Judges Chapter 9 . Old Testament Bible Studies True Love Church of Refuge Prophetess Delisa Lindsey June 17, 2009. Career of Gideon’s son, Abimelech. Fifth Cycle : Israel vs. Abimelech Judges 9:1-10:5. Who was Abimelech?. His name literally means, My Father is the King
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Judges Chapter 9 Old Testament Bible Studies True Love Church of Refuge Prophetess Delisa Lindsey June 17, 2009
Career of Gideon’s son, Abimelech Fifth Cycle : Israel vs. Abimelech Judges 9:1-10:5
Who was Abimelech? • His name literally means, My Father is the King • He was the son of Gideon’s sexual relationship with his concubine (girlfriend), who lived in Shechem. • He was an illegitimate child and an illegitimate judge. • He is mentioned as the son of Jerubbaal, rather than the God-given name of Gideon because he utilized Baal, (demonic assistance) in trying to set up a Canaanite city. • He was nothing like his father, a very sharp contrast. • He was a usurper who wanted to be king. • He was close to his mother’s family rather than his father’s. • Abimelech attempted to rebuild a Canaanite city in the very place where Joshua pledged Israel’s allegiance to God.
Judges 9:1-2 • After Gideon’s death, his illegitimate son, Abimelech goes to Shechem (shoulder) to rally the support of his mother’s family to overthrow Gideon’s other sons. • He contended that it made no sense that his 70 half brothers should rule over his family when he could. One of their own. • He gently reminds them that he is one of their own flesh and blood.
Judges 9:3-4 • The relatives began to speak on Abimelech’s behalf to others and convince them of his ability to rule. • They said yes, he is our brother. • They financed his candidacy for king with 70 pieces of silver from the pagan temple of Baal-berith (Baal is lord of the covenant). • Abimelech used these cursed funds to hire scoundrels to help him accomplish his military and political goals. Does this sound similar to our modern day election campaigns?
The Temple of Baal-Berith • Ancient temples were the storage places for vast amounts of wealth. • People deposited huge amounts of personal and governmental funds at the Temple. • Vows and penalties, even gifts were given to the Temple treasuries. • The Temple of Baal-berith was discovered at Shechem by archaeologists. • The pagan temple at SHechem further explains the low where with Israel had fallen. • Shechem was the place where Jacob sons gathered. It was also one of the Levitical cities of refuge. • The temple at Baal berith represented the exact opposite of Israel’s victory under Joshua.
The scoundrels Abimelech hired accompanied him to his father’s home in Ophrah where they slaughtered his half brothers, the 70 sons of Gideon. They were killed like sacrificial animals, inaugurating his coronation service with a pagan sacrifice. He made a mistake though, the baby boy, Jotham (God is perfect), escaped by hiding. In all actuality, Abimelech was financed by satan 70 silver pieces to hire satanic agents to destroy each of Gideon’s 70 sons. Gideon’s family suffered great tragedy because of his illicit involvement with Abimelech’s mother. All the men of Shechem gathered together with the House of Millo, house of the fortress or demonic stronghold, at the great tree (the place where Jacob buried his son’s idols – Gen 35:4), and was also the place where Joshua set up a pillar as the covenant between God and Israel. Judges 9:5-6
The Parable of the Trees - The ThornKingJudges 9:7-15 • The trees in the parable stand for different kinds of people. The good fruits are symbols of good works. The olive is the type of a person who loves the Lord and does good works full of the oil of love. • Sweet, nourishing figs represent good works, not of an interior, spiritual quality, but full of natural kindness. The fig tree, reaching out its branches widely on every hand, is the type of one who does such uses. • Grapes and wine, which are the fruit of the vine, also represent good works; not works done for the love of the Lord, such as olives represent, nor works done from natural kindness, which are represented by the figs, but rather good works done from a spiritual intelligence, because one sees the wisdom and the happiness of doing them. • The bramble is the type of someone who does not do good uses or only does them for show and for selfish gain. Those who do good of the three heavenly kinds are modest and wish only to serve, but selfishness loves to rule and to be served. Fire coming out of the bramble means the burning of selfish desires. The cedar which the fire destroys stands for rational understanding. Someone who is proud or angry cannot be wise.
Judges 9:16-21 • Jotham prophesies that if the men of Shechem have done a good thing in anointing Abimilech king, and in the manner in which they treated his father (reminding them of the battles his father fought on their behalf and the punishment of death they inflicted onto his descendants at the hand of the son of a slave girl, then rejoice. • But if you haven’t, he forewarns, let the fire of Abimelech devour the men of Shechem, Millo and let the retaliatory fires devour Abimelech. • After making this declaration, Jotham fled to Beerand hid for fear.
Judges 9:22-23 • After Abimelech’s three year reign of terror, trouble began to brew between Abimelech and the men of Shechem for God sent an evil spirit. This evil spirit caused the men to deal treacherously between the other. • He was not the king of Israel rather a local governor over a small region of Manasseh. He wanted to be as equally renown as his father and failed miserably for his motives were hostile. • God commands evil spirits to work between humans to change the course of history. This is why He is known as the Beginning and the End. He knows our latter end for He alone is Sovereign.
Judges 9:24-25 • God sent the evil spirit to avenge the blood of Gideon’s 70 sons on Abimelech and the men of Shechem who murdered them. • Abimelech, as the self-appointed king, collected revenue from traveling caravans as he taxed them for passing through ‘his’ territory. The men of Shechem devised a scheme by laying traps for the caravans, diverting them, and robbing them. • These traitorous acts were reported to Abimelech.
Judges 9:26-27 • Gaal, Ebed’s son led this band of robbers and the men of Shechem put their trust in him. He urged the people to return to Canaanite control and dismiss the Israeli, Abimelech. • They gathered grapes, made wine and drank in the temple of Baal-berith and spoke slanderously against Abimelech. • The vintage harvest was one of the most joyous times of year, (New Year’s), but often turned into an alcoholic’s paradise.
Judges 9:28 • Gaal provoked the people into remembering who Abimelech’s father was, Gideon the noble Israeilite. He says why should we serve him when we can serve on of our own. He kindly forgets that Abimelech’s mother was a full blooded Shechemite. • Serve the men of Hamor, (the Hivite rule, founder of Shechem) he says which means the priests of temple of Baal-berith. • Why serve Abimelech?
Judges 9:29-31 • Gaal, in his drunken stupor, ignorantly challenges an absent Abimelech. He tells him to rally your army and bring out for battle. • When Zebul, the city ruler, hears of Gaal’s ranting, he became outraged and secretly sent a swift warning to Abimelech. • He tells the spies to report Gaal’s plans to Abimelech in that he plans to start a revolution against him.
Judges 9:32-34 • Zebul sends a message to Abimelech to get up at night with his army and watch from the fields. Set ambush early in the morning while they are yet unawares and still recovering from their night of binge drinking that Abimelech may have the upper hand in the battle. • Abimelech heeded the message he received from Zebul and divided his company into four sections.
Judges 9:35-37 • Gaal spotted Abimelech and his army as they were coming out of their hiding place. • He comments to Zebul that he sees men coming down the mountain! • Zebul, capitalizing on Gaal’s previous drunken state, claims he is only imagining men coming down from the mountain, when in fact, they are shadows. • Gaal looks and replies again that men are coming down through the plain from the direction of the sacred tree (Meonenim).
Judges 9:38-43 • Zebul taunts Gaal by asking him, where is your big mouth now? Aren’t you the one who said Abimelech should serve you. You ridiculed him so get up and fight. • So Gaal goes out to battle, ill prepared and ends up being chased out of town by Abimelech. Zebul threw out his family also that they should no longer live in Shechem. • Even when they tried to return, the people told of it and they were ambushed by companies of three and were attacked.
Judges 9:44-48 • Abimelech set ambush at the entrance of the city and in the field, striking down every man. He fought, captured, and killed all the day long until the land was left desolate. • To symbolize a perpetual ruin to that city, he strew it with salt marking it a place of barrenness and desolation. • The remaining townspeople sought refuge in the tower of Berith at Beth Millo. When Abimelech heard of it, he went to Mt. Zalmun, took an axe, cut down a branch and ordered his men to do the same.
The Tower of Shechem • Ancient walled cities were never considered conquered until the stronghold or tower was taken. • Make the comparison to the ministry of deliverance when certain lesser demons are cast out, yet the stronghold or strong-man demon holds clusters of demonic groups from being expelled from its victim. Jesus said, “this kind goeth not out but by fasting and prayer.” • Notice Abimelech’s method of destroying the tower. He was unable to eat or rest until he had complete victory over his enemies. He took an axe to cut down trees. And ultimately he lit the wood on fire. Fasting, the Sword, and the power of the Holy Ghost. • What methods are you using to destroy the towers of Shechem in your life? Or are you content to let the “fleeing villains” hide?
Judges 9:49-51 • The men cut the branches, following Abimelech and piled them against the tower setting them on fire with the people still inside. See . Jotham’s curse v. 20. About 1,000 men and women died in the tower. • Abimelech went to Thebez, and captured the city. They had another strong tower to which people fled, shut themselves in and ran to the top.
Judges 9:52-54 • Abimelech pressed into the door using the same technique he used in Shechem, but this time he was in for a surprise. • A woman looking from below, threw a millstone down at him which cracked him in the head, splitting his skull. • With the small percentage of brain function left, he hastily called to his armor bearer to kill him that his death would not be rumored to be at the hands of a woman.
Judges 9:55-57 • God, Israel’s true King, avenged the blood of Gideon’s 70 sons. • He also avenged their blood on the men of Shechem who conspired along with Abimelech. • The curse of Jotham had come upon Abimelech and his scoundrels.
Judges 10-11 June 24, 2009