Son of Gideon (or Jerubbaal) and a concubine from Shechem. Upon the death of Gideon, Abimelech got himself proclaimed king at Shechem (Judg. 9), contrary to the tradition in Israel which held that Yahweh alone was king. Before long the town rejected Abimelech but by way of reprisal he destroyed it; there is archaeological evidence of the destruction of Shechem between 1150 and 1125 BCE. He was killed while besieging Thebez by a woman who heaved a millstone and broke his skull (Judg. 9: 53).