( Related question posting: What deeper understanding/What can we infer when we read the account of Jotham's censure of people of Shechem for killing off Jotham's full brothers? )

What are some of the Major themes associated with the narrative related to Jotham's censure of people of Shechem for killing off Jotham's full brothers in Judges Book?

( Judges 9:1-21) And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother’s [a]relatives, and spoke to them and to the whole clan of the household of his mother’s father, saying, 2 “Speak, now, in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you, that seventy men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that one man rule over you?’ Also, remember that I am your bone and your flesh.” 3 And his mother’s [b]relatives spoke all these words on his behalf in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem; and [c]they were inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, “He is our [d]relative.” 4 They gave him seventy pieces of silver from the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, and they followed him. 5 Then he went to his father’s house at Ophrah and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone. But Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself. 6 All the men of Shechem and all [e]Beth-millo assembled together, and they went and made Abimelech king, by the [f]oak of the pillar which was in Shechem.


16 “Now therefore, if you have dealt in [j]truth and integrity in making Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and [k]have dealt with him [l]as he deserved— 17 for my father fought for you and [m]risked his life and delivered you from the hand of Midian; 18 but you have risen against my father’s house today and have killed his sons, seventy men, on one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your [n]relative— 19 if then you have dealt in [o]truth and integrity with Jerubbaal and his house this day, rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you. 20 But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and consume the men of Shechem and [p]Beth-millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem and from [q]Beth-millo, and consume Abimelech.” 21 Then Jotham escaped and fled, and went to Beer and remained there because of Abimelech his brother.

1 Answer 1


I think one of the major themes of Jotham's censure of people of Shechem for killing off Jotham's full brothers in Judges Book is the Proportionality in the general field of law ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proportionality_(law) )

Even though he is upset about the vicious killing of his full brothers, Jotham does give the Shechem's people some benefit of the doubt when it came to selecting someone from their own "Sub-ethnic" background(someone who is from Shechem ( i.e., Abimelech )) to be their leader. However, Jotham obviously disapproves of the killing of his full brothers, and thus Jotham uses the (Judges 9:8-15 )symbolism in the parable of the trees who anointed a king to curse the people of Shechem.

Jotham understands that the people of Shechem want a leader from their "Sub-ethnic" background, but Jotham disapproval of the killing of his full brothers suggests that Jotham thought the killings for disproportionate punishment/discipling.

This might be a little bit of a stretch, but I suppose that a relatively more recent actual historical/political event that is similar to said narrative in the Judges is the brutal killing of Russia's Royal Romanov family members ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Execution_of_the_Romanov_family#Execution ).

Just some historical background evaluation, Nicholas II of Russia was bad at governing Russia, and ignored the poor, and was antisemitic. However, the brutal killing of him and his family members withOut any judicial due process( Or at the very least some kind of trial regardless of how biased it might have been), and more importantly the shockingly brutal killing of his children is similar to the brutal killing of Jotham's full brothers in Judges.

In Christian Charismatic/Pentecostal churches, they often talk about curses that come about due to some kind of vicious action. Therefore, if we are from a Christian Charismatic/Pentecostal background, we can take a step further, and see the consequences of such a brutal killing of the Romanovs( especially the killing of the Romanov children which is similar to child sacrifices in the Bible's Old Testament). Let's elaborate, the consequential curses could be understood as the reign of the successive hard line Communist regime of Russia which is marked by oppression of Russian people, and evils of the cold war of the 1900s.

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    Interesting analogy with the brutal execution of Russia's Royal Romanov family members Nov 16, 2021 at 21:52

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