A Introduction: Abimelech slays 70 sons of Jerubbaal on a stone [1-6]
B Jotham’s Prophecy announced [7-22] -- bramble, fire
C Shechem sets ambush for Abimelech; told to Abimelech [23-25]
D Gaal, son of Eved moves to Shechem 
E “Who is Abimelech?” Gaal pledges fight [27-29]
F Gaal’s Plot thwarted by Zebul [30-37]
E “Who is Abimelech?” Gaal engages fight [38-40]
D Gaal, son of Eved, driven away from Schechem 
C Abimelech sets ambush for Shechem, Abimelech was told [42-45]
B Jotham’s prophecy realized [46-55] - brushwood, fire
A Conclusion: Abimelech slain with a stone [56-57]
1. God is not mentioned in this chapter. (Schwab, 121). In his absence there is complete chaos and death. The earth, you might say, becomes “formless and void.”
2. Divine retribution drives the passage:
3. Jotham goes up on Mt. Gerizim to speak to the people. Mt. Gerizim & Ebal were the famous mountains where the blessings and curses were antiphanally spoken and affirmed (Cf. Deut. 11, 27, Josh 8). Gerizim was the mountain of blessing, but here it becomes the mountain of cursing. But the curse is a blessing because removing the evil and oppression is a blessing (just as it was with the other nations to whom they were enslaved).
4. V. 23 – “God sent an evil spirit” – God is in charge of evil. Satan is commissioned by God to wreak havoc and serve God’s purpose of judgment. It is a microcosom of the whole chapter as God uses the evil of Abi & S hechem to bring about His judgments.
5. Abimelech and Baal Berith are both half-lings:
This then is a uniquely Israelite paganism (Jordan). Thus, in chapter 9, Israel is not sold into slavery to another nation. They are sold into slavery to themselves with one of their own (Abimelech) as tyrant over them.
By focusing on the idea of “Halfling” the passage indirectly calls for purity: Purity of faith (no syncretism), relationships (no intermarriage), and devotion (no whims of man should be followed, but only God’s law).
6. The passage’s middle focuses on the overthrow of Gaal.
Gaal’s name means “loathing” or “abomination.” Gaal is also “the son of Eved” (i.e. slave), which likely means he is a Canaanite (remember that the Canaanites were the slaves of Israel). So, despite the evil that Abimelech represents, God continues to accomplish His purposes. He drives out the Canaanites and rids the world of its abominations.
7. Is this story about a judge? Kinda, sorta. Abimelech is not called a judge (he rules, rather than judges), and rightfully so. He is a usurper and is more about death than salvation (an anti-judge, so to speak, who comes to steal, kill, and destroy).
The narrative is chaotic, but there is an underlying order (retribution/justice). It points to the fact that, though the Lord is not mentioned, He is still the true Judge of all (Schawb, 126) who brings down the Usurper of the crown (Satan will soon be crushed under your feet).
Abimelech represents all power hungry, humanistic government. His was a centralizing of power (v.2) with intent to “lord it over.” He is in contrast to Christ, whose Father is the real king and who was given all authority to rule.
8. The whole of the passage reminds us that man’s power is void
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