For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2000 James Melough

Before beginning our study of this chapter it is necessary to note that the spiritual message relates to what will be in the Tribulation, when the Beast will have seized the power and wealth of the great false church, and will be ruling supreme religiously, politically, economically, and militarily, he being the last human head of that diabolic system, as Nimrod, founder of Babylon, was the first.  What was in Babylon at the zenith of her glory under Nebuchadnezzar, will be seen on the earth again when the Beast rules.  Nebuchadnezzar reigned supreme, religiously, politically, economically, and militarily, see Dan 5:19, as will the Beast in the Great Tribulation, the final three and a half years of the seven year Tribulation era.

Many outstanding Bible scholars such as the late Drs. Ironside and Tatford, and the late W.F. Grant, author of The Numerical Bible, to name but a few, have noted that every false religious system can be traced back to Babylon, and have drawn attention to the fact that the Roman Catholic system and that of ancient Babylon are virtually the same.  Satan, of course, is the power behind all of them, the men who have headed them up being merely his pawns.  As Nimrod was the first of those men, so will the Beast be the last, Nebuchadnezzar and the popes being simply links in that long chain that has stretched from Babylon to present day Rome, but that will be brought to an end by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to end the Tribulation and establish His millennial kingdom.  Just as many OT men are types of Christ, so also are many OT characters types of Satan.  Every such man displays some of the attributes of Nimrod and the Beast.  Abimelech is one such man, and a careful study of this present chapter of Judges reveals that God intends us to see in his evil career not only much that parallels that of others who have been types of Satan, but that also points forward to what will characterize the career of the Beast.

With this brief background sketch, then, let’s begin our study of this ninth chapter of Judges.

9:1.  “And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem unto his mother’s brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother’s father saying,”

9:2.  “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.”

9:3.  “And his mother’s brethren spake of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, He is our brother.

Like Nimrod, who was descended from Noah through Ham, Abimelech came from good stock: he was a son of Gideon or Jerubbaal, but also like Nimrod, he proved himself to be the virtual personification of evil, as will also the Beast.

Shechem means shoulder, and is indicative of strength, and it is significant that in Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the succession of world empires, Rome, which will rule in the Tribulation, is represented by the iron, and strength is used repeatedly in reference to that fourth empire, e.g., “The fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron.... there shall be in it of the strength of the iron....” Da 2:40-41. 

As noted already, Abimelech is a type of each man who has headed up the great false church which originated in Babylon, in the course of her long and evil career, and also of the Beast who will be the last human head of that apostate travesty.  His rising to power out of Shechem therefore continues to portray the development of the false church particularly in the Tribulation era. 

Scripture makes it clear that the Beast will rise to power through the use of cunning diplomacy rather than force of arms, see Dan 8:25, and certainly it is clear that this was the means by which Abimelech seized power.

As it was by the consent of his mother’s Shechemi­te brethren that he was made king, so will it be by the consent of Christendom’s false religious systems, unified as the great harlot world church in the first half of the Tribulation era, that the Beast will rise to power.  During those first three and a half years she will be more powerful than the Beast, for in Re 17:3 she is seen sitting upon the Beast.  Satan, however, has no compunction about discarding his pawns when their usefulness is over, as for example Judas.  When the apostate church in one form has served his purposes, he will deliver it into the hand of the Beast, so that under that incarnation of evil, it will continue to serve his ends until all his evil schemes are brought to an end by the return of the Lord in power and glory to end the Tribulation and inaugurate His millennial kingdom. 

9:4.  “And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him.”

The fact that Abimelech’s promotion was financed with money out of the house of Baal-berith lord of the covenant, brings the symbolic picture into still sharper focus, for it is to be remembered that it is Satan who is the unseen power behind both the religious and political powers of earth, the men who head them being merely his pawns.  It is also to be remembered that relative to the covenant made between Israel and the Beast at the beginning of the Tribulation, it is written, “We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement” (Isa 28:15), but of that same covenant God says, “Your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand” (Isa 28:18).

The agreement between the Shechemites and Abimelech proved indeed to be a covenant with death, and an agreement with hell.

9:5.  “And he went unto his father’s house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone: notwithstanding yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerub-ba­al was left; for he hid himself.”

In this slaughter of Gideon’s sons at the hand of Abimelech, God would have us see a picture of the murderous persecution of genuine believers in the OT ages, not only by the evil religious Gentile systems, but also by apostate Israel; and in this NT age by the Roman Catholic church particularly during the thousand years of Europe’s Dark Ages, but also the equally murderous persecution of the believing remnant in the coming Tribulation.  As it was their relationship to Gideon that led to the slaughter of his seventy sons by Abimelech, so has it been in the past, and so will it be in regard to the believing remnant in the Tribulation: it will be their faith relationship to the true “Gideon” that will provoke the animosity of the enemy against believers.

Its being emphasized that they were slain “upon one stone” may perhaps be meant to underscore the truth that it will be but one thing, their faith in the Living Stone, that will incite the Beast to spill the blood of the Tribulation-age martyrs.

The escape of the youngest, Jotham, however, reminds us that in every age God has preserved a small remnant, and even in the Tribulation there will be also a part of the believing remnant that will escape the sword of the Beast, and live to enter the Millennium.  It is significant that there is no record of Jotham’s death (it is as though he didn’t die, though we know of course that he did).  Those who survive the Tribulation to enter the Millennium will also never die, for after the Millennium they will pass into eternal bliss on the new earth.

Jotham’s name means Jehovah is perfect, the meaning itself being a witness for God that may mark him as being a type of the hundred and forty-four thousand Jews who will be the first of the Tribulation-age converts, and therefore a part of the believing remnant.  Scripture indicates that that hundred and forty-four thousand will be preserved alive through those terrible seven years.  The omission of the record of Jotham’s death therefore seems to confirm that this interpretation of the type is correct.

9:6. “And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar that was in Shechem.”

This acceptance of Abimelech as king foreshadows the world’s acceptance of the Beast in the Tribulation.  Millo means a fill (earthwork), the reference to the earth being intended to remind us perhaps of the earthy, i.e., unconverted (1 Co 15:47) state of those who will accept the rule of the Beast.  The fact that the house of Millo was distinct from the men of Shechem, may be also intended to portray the fact that the rule and blasphemous claims of the Beast will be accepted, not only by the unbelieving Gentiles, but also by the unbelieving Jews in the Tribulation.

9:7.  “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.”

That he was God’s spokesman is revealed in that what he foretold came to pass, confirming further the view that he is a type of the believing remnant in the Tribulation.  They too will speak for God.

In Dt 11:29 mount Gerizim, meaning the cutters off, is associated with blessing, while mount Ebal, meaning heaps of nothing: heaps of confusion, is associated with the curse.  It seems at first strange therefore that Jotham should have stood on Gerizim to pronounce a message of coming judgment, but surely in this God would remind us that judgment is His strange work, coming only when blessing is refused.  Jotham’s standing on the mount of blessing ought to have reminded them that it is obedience which commands blessing, and that to have blessing they had only to abandon the path of disobedience in which they were walking.  That message is no less relevant to God’s people today than it was to the generation addressed by Jotham.

“... that God may hearken unto you,” continues to remind us that God will not listen to those who refuse to listen to Him.

9:8.  “The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us.”

The same evil pattern can be traced throughout history.  Man has invariably preferred the rule of man to that of God.  The era of the Judges closed with Israel’s demand for a king, God’s response being to give them Saul, another type of the Beast.  The OT age closed with Israel’s choice of Caesar rather than of Christ, Caesar being also a type of the Beast.  And this present age will close with man’s rejection of God, and acceptance of the Beast.  Since, however, all these evil rulers are but the human representatives of Satan, the truth is that he who refuses the beneficent rule of God must suffer the malevolent rule of the devil.

Trees are used in Scripture as the symbols of humanity, the hyssop portraying those on the lowest rungs of the social ladder; and the cedar, the greatest.  Israel is also represented by the trees mentioned in this verse, the vine representing her in the past, as a vine brought out of Egypt and planted by God in Canaan; the fig representing her in this present age, cursed and dead, but even now beginning to bud, as foretold by the Lord; and the olive representing her in her coming millennial glory.

This has been her expectation down through the centuries: she looks for a king who will bring her into the place of supremacy over the nations, and Christ, of course, will be that King in the Millennium.  The refusal of the olive to be king announces the truth that God will not lead Israel into that position of supremacy and blessing until she has repented and been converted.

9:9.  “But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honor God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?”

Israel today neither honors God nor has any care for the spiritual welfare of men, and that condition is foreshadowed in the character of Israel in the era of the Judges.  The Millennium hadn’t come.  Israel hadn’t repented.  It wasn’t yet her time to reign.

9:10.  “And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us.”

9:11.  “But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?”

Inasmuch as the fig tree represents Israel in this present Church age, this continues to emphasize the truth that she cannot rule until she repents and trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ.   This present age is not her time to rule.

9:12.  “Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us.”

9:13.  “And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?”

The vine portrays Israel as she has been in the past: a vine brought out of Egypt, and planted in Canaan.  That was not her time to reign.  But the vine is also a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, e.g., “I am the vine” (Jn 15:5), so that the refusal of the vine to rule over the trees continues to emphasize the truth already noted: it won’t be until she repents and welcomes Christ as her King, that Israel will rule over the nations, it being the Tribulation judgments that will produce that repentance.

A practical lesson to be learned from the determination of the trees to be under the dominion of one of themselves as king, is that man in his folly will submit to the dominion of a mere mortal, while refusing to bow to the beneficent rule of his Creator.  

9:14.  “Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us.”

9:15.  “And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.”

The type of the bramble is interpreted for us: it is the figure of Abimelech, and the aptness of the symbol is apparent when we consider the thorny nature of the bramble, and remember that thorns are the symbol of the curse incurred by sin (Ge 3:18).  No more fitting symbol of the wicked Abimelech could be found than the bramble.

The practical lesson is also easily read, for the worthless bramble, in its desire to be king over the other trees, portrays the equally worthless character of the man who aspires to be lord over his brethren, rather their servant.

It was ludicrous of the bramble to suggest that the other trees trust in its shadow, for it was too low to cast a shadow.  In this God would expose the folly of those Israelites who were willing to trust in Abimelech.  Since, however, he is a type of the coming Beast ruler, God is pointing also to the folly of those who will put their trust in that coming evil king, receiving his mark, and worshipping him as God.

Others have pointed out that literally the bramble poses a very real threat related to fire, for in the dry season, fire caused by lightning, or by carelessness, spreads very rapidly through the bramble patches, destroying valuable trees and crops.  Clearly however, the lesson goes far beyond this literal fact.  God is declaring in symbol what was yet to be, first with reference to Abimelech, and then to the great false church, and finally to the Beast emperor whom he typifies.  As discussed already, his vicious cruelty portrays false religion’s hatred of believers in the OT ages, and foreshadows that of the evil Roman church against them during this present church age, as well as that of the coming Roman Beast in the Tribulation.  (The cedars of Lebanon represent leaders or rulers).

9:16.  “Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt will with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands;”

9:17.  “(For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian:”

9:18.  “And are risen up against my father’s house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother:)”

9:19.  “If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you:”

Jotham himself passed no judgment upon the men of Shechem: he left that with God.  What would eventually transpire between Abimelech and them would reveal all too clearly whether they were right; and he was fully vindicated by those events.  No one has ever lost anything by leaving his cause with God!

Gideon’s having risked his life to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Midianites, reminds us that the One he represents, didn’t just risk His life to deliver men from a far more terrible bondage - He gave His life!  But, sadly, the response of the vast majority has been exactly the same as that of ungrateful Israel to the kindness of Gideon.

9:20.  “But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech.”

The exact fulfillment of what he foretold confirms that he was God’s spokesman.  The words of God’s witnesses in the Tribulation, as in every age, will also be fulfilled.  Everyone who dies in unbelief will enter the eternal torment of the lake of fire. 

The past fulfillment in the days of Abimelech, however, are but the foreshadowing of a fuller fulfillment to come in the Tribulation era.  The death of the Shechemites at the hand of Abimelech points to the seizure of the great harlot church by the Beast at the mid point of the Tribulation, and then the destruction of the Beast and the whole evil system by the Lord returning in power and glory to end the Tribulation and establish His millennial kingdom.

9:21.  “And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.”

If we have been correct in viewing Jotham as a figure of the believing remnant in every age - OT, Church, and Tribulation, then his flight to Beer is the symbolic portrait of the experience of the OT remnant, and the foreshadowing of the flight of true believers from the persecution of Papal Rome during this present age, and also of the flight of the remnant in the Tribulation, to what many believe will be the old rock city of Petra, where they will be preserved from the murderous activity of the Beast, until the Lord returns to deliver them.

As always, however, the spiritual message transcends the literal, for Beer, meaning well is a type of the Word, and Jotham’s finding refuge at Beer  assures us that it is in the Word that every harried saint in every age may find comfort and encouragement.

9:22.  “When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel,

9:23.  “Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:”

There is perhaps significance in that the first three years of Abimelech’s rule were marked by peace, for the first three and a half years of the rule of the Beast will also be a period of peace.  But God may not be left out of the reckoning, for while in His sovereignty He has chosen to endow man with a free will, it has to be realized that that will is free to operate only within the sphere of God’s permissive will.  It can operate within the realm of His directive will only when it is in harmony with His will.

The internecine conflict between Abimelech and the Shechemites, that wrought such ruin, appears to foreshadow the misery that will accompany the final three and a half years of the reign of the Tribulation age Beast.

9:24.  “That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren.”

This continues to point to what will be in the Tribulation when God will require the blood of His martyrs, first at the hand of the great harlot church when He delivers her into the hand of the Beast, and then finally when He delivers him, her last head, into the hand of Christ returning in power and glory to destroy the whole evil system.  In this is certified also the truth that no man can escape the judgment of God.  He will ultimately avenge His own.

9:25.  “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.”

By their plundering of the passing caravans, the Shechemites were robbing Abimelech of the tolls he may have charged for safe passage through his territory.  What follows foreshadows details of what will occur in the Tribulation, and while we may not now be able to discern all the details of that prophetic picture, they will undoubtedly be clear to those who will be living at the time of their fulfillment, that revelation being given for their encouragement when it will be sorely needed.

We must remember that the revelation of some prophetic details is reserved for a future day, see Dan 12:8-9.

However difficult it may be to discern the spiritual and practical significance of this section, there can be little question that prophetically it foreshadows the activity of the ten nation kingdom of the Beast that will overthrow the great harlot church, and result in his seizure of her power and wealth, and the consolidation of all power under his authority, so that he will reign supreme politically, militarily, economically, and religiously during the three and a half years of the Great Tribulation, the final half of Daniel’s seventieth week, see Re 17:16-17, “... these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.  For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the Beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”  This appears to be what is foreshadowed in Abimelech’s destruction of the men of Shechem: he being a type of the Beast; they, of the harlot church.

9:26.  “And Gaal loathing the son of Ebed servant came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him.”

9:27.  “And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trod the grapes, and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech.”

9:28.  “And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? is not he the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul a habitation his officer? serve the men of Hamor an ass the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him?”

Scholars differ slightly in their interpretation of this verse, but the general tenor appears to be that he was saying either that Abimelech and his servant Zebul had once served the men of Shechem; or that it would be more fitting for these two to be the servants, rather than the rulers of the Shechemites.  He was fomenting rebellion against Abimelech.

9:29.  “And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech.  And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.”

The context indicates that this is the expression of what Gaal would have said to Abimelech rather than what he actually did say.  He appears to represent some group that will take sides with the great false church when the Beast first rises up to seize her power and wealth, and while we can’t now see beyond this general fact, the details will be clear to those living at that time, and will be for their encouragement, as prophecy in general is for the comfort and assurance of God’s people in every age, as it is written, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Pe 1:19).

9:30.  “And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled.”

9:31.  “And he sent messengers unto Abimelech privily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify the city against thee.”

This not only confirms that Gaal didn’t actually address Abimelech, but it foreshadows also the plotting and scheming that will mark the conflict between the false church and the Beast as he works his way to supreme power by subtlety rather than military might.

Zebul clearly represents some man or group within the false church, who will secretly support the Beast in his scheme to overthrow her.  The precise prophetic significance of the following verses, however, eludes me, though it is apparent that in general the picture is of the subtle scheming that will result in the Beast’s achievement of absolute power.  I regret therefore having to leave these verses without comment.

9:32.  “Now therefore up by night, thou and the people that is with thee, and lie in wait in the field:”

Since literal darkness is a Biblical symbol of spiritual darkness, the reference to night points to the spiritual darkness that will envelop the world in the Tribulation years; and since the field is a Biblical symbol of the world, the picture continues to be of the worldwide destructive activity that will mark those same seven years.

9:33.  “And it shall be, that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and set upon the city: and, behold, when he and the people that is with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them as thou shalt find occasion.”

Scripturally the morning represents the time of judgment so that the reference to the morning declares that the Tribulation era will be the time of God’s judgment upon this rebel world.  Abimelech’s being the instrument of judgment against the men of Shechem reminds us that the Beast will be the unwitting instrument in the hand of God to punish the world for its rebellion against Him, and for the murder of His Son, and of those who are of the household of faith.

9:34.  “And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies.”

The setting of the ambush by night continues to point to the spiritual darkness that will envelop the Tribulation age earth; and since four is the number of earth in connection with testing, the four companies point to the universal extent of God’s judgments in that era.

9:35.  “And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up, and the people that were with him, from lying in wait.

However obscure the details may be, the general picture is of the development of the conflict between the harlot church and the Beast, which will result in his ultimate seizure of her wealth and power.

9:36.  “And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people down from the top of the mountains.  And Zebul said unto him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as if they were men.”

9:37.  “And Gaal spake again and said, See there come people down by the middle of the land, and another company come along by the plain of Meonenim observers of times.”

9:38.  “Then said Zebul unto him, Where is now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? is not this the people that thou hast despised? go out, I pray now, and fight with them.”

9:39.  “And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech.”

9:40.  “And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown and wounded, even unto the entering of the gate.”

9:41.  “And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah I shall be exalted: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem.”

Again, though the details may be obscure, the general picture is clear.  This is the symbolic portrait of the Beast’s continuing to consolidate all power under his own authority.

9:42.  “And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech.”

9:43.  “And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people were come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them.”

9:44.  “And Abimelech, and the company that was with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two other companies ran upon all the people that were in the fields, and slew them.”

9:45.  “And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.”

9:46.  “And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard that, they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith covenant.”

9:47.  “And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.”

9:48.  “And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon resemblance: image, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid it on his shoulder, and said unto the people that were with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done.”

9:49.  “And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.”

However obscure the significance of the details of these verses may be, there can be little question that Abimelech’s utter destruction of Shechem foreshadows the Beast’s ultimate seizure of the false church at the mid point of the Tribulation, and his arrogation of all her power and wealth.

9:50.  “Then went Abimelech to Thebez whiteness: brilliancy, and encamped against Thebez, and took it.”

9:51.  “But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut it to them, and gat them up to the top of the tower.”

The attack upon Thebez seems to point to the Beast’s vicious persecution of believers in the Tribulation, the “whiteness: brilliancy” of Thebez speaking of the righteousness of the believers in every age.  The strong tower in which they found refuge is a figure of Christ as the “strong tower” of all who trust Him.  Those saved in that tower represent those who will physically survive till the end of the Tribulation, and who will then remain on earth to enjoy the blessings of Christ’s millennial reign.

9:52.  “And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire.”

9:53.  “And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech’s head, and all to brake his skull.”

9:54.  “Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him.  And his young man thrust him through, and he died.”

9:55.  “And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man to his place.”

9:56.  “Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren:”

9:57.  “And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.”

As with the preceding verses, it seems that their full significance is reserved for disclosure to, and encouragement of those who will be living at the time of their fulfillment, but the general picture is easily discerned: the death of Abimelech foreshadows Christ’s destruction of the Beast and the false church of which he will be head at the end of the Great Tribulation.

It is instructive to note that Abimelech’s end is virtually the same as that of Saul.  He too, sorely wounded, ordered his young armorbearer to kill him, and following the young man’s refusal, fell on his own sword (1 Sa 31:3-4.  He too was a type of the Tribulation age Beast ruler.

[Judges 10]



     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough