Judges 9:54 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 9:54, NIV: Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, 'Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can't say, 'A woman killed him.'' So his servant ran him through, and he died.

Judges 9:54, ESV: Then he called quickly to the young man his armor-bearer and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, lest they say of me, ‘A woman killed him.’” And his young man thrust him through, and he died.

Judges 9:54, KJV: Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died.

Judges 9:54, NASB: Then he called quickly to the young man, his armor bearer, and said to him, 'Draw your sword and kill me, so that it will not be said of me, ‘A woman killed him.’?' So the young man pierced him through, and he died.

Judges 9:54, NLT: He quickly said to his young armor bearer, 'Draw your sword and kill me! Don't let it be said that a woman killed Abimelech!' So the young man ran him through with his sword, and he died.

Judges 9:54, CSB: He quickly called his armor-bearer and said to him, "Draw your sword and kill me, or they'll say about me, 'A woman killed him.' " So his armor-bearer ran him through, and he died.

What does Judges 9:54 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abimelech and his men have been trying to conquer the city of Thebez. They have captured every part of the town except for the city's strong tower, which would have been a stone structure and possibly several stories tall. There, the people have barricaded themselves and gathered on the tower's roof. They seem to have been throwing things down toward Abimelech and his men any time they come within range of the tower's walls. One woman has an upper millstone: a tool used for grinding. These looked like wheels and could weigh around 25 pounds, or 11 kilograms. In some way, her use of the stone is obvious enough that even when he's struck, Abimelech knows what has happened. That impact crushes Abimelech's skull.

Abimelech knows he will quickly die. Yet he does not want his legacy to end with the words "a woman killed him." This would have been considered a humiliating death for a man or a king during this era. The idea was that only weak men could be killed by women or children. If one must die, he hopes to die by the hand of a worthy opponent. Sisera, killed by Jael, suffered this fate (Judges 4:21–23). The kings captured by Gideon sought the honor of being killed by a worthy man (Judges 8:20–21).

Striving to avoid shame, Abimelech orders his armor-bearer to kill him. The armor-bearer obeys and thrusts Abimelech through, either with a sword or spear, killing him before he can die of his head wound. Obviously, Abimelech's command is too little and too late. God's Word records the full story. Centuries later, it will be remembered that he was brought to death by a woman (2 Samuel 11:21). God used this anonymous person to accomplish His plan to bring Abimelech's own sins back to him (Judges 9:56).