by Rev Joel Yong
So they gave him 70 pieces of silver from the temple of Baal Berith. With the silver, Abimelech hired worthless and reckless men to follow him. Then he went to his father’s home in Ophrah. There he executed his 70 brothers, Jerubbaal’s sons. But Jotham, Jerubbaal’s youngest son, survived because he hid. All the citizens from Shechem and Beth Millo united. They went to the oak tree that was still standing in Shechem and proclaimed Abimelech king.
Abimelech persuaded the people to let him lead.
And he did. Unscrupulously.
He hired ‘… worthless and reckless men’ unlike David who had mighty men following him.
Because he only attracted those without any real depth and quality.
His leadership seemed successful but for only a short time and he killed 70 of Jerubbaal’s sons.
His cruelty did not go unnoticed. God avenged the blood shed by him.
By the end of the chapter we read that while engaged in conflict- this happened:
Then a woman threw a small millstone that hit Abimelech on the head and cracked his skull. He quickly called his armorbearer. He told him, “Take your sword and kill me! I don’t want anyone to say, ‘A woman killed Abimelech.'” His armorbearer did as he said, so Abimelech died. When the people of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they all went home. So God paid back Abimelech for the evil he had done to his father when he killed his 70 brothers. God also paid back the men of Shechem for all their evil. So the curse of Jotham, son of Jerubbaal, came true.
For a warrior back then- to be killed by a woman, was a disgrace.
So he asked to be killed by his armorbearer instead.
A worthless leader who resorted to unscrupulous means to get things done- dies a dishonorable death. Suicide after receiving a mortal wound inflicted by a woman’s millstone.