Judges 9:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 9:11, NIV: But the fig tree replied, 'Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?'

Judges 9:11, ESV: But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go hold sway over the trees?’

Judges 9:11, KJV: But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?

Judges 9:11, NASB: But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I give up my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to wave over the trees?’

Judges 9:11, NLT: But the fig tree also refused, saying, 'Should I quit producing my sweet fruit just to wave back and forth over the trees?'

Judges 9:11, CSB: But the fig tree said to them, "Should I stop giving my sweetness and my good fruit, and rule over trees? "

What does Judges 9:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Gideon's youngest son, Jotham, continues to proclaim his fable from the mountain top (Judges 9:1–7). He speaks to the crowd gathered below for Abimelech's coronation. This is the same Abimelech who conspired to murder all the sons of Gideon (Judges 8:30), with only Jotham managing to escape.

His story depicts trees looking for a king to reign over them. The olive tree has turned them down. Now the fig tree does so, as well. Fig trees were highly valued in that culture for their fruit, which could be eaten fresh, as well as for the cakes, wine, and sweetener made from it. Olive and fig trees were two essential pillars of the agricultural economy of the day.

The fig tree explains that he doesn't want to leave behind the important and meaningful work he is already doing: producing sweetness and good fruit. By comparison, he'd rather not rule over other trees. The implication is that because the fig tree is capable of excellent work, it has no desire to take power over others. In fact, becoming a ruler would be a step down.