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Jdg 9:1 Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother’s brothers, and spoke with them and with all the family of the house of his mother’s father saying-
Abimelech means 'my father is king'. And indeed Abimelech did try to become King of all Israel (Jud. 9:2). As discussed on :2, Gideon overcame the temptation to become king, but only on an external level. In reality his behaviour was as if was a king in all but name. His weakness in this matter was repeated to a stronger degree in his son. Just as our weaknesses will be repeated and magnified in our children, as David's were in Solomon's love for horses and women.

Jdg 9:2 Please speak to all the men of Shechem and say, ‘Is it better for you that all the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy persons, should rule over you, or that one rule over you?’ Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh-
There is no evidence that the other sons were seeking to be king. Their father Gideon had been offered the kingship for himself and his sons, and he had refused it. Abimelech was likely responding to the fear that they might stop him from his plan, and so many crimes and sins are committed on the basis of eliminating possible opposition.

Time and again, the Bible is full of warnings against doing what seems right before God, when our motives are far from Him. Take the way that Gideon was invited to be king over Israel, but he refused, citing the fact that Yahweh is Israel's King. All well and good... but the record goes on to record how he made an idolatrous ephod in his home town, to which all Israel came (Jud. 8:22-24). And he had a son, Abimelech- which means 'my father is king'!. And indeed Abimelech did try to become King of all Israel (Jud.  9:2). Our behaviour smacks of this time and time again. We do what is externally right, but our inward motives are impure. There's an urgent need for self-examination at depth within each of us... and yet the busyness of our lives, our poor time management and lack of rigorous regime in spiritual life, so easily leads us not to seriously attempt this. And we end up doing things which are only externally right.

Jdg 9:3 His mother’s brothers told all the men of Shechem all these words, and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, He is our brother-
Shechem was apparently in the hands of the Hivites, so these men may not have been true Israelites. The idea is that their hearts were inclined (by God) to follow him (the same Hebrew phrase is in 1 Kings 11:3; Ps. 119:36; 141:4). Just as God inclined the hearts of the men of Shechem to follow Abimelech (Jud. 9:3), so He put an evil spirit / attitude of mind between them and Abimelech (:23). Clearly God can work directly upon the human heart according to His will. This is the basis of the way that the evil spirit (from the Lord) and the holy spirit work upon the hearts of men.

Jdg 9:4 They gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal Berith, with which Abimelech hired reckless adventurers who followed him-
Abimelech was apparently an idolater. And yet Jud. 10:1 implies that he was also a judge who saved Israel. His work for Israel isn't much recorded, and therefore we sense that as with the record of Samson, we have here the down points in his life.

Jdg 9:5 He went to his father’s house at Ophrah and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy persons, on one stone; but Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal escaped, for he hid himself-
Tragically it was probably upon the rock upon which Gideon first sacrificed to Yahweh (Jud. 6:20) that his seventy sons were to be slain by Abimelech, with the help of men who worshipped Baal Berith

Jdg 9:6 All the men of Shechem assembled themselves together, and all the house of Millo, and went and made Abimelech king by the oak of the pillar that was in Shechem-
Oaks and pillars are associated with idolatry throughout the Old Testament. "The house of Millo" is likely also a reference to an idol temple. Yet Jud. 10:1 implies Abimelech was a saviour and defender of Israel. At some point he must have repented of all this and done work for God. His proclamation as king was however a rejection of Yahweh as king; the very thing his father Gideon had refused to do. Yet even such a spiritually weak man was used to save His people. 

Jdg 9:7 When they told Jotham he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted to them, Listen to me, you men of Shechem, so that God will listen to you-
God listens to those who hear His word, there is a mutuality between God and man. We hear His word, He listens to us. This implies Jotham's words were Divinely inspired. Mount Gerizim was the scene of the reciting of the curses and blessings, and Jotham is surely reminding the people that they are breaking covenant with God and can only be cursed.

Jdg 9:8 The trees went out one day to anoint a king to be over them; they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us’-
The trees refer to the people who wanted a king, one of themselves, a tree like them, but with superior qualities. Gideon had remonstrated that God was their king, and so they should not seek a human leader, another tree like them, but accept Yahweh as king.

Jdg 9:9 But the olive tree said to them ‘Should I give up my oil with which they honour God and man to go and hold sway over the trees?’-
These trees refused the other trees' desire for their rulership. This perhaps refer to unrecorded times when the sons of Gideon had been approached and asked to be king; and they had each refused, in line with how their father refused to be king, and refused the invitation to his sons also (Jud. 8:23). It was the priests who were to offer oil in order to honour God (Lev. 2:1-16), and used it to anoint men for special purposes. Thus the olive who honoured both God and man with oil might possibly refer to a priest who was asked to become king, but refused it. It was more important to honour God and people, then to "hold sway over" people. And this is the point which those who desire leadership so often forget.

Jdg 9:10 The trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and reign over us’-
These continual requests to men to "reign over us" reflect the basic tendency within human nature, to want to be submissive; to desire a human leader. The fact Israel were specifically not given a king, because the invisible God was their king, was in fact right against human nature.

Jdg 9:11 But the fig tree said to them, ‘Should I give up my good, sweet fruit to go to hold sway over the trees?’-
A good fig tree bears good fruit. But this wouldn't be possible if the tree was "promoted" (AV) to sway around over the other trees. Leadership positions so often mean that a person cannot quite be the person they were intended to be; something of their real self is lost and compromised. And this is why we should never seek leadership over others, because God has a specific role for us; and we will only become true leaders as a result of His guiding hand, rather than our seeking it.

Jdg 9:12 The trees said to the vine ‘Come and reign over us’-
Olive, vine and fig tree are all trees representative of Israel. But they each refused the invitation to be king. The idea would be that the true Israel would not seek to be king over itself. For Yahweh was their true king.

Jdg 9:13 The vine said to them, ‘Should I give up my new wine, which cheers God and man, to go to hold sway over the trees?’-
Wine was part of the offerings to God (Num. 15:7,10) which cheered God in that He was pleased with Israel's drink offerings.

Jdg 9:14 Then all the trees said to the thorn bush, ‘Come and reign over us’-
This refers to Abimelech, the illegitimate son of Gideon; and we recall that thorns were part of the curse. The people were so desperate for human leadership, and so insistent that they didn't want God's invisible leadership, that they would have even a symbol of the curse to reign over them.

Jdg 9:15 The thorn bush said to the trees, ‘If in truth you anoint me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; if not, let fire come out of the thorn bush and devour the cedars of Lebanon’-
But the thorn bush offers no shade. The Kingdom of God is likened to a tree giving shade (Mk. 4:32), but the thorn bush cannot do this. Abimelech's pretension at being king is therefore presented as at best unhelpful. He demanded miserable submission to himself, and if he didn't get it, he would burn up the fine cedars of Lebanon- possibly a reference to Gideon's sons whom he slew. This is where bad leadership leads- the destruction of that which is beautiful. This very figure is used in Zech. 11:1, of how the house / temple of the cedars of Lebanon was to be "devoured" (Zech. 11:1)- as a result of Judah's corrupt, spiritually illegitimate leadership.

Jdg 9:16 Now therefore, consider whether you have done what is true and right in making Abimelech king, and whether you have done justly to Jerubbaal and his house as he deserves-
This was an appeal for their repentance. Jotham however makes no mention of how they had thereby rejected Yahweh as their king. He doesn't repeat that argument of his father Gideon, and lacked Samuel's spiritual insight; for he saw that this was the worst implication of desiring any human king. Instead he argues that Gideon's family were worth more respect than to slay his sons at the whim of the worthless king whom they had chosen. Yet he calls Gideon "Jerubbaal", in allusion to how Gideon had put down the Baal worship which they indulged in (:4).

Jdg 9:17 (For my father fought for you and risked his life and delivered you out of the hand of Midian-
As noted on :16, Jotham lacks spiritual insight here. For Gideon himself clearly saw the deliverance as worked by Yahweh and not himself. It was Yahweh's sword which had been his sword. And instead of emphasizing his father's human bravery as the basis for the deliverance, surely he ought to have stressed Gideon's faith in Yahweh. Yet despite this, Jotham was clearly a spiritual person; although as always with God's people at this time, his spirituality was very compromised by his humanity.

"Fought for you and risked his life" is the phrase Jonathan uses about David (1 Sam. 19;5). Yet Jonathan seems to have seen Gideon as his hero [compare 1 Sam. 14:10-20 with Jud. 7:3,10,11,14,22. Jonathan's son was called Merib-baal (1 Chron. 9:40), meaning 'rebellion against Baal', an epithet for 'Gideon']. Yet in 1 Sam. 19:5 he says that "David put his life in his hand", exactly as Gideon did (Jud. 9:17). In other words, Jonathan saw David as the perfect fulfilment of all he spiritually wished to be, he felt that David  lived up to the example of his hero Gideon, whereas he did not.

Jdg 9:18 yet you have risen up against my father’s house this day and have slain his sons, seventy persons, on one stone, and have made Abimelech the son of his female servant king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother)-
So many times has this been repeated in the history of God's people, to this day. Petty nepotism, the support of a close relative within the church, leads to the destruction and exclusion of other far more spiritual families. However Jotham reasons as if Gideon had in fact been king, and therefore his successor ought not to have been his illegitimate son, but one of his legitimate sons. I noted on Jud. 8:23 that although Gideon turned down being king, he effectively set himself up as king in all but name. He took the wealth of Israel, clothed himself in kingly purple clothes and had a son called "My father is king", i.e. Abimelech. And Jotham appears to go along with this in how he reasons. 

Jdg 9:19 If you have done what is true and right with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice in Abimelech and let him also rejoice in you-
As discussed on :18, Jotham implies that the right thing would have been to appoint one of Gideon's legitimate sons as king in his place. For he keeps on about how they should have treated his family / house far differently than they had. Doing what was "true and right" is a quotation from Josh. 24:14, where doing this involved quitting idolatry; which they evidently hadn't done (:4). So although Jotham reveals much human reasoning, his heart was very much with Yahweh rather than Baal worship.

Jdg 9:20 But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and devour the men of Shechem and the house of Millo, and let fire come out from the men of Shechem and from the house of Millo and devour Abimelech-
The end result would be self destruction, of the kind which had characterized his father Gideon's great victory against the Midianites. Fire coming out of a thorn bush uses the very words of Ex. 22:6; and the one who did that was to make restitution and bear guilt. Jotham was aware of Bible verses and yet not all of his reasoning was completely spiritual.

Jdg 9:21 Jotham ran away and fled and went to Beer and lived there, for fear of Abimelech his brother-
Beer may be Beeroth in Benjamin's highlands (Josh. 9:17). Often the Bible leaves us with limited information about a person, such as Jotham, and we are to imagine how his life in exile ended, and whether, given the evidence we have, he held on in faith or not.

Jdg 9:22 Abimelech was prince over Israel for three years-
It appears to have  been in this period that he judged Israel and saved them from their enemies (Jud. 10:1), although he had not been a very spiritual person before that. The implication really is that he must have repented to some degree.

Jdg 9:23 God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem, and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech-
Although God created the division between Israel and Judah as a punishment for their apostasy (cp. how He gave Egypt and the Shechemites a spirit of disunity likewise, Is. 19:1,2,14; Jud. 9:23), God never essentially recognized that division; for there was one Israel, one body. But division is indeed a sign of Divine judgment upon a community. Their hearts had been inclined (by God) to follow him (:3; the same Hebrew phrase is in 1 Kings 11:3; Ps. 119:36; 141:4). But just as God inclined the hearts of the men of Shechem to follow Abimelech (Jud. 9:3), so now He put an evil spirit / attitude of mind between them and Abimelech. Clearly God can work directly upon the human heart according to His will. This is the basis of the way that the evil spirit (from the Lord) and the holy spirit work upon the hearts of men.

Jdg 9:24 so that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might be avenged, and that their blood might be laid on Abimelech their brother who killed them, and on the men of Shechem who helped him to kill his brothers-
God punished this massacre by putting a divided attitude in the hearts of those responsible, so that they killed each other. Just as He had destroyed the Midianites in the time of Gideon. Turning people against themselves is a common way God has brought about destruction of those under judgment; so division is indeed a sign of Divine judgment upon a community. 

Jdg 9:25 The men of Shechem set an ambush for him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who came along that way. This was reported to Abimelech-
They didn't catch Abimelech himself, but robbed others. The division and falling out between Abimelech and the men of Shechem was revealed in the way they took to highway robbery, apparently against Abimelech's wish, and refused his authority. The mountain top road would have been that between Shechem and Ophrah, Gideon's town, which Abimelech would have treated now as his own, seeing he had slain all Gideon's sons and Jotham was in exile. Again we marvel at the internal corroboration of the Biblical records.

Jdg 9:26 Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brothers and went over to Shechem, and the men of Shechem put their trust in him-
Gaal, "loathing", was son of a slave. He may well have been a local Canaanite. That the men of Shechem wanted such a man as their leader says much about them.

Jdg 9:27 They went out into the field and harvested their vineyards, trod the grapes and held a festival, and went into the house of their god, ate and drank and cursed Abimelech-
We note how pagan worship was associated with eating and drinking wine, getting drunk. The church at Corinth mixed Christianity and paganism to the extent that the breaking of bread service was turned into a time of feasting and getting drunk.

Jdg 9:28 Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who is Abimelech and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? Isn’t he the son of Jerubbaal and Zebul his officer? Serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem, but why should we serve Abimelech?-
GNB suggests: "Gaal said, "What kind of men are we in Shechem? Why are we serving Abimelech? Who is he, anyway? The son of Gideon! And Zebul takes orders from him, but why should we serve him? Be loyal to your ancestor Hamor, who founded your clan!". But I think the idea is probably not this. Rather, Gaal is saying that Gideon and Zebul were servants to Hamor, the ancient father of the town of Shechem (Gen. 34), whereas it was about time that Shechem became independent. They should no longer be under the thumb of Abimelech, through his servant Zebul whom he had appointed over the city (:30). Or he may mean 'Let us show our loyalty to ancient Hamor who founded this city, whom Jacob's sons wickedly destroyed- and I will be your leader, and let us shake off the yoke of the sons of Jacob'. This would make sense if indeed Gaal was a Canaanite and not an Israelite, and the population of Shechem was largely Canaanite.  

Jdg 9:29 If only this people were under my hand! Then I would remove Abimelech. He said to Abimelech, Increase your army and come out!-
These things may all have been said whilst drunk (:27,28). Abimelech was apparently not in Shechem at the time, having left Zebul to govern Shechem (:30,31).

Jdg 9:30 When Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled-
We wonder if Zebul was also in the idol temple, and heard these words himself there (:27,38). Abimelech and his men are not portrayed as exactly spiritual people.

Jdg 9:31 He sent messengers to Abimelech secretly saying, Look, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brothers have come to Shechem and they are inciting the city against you-
"Secretly" could be “in Tormah”, the name of a place, perhaps another name for Arumah in :41. For Abimelech was clearly not living in Shechem.

Jdg 9:32 Now therefore, go up by night, you and the people who are with you, and lie in wait in the field-
"Up by night" is the same words as found in the Divine command to his father Gideon, to "arise" by night and attack the Midianites (Jud. 7:9). But he was only imitating his father on a surface level; see on :34.  

Jdg 9:33 In the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you can rise early and rush on the city, and when he and the people who are with him come out against you, then may you do to them as you see fit-
The battle strategy of Abimelech, setting an ambush (Jud. 9:32), rising early and rushing upon the city of his one time brethren (Jud. 9:33), was replicated by the Israelites in Jud. 20:37. The same Hebrew words are used. But it was a case of copying an example just because it was recorded in Divine history, following precedents which were in fact not at all good. Hollow imitation of the behaviour of others is an abiding temptation for us today.

Jdg 9:34 Abimelech and all the people who were with him got up by night and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies-
We get the impression he was trying to imitate his father Gideon, who made an attack upon the Midianites in three companies at night, having been bidden arise or 'get up' by night (s.w. Jud. 7:9). And he certainly imitates Gideon in :48. But he was totally missing the point- he was trying to make a cardboard copy of another man's faith, following only the externalities, without Gideon's faith and humility. 

Jdg 9:35 Gaal the son of Ebed went out and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city, and Abimelech and the people who were with him got up from the ambush-
The men of Shechem had earlier tried to ambush Abimelech, and now he ambushes them- continuing the theme of wicked men destroying themselves.

Jdg 9:36 When Gaal saw the people he said to Zebul, Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains. Zebul said to him, You are seeing the shadows of the mountains as if they were men-
This may be as if to say to Gaal 'you're drunk, you're not seeing straight'. Perhaps Zebul remained in a drunken stupor for some days after the massive drinking session of :27.

Jdg 9:37 Gaal spoke again and said, Look, people are coming down by the middle of the land, and one company is coming by the way of the oak of Meonenim-
Oaks are usually associated with idolatry in the Hebrew Bible. "Meonenim" is the word for magician, sorcerer etc. These pagan place names should have been removed and renamed. Even in secular history, a new entity which comes to power renames the previous cities and streets, to eradicate the memory of the philosophy, history and culture which they have replaced. The USSR did this when they took over the republics. But Israel just didn't do this in the land- because they themselves believed in the idols of those whom Yahweh had given them victory over. 

Jdg 9:38 Then Zebul said to him, Now where is your boast when you said ‘Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him?’ Isn’t this the people that you have despised? Go out now and fight with them-
This again suggests Zebul had been in the idol temple when Gaal had made his drunken boast (:27). Abimelech and his men are not portrayed as exactly spiritual people.

Jdg 9:39 Gaal went out before the men of Shechem and fought with Abimelech-
Gaal going "before the men of Shechem" suggests he got his brief moment of power and leadership which he had so craved- but just for a morning.

Jdg 9:40 Abimelech chased him and he fled from him, and many fell wounded, up to the entrance of the gate-
The same phrase is in 1 Chron. 5:22: "For there fell many slain [wounded], because the war was of God". This was indeed "of God", but it doesn't make Abimelech thereby righteous. He was used to judge the Canaanites living in Shechem and their would be leader Gaal, and perhaps that is one of the ways in which Abimelech was a judge of Israel who saved them from their enemies (Jud. 10:1). In this sense we see a similarity with Samson, whose following of his own natural desires was used in order to save Israel from their enemies.  

Jdg 9:41 Abimelech lived at Arumah, and Zebul drove out Gaal and his brothers, so that they should not dwell in Shechem-
As often in the Hebrew Bible, this is a summary of the situation, and we will now read how this came about.

Jdg 9:42 Next day the people went out into the field and told Abimelech-
The men of Shechem who had succeeded in entering the gates of the city of Shechem (:40) now came out into the field, where they were attacked by Abimelech (:44). They truly hated him, and it was surely only Abimelech's pride which was leading him to punish them like this. See on :40.

Jdg 9:43 He took the people and divided them into three companies and laid wait in the field, and when he saw the people coming out of the city, he rose up against them and struck them-
This division of his men into three companies was exactly what his father Gideon had done, in his legendary victory against the Midianites. But as noted on :34,48, he was totally missing the point- he was trying to make a cardboard copy of another man's faith, following only the externalities, without Gideon's faith and humility. 

Jdg 9:44 Abimelech and the companies that were with him rushed forward and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city, and the two companies rushed on all who were in the field and struck them-
LXX gives "the company that was with him", singular. This sandwiching of the enemy against their own city gate recalls the strategy used to take Ai. But Abimelech's spirituality and imitation of the righteous, as noted on :43, was apparently of a purely surface level nature. 

Jdg 9:45 Abimelech fought against the city all that day, and he took the city and killed the people who were in it, and he beat down the city and sowed it with salt-
This was an attempt to claim that he had executed Divine judgment against an apostate city (Dt. 29:23), although Abimelech and Zebul were far from righteous themselves. We note how attractive it is to men to condemn others. 

Jdg 9:46 When all the men of the tower of Shechem heard of it, they entered the stronghold of the house of Elberith-
Elberith was presumably a form of their god Baal Berith (:4). Their trust in their false god was to be their destruction. Although Abimelech was hardly spiritual, and Zebul was apparently present in the idol temple (:27), he seems to have rejoiced in the idea of punishing them for idolatry. And we see the same personality types amongst God's people today.

Jdg 9:47 It was told Abimelech that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together-
These "men of the tower of Shechem" were perhaps the priests; it seems the tower was part of the pagan temple of Elberith (:46).

Jdg 9:48 Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people who were with him, and Abimelech took an axe in his hand and cut down a branch from the trees, took it up and laid it on his shoulder, and he said to the people who were with him, What you have seen me do, hurry and do the same!-
Abimelech here quotes the words of his father Gideon in Jud. 7:17; and the carrying of tree branches and then rushing down from a height upon the enemy recalls Gideon with his three companies of men holding pitchers. See on :34.

Jdg 9:49 All the people likewise each cut down his branch and followed Abimelech, and they put them at the base of the stronghold and set the stronghold on fire on them, so that all the people of the tower of Shechem died, about one thousand men and women-
"The people of the tower", as suggested on :47, were apparently those committed to idolatry. "The stronghold" of idolatry is equated with the tower (:46). This was the house of Millo which was to be destroyed by Abimelech's fire (:20). Their destruction by fire would have been designed by Abimelech as some kind of destruction of the apostate as required by the law of Moses, as if he were Joshua conquering Canaan and burning the cities of the Canaanites. But Abimelech's spirituality comes over as so compromised that it was merely a surface level imitation of the true.

Jdg 9:50 Then Abimelech went to Thebez and encamped against Thebez and took it-
Abimelech had an apparent run of success, and it led him to think he was invincible. This is seen so often amongst men; from sports stars to evangelists to businessmen. The Biblical histories are all so absolutely psychologically credible, unlike the uninspired histories of the time.

Jdg 9:51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and all the men and women of the city fled to it and shut themselves in, and went up to the roof of the tower-
Abimelech assumed that as he had destroyed the tower in Shechem so he could that in Thebez. See on :50. Maybe Thebez had also been subject to Abimelech but had likewise rebelled against his authority.

Jdg 9:52 Abimelech came to the tower and fought against it and drew near to the door of the tower to burn it with fire-
I suggested on :49 that destruction by fire would have been designed by Abimelech as some kind of destruction of the apostate as required by the law of Moses, as if he were Joshua conquering Canaan and burning the cities of the Canaanites. But Abimelech's spirituality comes over as so compromised that it was merely a surface level imitation of the true. He felt that because he was punishing apostacy with fire, he was himself invincible; and therefore he was judged harshly. And we see such things amongst the children of God today.  

Jdg 9:53 A woman cast an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head and broke his skull-
This obviously was a fulfilment of the seed of the woman hitting the seed of the serpent upon the head (Gen. 3:15). And yet Abimelech had been about to burn her to death for supposed apostacy. We also note that a man who ended up judged like this was also used as a judge / saviour of Israel (Jud. 10:1).

Jdg 9:54 Then he called hastily to the young man who carried his armour and said to him, Draw your sword and kill me, so that men will not say of me, ‘A woman killed him’. His young man thrust him through and he died-
Saul's armourbearer would not slay Saul because he was Yahweh's anointed king. Although Abimelech claimed to be king, and was accepted by some as king, he clearly was not recognized as king by God nor his own people.

Jdg 9:55 When the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead they departed each man to his place-
The tower was not burnt with fire, because it was God's intention that Abimelech should do this to Shechem- not Thebez (:20). And so Thebez was not burnt as Abimelech had intended.

Jdg 9:56 Thus God rewarded the wickedness of Abimelech which he did to his father, in killing his seventy brothers-
Sometimes the Biblical record is vague, other times exact. This reflects how God is not seeking to cover His back against critics. He is of an altogether higher nature than that. There are times when the Spirit uses very approximate numbers rather than exact ("about the space of four hundred and fifty years", Acts 13:20 cp. 1 Kings 6:1). The reference to "seventy" in Judges 9:56 also doesn't seem exact, for Jothan escaped out of the 70. Seven and a half years (2 Sam. 2:11) becomes "seven years" (1 Kings 2:11); three months and ten days (2 Chron. 36:9) becomes "three months" (2 Kings 24:8). And 1 Kings 7:23 gives the circumference of the laver as “thirty cubits”, although it was ten cubits broad. Taking ‘pi’ to be 3.14, it is apparent that the circumference would have been 31.4 cubits; but the Spirit says, summing up, “thirty”.

Jdg 9:57 and all the wickedness of the men of Shechem God repaid on their heads, and on them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal-
As noted on :55, the tower of Thebez was therefore not burnt with fire, because it was God's intention that Abimelech should do this to Shechem- not Thebez (:20). And so Thebez was not burnt as Abimelech had intended.