Judges 9:2, 3
Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal…
A great force in the arrangements and promotions of human life. The unrighteousness of it often felt when it cannot be explained. As much to be deprecated in the endeavour to secure the ordinary advantages of life as in the competition for its great prizes and honours. Let us look closely at this plea, "He is our brother."
I. IT IS THE EXAGGERATION AND PROSTITUTION OF A NATURAL AND PROPER AFFECTION. Of the true claims of "our brother" how much might be said! A basis for moral obligations, and rights, and duties seldom fairly acknowledged. But to the desirable things of the world and "out in the open" there are many claimants whose title has to be weighed. The fond mother, desirous of such things for her son, may be asked, "Why your son, and not another's?"
II. IT IGNORES AND TRAMPLES UPON GENERAL INTERESTS FOR THE SAKE OF INDIVIDUAL ADVANCEMENT. Next to the absolute appointment by God, and often indicative of it, is the "greatest good of the greatest number." The king or other public officer is for the people, not vice versa. Although absolute right may be sometimes waived because of general advantage, when both are wanting the claim is weak.
III. THE TRUE TITLE-DEEDS TO ADVANCEMENT ARE NOT RECOGNISED OR APPEALED TO. Divine appointment; unique capacity; desire for the good of others rather than the advantage of self; service rather than office; duty than right. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.
WEB: "Please speak in the ears of all the men of Shechem, 'Is it better for you that all the sons of Jerubbaal, who are seventy persons, rule over you, or that one rule over you?' Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh."