Judges 9:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
They gave him seventy shekels of silver from the temple of Baal-Berith, and Abimelek used it to hire reckless scoundrels, who became his followers.

New Living Translation
They gave him seventy silver coins from the temple of Baal-berith, which he used to hire some reckless troublemakers who agreed to follow him.

English Standard Version
And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, who followed him.

New American Standard Bible
They gave him seventy pieces of silver from the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, and they followed him.

King James Bible
And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baalberith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So they gave him 70 pieces of silver from the temple of Baal-berith. Abimelech hired worthless and reckless men with this money, and they followed him.

International Standard Version
and they gave him 70 silver coins from the temple that they had built to Baal-berith. Abimelech hired some worthless and useless men, who followed him

NET Bible
They paid him seventy silver shekels out of the temple of Baal-Berith. Abimelech then used the silver to hire some lawless, dangerous men as his followers.

New Heart English Bible
They gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal Berith, with which Abimelech hired vain and light fellows, who followed him.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So they gave him 70 pieces of silver from the temple of Baal Berith. With the silver, Abimelech hired worthless and reckless men to follow him.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light fellows, who followed him.

New American Standard 1977
And they gave him seventy pieces of silver from the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, and they followed him.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And they gave him seventy shekels of silver out of the house of Baalberith, with which Abimelech hired vain and light men who followed him.

King James 2000 Bible
And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baalberith, with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless persons, who followed him.

American King James Version
And they gave him three score and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baalberith, with which Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him.

American Standard Version
And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light fellows, who followed him.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they gave him seventy weight of silver out of the temple of Baalberith: wherewith he hired to himself men that were needy, and vagabonds, and they followed him.

Darby Bible Translation
And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-Berith, and Abimelech hired with them vain and wanton men, and they followed him.

English Revised Version
And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light fellows, which followed him.

Webster's Bible Translation
And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith, with which Abimelech hired vain and light persons, who followed him.

World English Bible
They gave him seventy [pieces] of silver out of the house of Baal Berith, with which Abimelech hired vain and light fellows, who followed him.

Young's Literal Translation
and they give to him seventy silverings out of the house of Baal-Berith, and Abimelech hireth with them men, vain and unstable, and they go after him;
Study Bible
Abimelech's Conspiracy
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." 4They gave him seventy pieces of silver from the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, and they followed him. 5Then 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.…
Cross References
Judges 8:33
Then it came about, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the sons of Israel again played the harlot with the Baals, and made Baal-berith their god.

2 Samuel 6:20
But when David returned to bless his household, Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, "How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants' maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!"

Zephaniah 3:4
Her prophets are reckless, treacherous men; Her priests have profaned the sanctuary. They have done violence to the law.
Treasury of Scripture

And they gave him three score and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baalberith, with which Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him.

house

Judges 9:46-49 And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard that, they entered …

Judges 8:33 And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children …

vain. worthless and dissolute men; persons who were living on the public, and had nothing to lose. Such was the foundation of his Babel government. By a cunning management of such unprincipled men most revolutions are brought about.

Judges 11:3 Then Jephthah fled from his brothers, and dwelled in the land of …

1 Samuel 22:2 And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, …

2 Chronicles 13:7 And there are gathered to him vain men, the children of Belial, and …

Job 30:8 They were children of fools, yes, children of base men: they were …

Proverbs 12:11 He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that …

Acts 17:5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took to them certain …

(4) Pieces.--Rather, shekels, which is the word normally understood in similar phrases (Judges 8:26). "Neither the citizens of Shechem nor the ignobly-ambitious bastard understood what true monarchy was, and still less what it ought to be in the commonwealth of Jehovah" (Ewald, ii. 389).

Out of the house of Baal-berith.--Like most temples in ancient days (e.g., that of Venus on Mount Eryx, the Parthenon, and that of Jupiter Latiaris), this served at once as a sanctuary, a fortress, and a bank. Similarly the treasures amassed at Delphi enabled the three Phocian brothers, Phayllus, Phalaekus, and Onomarchus, to support the whole burden of the sacred war (Diodor. xvi. 30; comp. Thuc. i. 121, 2:13). (Comp. also 1Kings 15:18.)

Vain and light persons.--These are exactly analogous to the doruphoroi--a body-guard of spear-bearers, which an ambitious Greek always hired as the first step to setting up a tyranny (Diog. Laert. 1:49). We find Jephthah (Judges 11:3), and David (1Samuel 22:2), and Absalom (2Samuel 15:1), and Rezon (1Kings 11:24), and Adonijah (1Kings 1:5), and Jeroboam (2Chronicles 13:7) doing exactly the same thing. Who these "vain" persons were is best defined in 1Samuel 22:2. They were like the condottieri, or free-lances. The word vain (rikm) is from the same root as Raca; it means vauriens. The word for "light persons" (pochazm) occurs in Genesis 49:4 (applied to Reuben) and Zephaniah 3:4. It is from a root which means to boil over.

Verse 4. - Threescore and ten of silver, i.e. shekels, which is always understood. Equal in value to about seven pounds; quite enough with which to hire a band of "vain and light persons," who would afterwards maintain themselves by plunder. Out of the house of Baal-berith. The custom of collecting treasures at the temple, both that of the true God and of idols, whether they were offerings and gifts for the service of the temple, or treasures deposited there for safety, was very general (see Joshua 6:19; 1 Kings 15:18; 1 Chronicles 29:8; Daniel 1:2, etc.). The treasures belonging to the temple of Apollo at Delphi were very great, and excited the cupidity of Xerxes, who sent an army to plunder the temple, but was foiled in the attempt. The Phocians are related to have seized 10,000 talents from the treasury of Delphi, nearly two and a half millions sterling. The temple of Diana at Ephesus had considerable treasures in money, as well as other valuable articles. Many other notices of the riches of temple treasures occur in classical writers. Vain and light persons. Of. Judges 11:3; 1 Samuel 22:2; 2 Samuel 15:1; 2 Chronicles 13:7. Vain, literally, empty; light, literally, boiling over. Applied to the false prophets (Zephaniah 3:4). In German, sprudel-kopf is a hot-headed, hasty man. And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baalbirith,.... The temple of their idol; of this name See Gill on Judges 8:33, out of the money which had been dedicated to his service by freewill offering, or out of a bank which they deposited there for greater safety, and perhaps out of a superstitious notion of its being more prosperous and successful: of what value these pieces were is not certain; by pieces of silver, commonly shekels are meant; but these are thought to be of too little value to be given to a man to raise an army with, or carry on a scheme to advance himself to the throne; and talents are judged to be too large a sum for such a city to contribute out of a temple of theirs, and that but lately built, as it must be since the death of Gideon; they are therefore thought to be pounds, as the Vulgate Latin version renders it; however, in the number of them there seems to be some reference to the number of Gideon's sons, who were to be destroyed by bribing men with this sum, which was the scheme concerted between Abimelech and the men of Shechem:

wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him; perhaps seventy of them, giving to each a piece or pound of silver; these were a base scoundrel sort of people, that lived in an idle scandalous manner, a sort of freebooters, that lived upon what they could lay hold on in a way of force and rapine; men of light heads and empty brains, and whose pockets were as light and empty as their heads, and fit to engage in any enterprise, though ever so barbarous, for the sake of a little money. 4. the house of Baal-berith—either the temple, or the place where this idol was worshipped; Baal-berith, "god of the covenant," by invocation of whom the league of cities was formed.

Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him—idle, worthless vagabonds, the scum of society, who had nothing to lose, but much to gain from the success of a revolutionary movement.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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Abimelech Abim'elech Adventurers Baal Baalberith Baal-Berith Ba'al-Be'rith Berith Hire Hired House Light Persons Pieces Reckless Seventy Shekels Silver Support Temple Ten Threescore Uncontrolled Used Vain Wherewith Worthless
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Alphabetical: Abimelech adventurers and Baal-Berith became fellows followed followers from gave him hire hired his house it of pieces reckless seventy shekels silver temple the They to used which who with worthless

OT History: Judges 9:4 They gave him seventy pieces of silver (Jd Judg. Jdg) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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