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Judges 9:42

ESV On the following day, the people went out into the field, and Abimelech was told.
NIV The next day the people of Shechem went out to the fields, and this was reported to Abimelek.
NASB Now it came about the next day, that the people went out to the field, and it was reported to Abimelech.
CSB The next day when the people of Shechem went into the countryside, this was reported to Abimelech.
NLT The next day the people of Shechem went out into the fields to battle. When Abimelech heard about it,
KJV And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech.

What does Judges 9:42 mean?

Abimelech is still angry with Shechem. The city was disloyal to his appointed rule (Judges 9:22–25). On the previous day, he defeated a rebellion by the city's leaders and a man named Gaal (Judges 9:26–29; 39–40). Many of the leaders were wounded and likely lost their positions of power in the city.

As far as Scripture has recorded so far, the common citizens of Shechem were not involved in the rebellion against Abimelech. They did not participate in the battle of the previous day. They seem to assume Abimelech was content to run Gaal out of town and punish the city's leaders. So, they go out to work the fields as on any other day. Their intent seems only to accomplish their regular work. When Abimelech is told this, he sees an opportunity to punish the entire population of Shechem for not standing with him.
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