And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelled there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
How ridiculous does it sound: "Jotham ran away!" The bodily presence and outward achievements of really great men are often contemptible. But Jotham, like many another, is not to be estimated from without.
I. THE CONSCIENCE OF THE NATION WAS APPEALED TO THROUGH ITS IMAGINATION. He had shown himself to the whole people. The literary simplicity and charm of his fable would rivet the attention of men upon the essential wrong committed, and the folly.
II. THE MORAL FORCES OF THE WORLD ARE ITS STRONGEST, AND WILL IN THE END PREVAIL. The "case" had been portrayed by a stroke of genius, so that no craft or sophistry could ever justify it. The claim of Abimelech, etc. was stripped of all its pretensions. To leave a matter with the conscience of men and with God is often harder than to contest it by force of arms. Christ yielded to the physical force and perverted authority of the Jews, but by his bearing at the judgment and by the matchless clearness of his statements he put his persecutors for ever in the wrong, and became the mightiest Ruler the world has known. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.