|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:30-49 Abimelech intended to punish the Schechemites for slighting him now, but God punished them for their serving him formerly in the murder of Gideon's sons. When God uses men as instruments in his hand to do his work, he means one thing, and they another. That, which they hoped would have been for their welfare, proved a snare and a trap, as those will certainly find, who run to idols for shelter; such will prove a refuge of lies.
Verse 46. - The men of the tower of Sechem. The tower of Shechem is no doubt the same fortified building as was spoken of in vers. 6 and 20 by the name of the house of Millo (see note to ver. 6). An, or rather the, hold. The word so rendered occurs elsewhere only in 1 Samuel 13:6, where it is rendered high places, and is coupled with caves, thickets, rocks, and pits, as one of the hiding-places of the Israelites from the Philistines. It was probably some kind of keep built on an eminence, and the place where the treasure of the temple was kept (ver. 4). It appears from the narrative that the tower of Shechem, or house of Millo, was not actually part of Shechem, nor immediately contiguous, since the report of the capture of Shechem had to be carried thither. The god Berith. It should rather be El-berith, the same as Baal-berith in ver. 4 - El, i.e. god, being substituted for Baal.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard that,.... That the city of Shechem was taken, the inhabitants of it slain, the city beaten down, and sowed with salt; by which it appears that this tower was not within the city, for then the men of it would have seen what was done, and not be said only to hear it; though it was not far from it, and possessed by Shechemites, and whither some of the principal inhabitants had now fled for safety; perhaps it is the same with the house of Millo, and so that part of Jotham's curse, which respected that, had now its accomplishment, otherwise no account is given of it:
they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith; not thinking themselves safe enough in the tower, they betook themselves to the temple of Baalberith their god, see Judges 9:4 which was a strong fortified place, as temples often were; or however had a strong hold belonging to it, and hither they fled, either because of the greater strength of the place, or because of the sanctity of it, and imagining Abimelech would not destroy it on that account; and the rather, because of the supply he had from it, which enabled him to raise himself to the government of Israel.
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