Judges 9:38
Then said Zebul to him, Where is now your mouth, with which you said, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? is not this the people that you have despised? go out, I pray now, and fight with them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(38) Where is now thy mouth . . .?“Mouth” here means boastfulness. This is usually taken as a bitter taunt, as though Zebul could now safely throw off his deceitful acquiescence in Gaal’s plans. It may be so, for the narrative gives us no further details; but unless Zebul was in some way secured by his own adherents from Gaal’s immediate vengeance, it seems better to take it as a sort of expostulation against Gaal’s past rashness.

Jdg 9:38-40. Then said Zebul, Where is now thy mouth, &c. — Now show thyself a man, and fight valiantly for thyself and the people. And he fled — Being surprised by the unexpected coming of Abimelech, and probably not fully prepared for the encounter.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.The plain of Meonenim - Translate "the oak of the soothsayers" (see the margin). Some well-known oak, so called, but which is not mentioned elsewhere. 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. Thy mouth, i.e. thy brags. Now thou betrayest thy fears; and therefore now show thyself a man, and fight valiantly for thyself and people. Then said Zebul unto him,.... Not being able to put him off any longer, and willing to take the opportunity to upbraid him with what he had said:

where is now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst, who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? darest thou say the same thou hast done, and utter the contemptuous language concerning Abimelech, asking who he was, that he should be served? Here he is, speak to his face; what are become of those boasts and brags, and great swelling words, what thou wouldest do if thou hadst the command of this city?

is not this the people thou hast despised? as small and insignificant, bidding Abimelech increase his army, and come out and fight:

go out, I pray thee, now, and fight with them; and show thyself to be a man of courage, and not a mere blusterer, a man that can use his sword as well as his tongue.

Then said Zebul unto him, Where is now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? is not this the people that thou hast despised? go out, I pray now, and fight with them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
38. thy mouth] i.e. thy boastful mockery; cf. Isaiah 57:4, Psalm 35:21, Job 16:10.Verse 38. - Then said Zebul, etc. Zebul now throws off the mask, and dares Gaal to carry out his boast in ver. 28. At the same time he called upon Abimelech to draw near, with the people that he had with him, during the night, and to lie in wait in the field (ארב, to place one's self in ambush), and the next morning to spread out with his army against the town; and when Gaal went out with his followers, he was to do to him "as his hand should find," i.e., to deal with him as he best could and would under the circumstances. (On this formula, see at 1 Samuel 10:7; 1 Samuel 25:8.)
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