The Youngest Son’s Story

A couple of days ago I posted a scene from the book of Judges involving good and bad choices made by Gideon, also known as Jerubbaal.  After Gideon’s death, Abimelech the son makes a move to become the king of Shechem.  In the process, he kills 70 of his brothers.  One, Jotham, escapes.  This youngest of sons has a story to speak against his murderous brother when the leaders of Shechem gather.  It’s a nice story, a good poetic moment from Judges 9 in what is truly a bloody mess:

When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood on top of Mount Gerizim and cried aloud and said to them, “Listen to me, you leaders of Shechem, that God may listen to you. The trees once went out to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my abundance, by which gods and men are honored, and go hold sway over the trees?’ 10 And the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us.’11 But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go hold sway over the trees?’ 12 And the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 13 But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my wine that cheers God and men and go hold sway over the trees?’ 14 Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 15 And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade, but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’

And then, tale finished, the youngest son lets the story hang there, hoping that the people will realized they have settled for bramble instead of embracing something better.

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