The Story of King Abimelek
The King Who Wasn't Killed by a Woman

Gideon was another judge of Israel. He destroyed a pagan object of worship that his father had made, and then he made his people a new one. He also tortured or killed anyone who wouldn’t give his men free food. The Israelites liked Gideon so much, they wanted him to become their king. But he refused. After Gideon died, his son Abimelek murdered his 70 brothers, and then he was made the first king of Israel.

After Abimelek had reigned for three years, God made his subjects hate him, to punish him for murdering his brothers. The people of the city of Shechem, where Abimelek lived, tried to overthrow their king, but failed. Abimelek moved out of Shechem, and then killed everyone who was still living there.

Then Abimelek found another city to attack, and all its people fled to the roof of a tower. Abimelek was about to set the tower on fire, but then a woman dropped a big rock on his head. Abimelek didn’t want people to say a woman killed him, so he got his armor-bearer to kill him instead. (People said a woman killed him anyway.) After Abimelek’s reign, Israel went back to being led by judges rather than kings for a few more decades.

The end.

The moral of the story

If you want your subjects to like you, don’t murder your brothers. Just murder strangers who don’t give you free food when you ask for it.

Previous story:

Samson and Delilah

Next story:

Ruth and Boaz

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