Judges 9:21
And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) Went to Beer.—Since Beer means a “well,” it. was naturally a very common name in Palestine. There is nothing to show with certainty whether this Beer is Beeroth in Benjamin (Joshua 9:17), now el Bireh, about. six miles north of Jerusalem (see my Life of Christ, i. 73), or the el Bireh which lies on the road from Shechem to Askalon, or the el Bireh near Endor. Probably Jotham would be safe anywhere in the territories of Judah or Benjamin, without going, as Ewald supposes, to the Beer of Numbers 21:16, on the frontiers of Moab, an ancient sanctuary on the other side of the Jordan, possibly the Beer-elim (palm-well) of Isaiah 15:8.

For fear of Abimelech.—Literally, from the face of Abimelech.

Jdg 9:21. Jotham ran away and fled — Which he might easily do, having the advantage of the hill, and because the people were not forward to pursue a man whom they knew to have such just cause to speak, and so little power to do them hurt. To Beer — A place remote from Shechem, and out of Abimelech’s reach.

9:7-21 There was no occasion for the trees to choose a king, they are all the trees of the Lord which he has planted. Nor was there any occasion for Israel to set a king over them, for the Lord was their King. Those who bear fruit for the public good, are justly respected and honoured by all that are wise, more than those who merely make a figure. All these fruit-trees gave much the same reason for their refusal to be promoted over the trees; or, as the margin reads it, to go up and down for the trees. To rule, involves a man in a great deal both of toil and care. Those who are preferred to public trust and power, must forego all private interests and advantages, for the good of others. And those advanced to honour and dignity, are in great danger of losing their fruitfulness. For which reason, they that desire to do good, are afraid of being too great. Jotham compares Abimelech to the bramble or thistle, a worthless plant, whose end is to be burned. Such a one was Abimelech.These verses contain the interpretation of the fable. In them Jotham points out the base ingratitude of the people in raising Abimelech upon the ruin of Gideon's house, and foretells the retribution which would fall upon both parties. 21. Joatham … went to Beer—the modern village El-Bireh, on the ridge which bounds the northern prospect of Jerusalem. He might easily flee, having the advantage of the hill and other accommodations for flight, and because the people were not forward to pursue a man whom they knew to have such just cause and great provocation to speak, and so little power to do them any hurt.

Beer; a place remote from Shechem, and out of Abimelech’s reach. There were divers places of that name.

And Jotham ran away, and fled,.... Having delivered his fable, and the application of it, he made his escape, having the advantage of being on the top of a mountain, at some distance from the people, and perhaps they might not be inclined to do him any harm:

and went to Beer; which some take to be the same with Baalathbeer in the tribe of Simeon, Joshua 19:8 Jerom (f) says, the village Bera, whither Jotham fled, is eight miles from Eleutheropolis to the north; but Mr. Maundrell (g), who was in those parts in 1697, gives us a better account of it; and, according to him, it is about two hours and a half's travel from Bethel to it, and three hours and one third from it to Jerusalem; Beer, he says, enjoys a very pleasant situation, on an easy declivity, fronting southward; at the bottom of the hill it has a plentiful fountain of excellent water, from which it had its name:

and dwelt there for fear of Abimelech his brother; how long he dwelt there is not certain, and we hear no more of him after this, Josephus says (h) he lay hid in the mountains three years for fear of Abimelech, which perhaps he concluded from Abimelech's reigning three years, as follows.

(f) De loc. Heb. fol. 89. I((g) Journey from Aleppo, &c. p. 64, 66. (h) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 7. sect. 2.

And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. Beer] Unknown; a common name = a well.

Verse 21. - Jotham ran away. Being close to the top of Gerizim, Jotham had the open country before him. It would take the men of Shechem twenty minutes to ascend the hill, by which time Jotham would be out of sight, and two or three miles on his way. Beer, to which he fled, is thought to be either the same as Beeroth, among the heights of the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 9:17), now El-Birch, "the first halting-place for caravans on the northern road from Jerusalem" ('Sinai and Palestine,' p. 210); or a place called by Eusebius Beta, now El-Birch, eight Roman miles from Eleutheropolis (now Beit Jibrin), and possibly the same as the place of the same name described by Maundrell as four hours from Jerusalem, and two hours west of Bethel; or, as Ewald thinks, Beer beyond Jordan (Numbers 21:16). It is impossible to decide which, or whether any, of these is the place designated as Jotham s place of refuge.

CHAPTER 9:22-57 Judges 9:21But Jotham fled to Beer, after charging the Shechemites with their iniquity, and dwelt there before his brother Abimelech ("before," i.e., "for fear of." - Jerome). Beer in all probability is not the same place as Beeroth in the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 9:17), but, according to the Onom. (s. v. Βηρά), a place eight Roman miles to the north of Eleutheropolis, situated in the plain; at present a desolate village called el Breh, near the mouth of Wady es Surr, not far from the former Beth-shemesh (Rob. Pal. ii. p. 132).
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