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(iii) HISTORY OF THE KINGS WHO REIGNED IN JERUSALEM, FROM REHOBOAM TO THE EXILE (2 Chronicles 10:1-19).
(1) The Revolt of the Ten Tribes. The Reign of Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 10-12.).
(a) The Revolt of the Ten Tribes against the Dynasty of David (2 Chronicles 10:1 to 2 Chronicles 11:4). Comp. the parallel narrative in 1 Kings 12:1-24.
Considered by itself, this section might be pronounced a transcript of 1 Kings 12:1-24. Such differences as appear in the Hebrew text are mostly unimportant, consisting of merely verbal modifications and omissions not affecting the general sense. (See Intro. §6; and the commentary on the passage in Kings.)
(1) To Shechem.—Sh’kémah, with accusative ending; Kings, Sh’kem. “Were come,” pf. plural; Kings, singular.
(2) Who was in Egypt.—Really a parenthesis, “And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard (now he was in Egypt, whither he had fled from the face of Solomon the king), that Jeroboam returned from Egypt.” The chronicler has omitted to say he was still in Egypt (‘ôdennû, Kings), because he has not alluded before to his flight thither. (See 1 Kings 11:26-40.)
That Jeroboam returned out of Egypt.—Kings continues the parenthesis, “and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt.” The words dwelt and returned are spelt with the same letters in Hebrew, the difference being one of pointing only.
(3) And they sent and called him.—To the assembly. (Comp. 1 Kings 12:20.)
All Israel.—Chron. omits assembly of. “Came,” singular; Kings, plural.
(4) Made . . . grievous . . . ease thou.—Made hard . . . lighten.
Now therefore.—And now. Kings and the Syriac here, “and thou now”—w’attah ‘attah: an assonance which the chronicler has avoided, at the expense of the proper emphasis, which lies on thou. (Some Hebrew MSS. and the Vulgate and Arabic read, and thou.) (Comp. 2 Chronicles 10:10, and thou . . . lighten it.)
(5) Come again unto me after three days.—Hob., Yet three days and return unto me. The verb go ye (Kings) seems to have fallen out before the first words. The LXX., Syriac, and Arabic have it.
Departed.—Singular; Kings, plural. Contrast 2 Chronicles 10:1.
(6) Before Solomon.—“Liphnê Sh’lomoh” the common formula for “‘eth-p’nê Sh’lomoh” (Kings).
To return answer to . . .—Literally, to return to this people a word; Kings, “to return this people a word” (double accusative)—a construction preserved in 2 Chronicles 10:9 below.
(7) If thou be kind to this people.—A free paraphrase of, “If to-day thou become a servant to this people and serve them” (Kings)—words which may have seemed inappropriate to the redactor, in connection with the king, but which form a pointed antithesis to the last clause of the verse, “they will be thy servants for ever.”
And please them.—Be propitious to them, receive them graciously (raçah). (Genesis 33:10.) Kings, “answer them.”
(8) That stood before him.—The chronicler has omitted a redundant expression (‘asher).
(9) And he said unto them.—The verse agrees with Kings to the letter.
(10) Spake unto him.—Heb., with him; probably a mistaken repetition. Kings, “unto him,” and so LXX.; but Syriac, “with him.”
The people.—This people (Kings).
But make thou it somewhat lighter for us.—Literally, And thou lighten from upon us. LXX., well: καὶ σὺ ἄφες�.
Thus shalt thou say.—Kings, “speak.”
My little finger.—The word “finger” should not be italicised. The word qôten means “little finger.”
(11) For whereas . . .—Literally, And now, my father . . . and I, I will add to your yoke.
Whips . . . scorpions.—The whips . . . the scorpions.
I will chastise you.—These words are found in the text of Kings, both here and in 2 Chronicles 10:14.
(12) So Jeroboam.—Literatim as Kings.
(13) Them.—Kings, “the people.”
King Rehoboam.—Not in Kings, which adds, “that they counselled him.”
(14) And answered them.—And spake unto them.
My father made your yoke heavy.—The Targum and a large number of Hebrew MSS. read, “I will make heavy.” This appears to be an error arising out of a fusion of the two words ‘abî hikhbîd into ’ahhbîd. All the versions have the reading of the text.
Thereto.—“To your yoke” (Kings).
(15) The cause was of God.—It was brought about by God. Literally, it was a turn or turning-point (of events) from with God. The word n’sibbah is equivalent to sibbah of Kings. Both are isolated in the Old Testament. The latter is the common word for “cause” in Rabbinic, as sibbath sibbôth—causa causarum.
That the Lord might perform his word.—The chronicler does not deviate from the text of Kings here, although he has not mentioned Ahijah’s prophecy to Jeroboam before. (Comp. 2 Chronicles 9:29. )
(16) And when all Israel saw.—Now all Israel had seen. Kings: “And all Israel saw.” The chronicler makes a new start. (The word “saw” is wanting in very many Hebrew MSS., and in LXX., Vulg., and Targ., and some Hebrew editions.)
Answered.—Returned the king—scil., a word, which Kings supplies.
Every man to your tents, O Israel.—Literally, A man (’îsh) to thy tents, &c. The word “man” is probably spurious, being due to a repetition of the letters of the preceding proper name Jesse (Heb., Yishai or Ishai). Kings, LXX., Vulg. are without it, but Syriac has it.
See to thine own house—i.e., govern Judah, thine own tribe. Vulg., “pasce domum tuam.”
(18) Hadoram.—Kings, “Adoram.” LXX. (Vat.), Adoniram. (Comp. 1 Kings 4:6.)
The tribute.—The levy (ha-mas).
The children of Israel.—Kings, “all Israel.”
Made speed.—Had made speed.
His chariot.—The (royal) chariot.
(19) Unto this day.—Neither the compiler of Kings nor the chronicler saw fit to alter a phrase which no longer applied to the political circumstances of their own day. (Comp. 1 Chronicles 4:41; 1 Chronicles 4:43; 1 Chronicles 5:26.)
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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://studylight.org/
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