Judges 9:30
And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled.
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(30) The ruler of the city.—The word sar seems to imply that he was the military commandant.

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.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. It seems he had temporized and complied with the people’s humour and plot against Abimelech, either in dissimulation and design, and by Abimelech’s connivance or advice, or really; but when he heard Gaal’s words, and himself traduced and struck at by them, he changed his mind, repented of his defection from Abimelech, and intended to return himself, and to bring the people again to the obedience of their lord and king. And when Zebul the ruler of the city,.... Whom Abimelech had placed there under him: heard

the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled; because he spoke slightly of him, and wished to have his place; perhaps before Zebul was inclined to be on the side of the Shechemites against Abimelech, or at least dissembled that he was; but now, being incensed at the words of Gaal, determined to take the side of Abimelech, and let him know how things were carrying on against him.

And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled.
30. Zebul the ruler of the city] He ruled as the representative of Abimelech; cf. for the title (sar) 1 Kings 22:26, 2 Kings 23:8. He had no force at his disposal; all he could do was to warn his master of Gaal’s treason and advise an immediate attack.Verses 30, 31. - And when Zebul, etc. Zebul, it appears, was governor of the city under Abimelech, and when the words of Gaal were reported to him, he privately sent off messengers to the king to tell him the state of affairs at Shechem, and urge him to come in person. Zebul meanwhile temporised, not being strong enough to resist Gaal openly. Privily. The word only occurs here. It probably means a little more than privily, - viz., with subtlety or deceit, - because he pretended all the while to be a friend of Gaal. Some make it a proper name, "In Rumah," taking it for the same place as Arumah (ver. 41) 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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