Judges 9:8
New International Version
One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, 'Be our king.'

New Living Translation
Once upon a time the trees decided to choose a king. First they said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king!’

English Standard Version
The trees once went out to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’

Berean Study Bible
One day the trees set out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ’Reign over us.’

New American Standard Bible
"Once the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, 'Reign over us!'

New King James Version
“The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them. And they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us!’

King James Bible
The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us.

Christian Standard Bible
The trees decided to anoint a king over themselves. They said to the olive tree, "Reign over us."

Contemporary English Version
Once the trees searched for someone to be king; they asked the olive tree, "Will you be our king?"

Good News Translation
Once upon a time the trees went out to choose a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, 'Be our king.'

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The trees set out to anoint a king over themselves. They said to the olive tree, "Reign over us."

International Standard Version
"Once upon a time the trees went out to consecrate a king for themselves. "So they told the olive tree, 'Reign over us!'

NET Bible
"The trees were determined to go out and choose a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, 'Be our king!'

New Heart English Bible
The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive tree, 'Reign you over us.'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"The trees went to anoint someone to be king over them. They said to the olive tree, 'Be our king!'

JPS Tanakh 1917
The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive-tree: Reign thou over us.

New American Standard 1977
“Once the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us!’

Jubilee Bible 2000
The trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us.

King James 2000 Bible
The trees went forth once to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign you over us.

American King James Version
The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive tree, Reign you over us.

American Standard Version
The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive-tree, Reign thou over us.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive, Reign over us.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The trees went to anoint a king over them: and they said to the olive tree: Reign thou over us.

Darby Bible Translation
The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive-tree, Reign over us.

English Revised Version
The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us.

Webster's Bible Translation
The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive-tree, Reign thou over us.

World English Bible
The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive tree, 'Reign over us.'

Young's Literal Translation
'The trees have diligently gone to anoint over them a king, and they say to the olive, Reign thou over us.
Study Bible
Jotham's Parable
7When this was reported to Jotham, he climbed to the top of Mount Gerizim, raised his voice, and cried out: “Listen to me, O leaders of Shechem, and may God listen to you. 8One day the trees set out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ 9But the olive tree replied, ‘Should I stop giving my oil that honors both God and man, to hold sway over the trees?’…
Cross References
Judges 9:7
When this was reported to Jotham, he climbed to the top of Mount Gerizim, raised his voice, and cried out: "Listen to me, O leaders of Shechem, and may God listen to you.

Judges 9:9
But the olive tree replied, 'Should I stop giving my oil that honors both God and man, to hold sway over the trees?'

2 Kings 14:9
But Jehoash king of Israel replied to Amaziah king of Judah: "A thistle in Lebanon sent a message to a cedar in Lebanon, saying, 'Give your daughter to my son in marriage.' Then a wild beast in Lebanon came along and trampled the thistle.

2 Chronicles 25:18
But Jehoash king of Israel replied to Amaziah king of Judah: "A thistle in Lebanon sent a message to a cedar in Lebanon, saying, 'Give your daughter to my son in marriage.' Then a wild beast in Lebanon came along and trampled the thistle.

Treasury of Scripture

The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive tree, Reign you over us.

the trees.

2 Kings 14:9
And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle.

Ezekiel 17:3
And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar:

Daniel 4:10
Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.

olive tree.

Judges 8:22,23
Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian…







Lexicon
One day the trees
הָעֵצִ֔ים (hā·‘ê·ṣîm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6086: Tree, trees, wood

set out
הָל֤וֹךְ (hā·lō·wḵ)
Verb - Qal - Infinitive absolute
Strong's Hebrew 1980: To go, come, walk

to anoint
לִמְשֹׁ֥חַ (lim·šō·aḥ)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 4886: To rub with oil, to anoint, to consecrate, to paint

a king
מֶ֑לֶךְ (me·leḵ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4428: A king

for themselves.
עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם (‘ă·lê·hem)
Preposition | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against

They said
וַיֹּאמְר֥וּ (way·yō·mə·rū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

to the olive tree,
לַזַּ֖יִת (laz·za·yiṯ)
Preposition-l, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2132: An olive, the tree, the branch, the berry

‘Reign
מָלְכָ֥ה (mā·lə·ḵāh)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine singular | third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4427: To reign, inceptively, to ascend the throne, to induct into royalty, to take counsel

over us.’
עָלֵֽינוּ׃ (‘ā·lê·nū)
Preposition | first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against
(8) The trees went forth.--As in this chapter we have the first Israelite "king" and the first massacre of brethren, so here we have the first fable. Fables are extremely popular in the East, where they are often current, under the name of the slave-philosopher Lokman, the counterpart of the Greek 'sop. But though there are many apologues and parables in Scripture (e.g., in the Old Testament, "the ewe lamb," 2Samuel 12:1-4; Psalms 80; Isaiah 5:1-6, &c), there is only one other "fable," and that is one closely akin to this (2Kings 14:9). St. Paul, however, in 1Corinthians 12:14-19, evidently refers to the ancient fable of Menenius Agrippa, about the belly and the members (Liv. 2:30). A "fable" is a fanciful story, to inculcate prudential morality. In the Bible "trees" seem to be more favourite dramatis person? than the talking birds and beasts of other nations. "Went forth" is the emphatic phrase "going, they went." The scenery immediately around Jotham would furnish the most striking illustration of his words, for it is more umbrageous than any other in Palestine, and Shechem seems to rise out of a sea of living verdure. The aptitude for keen and proverbial speech seems to have been hereditary in his family (Joash, Judges 6:31; Gideon, Judges 8:2).

To anoint a king over them.--Evidently the thought of royalty was, so to speak, "in the air." It is interesting to find from this passing allusion that the custom of "anointing" a king must have prevailed among the neighbouring nations.

Unto the olive tree.--This venerable and fruitful tree, with its silvery leaves and its grey cloud-like appearance at a distance, and its peculiar value and fruitfulness, would naturally first occur to the trees.

Verse 8. - The trees, etc. This is the earliest example of a fable in Scripture; indeed the only one except that in 2 Kings 14:9. It is remarked that in the Indian and Greek fables the animals are the dramatis personae, the fox, the lion, the ass, etc.; whereas in the only two specimens of Hebrew fable remaining to us, the members of the vegetable kingdom, the olive, the fig, the vine, the bramble, the cedar, the thistle, are the actors and speakers. The parable, of which Isaiah 5:1-7 is a beautiful example, is quite different in its structure. Like the inimitable parables of our Saviour in the New Testament, it sets forth Divine troth under an image, but the image and all its parts are in strict accordance with nature. In the Scripture allegory real persons and their actions prefigure the actions and the persons which they are intended to represent (see Matthew 12:39, 40; Galatians 4:21-31; Hebrews 11:19). Allegorical personages may, however, be fictitious, as in the 'Pilgrim's Progress.' The general meaning of this fable is clear. The trees worthy to reign for their intrinsic excellence refused the proffered kingdom one after another. The vilest and most unworthy accepted it. The result would be that a fire would burst out from the despicable bramble, and set fire to the lofty cedar tree. Thus Gideon refused the kingdom, and his sons had virtually refused it likewise. The base-born Abimelech had accepted it, and the result would be a deadly strife, which would destroy both the ungrateful subjects and the unworthy ruler. 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.
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OT History: Judges 9:8 The trees went forth on a time (Jd Judg. Jdg) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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