New Defender's Study Bible Notes
9:6 men of Shechem. The town of Shechem had had a remarkable history. Its original Hivite male inhabitants had been slain by Simeon and Levi (Genesis 34:25). Later, Joseph was buried there (Joshua 24:32). In the division of the lands by Joshua, Shechem was in Ephraim’s allocation, but near the edge of Manasseh. It was rather centrally located in Israel and Abimelech evidently thought it would also make a good capital. However, it had been given to the Levites and designated by Joshua as one of the six cities of refuge (Joshua 20:7; 2l:21). Joshua’s farewell address (Joshua 24) had been delivered there. Just who these “men of Shechem” were who conspired with Abimelech is uncertain, though presumably they were Ephraimites rather than Levites.