|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:50-57 The Shechemites were ruined by Abimelech; now he is reckoned with, who was their leader in villany. Evil pursues sinners, and sometimes overtakes them, when not only at ease, but triumphant. Though wickedness may prosper a while, it will not prosper always. The history of mankind, if truly told, would greatly resemble that of this chapter. The records of what are called splendid events present to us such contests for power. Such scenes, though praised of men, fully explain the Scripture doctrine of the deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of the human heart, the force of men's lust, and the effect of Satan's influence. Lord, thou has given us thy word of truth and righteousness, O pour upon us thy spirit of purity, peace, and love, and write thy holy law in our hearts.
Verse 53. - A millstone. The word here used means the upper millstone, which rides as it were, or moves, over the fixed nether stone. All to brake his skull. This obsolete English phrase has been the subject of a recent controversy. In the older English of Chaucer and his immediate successors such compounds as to-break, to-burst, etc. were very common, and were frequently preceded by the adverb all. Hence, some English scholars would read the phrase here, and all to-brake his skull. It is, however, certain that before the time when the A.V. was made the compounds to-break, to-burst, etc. had become entirely obsolete, and the compound all-to had come into use. The right way, therefore, in which to read the present phrase is, and all-to brake his skull, i.e. smashed it, dashed it in pieces. The prefix all-to gives intensity to the verb.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone,.... Of the upper millstone, as the word signifies, which is observed by Jarchi and other Jewish commentators; this with other stones being carried up to the top of the tower, to do what execution they could with them: and a woman observing Abimelech making up to the door of the tower, took up this piece of millstone, and threw it down
upon Abimelech's head, and all to break his skull; she did it with that view, though it may as well be rendered, or "she", or "it broke his skull" (r); it made a fracture in it, which was mortal. Abendana observes, and so others, that that was measure for measure, a righteous retaliation, that as he had slain seventy of his brethren on one stone, he should die by means of a stone.
(r) "et confregit cranium ejus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Tigurine version.
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