Judges 9:11
But the fig tree said to them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Jdg 9:11. The fig-tree said, &c. — Gideon refused this honour, both for himself, and for his sons; and the sons of Gideon, whom Abimelech had slain, upon pretence of their affecting the kingdom, were as far from such thoughts as their father.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.Honour God and man - Alluding to the constant use of oil in the meat-offerings Leviticus 2:1-16, and in the holy ointment Exodus 30:24-25. In like manner, the allusion in Judges 9:13 is to the drink-offerings of wine. See Leviticus 23:13; Numbers 15:10.Jud 9:7-21. Jotham by a Parable Reproaches Them.

7. he … stood in the top of mount Gerizim and lifted up his voice—The spot he chose was, like the housetops, the public place of Shechem; and the parable [Jud 9:8-15] drawn from the rivalry of the various trees was appropriate to the diversified foliage of the valley below. Eastern people are exceedingly fond of parables and use them for conveying reproofs, which they could not give in any other way. The top of Gerizim is not so high in the rear of the town, as it is nearer to the plain. With a little exertion of voice, he could easily have been heard by the people of the city; for the hill so overhangs the valley, that a person from the side or summit would have no difficulty in speaking to listeners at the base. Modern history records a case, in which soldiers on the hill shouted to the people in the city and endeavored to instigate them to an insurrection. There is something about the elastic atmosphere of an Eastern clime which causes it to transmit sound with wonderful celerity and distinctness [Hackett].

My sweetness; for which that fruit is particularly commended. And the fig tree said unto them,.... Rejecting the offer made:

should I forsake my sweetness and my good fruit; for such the fruit of the fig tree is, sweet and good: so Julian (d) the emperor shows from various authors, Aristophanes, Herodotus, and Homer, that nothing is sweeter than figs, excepting honey, and that no kind of fruit is better, and, where they are, no good is wanting:

and go to be promoted over the trees? the same is designed by this as the former.

(d) Opera, par. 2. ep. 24. Sarapioni, p. 142.

But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. my sweetness] The early ripe fig, especially, was and is esteemed for its flavour; see Isaiah 28:4, Jeremiah 24:2, Hosea 9:10, Micah 7:1.They gave him seventy shekels of silver from the house of Baal-berith, i.e., from the treasury of the temple that was dedicated to the covenant Baal at Shechem, as temple treasures were frequently applied to political purposes (see 1 Kings 15:18). With this money Abimelech easily hired light and desperate men, who followed him (attached themselves to him); and with their help he murdered his brethren at Ophrah, seventy men, with the exception of Jotham the youngest, who had hidden himself. The number seventy, the total number of his brethren, is reduced by the exception mentioned immediately afterwards to sixty-nine who were really put to death. ריק, empty, i.e., without moral restraint. פּחז lit. gurgling up, boiling over; figuratively, hot, desperate men. "Upon (against) one stone," that is to say, by a formal execution: a bloody omen of the kingdom of ten tribes, which was afterwards founded at Shechem by the Ephraimite Jeroboam, in which one dynasty overthrew another, and generally sought to establish its power by exterminating the whole family of the dynasty that had been overthrown (see 1 Kings 15:27., 2 Kings 10:1.). Even in Judah, Athaliah the worshipper of Baal sought to usurp the government by exterminating the whole of the descendants of her son (2 Kings 11). Such fratricides have also occurred in quite recent times in the Mohammedan countries of the East.
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