just one man?' Remember, I am your flesh and blood."

New Living Translation
"Ask the leading citizens of Shechem whether they want to be ruled by all seventy of Gideon's sons or by one man. And remember that I am your own flesh and blood!"

English Standard Version
“Say in the ears of all the leaders of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you, that all seventy of the sons of Jerubbaal rule over you, or that one rule over you?’ Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.”

New American Standard Bible
"Speak, now, in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem, 'Which is better for you, that seventy men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that one man rule over you?' Also, remember that I am your bone and your flesh."

King James Bible
Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Please speak in the presence of all the lords of Shechem, 'Is it better for you that 70 men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you or that one man rule over you?' Remember that I am your own flesh and blood."

International Standard Version
"Ask all the "lords" of Shechem, 'What's better for you? That 70 men, each of them Jerubbaal's sons, rule over you? Or that one man rule over you?' Keep in mind that I'm like your own close relative."

NET Bible
"Tell all the leaders of Shechem this: 'Why would you want to have seventy 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.'"

New Heart English Bible
"Please speak in the ears of all the lords of Shechem, 'Is it better for you that all the sons of Jerubbaal, who are seventy persons, rule over you, or that one rule over you?' Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.'"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He said, "Please ask all citizens of Shechem, 'What seems best to you? Do you really want all of Jerubbaal's 70 sons to rule you or just one man? Remember, I'm your own flesh and blood.'"

JPS Tanakh 1917
Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem: Which is better for you, that all the sons of Jerubbaal, who are threescore and ten persons, rule over you, or that one rule over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.'

New American Standard 1977
“Speak, now, in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you, that seventy men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that one man rule over you?’ Also, remember that I am your bone and your flesh.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, What would seem better unto you, that seventy persons reign over you, all the sons of Jerubbaal; or that one reign over you? Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.

King James 2000 Bible
Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Which is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, who are threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.

American King James Version
Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are three score and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.

American Standard Version
Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, that all the sons of Jerubbaal, who are threescore and ten persons, rule over you, or that one rule over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Speak to all the men of Sichem: whether is better for you that seventy men all the sons of Jerobaal should rule over you, or that one man should rule over you? And withal consider that I am your bone, and your flesh.

Darby Bible Translation
Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the citizens of Shechem, Which is better for you, that seventy persons, all sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that one man rule over you? And remember that I am your bone and your flesh.

English Revised Version
Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are threescore and ten persons, rule over you, or that one rule over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.

Webster's Bible Translation
Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Which is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are seventy persons, should reign over you, or that one should reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.

World English Bible
"Please speak in the ears of all the men of Shechem, 'Is it better for you that all the sons of Jerubbaal, who are seventy persons, rule over you, or that one rule over you?' Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh."

Young's Literal Translation
Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the masters of Shechem, Which is good for you -- the ruling over you of seventy men (all the sons of Jerubbaal), or the ruling over you of one man? -- and ye have remembered that I am your bone and your flesh.'
Study Bible
Abimelech's Conspiracy
1And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's relatives, and spoke to them and to the whole clan of the household of his mother's father, saying, 2"Speak, now, in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem, 'Which is better for you, that seventy men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that one man rule over you?' Also, remember that I am your bone and your flesh." 3And his mother's relatives spoke all these words on his behalf in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem; and they were inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, "He is our relative."…
Cross References
Genesis 29:14
Laban said to him, "Surely you are my bone and my flesh." And he stayed with him a month.

Judges 8:30
Now Gideon had seventy sons who were his direct descendants, for he had many wives.

Judges 9:5
Then he went to his father's house at Ophrah and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone. But Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself.

Judges 9:18
but you have risen against my father's house today and have killed his sons, seventy men, on one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your relative--
Treasury of Scripture

Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are three score and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.

whether, etc. Heb. What is good? whether etc. Threescore

Judges 8:30 And Gideon had three score and ten sons of his body begotten: for …

your bone

Genesis 29:14 And Laban said to him, Surely you are my bone and my flesh. And he …

2 Samuel 19:13 And say you to Amasa, Are you not of my bone, and of my flesh? God …

1 Chronicles 11:1 Then all Israel gathered themselves to David to Hebron, saying, Behold, …

Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Hebrews 2:14 For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, …

(2) All the men of Shechem.--Rather, the lords (Baali) of Shechem. These seem to be the same as "the men" (anoshi), or "lords (Baali) of the tower of Shechem," in Judges 9:46; Judges 9:49. It is by no means impossible that the Canaanites may have still held possession of the fortress, though the Israelites were nominally predominant in the town. At any rate, this particular title of "lords," as applied to the chief people of a town, seems to have been Canaanite rather than Hebrew: the "lords" of Jericho (Joshua 24:11), the "lords" of Gibeah (Judges 21:5), of Keilah (1Samuel 23:11). The term is applied also to the Hittite Uriah (2Samuel 11:20). What is clear is that, as in so many other towns of Palestine at this epoch (see Judges 1:32, &c), there was a mixed population living side by side in a sort of armed neutrality, though with a mutual dislike, which might at any time break out in tumults. The Israelites held much the same position in many towns as the Normans among the English during the years after the conquest. The Israelites had the upper hand, but they were fewer in numbers, and might easily be overborne at any particular point. It must be borne in mind also that Abimelech, as a Shechemite, would more easily win the adherence of the proud and jealous Ephraimites, who disliked the hegemony (see on Judges 8:1, and comp. 2Samuel 20:1, 1Kings 12:16) which Manasseh had acquired from the victories of Gideon. The plans of Abimelech were deep-laid. In counsel no less than in courage--though both were so grievously misdirected--he shows himself his father's son.

That all the sons of Jerubbaal . . . reign over you.--It seems to have been the merest calumny to suggest that they ever dreamt of making their father's influence hereditary in this sense. Gideon had expressly repudiated all wish and claim to exercise "rule" (meshol, Judges 8:23) of this kind. The remark of Abimelech is quite in the ancient spirit--

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(Comp. Eur. Suppl. 410.)

Your bone and your flesh.--The same phrase is found in Genesis 2:23; Genesis 29:14; 2Samuel 5:1; 2Samuel 19:12. He was akin to both the elements of the population: to the Ephraimites, from the place of his birth, or at any rate of his mother's residence; and to the Canaanites (as the whole narrative implies), from her blood. The plea was "like that of our Henry II., the first Norman son of a Saxon mother" (Stanley).

Verse 2. - All the sons,... which are threescore and ten persons. Mark the evils of polygamy - producing family discord, extinguishing natural affection, causing civil strife, multiplying pretenders, and producing an ignoble and contemptible herd of helpless princes. 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, which are seventy persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? intimating thereby, that though Gideon his father had refused the regal government when offered him, it was but reasonable that his sons, or some one of them, should be tried, whether it would be acceptable to them; nay, he would insinuate, that the sons of Gideon, who were seventy in number, were either contending with one another about it, or contriving to divide the government among them, and therefore desired it might be moved to consideration, whether it would not be more eligible to fix upon some one person to be their ruler, than to be under the government of seventy; or, in other words, whether it was not better to have one king than seventy kings; but in reality there was no necessity for any consultation about this matter, the sons of judges never succeeded their fathers in government; nor does it appear that any of Gideon's sons had any thought about it, nor any desire to be made kings, as appears from Jotham's parable; and this was only a wicked insinuation of this man's, with an ambitious view of getting the kingdom to himself, as follows:

remember also that I am your bone and your flesh; was of the same tribe and city with them, born among them, his mother always living with them, and he having now many near relations by his mother's side that dwelt there; and therefore while they had this affair of government under consideration, he would have them think of him to be their king, which would be to their honour, and to their advantage, to have one so nearly related to them on the throne, from whom they might expect many favours. 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.9:1-6 The men of Shechem chose Abimelech king. God was not consulted whether they should have any king, much less who it should be. If parents could see what their children would do, and what they are to suffer, their joy in them often would be turned into sorrow: we may be thankful that we cannot know what shall happen. Above all, we should fear and watch against sin; for our evil conduct may produce fatal effects upon our families, after we are in our graves.
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