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Judges 9:7 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now when they told Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and called out. Thus he said to them, “Listen to me, O men of Shechem, that God may listen to you.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice and cried, and said to them, Hearken to me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken to you.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And they told it to Jotham, and he went and stood on the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said to them, Hearken to me, ye citizens of Shechem, that God may hearken to you.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And, when it was told Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried aloud,—and said unto them—Hearken unto me, ye owners of Shechem, and may God, hearken unto you.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— and they declare [it] to Jotham, and he goeth and standeth on the top of mount Gerizim, and lifteth up his voice, and calleth, and saith to them, 'Hearken unto me, O masters of Shechem, and God doth hearken unto you:
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— This being told to Joatham, he went, and stood on the top of Mount Garizim: and lifting up his voice, he cried, and said: Hear me, ye men of Sichem, so may God hear you.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And when they told [it] to Iotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lift vp his voice, and cried, and said vnto them, Hearken vnto mee, you men of Shechem, that God may hearken vnto you.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And it was reported to Jotham{gr.Joatham}, and he went and stood on the top of mount Garizin, and lifted up his voice, and wept, and said to them, Hear me, ye men of Shechem{gr.Sicima}, and God shall hear you.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And when they told [it] to Yotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shekhem, that Elohim may hearken unto you.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And when they told 5046
{5046} Prime
נָגַד
nagad
{naw-gad'}
A primitive root; properly to front, that is, stand boldly out opposite; by implication (causatively), to manifest; figuratively to announce (always by word of mouth to one present); specifically to expose, predict, explain, praise.
z8686
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
[it] to Ym יוֹתָם, 3147
{3147} Prime
יוֹתָם
Yowtham
{yo-thawm'}
From H3068 and H8535; Jehovah (is) perfect; Jotham, the name of three Israelites.
he went y3212
[3212] Standard
יָלַך
yalak
{yaw-lak'}
A primitive root (compare H1980); to walk (literally or figuratively); causatively to carry (in various senses).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
x1980
(1980) Complement
הָלַךְ
halak
{haw-lak'}
Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
and stood 5975
{5975} Prime
עָמַד
`amad
{aw-mad'}
A primitive root; to stand, in various relations (literally and figuratively, intransitively and transitively).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
in the top 7218
{7218} Prime
רֹאשׁ
ro'sh
{roshe}
From an unused root apparently meaning to shake; the head (as most easily shaken), whether literally or figuratively (in many applications, of place, time, rank, etc.).
of mount 2022
{2022} Prime
הַר
har
{har}
A shortened form of H2042; a mountain or range of hills (sometimes used figuratively).
Grizm גְּרִזִים, 1630
{1630} Prime
גְּרִזִים
G@riziym
{gher-ee-zeem'}
Plural of an unused noun from H1629 (compare H1511), cut up (that is, rocky); Gerizim, a mountain of Palestine.
and lifted up 5375
{5375} Prime
נָשָׂא
nasa'
{naw-saw'}
A primitive root; to lift, in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively, absolutely and relatively.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
his voice, 6963
{6963} Prime
קוֹל
qowl
{kole}
From an unused root meaning to call aloud; a voice or sound.
and cried, 7121
{7121} Prime
קָרָא
qara'
{kaw-raw'}
A primitive root (rather identical with H7122 through the idea of accosting a person met); to call out to (that is, properly address by name, but used in a wide variety of applications).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
and said 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto them, Hearken 8085
{8085} Prime
שָׁמַע
shama`
{shaw-mah'}
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
z8798
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
me, ye men 1167
{1167} Prime
בַּעַל
ba`al
{bah'-al}
From H1166; a master; hence a husband, or (figuratively) owner (often used with another noun in modifications of this latter sense.
of em שְׁכֶם, 7927
{7927} Prime
שְׁכֶם
Sh@kem
{shek-em'}
The same as H7926; ridge; Shekem, a place in Palestine.
that lhm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
אֱלֹהִים
'elohiym
{el-o-heem'}
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
may hearken 8085
{8085} Prime
שָׁמַע
shama`
{shaw-mah'}
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
you.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Judges 9:7

_ _ Judges 9:7-21. Jotham by a parable reproaches them.

_ _ he ... stood in the top of mount Gerizim and lifted up his voice — The spot he chose was, like the housetops, the public place of Shechem; and the parable [Judges 9:8-15] drawn from the rivalry of the various trees was appropriate to the diversified foliage of the valley below. Eastern people are exceedingly fond of parables and use them for conveying reproofs, which they could not give in any other way. The top of Gerizim is not so high in the rear of the town, as it is nearer to the plain. With a little exertion of voice, he could easily have been heard by the people of the city; for the hill so overhangs the valley, that a person from the side or summit would have no difficulty in speaking to listeners at the base. Modern history records a case, in which soldiers on the hill shouted to the people in the city and endeavored to instigate them to an insurrection. There is something about the elastic atmosphere of an Eastern clime which causes it to transmit sound with wonderful celerity and distinctness [Hackett].

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Judges 9:7-21

_ _ We have here the only testimony that appears to have been borne against the wicked confederacy of Abimelech and the men of Shechem. It was a sign they had provoked God to depart from them that neither any prophet was sent nor any remarkable judgment, to awaken this stupid people, and to stop the progress of this threatening mischief. Only Jotham, the youngest son of Gideon, who by a special providence escaped the common ruin of his family (Judges 9:5), dealt plainly with the Shechemites, and his speech, which is here recorded, shows him to have been a man of such great ingenuity and wisdom, and really such an accomplished gentleman, that we cannot but the more lament the fall of Gideon's sons. Jotham did not go about to raise an army out of the other cities of Israel (in which, one would think, he might have made a good interest for his father's sake), to avenge his brethren's death, much less to set up himself in competition with Abimelech, so groundless was the usurper's suggestion that the sons of Gideon aimed at dominion (Judges 9:2); but he contents himself with giving a faithful reproof to the Shechemites, and fair warning of the fatal consequences. He got an opportunity of speaking to them from the top of Mount Gerizim, the mount of blessings, at the foot of which probably the Shechemites were, upon some occasion or other, gathered together (Josephus says, solemnizing a festival), and it seems they were willing to hear what he had to say.

_ _ I. His preface is very serious: “Hearken unto me, you men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you, Judges 9:7. As ever you hope to obtain God's favour, and to be accepted of him, give me a patient and impartial hearing.” Note, Those who expect God to hear their prayers must be willing to hear reason, to hear a faithful reproof, and to hear the complaints and appeals of wronged innocency. If we turn away our ear from hearing the law, our prayer will be an abomination, Proverbs 28:9.

_ _ II. His parable is very ingenious — that when the trees were disposed to choose a king the government was offered to those valuable trees the olive, the fig-tree, and the vine, but they refused it, choosing rather to serve than rule, to do good than bear sway. But the same tender being made to the bramble he accepted it with vain-glorious exultation. The way of instruction by parables is an ancient way, and very useful, especially to give reproofs by.

_ _ 1. He hereby applauds the generous modesty of Gideon, and the other judges who were before him, and perhaps of the sons of Gideon, who had declined accepting the state and power of kings when they might have had them, and likewise shows that it is in general the temper of all wise and good men to decline preferment and to choose rather to be useful than to be great. (1.) There was no occasion at all for the trees to choose a king; they are all the trees of the Lord which he has planted (Psalms 104:16) and which therefore he will protect. Nor was there any occasion for Israel to talk of setting a king over them; for the Lord was their king. (2.) When they had it in their thoughts to choose a king they did not offer the government to the stately cedar, or the lofty pine, which are only for show and shade, and not otherwise useful till they are cut down, but to the fruit-trees, the vine and the olive. Those that bear fruit for the public good are justly respected and honoured by all that are wise more than those that affect to make a figure. For a good useful man some would even dare to die. (3.) The reason which all these fruit-trees gave for their refusal was much the same. The olive pleads (Judges 9:9), Should I leave my wine, wherewith both God and man are served and honoured? for oil and wine were used both at God's altars and at men's tables. And shall I leave my sweetness, saith the fig-tree, and my good fruit (Judges 9:11), and go to be promoted over the trees? or, as the margin reads it, go up and down for the trees? It is intimated, [1.] That government involves a man in a great deal both of toil and care; he that is promoted over the trees must go up and down for them, and make himself a perfect drudge to business. [2.] That those who are preferred to places of public trust and power must resolve to forego all their private interests and advantages, and sacrifice them to the good of the community. The fig-tree must lose its sweetness, its sweet retirement, sweet repose, and sweet conversation and contemplation, if it go to be promoted over the trees, and must undergo a constant fatigue. [3.] That those who are advanced to honour and dignity are in great danger of losing their fatness and fruitfulness. Preferment is apt to make men proud and slothful, and thus spoil their usefulness, with which in a lower sphere they honoured God and man, for which reason those that desire to do good are afraid of being too great.

_ _ 2. He hereby exposes the ridiculous ambition of Abimelech, whom he compares to the bramble or thistle, Judges 9:14. He supposes the trees to make their court to him: Come thou and reign over us, perhaps because he knew not that the first motion of Abimelech's preferment came from himself (as we found, Judges 9:2), but thought the Shechemites had proposed it to him; however, supposing it so, his folly in accepting it deserved to be chastised. The bramble is a worthless plant, not to be numbered among the trees, useless and fruitless, nay, hurtful and vexatious, scratching and tearing, and doing mischief; it began with the curse, and its end is to be burned. Such a one was Abimelech, and yet chosen to the government by the trees, by all the trees; this election seems to have been more unanimous than any of the others. Let us not think it strange if we see folly set in great dignity (Ecclesiastes 10:6), and the vilest men exalted (Psalms 12:8), and men blind to their own interest in the choice of their guides. The bramble, being chosen to the government, takes no time to consider whether he should accept it or no, but immediately, as if he had been born and bred to dominion, hectors, and assures them they shall find him as he found them. See what great swelling words of vanity he speaks (Judges 9:15), what promises he makes to his faithful subjects: Let them come and trust in my shadow: a goodly shadow to trust in! How unlike to the shadow of a great rock in a weary land, which a good magistrate is compared to! Isaiah 32:2. Trust in his shadow! — more likely to be scratched if they came near him — more likely to be injured by him than benefited. Thus men boast of a false gift. Yet he threatens with as much confidence as he promises: If you be not faithful, let fire come out of the bramble (a very unlikely thing to emit fire) and devour the cedars of Lebanon — more likely to catch fire, and be itself devoured.

_ _ III. His application is very close and plain. In it, 1. He reminds them of the many good services his father had done for them, Judges 9:17. He fought their battles, at the hazard of his own life, and to their unspeakable advantage. It was a shame that they needed to be put in mind of this. 2. He aggravates their unkindness to his father's family. They had not done to him according to the deserving of his hands, Judges 9:16. Great merits often meet with very ill returns. especially to posterity, when the benefactor if forgotten, as Joseph was among the Egyptians. Gideon had left many sons that were an honour to his name and family, and these they had barbarously murdered; one son he had left that was the blemish of his name and family, for he was the son of his maid-servant, whom all that had any respect to Gideon's honour would endeavour to conceal, yet him they made their king. In both they put the utmost contempt imaginable upon Gideon. 3. He leaves it to the event to determine whether they had done well, whereby he lodges the appeal with the divine providence. (1.) If they prospered long in this villany, he would give them leave to say they had done well, Judges 9:19. “If your conduct towards the house of Gideon be such as can be justified at any bar of justice, honour, or conscience, much good may it do you with your new king.” But, (2.) If they had, as he was sure they had, dealt basely and wickedly in this matter, let them never expect to prosper, Judges 9:20. Abimelech and the Shechemites, that had strengthened one another's hands in this villany, would certainly be a plague and ruin one to another. Let none expect to do ill and fare well.

_ _ Jotham, having given them this admonition, made a shift to escape with his life, Judges 9:21. Either they could not reach him or they were so far convinced that they would not add the guilt of his blood to all the rest. But, for fear of Abimelech, he lived in exile, in some remote obscure place. Those whose extraction and education are ever so high know not to what difficulties and straits they may be reduced.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Judges 9:7

Mount Gerizim — Which lay near Shechem. The valley between Gerizim and Ebal, was a famous place, employed for the solemn reading of the law, and its blessings and curses: and it is probable it was still used, even by the superstitious and idolatrous Israelites for such occasions, who delighted to use the same places which their ancestors had used. Cried — So that they who stood in the valley might hear him, though not suddenly come at him to take him. Men of Shechem — Who were here met together upon a solemn occasion, as Josephus notes, Abimelech being absent. That God may hearken — When you cry unto him for mercy; so he conjures and persuades them to give him patient audience.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

[[no comment]]

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
mount Gerizim:

Deuteronomy 11:29 And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.
Deuteronomy 27:12 These shall stand upon mount Gerizim to bless the people, when ye are come over Jordan; Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin:
Joshua 8:33 And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel.
John 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

Hearken:

Psalms 18:40-41 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. ... They cried, but [there was] none to save [them: even] unto the LORD, but he answered them not.
Psalms 50:15-21 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. ... These [things] hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether [such an one] as thyself: [but] I will reprove thee, and set [them] in order before thine eyes.
Proverbs 1:28-29 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: ... For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Proverbs 21:13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer [shall be] abomination.
Isaiah 1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
Isaiah 58:6-10 [Is] not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? ... And [if] thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness [be] as the noonday:
Matthew 18:26-34 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. ... And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
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Dt 11:29; 27:12. Jsh 8:33. Ps 18:40; 50:15. Pv 1:28; 21:13; 28:9. Is 1:15; 58:6. Mt 18:26. Jn 4:20. Jm 2:13.

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