Apparently it is a dishonor to be killed by a woman. Sisera fell prey to that and now in this chapter we see that Abimelech also was killed by a woman, or at least didn’t want history to reflect that he was killed by a woman so he had his slave kill him. Abimelech has an even spottier history than his father, Gideon. He attempts in this chapter to establish a monarchy, and actually succeeds. When his father died then apparently he had put his 70 children, I can’t even imagine, in charge of the promised land.
But Abimelech was someone who was a bit power hungry, okay, a lot power hungry. He rallies his family to mutiny against his other siblings, all 70 of them, and eventually he kills them all on one stone, except his little brother who somehow gets away. His little brother is a bit indignant and tells him that he is going to pay for what he did. He tells a bit of a riddle, or a poem in order to prove his point. His little brother runs away because he recognizes that he probably isn’t super safe. A couple of the battles are reflected and Abimelech ends up winning these battles and rules over the land for 3 years, but they are not peaceful years. It is a rough stretch in the history of Israel. And no, Abimelech was not a judge appointed by God. He was a person who took power into his own hands and did what was evil in the sight of God.