Jotham rants at Shechem and flees (Judg 9:16-9:21)

“Now therefore, have you acted in good faith and honor when you made Abimelech king? Have you dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house? Have you done to him as his actions deserved? My father fought for you. He risked his life. He rescued you from the hand of Midian. But you have risen up against my father’s house this day. You have killed his sons, seventy men on one stone. You have made Abimelech, the son of his slave woman, king over the lords of Shechem because he is your kinsman. If, I say, you have acted in good faith and honor with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice in Abimelech. Let him also rejoice in you. But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the lords of Shechem, and Beth-millo. Let fire come out from the lords of Shechem, and from Beth-millo, and devour Abimelech. Then Jotham ran away and fled, going to Beer, where he remained for fear of his brother Abimelech.”

Now we get the interpretation of the parable, a common way of presenting things in the Israelite world. Had they dealt fairly with Gideon and his family? Did all the sons deserve to die? Were they acting in good faith? Beth-millo was close to Shechem. In the end, Jotham flees to Beer which is on the east side of the Jordan, but there is no indication of why he went there, except that it is far away and he was afraid of his brother.

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