Judges 9:29
And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase your army, and come out.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(29) Would to God this people were under my hand !—Comp. 2Samuel 15:4.

And he said to Abimelech.—The “he said” may be the impersonal idiom (comp. Joshua 7:26, &c.), meaning “it was told” (Vulg., Dictum est). It is less likely that “he” means Zebul, or that it is Gaal’s drunken vaunt to the absent Abimelech. Another reading is, “And I would say to Abimelech,” &c.

Jdg 9:29. Under my hand — That is, under my command; I wish you would unanimously submit to me, as your captain and governor; for he found them divided; and some of them inclining toward Abimelech, whom they had lately rejected, according to the levity of the popular humour. I would remove — As you have driven him out of your city, I would drive him out of your country. He said — He sent this message or challenge to him. Increase thine army — I desire not to surprise thee at any disadvantage; strengthen thyself as much as thou canst, and come out into the open field, that thou and I may decide it by our arms.9:22-29 Abimelech is seated in the throne his father refused. But how long does this glory last? Stay but three years, and see the bramble withered and burned. The prosperity of the wicked is short and fickle. The Shechemites are plagued by no other hand than Abimelech's. They raised him unjustly to the throne; they first feel the weight of his sceptre.Shechem is another designation of Abimelech. Sheehem means the son and heir of Sheehem, Abimelech's mother being a Canaanite Judges 9:18. 28-45. would to God this people were under my hand—He seems to have been a boastful, impudent, and cowardly person, totally unfit to be a leader in a revolutionary crisis. The consequence was that he allowed himself to be drawn into an ambush, was defeated, the city of Shechem destroyed and strewn with salt. The people took refuge in the stronghold, which was set on fire, and all in it perished. Under my hand, i.e. under my command; I wish you would unanimously submit to me, as your captain and governor; for he found them divided, and some of them hearkening after Abimelech, whom they had lately rejected, according to the levity of the popular humour.

Then would I remove Abimelech; as you have driven him out of your city, I would drive him out of your country.

He said to Abimelech; he sent this message or challenge to him, I desire not to surprise thee at any disadvantage; strengthen thyself as much as thou canst, and come out into the open field, that thou and I may decide it by our arms. And would to God this people were under my hand,.... Or government, that I were but the ruler of their city, and general of their forces:

then would I remove Abimelech; from his kingly office, and rid Shechem of him, and all the country round about, and indeed remove him out of the world:

and he said to Abimelech; as if he was present, in a hectoring and blustering manner; or he said what follows to his officer under him, that represented him; or he sent a messenger to him, saying:

increase thine army, and come out; bidding him defiance, challenging him to come into the open field and fight him, and bring as many forces along with him as he could or would, not doubting but he should be a match for him; and the men of Shechem would see they had nothing to fear from him, having such a man as Gaal at the head of them; this he said to engage the Shechemites to make him their ruler.

And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to {k} Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.

(k) Braggingly, as though he had been present, or to his captain Zebul.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
29. And he said] Read with a slight change and I would say, so LXX; cf. Jdg 9:38.Verse 29. - And would to God, etc., i.e. "If you will only trust me as your leader, I will soon remove Abimelech, and then you can have a national government." It seems that the people at once closed with his offer, and, thus emboldened, he sent a challenge to Abimelech to come out and fight him. Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem, so that they became treacherous towards him. "An evil spirit" is not merely "an evil disposition," but an evil demon, which produced discord and strife, just as an evil spirit came upon Saul (1 Samuel 16:14-15; 1 Samuel 18:10); not Satan himself, but a supernatural spiritual power which was under his influence. This evil spirit God sent to punish the wickedness of Abimelech and the Shechemites. Elohim, not Jehovah, because the working of the divine justice is referred to here. "That the wickedness to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood (the blood of these sons that had been shed), to lay it upon Abimelech. " "And their blood" is only a more precise definition of "the wickedness to the seventy sons;" and "to lay it" is an explanation of the expression "might come." The introduction of לשׂוּם, however, brings an anakolouthon into the construction, since the transitive שׂוּם presupposes Elohim as the subject and דּמם as the object, whereas the parallel חמס is the subject to the intransitive לבוא: that the wickedness might come, and that God might lay the blood not only upon Abimelech, the author of the crime, but also upon the lords of Shechem, who had strengthened his hands to slay his brethren; had supported him by money, that he might be able to hire worthless fellows to execute his crime (Judges 9:4, Judges 9:5).
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