Judges 9:33 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 9:33, NIV: In the morning at sunrise, advance against the city. When Gaal and his men come out against you, seize the opportunity to attack them.'

Judges 9:33, ESV: Then in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, rise early and rush upon the city. And when he and the people who are with him come out against you, you may do to them as your hand finds to do.”

Judges 9:33, KJV: And it shall be, that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and set upon the city: and, behold, when he and the people that is with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them as thou shalt find occasion.

Judges 9:33, NASB: Then in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you shall rise early and attack the city; and behold, when he and the people who are with him come out against you, you shall do to them whatever you can.'

Judges 9:33, NLT: In the morning, as soon as it is daylight, attack the city. When Gaal and those who are with him come out against you, you can do with them as you wish.'

Judges 9:33, CSB: Then get up early, and at sunrise attack the city. When he and the troops who are with him come out against you, do to him whatever you can."

What does Judges 9:33 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abimelech's authority as lord over Shechem and the region (Judges 9:1–6) has been challenged by the same leaders who appointed him (Judges 9:22–25). Their latest tool is a newcomer: a man named Gaal has openly bragged to the city leaders, that if he were in charge, he would remove Abimelech from power by force (Judges 9:26–29).

When this happens, Abimelech is away from the city. His officer Zebul hears all about it. He takes the threat with deadly seriousness and sends a messenger to warn Abimelech of a potential uprising. He also sends Abimelech a plan to quickly overcome the challenger (Judges 9:30–32).

Zebul wants Abimelech and his men to hide in the field outside the city's eastern gate by the cover of darkness. When the sun comes up it will shine directly into the eyes of anyone trying to defend the gate from an eastern attack. Abimelech and his men can rush the city to defeat Gaal and whomever else is with him at the gate. This is even more strategic in that the plain outside the gate is surrounded by hills. These would create strategic shadows even as the sun rose—giving even more cover to those charging the city. Zebul will take special advantage of this obscured view (Judges 9:36).