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14 Finally, they went
to the thornbush and asked,
    “Will you be our king?”
15 The thornbush replied,
“If you really want me
    to be your king,
then come into my shade
    and I will protect you.
But if you’re deceiving me,
    I’ll start a fire
that will spread out and destroy
    the cedars of Lebanon.”[a]

After Jotham had finished telling this story, he said:

16-18 My father Gideon risked his life for you when he fought to rescue you from the Midianites. Did you reward Gideon by being kind to his family? No, you did not! You attacked his family and killed all seventy of his sons on that rock.

And was it right to make Abimelech your king? He’s merely the son of my father’s slave girl.[b] But just because he’s your relative, you made him king of Shechem.

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Footnotes

  1. 9.15 cedars of Lebanon: The cedars that grew in the Lebanon mountains were some of the largest trees in that part of the world.
  2. 9.16-18 son of. . . slave girl: See 8.31.

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