Judges 9:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 9:3, NIV: When the brothers repeated all this to the citizens of Shechem, they were inclined to follow Abimelek, for they said, 'He is related to us.'

Judges 9:3, ESV: And his mother’s relatives spoke all these words on his behalf in the ears of all the leaders of Shechem, and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, “He is our brother.”

Judges 9:3, KJV: And his mother's brethren spake of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, He is our brother.

Judges 9:3, NASB: So his mother’s relatives spoke all these words on his behalf in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem; and they were inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, 'He is our relative.'

Judges 9:3, NLT: So Abimelech's uncles gave his message to all the citizens of Shechem on his behalf. And after listening to this proposal, the people of Shechem decided in favor of Abimelech because he was their relative.

Judges 9:3, CSB: His mother's relatives spoke all these words about him in the hearing of all the citizens of Shechem, and they were favorable to Abimelech, for they said, "He is our brother."

What does Judges 9:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The leaders of Shechem saw Abimelech as one of their own. This son of Gideon's concubine was a hometown boy. When Abimelech's mother and extended family began campaigning for him to be made king instead of being under the continued authority of Gideon's other seventy sons, Shechem's leaders did not mind the idea (Judges 9:1–2).

Gideon famously refused to be named the official ruler over all of Israel (Judges 8:22–23). Instead, he insisted the Lord would rule His people directly. Still, the details recorded in these passages suggest Gideon had served as a kind of ruler, in practice. In this case, it seems his sons—all seventy of them—held authority over the land and the people of Shechem. It's not surprising that Shechem's leaders preferred answering to only one of Gideon's sons instead of all of them.