Judges 9:34
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
So Abimelech and all the men who were with him rose up by night and set an ambush against Shechem in four companies.

King James Bible
And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies.

American Standard Version
And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Abimelech therefore arose with all his army by night, and laid ambushes near Sichem in four places.

English Revised Version
And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Abimelech rose, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies.

Judges 9:34 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

At this feast Gaal called upon the Shechemites to revolt from Abimelech. "Who is Abimelech," he exclaimed, "and who Shechem, that we serve him? Is he not the son of Jerubbaal, and Zebul his officer? Serve the men of Hamor, the father of Shechem! and why should we, we serve him (Abimelech)?" The meaning of these words, which have been misinterpreted in several different ways, is very easily seen, if we bear in mind (1) that מי (who is?) in this double question cannot possibly be used in two different and altogether opposite senses, such as "how insignificant or contemptible is Abimelech," and "how great and mighty is Shechem," but that in both instances it must be expressive of disparagement and contempt, as in 1 Samuel 25:10; and (2) that Gaal answers his own questions. Abimelech was regarded by him as contemptible, not because he was the son of a maid-servant or of very low birth, nor because he was ambitious and cruel, a patricide and the murderer of his brethren (Rosenmller), but because he was a son of Jerubbaal, a son of the man who destroyed the altar of Baal at Shechem and restored the worship of Jehovah, for which the Shechemites themselves had endeavoured to slay him (Judges 6:27.). So also the meaning of the question, Who is Shechem? may be gathered from the answer, "and Zebul his officer." The use of the personal מי (how) in relation to Shechem may be explained on the ground that Gaal is speaking not so much of the city as of its inhabitants. The might and greatness of Shechem did not consist in the might and authority of its prefect, Zebul, who had been appointed by Abimelech, and whom the Shechemites had no need to serve. Accordingly there is no necessity either for the arbitrary paraphrase of Shechem, given in the Sept., viz., υἱὸς Συχέμ (son of Shechem); or for the perfectly arbitrary assumption of Bertheau, that Shechem is only a second name for Abimelech, who was a descendant of Shechem; or even for the solution proposed by Rosenmller, that Zebul was "a man of low birth and obscure origin," which is quite incapable of proof. To Zebul, that one man whom Abimelech had appointed prefect of the city, Gaal opposes "the men of Hamor, the father of Shechem," as those whom the Shechemites should serve (i.e., whose followers they should be). Hamor was the name of the Hivite prince who had founded the city of Shechem (Genesis 33:19; Genesis 34:2; compare Joshua 24:32). The "men of Hamor" were the patricians of the city, who "derived their origin from the noblest and most ancient stock of Hamor" (Rosenmller). Gaal opposes them to Abimelech and his representative Zebul.

(Note: Bertheau maintains, though quite erroneously, that serving the men of Hamor is synonymous with serving Abimelech. But the very opposite of this is so clearly implied in the words, that there cannot be any doubt on the question. All that can be gathered from the words is that there were remnants of the Hivite (or Canaanitish) population still living in Shechem, and therefore that the Canaanites had not been entirely exterminated-a fact which would sufficiently explain the revival of the worship of Baal there.)

In the last clause, "why should we serve him" (Abimelech or his officer Zebul)? Gall identifies himself with the inhabitants of Shechem, that he may gain them fully over to his plans.

Judges 9:34 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Judges 9:33 "In the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you shall rise early and rush upon the city; and behold, when he and the people who are with him come out against you, you shall do to them whatever you can."

Judges 9:35 Now Gaal the son of Ebed went out and stood in the entrance of the city gate; and Abimelech and the people who were with him arose from the ambush.

Cross References
Judges 9:33
Then in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, rise early and rush upon the city. And when he and the people who are with him come out against you, you may do to them as your hand finds to do."

Judges 9:35
And Gaal the son of Ebed went out and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city, and Abimelech and the people who were with him rose from the ambush.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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