Judges 9:56 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 9:56, NIV: Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelek had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers.

Judges 9:56, ESV: Thus God returned the evil of Abimelech, which he committed against his father in killing his seventy brothers.

Judges 9:56, KJV: Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren:

Judges 9:56, NASB: So God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father in killing his seventy brothers.

Judges 9:56, NLT: In this way, God punished Abimelech for the evil he had done against his father by murdering his seventy brothers.

Judges 9:56, CSB: In this way, God brought back Abimelech's evil--the evil that Abimelech had done to his father when he killed his seventy brothers.

What does Judges 9:56 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The writer of Judges has spoken much of God in the telling of Abimelech's story. The main participants on all sides likely worshiped the false gods of the Canaanites. Now, the writer reminds the reader that this bloody incident is squarely in the middle of a wider story: that of God and His relationship with His people, Israel (Judges 2:11–19).

Abimelech was done in by a millstone tossed from a tower by a woman, before being run through by his own armor-bearer (Judges 9:52–54). This verse points out that neither the woman nor Abimelech's servant were ultimately responsible for his death. God brought this evil on Abimelech to repay the evil Abimelech committed against his father Gideon: killing nearly seventy of his brothers (Judges 9:1–6). The fact that few years had passed since that abomination did not mean God had forgotten it (Judges 9:22). In the end, God fulfilled Jotham's curse against Abimelech (Judges 9:7, 19–20) to bring justice to the murderer.

Gideon's triumphant and terrible story ends with the death of a son presumptuously named "the king is my father" (Judges 8:31).