Unlike his worthy father Gideon, Abimelech was a very ambitious man. We may view ambition positively in our day, but Abimelech's ambition was Machiavellian and highly self-centered. After setting the stage for himself, Abimelech seized power in Israel by killing 69 of his 70 brothers. He had arranged with his family on his mother's side to take control after his father's family was eliminated. But, God provided for justice by protecting Gideon's youngest son, Jotham. When Jotham (who had been hiding) realized how everything had panned out, he spoke a parable about the rise of his half-brother into power. Jotham compared his father Gideon to a wonderful olive tree and Abimelech to a feeble thorn bush. In his analogy he called for God to bring justice upon the men of Shechem and upon Abimelech by causing them to destroy each other.