2

Judges 6:32 Therefore on that day Gideon was called Jerub-Baal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he broke down his altar....

8:30 Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives....

9:1 Abimelek son of Jerub-Baal went to his mother’s brothers in Shechem and said to them and to all his mother’s clan, “Ask all the citizens of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you: to have all seventy of Jerub-Baal’s sons rule over you, or just one man?’ Remember, I am your flesh and blood.”

When the brothers repeated all this to the citizens of Shechem, they were inclined to follow Abimelek, for they said, “He is related to us.” They gave him seventy shekels a of silver from the temple of Baal-Berith, and Abimelek used it to hire reckless scoundrels, who became his followers. He went to his father’s home in Ophrah and on one stone murdered his seventy brothers, the sons of Jerub-Baal. But Jotham, the youngest son of Jerub-Baal, escaped by hiding. And all the leaders of Shechem came together, and all Beth-millo, and they went and made Abimelek king, by the oak of the pillar at Shechem.

Following the text:

  • Gideon and Jerub-Baal are two names for the same person (Judges 6:32)
  • Gideon had 70 sons (Judges 8:30)
  • Abimelek, Gideon's son through a concubine, killed 70 of his brothers, but Jotham was not killed (Judges 9:5)
  • Logically, two of Gideon's sons were not killed: Abimelek (who went on to become king) and Jotham (who escaped)

How many sons did Gideon have?

8
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    What is the problem here? Does this Bible passage not answer the question? – Dottard Oct 1 '20 at 21:14
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    @Dottard I don't disagree (in fact, the number could be off by much more), but that doesn't mean the question is bad or off-topic. – Dan Oct 2 '20 at 3:33
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    @Dan - agreed - it just needed that clarification that you ably provided. – Dottard Oct 2 '20 at 5:18
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    @Dan thanks for the edit. – Tony Chan Oct 2 '20 at 15:46
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    It could be that because Abimelek was from a concubine and not one of Gideon's wives Abimelek was not counted as one of the 70 sons. As to the reference of Jotham, verse 5 could be referring to the remaining sons collectively as '70 sons' even though Jotham had escaped the mass execution. – agarza Oct 20 '20 at 16:03
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http://www.thywordistrue.com/contradictions/48-how-many-sons-of-gideon-were-slain

Judges 8:30 is saying that Gedeon had 70 sons (BEFORE) the birth of Abimelech, which would exclude Abimelech from the number. His brother Jotham was born later on to Gideon, thus being the youngest son, which would not include him in the "70" number aswell. Thus Gideonn had a total of 72 sons, but Judges 8:30 is saying that he had 70 sons before Abimelech, and Jotham was not yet born, which explains why the 2 were not counted. No Contradiction.

1

https://www.studylight.org/commentary/judges/8-30.html

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable Gideon"s family8:29-32

He also kept a concubine in Shechem, which the Canaanites controlled at this time (cf. Judges 9:2; Judges 9:28). His concubine appears from references in chapter9 to have been a Canaanite. The Israelites were to eradicate the Canaanites, but their leader decided to marry one (cf. Exodus 34:15-16; Deuteronomy 7:3-4). The son this woman bore Gideon was evidently a young man of outstanding promise since Gideon named him Abimelech (lit. My father is king).

[All verses KJV]

Judges 8:31 - 31And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech.

Judges 9:2 - Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.

Judges 9:18 - [Jotham speaking] - And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother;


The problem of Jotham.

  1. Perhaps Jotham was a brother from the same concubine as Abimelech. Abimelech may have actually intended to kill him also, but Jotham escaped.
  • Even Jotham counts 70 sons that were killed of Jerub-baal:

Judges 9:18 - [Jotham speaking] - And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother;

Judges 9:21 - And Jotham ran away and fled; and he went to Beer and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.

An outside possibility:

  1. Maybe '70 heads' were killed on the stone - but one was an innocent bystander because they couldn't find Jotham and didn't want to tell Abimelech one was missing.

Without further evidence, I side with Jotham being Abimelech's brother of the same mother. The mother seeing the writing on the wall, hid Jotham.

  1. Side note: I wonder why it was repeated several times that the 70 sons were killed on "stone(abn) one(achth-f). The search continues.

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