The Berean Expositor
Volume 28 - Page 52 of 217
Index | Zoom
Fundamentals of Dispensational Truth.
(Second Series).
#4.  The thirteen Rulers of Israel.
Abimelech the Antichrist. (8:, 9:).
pp. 7 - 12
There are thirteen rulers mentioned by name in the Book of Judges. This is an
ominous number, but is quite in keeping with the general tenor of the book. The last
verse of the last chapter is in a sense a summary of the whole book:
"There was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes."
If we add to this the two occasions when the making of an Ephod played an important
part in the downgrade movement of the book, the antichristian character of its prophetic
and typical teaching becomes evident.
Twelve of Israel's judges were called of God;  the thirteenth was Abimelech, a
usurper, and an evident type of the Man of Sin. Moreover, we observe that Abimelech,
the usurper, is the sixth name in the record. The number 6 is "the number of man", and is
associated with Goliath, Nebuchadnezzar and the Beast of the last days.
Dr. Bullinger went to the trouble of adding up the numerical value of the names of the
twelve judges and found that it was a multiple of 8; whereas the title of Abimelech, Ben
Jerubbaal, is a multiple of 13.
It is sad to think that Gideon was the father of Abimelech and that Abimelech was the
offspring of a concubine:
"And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many
wives. And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he
called Abimelech" (Judges 8: 30, 31).
"And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal (i.e. Gideon) went to Shechem" (Judges 9: 1).
It seems that, by this time, Shechem had become a centre of apostacy. And yet it was
at Shechem that God had first appeared to Abraham in Canaan (Gen. 12: 6); and at
Shechem Jacob had built his altar (Gen. 33: 20). Here also had been pronounced the
blessings and cursings from Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. And here, after the death
of Gideon, is established the worship of Baal-berith (Judges 9: 4).
In the opening verses of Judges 9:, Abimelech suggests to the men of Shechem that
Gideon's seventy sons are seeking dominion over them. This was a most unreasonable
and unlikely suggestion, but it suited Abimelech's plan to give it currency.