Daily Tanach, Thursday: Shoftim End of Chapter 9-The battle against the tower of Shechem

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

1.       The battle continues against the residents of the tower of Shechem:

  • The remaining people of Shechem take refuge in a tower: All the people of the tower of Shechem [who were the city leaders who were not in the city during the battle with Avimelech[1]] heard [what happened to the city] and went to the tower of Beis Eil to form a pact with them [to fight against Avimelech]. Avimelech was informed that all the members of the tower of Shechem have gathered against him.
  • Avimelech burns down the tower with everyone in it: Avimelech and his army ascended the mountain of Tzalmon. Avimelech took an axe in his hands and began cutting down trees, and he carried the lumber on his shoulder. He told his people that they should do exactly what he just did [and chop down wood and carry it to the tower]. So, the entire army of Avimelech chopped down trees for their wood and followed Avimelech to the tower [of Beis Eil where the inhabitants of Shechem were enclosed]. They piled the wood around the tower and then lit it afire. The entire tower went aflame and about 1000 men and women, residents of Shechem, were killed.

2.       Avimelech fights the town of Taveitz and is killed in battle:

  • Avimelech went to the city of Taveitz, and he set up camp there [to wage war with them] and he indeed captured it.
  • The people take refuge in the tower: There was a large tower in the city and all the inhabitants, men and women, fled there, together with all the city officials, and barricaded themselves inside. They went up to the roof of the tower.
  • Avimelech attempts to set fire to the tower: Avimelech approached the tower and waged battle against it, and he went to its entrance to set it aflame.
  • A stone falls on the head of Avimelech and he is killed: A certain woman who was on the roof of the tower threw a mill stone onto the head of Avimelech, and she crushed his skull. Avimelech [who was still alive] quickly summoned his lad who carried his weapons and told him to take his sword out of his sheath and kill him, as otherwise people will say of me that a woman killed me. So, the lad stabbed him with the sword, and he died.
  • The people return to their homes: When the Jewish people saw that Avimelech had died they all returned to their areas of living.
  • The curse of Yosam is fulfilled: G-d gave retribution to Avimelech for the evil that he committed to his father by murdering his seventy brothers. Likewise, all the evil perpetrated by the residents of Shechem, G-d gave them retribution, and the curse of Yosam the son of Yerubaal came true.

[1] Radak 9:46

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