Judges 9:48 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 9:48, NIV: he and all his men went up Mount Zalmon. He took an ax and cut off some branches, which he lifted to his shoulders. He ordered the men with him, 'Quick! Do what you have seen me do!'

Judges 9:48, ESV: And Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people who were with him. And Abimelech took an axe in his hand and cut down a bundle of brushwood and took it up and laid it on his shoulder. And he said to the men who were with him, “What you have seen me do, hurry and do as I have done.”

Judges 9:48, KJV: And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid it on his shoulder, and said unto the people that were with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done.

Judges 9:48, NASB: So Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people who were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand and cut down a branch from the trees, and lifted it and put it on his shoulder. Then he said to the people who were with him, 'What you saw me do, hurry and do likewise.'

Judges 9:48, NLT: so he led his forces to Mount Zalmon. He took an ax and chopped some branches from a tree, then put them on his shoulder. 'Quick, do as I have done!' he told his men.

Judges 9:48, CSB: So Abimelech and all the troops who were with him went up to Mount Zalmon. Abimelech took his ax in his hand and cut a branch from the trees. He picked up the branch, put it on his shoulder, and said to the troops who were with him, "Hurry and do what you have seen me do."

What does Judges 9:48 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The city of Shechem is surrounded by nearby mountains, many of which have played a significant role in Abimelech's story (Judges 9:6–7). Mount Zalmon is unknown to modern scholars, but it was apparently well forested.

Intent on destroying who and what remains in Shechem (Judges 9:22–25; 39–41), Abimelech takes an ax and leads his men to Zalmon. He does not explain anything. Instead, he just shows his followers what to do. He cuts down as much brushwood as he can carry on his shoulder and tells those with him to quickly do the same. He is in a hurry to be done with Shechem once and for all.

While Abimelech is cutting brush, his enemies are huddled in a temple, believing they are safe (Judges 9:46–47). The Hebrew terminology used here implies they are in a kind of underground bunker: a "stronghold." Abimelech brings wood, rather than more soldiers, and proves this location is not invincible (Judges 9:49).