Judges 9:25: Shechem's Conspiracy Discovered

Verse 25:[1] And the men of Shechem set liers in wait for him in the top of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech.


[They set ambushes against him, מְאָרְבִים] Liers in wait (Septuagint, Junius and Tremellius, Drusius, Malvenda). Others: ambushes (Pagnine, Jerome in Drusius) (but then it would have been מַאֲרָבִים [Drusius]), that is, so that they might intercept him, if he should pass that way (Vatablus).


Liers in wait for him, to seize his person.


[Making prey of those passing by] Either they did this promiscuously; as it is often done in war, and especially in civil tumult; friends and allies are hurt by injustice no less often than enemies (Bonfrerius). The beginnings of civil wars are wont to be savage (Grotius). Or thus, they were spoiling all, understanding men that were devoted to Abimelech: a Synecdoche of genus (Piscator).


All that came along that way by them, to wit, such as favoured or served Abimelech; for to such only their commission reached, though it may be they went beyond their bounds, and by military license robbed all passengers promiscuously.


[It was told to Abimelech] An elliptical speech, which is supplied out of what follows: that is to say, Who, being enraged against the Shechemites by the relation, was marching on the Shechemite field. It is similar in Genesis 35:22 (Junius).


It was told Abimelech; who, as it is here implied, exercised hostility towards the men of Shechem.

[1] Hebrew: וַיָּשִׂ֣ימוּ לוֹ֩ בַעֲלֵ֙י שְׁכֶ֜ם מְאָרְבִ֗ים עַ֚ל רָאשֵׁ֣י הֶהָרִ֔ים וַיִּגְזְל֗וּ אֵ֛ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲבֹ֥ר עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם בַּדָּ֑רֶךְ וַיֻּגַּ֖ד לַאֲבִימֶֽלֶךְ׃

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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