Abimelech (Judges)

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This describes the Biblical Judge Abimelech. See Abimelech for other people so named. Template:Book of Judges In the Tanakh or Old Testament, Abimelech was a son of the great judge Gideon (Judges 9:1); thus his name אֲבִימֶלֶךְ / אֲבִימָלֶךְ can best be interpreted "my father, the king". "Abimelech", a name claiming the inherited right to rule, was also a common name of the Philistine kings. He was, however, merely the son of Gideon's concubine; and to make good his claim to rule over Ephraim, he resorted to force. Aided by his mother's relatives, he put to death all of his half-brothers, seventy in number, "on one stone," at Ophrah, only the youngest, Jotham, escaping. Abimelech ruled but three years in Shechem after the death of his father (Judges 8:33-9:6).

He was an unprincipled, ambitious ruler, often engaged in war with his own subjects. When engaged in reducing the town of Thebez, which had revolted, he was struck mortally on his head by a mill-stone, thrown by the hand of a woman from the wall above. Perceiving that the wound was mortal, he desired his armor-bearer to thrust him through with his sword, that it might not be said he had perished by the hand of a woman (Judges 9:50-57).


Preceded by:
Gideon
Judges of Israel
Succeeded by:
Tola

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