Judges 9:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 9:13, NIV: But the vine answered, 'Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and humans, to hold sway over the trees?'

Judges 9:13, ESV: But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my wine that cheers God and men and go hold sway over the trees?’

Judges 9:13, KJV: And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?

Judges 9:13, NASB: But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I give up my new wine, which cheers God and mankind, and go to wave over the trees?’

Judges 9:13, NLT: But the grapevine also refused, saying, 'Should I quit producing the wine that cheers both God and people, just to wave back and forth over the trees?'

Judges 9:13, CSB: But the grapevine said to them, "Should I stop giving my wine that cheers both God and man, and rule over trees? "

What does Judges 9:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jotham, the only surviving sibling of Gideon's seventy sons, other than the man who killed them, is telling a story (Judges 9:8–12). He is presenting a fable about trees searching for a king to make a larger point to the people of Shechem about the king they are anointing on this day: his murderous brother, Abimelech (Judges 9:1–6).

In the story, the olive and fig trees declined to rule over the others. Their productivity is already valuable, so they have no desire to seek power over others. Likewise, the grape vine decides that the cheer-inducing wine it makes is too important to leave behind to merely serve as king over the trees.

After being rejected by valuable, capable options, the trees in Jotham's tale turn to something not only useless, but dangerous: the bramble bush. This is a clear attack on Abimelech's fitness to rule (Judges 9:14).