Judges 9:52
And Abimelech came to the tower, and fought against it, and went hard to the door of the tower to burn it with fire.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(52) Went hard unto the door.—Hard, i.e., close. Like other bad men, Abimelech was not lacking in physical courage. He had all his father’s impetuous energy. The peril of such rashness served the Israelites as a perpetual warning (2Samuel 11:21).

To burn it with fire.—He naturally anticipated another hideous success like that at Millo.

9:50-57 The Shechemites were ruined by Abimelech; now he is reckoned with, who was their leader in villany. Evil pursues sinners, and sometimes overtakes them, when not only at ease, but triumphant. Though wickedness may prosper a while, it will not prosper always. The history of mankind, if truly told, would greatly resemble that of this chapter. The records of what are called splendid events present to us such contests for power. Such scenes, though praised of men, fully explain the Scripture doctrine of the deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of the human heart, the force of men's lust, and the effect of Satan's influence. Lord, thou has given us thy word of truth and righteousness, O pour upon us thy spirit of purity, peace, and love, and write thy holy law in our hearts.Went hard unto the door ... - i. e. went close to the door. An act of manifest danger, seeing the roof was covered with persons who would be likely to throw down missiles of all sorts on the heads of their assailants. But the hatred of Abimelech, and his thirst for revenge, made him despise danger. 51-53. all the men and women, … gat them up to the top of the tower—The Canaanite forts were generally mountain fastnesses or keeps, and they often had a strong tower which served as a last refuge. The Assyrian bas-reliefs afford counterparts of the scene here described so vivid and exact, that we might almost suppose them to be representations of the same historic events. The besieged city—the strong tower within—the men and women crowding its battlements—the fire applied to the doors, and even the huge fragments of stone dropping from the hands of one of the garrison on the heads of the assailants, are all well represented to the life—just as they are here described in the narrative of inspired truth [Goss]. No text from Poole on this verse. And Abimelech came unto the tower,.... With his army to besiege it:

and fought against it; using all the methods he could to oblige those in it to surrender:

and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire; in order to get entrance into it; and perhaps the tower was built of stone, so that no other part could be set fire to; and to do this he drew near to the door himself, for nothing more is meant by the phrase, "went hard", than drawing near in his own person to the door; hazarding his life in the enterprise, being so bent upon it, thinking to do by this tower what he had done to the hold of the temple of Baalberith.

And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 52. - To burn it with fire - encouraged by his success at the tower of Shechem. When the inhabitants of the castle of Shechem ("lords of the tower of Shechem" equals "all the house of Millo," Judges 9:6) heard of the fate of the town of Shechem, they betook themselves to the hold of the house (temple) of the covenant god (Baal-berith), evidently not for the purpose of defending themselves there, but to seek safety at the sanctuary of their god from fear of the vengeance of Abimelech, towards whom they also had probably acted treacherously. The meaning of the word צריח, which answers to an Arabic word signifying arx, palatium, omnis structura elatior, cannot be exactly determined, as it only occurs again in 1 Samuel 13:6 in connection with caves and clefts of the rock. According to v. 49, it had a roof which could be set on fire. The meaning "tower" is only a conjecture founded upon the context, and does not suit, as צריח is distinguished from מגדּל.
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