Judges 9:54
Then he called hastily to the young man his armor bearer, and said to him, Draw your sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A women slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(54) A woman slew him.—He did not, however, escape the taunt (2Samuel 11:21). We see also from the narrative of the death of Saul in 2Samuel 1:9, 1Samuel 31:4, how sensitive the ancients were about the manner of their death. The same feeling finds ample illustration in Homer and classic writers (Soph. Trach., 1,064). It was a similar feeling which made Deborah exult in the death of Sisera by the hand of a woman, and the Jews in the murder of Holofernes by Judith. It is remarkable that both of the first two Israelite kings die by suicide to avoid a death of greater shame.

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.The phrase "all" to is now obsolete, and means "quite," "entirely," as in Chaucer, Spenser, and Milton. 51-53. all the men and women, … gat them up to the top of the tower—The Canaanite forts were generally mountain fastnesses or keeps, and they often had a strong tower which served as a last refuge. The Assyrian bas-reliefs afford counterparts of the scene here described so vivid and exact, that we might almost suppose them to be representations of the same historic events. The besieged city—the strong tower within—the men and women crowding its battlements—the fire applied to the doors, and even the huge fragments of stone dropping from the hands of one of the garrison on the heads of the assailants, are all well represented to the life—just as they are here described in the narrative of inspired truth [Goss]. A woman slew him; which was esteemed a matter of disgrace. Then he called hastily to the young man his armourbearer,.... Perceiving it was a mortal blow that was given him, and he should soon expire; and that the cast of the stone was by the hand of a woman, and therefore he was in haste to have the young man come to him:

and said unto him, draw thy sword and slay me, that men say not of me, a woman slew him; it being reckoned very ignominious and reproachful to die by the hand of a woman, and especially any great personage, as a king or general of an army (s); to avoid this, he chose rather to be guilty of suicide, or of what cannot well be excused from it, and so died by suicide; which, added to all his other sins, he seemed to have no sense of, or repentance for; and the method he took to conceal the shame of his death served the more to spread it; for this circumstance of his death could not be given without the reason of it, and which was remembered and related punctually near two hundred years afterwards, 2 Samuel 11:21.

(s) "O turpe fatum! foemina Herculeae, necis Auctor feretur ----" Seneca Oetaeo.

Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man {r} thrust him through, and he died.

(r) Thus God by such miserable death takes vengeance on tyrants even in this life.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
54. armourbearer] Cf. Jdg 7:10 f., 1 Samuel 31:4.

and kill me] and dispatch me, i.e. give the death stroke; cf. 1 Samuel 14:13; 1 Samuel 17:51, especially 2 Samuel 1:9 f. The first aspirant to kingship and the first real king in Israel met their deaths in the same way.Verse 54. - His armour-bearer - an office of trust, entailing much intimacy. Saul loved David greatly, and he became his armor-bearer (1 Samuel 16:21). Compare the similar incident of Saul and his armour-bearer in 1 Samuel 31:4-6. As soon as this was announced to Abimelech, he went with all his men to Mount Zalmon, took hatchets in his hand, cut down branches from the trees, and laid them upon his shoulders, and commanded his people to do the same. These branches they laid upon the hold, and set the hold on fire over them (the inhabitants of the tower who had taken refuge there), so that all the people of the tower of Shechem (about one thousand persons) perished, both men and women. Mount Zalmon, which is mentioned again in Psalm 68:15, was a dark, thickly-wooded mountain near Shechem, - a kind of "Black Forest," as Luther has rendered the name. The plural kardumoth, "axes," may be explained on the ground that Abimelech took axes not only for himself but for his people also. מה in a relative sense, as in Numbers 23:3 (see Ewald, 331, b.).
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