0 A city is massacred and 1000 burn to death because of God's evil spirit

I kill ... I wound ... I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh. Deuteronomy 32:39-42


A city is massacred and 1000 burn to death because of God's evil spirit

After Gideon died, it was time for his sons to take over. And he had lots of them.

Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives. And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech. Judges 8:30-31

Which was a problem since only one son could succeed him. Luckily, Abimelech came up with a creative solution. He killed all of his 70 brothers on one stone.

Abimelech ... went unto his father's house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone. 9:4-5a

Well, all except one, anyway. Jotham got away.

Yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself. 9:5b

So the two remaining sons, Abimelech and Jotham, schemed against each other for control, with Abimelech winning out, becoming king.

All the men of Shechem gathered together ... and made Abimelech king. 9:6

Then God decided to get involved by sending an evil spirit.

God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech: That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren. 9:23-24

(Now you might think it strange that an evil spirit would be sent by God. But if so, you haven't been reading your Bible enough. In the Bible, evil spirits are either sent directly by God or their origin is unknown. The Bible never attributes evil spirits to Satan.)

Things get complicated after God's evil spirit arrives. But the short story is that Shechem revolts against Abimelech and Abimelech massacres everyone in Shechem.

Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. 9:45

Except for 1000 that escape to a tower.

All the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. 9:47

When Abimelech found out about the people in the tower, he set it on fire, burning 1000 people to death.

Abimelech ... set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women. 9:49

Then he went to a neighboring city, Thebez, and when the people escaped to a tower there, too, he tried to light it on fire.

Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it. But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women ... And Abimelech came unto the tower ... to burn it with fire. 9:50-52

But while he was busy with that, a woman dropped a millstone and it landed on Abimelech's head, crushing his skull.

A certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech's head ... to brake his skull. 9:53

Abimelech saw that it was a woman, so he told a soldier to kill him since he didn't want it said that he was killed by a woman. (In the Bible, there's nothing worse than being killed by a woman.)

Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died. 9:54

So with the help of God's evil spirit, everything worked out according to God's plan.

Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren: And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham. 9:56-57

Note: It's hard to keep score on this one, but I think God deserves credit for killing Abimelech, the 1000 that burned alive in the tower of Shechem, and an unknown number of people in Abimelech's massacre of Schechem. I'll guess 2000 for the lot of them.

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