Burning Down the House (Judges 9)

As I mentioned in my last post, Gideon (aka Jerubaal) managed to sire seventy sons in the small amount of time he had between killing lots of people. One of his sons, Abimelech, starts jockeying for leadership of Shechem. He starts running a little campaign, which seems to be going well, but near the tail-end of it he decides to kill all his brothers “upon one stone” (Jud 9:5). That’s one strategy: eliminate the competition completely. However, I don’t really understand how he could have convinced his brothers to line up in an orderly fashion and march themselves up to the bloody stone, one by one since he’s vastly outnumbered. Must have been quite a smooth talker.

After three years, Gaal, son of Ebed (whoever that is/was), challenges Abimelech by raising an army against him. Gaal’s army winds up in a stronghold, surrounded by Abimelech’s men. Abimelech tells his men to lay bundles of brushwood at the base of the stronghold and sets it on fire, killing one thousand men and women. I’m not sure what the rules of engagement are in the Bible, but this seems like a pretty shitty thing to do.

Abimelech does get his, though. Eventually. He’s running amok killing people and burning down stuff until one woman finally says, “Oh no, he didn’t” and chucks a millstone at his head. A millstone weighs one hundred and thirty pounds so we can safely say that this woman is one hell of a shotputter. Amazing. Somehow, taking a large rock to the head weighing more than myself doesn’t kill Abimelech completely so he gets some man to finish him off because he doesn’t want people to know that a woman killed him.

Now here’s someone I’m really crossing my fingers for in 2016. I like her style.

Published in: on May 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm  Comments (1)  
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