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Then they gave Abimelech seventy pieces[a] of silver from the temple of their god Baal Berith.[b]

Abimelech used the silver to hire a gang of rough soldiers who would do anything for money. Abimelech and his soldiers went to his father’s home in Ophrah and brought out Gideon’s other sons to a large rock, where they murdered all seventy. Gideon’s youngest son Jotham hid from the soldiers, but he was the only one who escaped.

The leaders of Shechem, including the priests and the military officers,[c] met at the tree next to the sacred rock[d] in Shechem to crown Abimelech king.

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Footnotes

  1. 9.4 seventy pieces: About 28 ounces.
  2. 9.4 Baal Berith: See the note at 8.33.
  3. 9.6 including the priests and the military officers: The Hebrew text has “and the Millo house,” another name for the temple of Baal Berith. It probably also served as a military fortress.
  4. 9.6 tree. . . rock: One ancient translation; Hebrew “propped-up sacred tree.”

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