Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 13

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-34

Chapter 13

And so there came a young man out of Judah by the word of the LORD to Bethel: where Jeroboam was standing by the altar ready to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD ( 1 Kings 13:1-2 );

There is that character in Los Angeles that has the golden altar and I've been tempted to go up and cry against his altar. "O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord."

Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones will be burnt upon thee. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath [This is the sign by which the Lord has spoken.]spoken; Behold, the altar shall be torn, and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out ( 1 Kings 13:2-3 ).

Now he prophesies that there's going to be a king raised up, a descendant of David, Josiah by name. Now this is long before Josiah was ever born. But he prophesies exactly what Josiah is going to do in the offering of the priest there upon the high places that burn incense on this altar. And in order that you might know that God has really spoken, this altar is going to be torn in two and the ashes are going to be spilled out.

So it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which cried against the altar there at Bethel, that he said, Lay hold on him. [Put forth his hand, lay hold on that man.] And his hand, he just lost its use, it just dropped and he had no use for that hand or arm. He could not pull it back to him again ( 1 Kings 13:4 ).

He just lost use of it.

And the altar was torn or rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign of the man of God that he had given by the word of the LORD. And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Pray now the face of Jehovah thy God, pray for me, that my hand may be restored again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and it became as it was before. And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give you a reward. And the man of God said unto the king, If you will give me half your house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that you came. So he went home another way, other than what he had come to Bethel. Now there was an old prophet there in Bethel; and his sons came home and they told him all of the things that happened ( 1 Kings 13:5-11 ):

How this young prophet came from Judah and prophesied and how the king's arm lost its use and was restored, how that the whole prophesy. And the old man said, "What way did he go?" And so the sons told him.

And he said, Saddle my donkey. And he got on his donkey: and he pursued after this young prophet. And he came to him and found him under an oak and he was just sitting there: and he said, Are you the prophet who came from Judah? And he said, I am. And he said, Come on home with me, and eat bread. And he said, I may not return with you, nor go in with you: neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that you came. And he said unto him, I am a prophet myself; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into your house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. And it came to pass, as they were sitting at the table, the word of the LORD came to the old prophet that had brought him back: And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as you have disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and you have not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, But you came back, and you have eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of which the LORD did say unto thee, Eat no bread, drink no water; thy carcase will not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. And so it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and he had drunk, that he saddled for him the donkey. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the donkey stood by it, and the lion also stood by the carcase. [So men came into town, and they said, we saw an interesting sight, a young man out there. He was killed by a lion and the lion and the donkey are standing by his carcase.] And the old man said, That truly must be the young prophet. He said, Saddle my donkey. And he went up and he found the young man lying there, and the lion and the donkey standing by. And he brought him back: and he buried him in his own sepulchre. And he said to his boys, he said, When I die, [he said,] I want you to bury me next to the bones of this young prophet ( 1 Kings 13:13-31 ).

Now it's an interesting story that surely has an important lesson for us. And that is we better pay attention to what the Lord has to say to us and not what man has to say to us.

There is a movement afoot within the United States that is called the Shepherding Doctrine. And in this you are to submit yourself unto a shepherd who is responsible to lead you and to guide you in your spiritual development and growth. So you take an older person in the Lord, one with more maturity, an older man, and you submit yourself to him. He becomes your shepherd. He tells you when you can buy a house, when you can sell a house, when you can buy a car and just what job you should take, and so forth. I mean, you bring all of your decisions to him and he shepherds over you and he watches over you and your spiritual growth. He tells you when to do things and what to do and so forth. And you are to submit totally to your shepherd. You are to pay all your tithes to that shepherd, and you commit totally your decisions in your life to him.

It's really sort of a pyramid thing. Some guys at the top started it. They're the head shepherd and all of these other shepherds are under them. And it's sort of like those pyramid sales games where you know you get so many reps under you and then you get a certain percentage of all what your reps sell and they get reps under them and you get a certain percentage of what their reps sell and you know you get this pyramid thing going and the guys at the top really make out great. And so these shepherds that are at the top, and all of the shepherds pay their tithes, of course, on up the line ultimately get up here to the top shepherds. And they've got this whole thing going and many people have gone for it.

Now they say that if your shepherd tells you to do something, you've got to submit to him and do it even if it is wrong. And if it is wrong, your shepherd is responsible and will have to answer to God. You are right because you submitted and obeyed your shepherd. So you're free, even though what you've done is wrong, you'll be free because you obeyed your shepherd and you were submitting to him. And thus, he will be the one that will be responsible to God for the wrong things that you've done because he told you to do them. If they would only read this account, they would find out that God holds each man responsible for what God has told them to do.

Now this young prophet, the Lord said, "When you get there, don't eat any bread, don't drink any water in that place. And when you come back don't even come back by the same route you went." So the old man, an old prophet, finds him and he says, "Come on home with me. Eat bread and drink water."

And he said, "No, I can't. The Lord commanded me not to. Wow, I'm also a prophet, you see. I'm an older man. And an angel came and spoke to me and said, Come and bring him and invite him back."

The old man was lying to him. Told him to do something that was not according to the word of the Lord to him directly. And as the result, the young man disobeyed the Lord's command that the Lord had given to him.

You are responsible to listen to God and to follow the Lord and the Lord's command. And God will hold you responsible for that. And of course, he's back there eating bread and drinking water and the true prophecy then came from the old man that he was not going to get back home, that the Lord would take him before he could get home, which of course, did happen.

Now after this experience that Jeroboam had where God was giving to him a warning, verse thirty-three.

Jeroboam did not turn away from his evil doings, but he made the lowest people priests there in the high places: and whoever he would, he consecrated, and he became one of the priests of the high places. And this thing became a sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the eaRuth ( 1 Kings 13:33-34 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.