Judges 9:37 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 9:37, NIV: But Gaal spoke up again: 'Look, people are coming down from the central hill, and a company is coming from the direction of the diviners' tree.'

Judges 9:37, ESV: Gaal spoke again and said, “Look, people are coming down from the center of the land, and one company is coming from the direction of the Diviners’ Oak.”

Judges 9:37, KJV: And Gaal spake again and said, See there come people down by the middle of the land, and another company come along by the plain of Meonenim.

Judges 9:37, NASB: And Gaal spoke yet again and said, 'Look, people are coming down from the highest part of the land, and one unit is coming by way of the diviners’ oak.'

Judges 9:37, NLT: But again Gaal said, 'No, people are coming down from the hills. And another group is coming down the road past the Diviners' Oak.'

Judges 9:37, CSB: Then Gaal spoke again, "Look, troops are coming down from the central part of the land, and one unit is coming from the direction of the Diviners' Oak."

What does Judges 9:37 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abimelech's right-hand man in the city of Shechem, Zebul, has arranged an ambush for the man who would take the throne (Judges 9:30–33). He has planned for this moment, sending secret word to Abimelech to position his men in the fields outside the city under the cover of darkness. Using the eastern gate, they can hide in the shadows of dawn, attacking at sunrise. Somehow, Zebul arranged for Gaal and others to be at the city's eastern gate. Gaal is clearly unaware that Zebul is against him. He has pointed out what he sees—or thinks he sees—by saying that people are coming down from the mountains. Zebul's initial response to that is a lie, dismissing it as a trick of the light (Judges 9:34–36).

Quickly, though, Gaal insists that people are coming down from the central hill, most likely meaning the one due east. He then spots another company, approaching from the direction of "The Diviners' Oak." This location likely wasn't used for divination at that time and was probably just a well-known landmark.