And then they Asked the Bramble…

“Then all of the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’” (Judges 9:14) The final candidate is the bramble — אָטָר (atar) — a thorny bush that has no real redemptive value — it is simply fit for the fire (and even in that, the bramble does not produce much heat… Read More

The Vine’s Rejection!

“And the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my new wine, which is joy to God and men, and shall I go to dominate the trees?’” (Judges 9:13) And thus, the “New King Search Committee” has received their third rejection. On one level, we might be tempted to feel sorry for these trees, working… Read More

The Olive Tree’s Response

“And the olive tree said to them, ‘Should I leave my fatness, which in me God and men are honored and shall I go to dominate the trees?’”  (Judges 9:9) As God’s prophetic word goes out in this parable, it becomes clear from the words of the Olive Tree that Jotham is speaking about his… Read More

A Covenant Lawsuit

“And when it was announced to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim and lifted his voice, calling out, saying to them, ‘Listen to me leaders of Shekem and God will listen to you.’” (Judges 9:7) Before Jotham goes into hiding, God sends him as a prophet to speak condemnation against… Read More

The Execution of Abimelech’s Brothers

“And he entered his father’s house at Ophrah and executed his brothers, the sons of Jeruba’al, seventy men upon a single stone. Yet, Jotham, the youngest son of Jeruba’al, remained because he was hidden. And so he gathered all the leaders of Shekem and all of the house of Millo and they went and enthroned… Read More

Unprincipled Men

“And they gave to him seventy pieces of silver from the house of Ba’al Beryth and Abimelek hired for himself unprincipled and reckless men, and they followed after him.” (Judges 9:4) Thugs, hoodlums, criminals…these are the men that Abimelek will attract to himself. The Apostle Paul cites the wisdom of the Greek poet, Menander, when… Read More

Back to Shechem

“And Abimelek, the son of Jeruba’al, went to Shekem, to the brothers of his mother. And he said to them and to the whole clan of the house of his father and mother, saying, ‘Please speak into the ears of all the leaders of Shekem, ‘Which is better for you to rule over you? Seventy… Read More

Forgetting and Neglecting

“And the Sons of Israel did not remember Yahweh their God who had saved them from the hand of all of their enemies which surrounded them and they did not show faithfulness to the Sons of Jeruba’al (Gideon) for all of the good things which he did for Israel.” (Judges 8:34-35) We have spoken before… Read More

Leaders Should be a Threat

“And he said to Zebach and to Tsalmunna, ‘Where are the men which you slew at Tabor?’ And they said, ‘They were just like you; each one resembled the son of the king.” (Judges 8:18) This little verse is filled with idioms that don’t translate well at least in literal word for word English. First… Read More

A Written Record of His People

“Yahweh makes a record in writing of his people; ‘This one was born there.’ Selah!” (Psalm 87:6) Yahweh makes a record in writing of his people. Indeed. Such is language that anticipates what we know better as the Lamb’s Book of Life (Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5; 13:8;17:8; 20:12,15; 21:27). Yet, do not think of this… Read More

Muddled Minds

“And when they blew the three hundred shophar, Yahweh set each man’s sword against his comrade and against all of Midian. The camp fled as far as Beth-Hashittah by Tsererathah and as far as the border of Abel-Mecholah above Tabbath.” (Judges 7:22) The Midianites are thrown into a panic. Operating at night, hurriedly throwing on… Read More