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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 14

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick.

At that time - a phrase used often loosely and indefinitely, in sacred history. This domestic incident in the family of Jeroboam probably occurred toward the end of his reign. His son Abijah was of age, and considered by the people the heir to the throne.

Verse 2

And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people.

Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise ... disguise thyself. His natural and intense anxiety as a parent is here seen, blended with the deep and artful policy of an apostate king. The reason of his extreme caution was an unwillingness to acknowledge that he looked for information as to the future, not to any of the prophets of Beth-el, but to an independent prophet of the true God; a fear that this step, if publicly known, might endanger the stability of his whole political system; and a strong impression that Ahijah, who was greatly offended with him would, if consulted openly by himself, either insult or refuse to receive him. For these reasons he selected his wife as in every view the most proper for such a secret and confidential errand, but recommended her to assume the garb and manner of a peasant woman. Strange infatuation! To suppose that the God who could reveal futurity could not penetrate a flimsy disguise.

Verse 3

And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.

Ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey. This was a present in unison with the peasant character she assumed. Cracknels [ niqudiym (H5350)] are a kind of sweet seed-cake or biscuit, which crumbled easily (cf. Joshua 9:5; Joshua 9:12). [Septuagint, kulluria, a cruse of honey: baqbuq (H1228), a bottle; from a root signifying to pour out, and expressive of the gurgling sound made in emptying; Septuagint, stamnon, a pitcher or jar. The Septuagint also, along with the Syriac version, adds, stafidas, dried grapes.] Harmer is of opinion, founded on an account by D'Arvieux of a present made to him by the mother and sister of an Arab emir consisting of viands very similar to the present described in this passage, that it was not so mean a donation as we are apt to suppose. The prophet was blind; but having received divine premonition of the pretended country woman's coming, he addressed her the moment she appeared, as the queen, apprised her of the calamities which, in consequence of the ingratitude of Jeroboam, his apostasy, and outrageous misgovernment of Israel, impended over their house, as well as over the nation which too readily followed his idolatrous innovations.

Verses 4-7

And Jeroboam's wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. But Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 8

And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes;

Hast not been as my servant David - who, though he fell into grievous sins, repented, and always maintained the pure worship of God, as enjoined by the law. David lived under the ancient dispensation, when, it must be always remembered, the breach of the commandments, in their full and spiritual meaning, was no breach of the Sinai covenant, since heart sins were neither punished by depth nor expiated by sacrifice; and since provision was made even for defects in outward obedience, sacrifices being appointed for all offences that were not committed presumptuously and with a high hand (Numbers 15:22-31). The precept, therefore, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart," considered in connection with the Sinai covenant, only requires such a regard to the Deity as that obedience be given to the letter of His commandments. It does not in this view demand sinless perfection, but such an obedience as fallen creatures have actually yielded;-David, for instance, who is said 'to have kept God's commandments, followed him with all his heart, and did that only which was right in his eyes' (cf. 2 Kings 23:25: see Erskine, 'On the Nature of the Sinai Covenant').

Verse 9

But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 10

Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.

I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam. Strong expressions are here used to indicate the utter extirpation of his house. "Him that is about up and left in Israel," means those who were concealed with the greatest privacy, as the heirs of royalty often are where polygamy prevails; the other phrase, from the loose garments of the East having led to a different practice from what prevails in the West, cannot refer to men: it must signify either a very young boy, or rather, perhaps, a dog-so entire would be the destruction of Jeroboam's house, that none, not even a dog, belonging to it should escape. This special phrase occurs only in regard to the threatened extermination of a family (1 Samuel 25:22-34. See the manner of extermination, 1 Kings 16:4; 1 Kings 21:24).

Verse 11

Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it. No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 12

Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die.

The child shall die. The death and general lamentation felt throughout the country at the loss of the prince were also predicted. The reason of the profound regret shown at his death arose, according to Jewish writers, from his being decidedly opposed to the erection of the golden calves, and using his influence with his father to allow his subjects the free privilege of going to worship in Jerusalem.

Verse 13

And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

And bury him - the only one of Jeroboam's family who should receive the rites of burial (Deuteronomy 28:6).

Verse 14

Moreover the LORD shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day: but what? even now.

The Lord shall raise him up a king ... but what? even now - namely, Baasha (1 Kings 15:27): he was already raised-he was in being, though not in power.

Verses 15-16

For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 17

And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: and when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died;

Tirzah - the residence of an ancient king of Canaan; a place of pre-eminent beauty (Song of Solomon 6:4), and probably of great salubrity also, three hours traveling east of Samaria; chosen, when Israel became a separate kingdom, by the first monarch, in whose reign, 'it was to Shechem what Windsor is to London' (Porter's 'Handbook,' p.

348), and used during three short reigns (about 40 years) as a residence of the royal house (Joshua 12:24; 1 Kings 15:17-21). The fertile plains and wooded hills in that part of the territory of Ephraim gave an opening to the formation of parks and pleasure grounds similar to those which were the 'paradises' of Assyrian and Persian monarchs (Stanley, 'Sinai and Palestine,' p. 240). Its site is occupied by the large village of Tulluzah, next to Thebez (Tubas), district of Haritheh, north of Nabulus (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 3:, p. 158; also Second Appendix). As soon as the queen reached the gate of the palace, she received the intelligence that her son was dying, according to the prophet's prediction.

Verse 18

And they buried him; and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by the hand of his servant Ahijah the prophet.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 19

And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred, and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

The rest of the acts of Jeroboam. None of the threatenings denounced against this family produced any change in his policy or government.

Verse 20

And the days which Jeroboam reigned were two and twenty years: and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his stead.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 21

And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess.

Reigned in Judah - the southern kingdom.

Rehoboam was forty and one years old - (see the notes at 2 Chronicles 13:7.) Its particular designation as "the city which the Lord did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there," seems given here, both as a reflection on the apostasy of the ten tribes, and as a proof of the aggravated wickedness of introducing idolatry its attendant vices there.

His mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess, [ Na`ªmaah (H5279), pleasant; haa-`Amoniyt (H5985), the Ammonitess; Septuagint, hee Amoonitis]. Her pagan extraction, and her influence as queen-mother, are stated to account for Rehoboam's tendency to depart from the true religion. Led by the warning of the prophet (1 Kings 12:23), as well as by the large immigration of Israelites into his kingdom (1 Kings 12:17; 2 Chronicles 11:16), he continued for the first three years of his reign a faithful patron of true religion (2 Chronicles 11:17). But afterward he began and carried on a general apostasy; idolatry became the prevailing form of worship, and the religious state of the kingdom in his reign is described by the high places [ baamowt (H1116); Septuagint, hupseela (cf. 2 Kings 17:9-10)], the idolatrous statues [matseebowt, pillars, idol-images (2 Kings 3:2; 2 Kings 10:26; 2 Kings 18:4; 2 Kings 23:14); Septuagint, steelas].

Verse 22

And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 23

For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.

Groves, [ 'Asheeriym (H842)] - Asherah, wooden or stone images of a symbolical tree, representing the host of heaven (cf. 2 Kings 21:7; 2 Kings 23:6; 2 Kings 23:15: see 'The Palaces of Nineveh and Persia,' p. 301); according to Gesenius, relievo figures of Astarte, and impure rites, that with unchecked license were observed in them. The description is suited to the character of the Canaanite worship.

Verse 24

And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 25

And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem:

Shishak king of Egypt came up. He was the instrument in the hand of Providence for punishing the national defection. He was the first member of the 22nd dynasty, (see the notes at 2 Chronicles 12:1-16) - the Sh-sh-k of the Egyptian monuments. He was the Sesonchis of the Greek lists. [The Septuagint calls him: Sousakim.] Champollion discovered in one of the palaces at Thebes the Egyptian name of this king in a cartouche or hieroglyphic oval, and a figure representing a prisoner, with his hands bound behind his back, with an unmistakeably Jewish physiognomy, and with this inscription in the oval-Judah Melek kah, 'king of the country of Judah' (Champollion, 'Tab.,' 76; Gliddon's 'Ancient Egypt,' p. 9; 'Egyptian Court' (Crystal Palace), p. 33; Browne's 'Ordo Saeclorum,' sec. 513; Osburn's 'Mon. Hist.,' 2: pp. 99, 599). The names of Shishak and his successors of this dynasty are frequently found among the monumental ruins of Bubastis, in the east of the Delta, which they made their capital (Wilkinson's 'Ancient Egyptians,' 2:, pp. 428, 429).

Verse 26

And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made.

He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house. 'The spoliation made seems to have extended to more things than the articles enumerated here. Although the cost of the targets and shields would be somewhere about 239,000 pound sterling, it is said, "he took all," - probably meaning all that was required to pay his expenses-not all that was in the house,' (Napier, 'Ancient Workers in Metal,' p. 114: see the notes at 2 Chronicles 12:1-16.)

Verses 27-28

And king Rehoboam made in their stead brasen shields, and committed them unto the hands of the chief of the guard, which kept the door of the king's house.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 29

Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

Rest of the acts of Rehoboam ... written in ... the Chronicles - not the book so called, and comprehended in the sacred canon, but the national archives of Judah.

Verse 30

And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days.

There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. The former was prohibited from entering on an aggressive war; but as the two kingdoms kept up a jealous rivalry, he might be forced into vigilant measures of defense, and frequent skirmishes would take place on the borders.

Verse 31

And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead.

And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess. This is a repetition of what was previously said (see the notes at 1 Kings 14:21). [The Septuagint omits this here; but in 1 Kings 12:24 of that version, which corresponds to this verse of the Hebrew text, it is added, Naanan, thugateer Ana huiou Naas basileoos huioon Ammoon, daughter of Ana (Hanun), the son of Nahash, king of the Ammonites.]

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/1-kings-14.html. 1871-8.
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