Judges 9:26 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 9:26, NIV: Now Gaal son of Ebed moved with his clan into Shechem, and its citizens put their confidence in him.

Judges 9:26, ESV: And Gaal the son of Ebed moved into Shechem with his relatives, and the leaders of Shechem put confidence in him.

Judges 9:26, KJV: And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him.

Judges 9:26, NASB: Now Gaal the son of Ebed came with his relatives, and crossed over into Shechem; and the leaders of Shechem trusted him.

Judges 9:26, NLT: One day Gaal son of Ebed moved to Shechem with his brothers and gained the confidence of the leading citizens of Shechem.

Judges 9:26, CSB: Gaal son of Ebed came with his brothers and crossed into Shechem, and the citizens of Shechem trusted him.

What does Judges 9:26 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The leaders of Shechem supported Abimelech in his quest to become their king (Judges 9:1–6). They helped him kill all but one of Gideon's other sons so no one could challenge his status as heir to Gideon's influence. But God turned the leaders of Shechem and Abimelech against each other (Judges 9:22–24). The ones who made Abimelech ruler are living in rebellion against him. That begins by causing civil disruption: arranging bandits to plague the trade routes in and out of Shechem (Judges 9:25).

Betrayal becomes tangible when Shechem's elders accept a new leader to stand for them and against Abimelech. Gaal, son of Ebed, moves into Shechem with his relatives. Some scholars suggest the term "brothers," in this case, means Gaal's fellow scoundrels, as well as his family. He may have been moving back home, while others think of him and his family as settling in Shechem after living elsewhere. In any case, Gaal soon gains the confidence of the apparently fickle city leaders and noblemen. They recruit him to their side in the conflict with their king Abimelech.

More noteworthy is the poetic nature of this new rival's name: the words in Ga'al bēn 'Ebed literally mean "loathing," "son of" and "servant." Abimelech's name means "the king is my father." However, when Jotham delivered his condemnation (Judges 9:7), he made a point of calling Abimelech the son of a servant (Judges 9:18). At least in a poetic sense, Gaal's name can be interpreted as "loathing the son of the servant."