Judges 9:29 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 9:29, NIV: If only this people were under my command! Then I would get rid of him. I would say to Abimelek, 'Call out your whole army!''

Judges 9:29, ESV: Would that this people were under my hand! Then I would remove Abimelech. I would say to Abimelech, ‘Increase your army, and come out.’”

Judges 9:29, KJV: And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.

Judges 9:29, NASB: If only this people were under my authority! Then I would do away with Abimelech.' And he said to Abimelech, 'Enlarge your army and come out!'

Judges 9:29, NLT: If I were in charge here, I would get rid of Abimelech. I would say to him, 'Get some soldiers, and come out and fight!''

Judges 9:29, CSB: If only these people were in my power, I would remove Abimelech." So he said to Abimelech, "Gather your army and come out."

What does Judges 9:29 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Gaal is merely the next immoral man being manipulated by the leaders of Shechem (Judges 9:1–6; 22–26). He is making a passionate speech about Abimelech, the appointed ruler of Shechem. He has been drinking with lords and noblemen of the city who already agree with his view. Gaal has said that no son of Gideon—at all (Judges 8:31)— should be ruling over the sons of Shechem's founder Hamor (Judges 33:19). Gideon was an outsider, so why is the son of an outsider their leader (Judges 9:28)?

It's likely Gaal is speaking with the kind of bravery that only alcohol can provide (Judges 9:27). So, it's not surprising he reveals his own ambition. If only he were the king of Shechem, he would make some much-needed changes. For starters, he would challenge Abimelech to battle, defeat him and his army, and remove him from the throne. As a boast, Gaal declares he would tell Abimelech to build an even bigger army and then come out to fight him.

This may be drunken talk goaded on by the leaders of Shechem, but Abimelech will treat the challenge with deadly seriousness (Judges 9:34).