Pyrrhus, King of Epirus: “Another such victory and I am undone!”
In the Book of Judges, Chapter 8, Abimelech, illegitimate son of Gideon, proclaimed himself king of Israel and went about conquering cities. During street fighting in the town of Thebaz, a woman brained him with a piece of a millstone and that was the end of him.
Fast-forward several centuries and hundreds of miles to the west: Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, invaded Italy and there won “pyrrhic victories” (a victory so costly as to be as bad as a defeat) and was finally driven off by the Romans. Returning home to the Balkans, he attempted to conquer Greece. And exactly the same thing happened to him as happened to Abimelech. During a street fight in Argos, a woman on the roof brained Pyrrhus with a piece of a millstone, ending his career in 272 B.C.
How does this happen? Did Greek and Roman historians take that story from the Bible and apply it to Pyrrhus? Or did this remarkable coincidence actually occur? Was the Bible better known throughout the ancient world than we’ve suspected?
The question has to be, Is this what really happened to Pyrrhus? If not, then we simply don’t know how he died. And for a man as famous as Pyrrhus, it’s very hard to imagine how that could be. There were any number of historians writing about Pyrrhus during his lifetime and shortly afterward–but none of them offers a different story of his death.
God passed judgment on both these tyrants, Abimelech and Pyrrhus; and it was the same judgment for each. There is no evidence to suggest otherwise.