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The first book of the Kings : with map, introduction and notes online

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choose some place out of all the tribes 'to place His name there,'
and in 1 Kings xiv. 21 Jerusalem is expressly called 'the city
which the Lord did choose out of all the tribes of Israel to put
His name there.'

14. And the Lord stirred up an adversary unto Solomon] In
David's time Edom had been reduced, but hi the later days of
Solomon, when his heart was turned away, an opportunity is
offered for the representative of Edom to seek to recover his
kingdom. Hadad the Edomite] Hadad was apparently a

common name among the Edomite royal family. he was of

the king's seed] And, from his action, apparently the heir to the
throne. 15. when David was in Edom] The time alluded to

is the period of David's conquests (2 Sam. viii. 14), when it is said
that all Edom became his servants. and Joab the captain of

the host was gone up to bury the slain] On Joab, see i. 7. The slain
were the Israelites who had fallen in David's war with Edom. To
bury these the captain of the host was appointed, and he abode
after that work was over, till all were cut off, or driven away,
from whom there could be any fear of resistance. after he

had smitten every male in Edom] This can only mean, as just
stated, those persons who were likely to rebel against Israel.

16. for six months] Not too long a time for establishing garri-
sons to hold the land. with all Israel] This like the last
verse must be understood only of such forces as were engaged in
this war. 17. his father's servants] This seems conclusive



I. KINGS, XI. 18—22. 75

to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child. And they 18
arose out of Midian, and came to Paran : and they took men
with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh
king of Egypt; which gave him a house, and appointed him
victuals and gave him land. And Hadad found great favour 19
in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife the sister
of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen. And the 2
sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes
weaned in Pharaoh's house : and Genubath was in Pharaoh's
household among the sons of Pharaoh. And when Hadad 21
heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that
Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh,
Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country. Then 22
Pharaoh said unto him, But what hast thou lacked with me,
that behold, thou seekest to go to thine own country ? And
he answered, Nothing: howbeit let me go in any wise.



that Hadad's father had been king of Edom. to go into Egypt]

In David's days, Egypt was not, as it became m the reign ol
Solomon, closely bound up with the interests of Israel. Hence the
defeated Edomites could look for a refuge there. Hadad being

yet a little child] Solomon uses the same expression of himself in
iii 7. It implies youth, but not necessarily infancy. 18. And

they arose out of Midian] It is not easy to decide what place or
district is meant by Midian. The country so called m the time of
Moses (Exod. ii. 15, iii. 1) could not have been far away from
Mt Sinai, and the fugitives from Edom would hardly have made
their way to such a distance before setting out on their journey to
Egypt Paran] By this name seems to be meant that wilder-

ness which beginning on the south of Judah and south-west of
Edom is now known as El-Tih, and which was the scene ol the
wanderings of the Israelites. unto Pharaoh king of hgypt]

This king may have been the immediate predecessor of the monarch
whose daughter Solomon married. victuals] Heb. 'bread,' i.e.

a regular sustenance for himself and those he had brought with
him 19. the queen] The Hebrew word is not the usual

word for 'queen,' but a title of special honour, used occasionally
(1 Kings xv. 13 ; 2 Chron. xv. 16) for the ' queen-mother,' always a
person of great influence in an Oriental court. 20. weaned]

The weaning of a child was a great event in Eastern families, and
an occasion of much rejoicing. 21. when Hadad heard in

Eqiipt that David slept with his fathers] Hadad s first attempt to
depart from Egypt was therefore soon after Solomon s accession.
It is clear however from the history that it was only after some
pressure that the Egyptian king allowed him to go. and that

Joab the captain of the host teas dead] Joab's name would be one
to spread terror, because of the severity he had displayed toward
Edom Hadad therefore waited to hear of his death also, before
he ventured to take any step for his own restoration. 22. let

me go in any wise] The verb is not the same as that translated go



70 I. KINGS, XI. 23—26.

23 And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son
of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah •

24 and he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a
band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to

25 Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus. And
he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside
the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and
reigned over Syria.

26 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda,



in the former part of the verse. The R.V. marks the difference by
rendering depart here, as the word corresponds to that so trans-
lated hi 21.

23. Rezon the son of Eliadah] The latter name should be written
Eliada (as K.V.). There is nothing more known with certainty
about this Rezon. The events to which allusion is made in this
verse are related 2 Sam. viii. 3 — 8. There Hadadezer is called ' the
son of Rehob.' He was thoroughly defeated by David, who there-
upon put garrisons in Syria of Damascus. It cannot therefore
have been immediately after the overthrow of Hadadezer that
Rezon and his party established themselves in Damascus. For a
time, at all events (2 Sam. viii. 6), 'the Syrians became servants to
David and brought gifts.' Rezon most likely escaped when his
master was defeated, aud waited till a convenient opportunity
offered, and then tried to establish himself as king over Syria.

fled from his lord] This flight may have taken place before
David's attack on Hadadezer. king of Zobah] This king-

dom is mentioned in the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon, but
then is heard of no more. 24. and became captain over a

band] (R.V. troop). The word is mostly used of martial gather-
ings, and organized forces, and this is the sense here. Rezon
gathered, and trained his followers till they were able to dislodge
the troops of Israel and establish themselves in Damascus.

when David slew them of Zobah] The two last words are neces-
sary to complete the sense. It is clear that others beside Rezon
fled away. It may have been that Hadadezer was an unpopular
king. Out of the fugitives Rezon formed for himself a troop, and
awaiting his time, came back and assumed the sovereignty.
and they went to Damascus'] i.e. When an opportunity came about
of entering into a city, they left a wandering life and settled
within walls. and dwelt therein] Making a permanent settle-

ment, and reigned in Damascus] If this verb be correct, the

sense is that this band of warriors seized the city, and made
themselves in a body lords of the place and its people. 25. all

the days of Solomon] Probably Rezon was able to establish himself
in Damascus even before the death of David. and he abhorred

Israel] Though he had deserted Hadadezer this was no reason why
he should side with the Israelitish invaders.

26. Jeroboam the son of Xebat] This is the first mention of
him who afterwards is so frequently spoken of as the man 'who
made Israel to sin.' an Ephrathite] Better with R.V, an



I. KINGS, XI. 27—31. 77

Solomon's servant, whose mother's name ivas Zeruah, a widow
woman, even he lift up his hand against the king. And this 27
was the cause that he lift up his hand against the king: Solo-
mon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David
his .father. And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of 28
valour : and Solomon seeing the young man that he was indus-
trious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of
Joseph. And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam 29
went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite
found him in the way ; and he had clad himself with a new
garment; and they two were alone in the field: and Ahijah 30
caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve
pieces: and he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces; for 31

Ephraimite. The word Epliratlrite would mean one born at
Ephratali, i.e. Bethlehem. This cannot be true of Jeroboam, from
the Avords of the verse before us. of Zereda~\ The Hebrew

spelling requires Zeredah (as E.V.). This place must have been
near or in the hill country of Ephraim. Solomon's servant]

i.e. One who had been employed by Solomon. The works were
not necessarily unimportant, on which such servants were em-
ployed. But it makes the term a little more significant if (with
R. V.) we render a servant of Solomon. he lift up his hand

against] A phrase indicative of rebellion and very expressive
here. For Jeroboam was one of Solomon's own people, whose
hand might be expected to be with him, and not against kim.

27. Millo] Eead the Millo. See above on ix. 15. and

repaired the breaches of the city of David] The verb signifies 'to
close up ' and the noun is in the singular. Hence ' to close up the
breach' has been thought to mean the building a wall across the
valley between Zion and Moriah, and so making the ravine between
these mountains inclosed within the walls. This valley was known
at a later time as the Tyropoeon. 28. and Solomon seeing]

The verb is finite, therefore render (with E.V.) saw. he

made him rider over all the charge of, &c] Better with E.V., and
he gave him charge over all the labour {Heb. burden) of the
house of Joseph, i.e. the tribe of Ephraim. The labour here spoken
of is that compulsory work, which the Israelites did by turns for
parts of the year, and which the tributary subject-population were
constantly employed upon. 29. at that time] i.e. while the

building- works at the Millo and the completion of the wall were in
progress. Ahijah the Shilonite] This prophet, whose home

was in Shiloh (see xiv. 2), is mentioned in connexion with this
prophecy to Jeroboam, and again when Jeroboam sends his wife to
inquire about the issue of his child's sickness. and he had

clad himself] i.e. Ahijah had done so. The R.V. inserts the proper
name in italics to make the sense clearer in the English.

30. and Ahijah caught] R.V. laid hold of. The word is fre-
quently used of the taking prisoners captive. 31. Take thee
ten pieces] With this symbolical action of Ahijah may be compared
the 'horns of iron' which Zedekiah made (1 Eings xxii. 11) to ex-



78 I. KINGS, XI. 32—40.

thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rent the
kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes

32 to thee: (but he shall have one tribe for my servant David's
sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen

33 out of all the tribes of Israel :) because that they have forsaken
me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zido-
nians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god
of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways,
to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes

34 and my judgments, as did David his father. Howbeit I will
not take the whole kingdom out of his hand : but I will make
him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake,
whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my

35 statutes: but I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand,
3(j and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes. And unto his son

will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light
alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen

37 me to put my name there. And I will take thee, and thou shalt
reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king

38 over Israel. And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all
that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that
is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my command-
ments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and
build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give

39 Israel unto thee. And I will for this afflict the seed of David,

40 but not for ever. Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam.

press most significantly the way hi which he prophesied that Aliab
should repulse the Syrians. out of the hand of Solomon] i.e. of

his immediate successor, as is explained in verse 34. 32. he

shall have one tribe] Benjamin was so small a tribe as scarcely to
be worth counting. Judah was to give name to the southern part
of the divided kingdom. 33. they have forsaken] The

examples of men in high place are infectious. Solomon's idolatry
had led away others. and to keep my statutes] The verb

which in the previous clause is rendered ' to do,' can hi Hebrew be
joined with all the nouns that follow. The English however
requires a different verb with 'statutes.' Hence 'to keep' is
inserted in italics, though the Hebrew construction is quite com-
plete. 36. a light] Literally ' a lamp.' The idea is quite
an Oriental one. In the tent was hung the lamp, for constant
lighting, and the permanency of the home is implied in the lamp
which is not extinguished. 37. according to all that thy
soul desireth] Or (as margin E.V.) 'over all &c.' The prophet
was, as it appears, aware of Jeroboam's ambition. 38. And it
shall he &c] The condition on which Jeroboam is set up is the
same as that laid down for the family of David. 39. but
not for ever] The glorious promises made to David's line were not
to lie withdrawn, and in the Messiah were abundantly fulfilled.
40. Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam] No doubt the



I. KINGS, XI. 41— XII. 2. 79

And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king
of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.

And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and 41
his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of
Solomon ? And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem 42
over all Israel was forty years. And Solomon slept with his 43
fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father : and
Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.

And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come 12
to Shechem to make him king. And it came to pass, when 2
Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it,
(for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jero-

aspirations of Jeroboam, and the prophetic act and words of
Ahijah would come to the king's ears, and make him anxious to
remove such a rival. unto Shishak king of Egypt] This is the

first Egyptian king whose name, as distinguished from his title,
is recorded in the Old Testament. He has been identified with
Sesonchosis, who is mentioned by Manetho as the first king of the
twenty-second dynasty. He appears to have come to the throne
about 988 B.C. though some calculations place bim a little later.
He came (xiv. 25) against Jerusalem in the reign of Rehoboam, and
took away much treasure from the temple and the king's house.

41. And the rest of the acts] R.V. Now the rest, &c. the

look of the acts of Solomon] Attached to the royal household was
an official recorder, who kept a chronicle of events and thus pre-
pared the sources of future history. 42. forty years] The
same length of reign as that of Saul and David.

XII. 1. And Rehoboam went to Shechem] The parallel
passage hi 2 Chrou. xi. 1 — 15 is almost identical with what is
given here. It is clear from the narrative that, though Rehoboam
Avas acknowledged as the rightful successor to his father, there
was a desire among the people to modify the character of the
government. Shechem, was a city of considerable antiquity in the
hill country of Ephraim, and of such strength and importance that
Jeroboam fortified and strengthened it to be the royal city of the
ten tribes. for all Israel were come to Shechem] There was

a distinction, even while the kingdom was all one, between ' the
men of Israel' and 'the men of Judah' (see 2 Sam. xix. 40 — 43).
It seems not improbable that the arrangement for this gathering
at Shechem was a sort of protest by the men of the north against
the southern tribes who, because Jerusalem was in their part of
the land, may have claimed to be the ruling portion of the nation.

2. And it came to jmss] The R.V. makes the parenthesis com-
mence a little earlier and extend a little further than is shewn in
A.V. The connexion thus becomes: And it came to pass when
'Jeroboam... heard of it (for he was yet hi Egypt whither he
had fled. ..and they sent ...him;) that Jeroboam' &c. heard

of it] There must have been some interval between the death of
Solomon and the gathering of the people at Shechem. The charac-
ter and purpose of this meeting must also have been settled before-



80 I. KINGS, XII. 3—10.

3 boam dwelt in Egypt;) that they sent and called him. And
Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake

4 unto Rehoboam, saying, Thy father made our yoke grievous:
now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father,
and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will

5 serve thee. And he said unto them, Depart yet for three

6 days, then come again to me. And the people departed. And
king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before
Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do you

7 advise that I may answer this people ? And they spake unto
him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this
day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good

8 words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever. But
he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given
him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up

9 with him, and which stood before him: and he said unto them,
What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who
have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke w T hich thy father

10 did put upon us lighter ? And the young men that were grown

hand, so that news of what was intended could be carried to
Jeroboam, and he could come back into Israel, and take the lead.

3. that they sent] Better, And they sent : see the previous note.
Clearly there was a feeling that some change was at hand, and the
knowledge of Ahijah's prophecies had not been confined to Jeroboam
and Solomon. and called hint] Knowing that he would be ready
to come. Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel] But the

object of sending for Jeroboam was clearly that he might be the
prime mover in the agitation, and by taking part in the popular
petition he would prepare the way for the invitation sent to him as
mentioned below hi verse 20. 4. make thou the grievous

service. -.lighter] Josephus says they naturally expected to gain
then request, and especially as the king was a young man.

6. And king Rehoboam consulted] R.V. reads here (to harmo-
nise with 2 Chron.), took counsel, and similarly in verse 8 'and
took counsel with the young men.' the old men] These

persons must have been advanced in years, and perhaps were not
in public office under Rehoboam. The age of Rehoboam on his
accession was 41 years (xiv. 21). How do you advise that I

may answer] R.V. Wnat counsel give ye me to return
answer. 7. If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this

day] What was meant was that for the time the king should give
way and obey the popular voice. 8. young men that were

grown up ivith him] i.e. Who were about the same age. It is not
needful to suppose that they had been educated with him from
their youth up. 9. that we may answer] Better, 'may

return answer' as the words are precisely those of verse 6. It is
noteworthy that Rehoboam includes the young counsellors with
himself and says ' we ' when he speaks to them, but does not in the
same way join the elder men with himself in the qnestion of verse 6.



I. KINGS, XII. 11-16. 81

up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak
unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made
our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt
thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my
father's loins. And now whereas my father did lade you with n
a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke : my father hath chastised
you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. So 12
Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day,
as the king had appointed,. saying, Come to me again the third
day. And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook 13
the old men's counsel that they gave him; and spake to them 14
after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made
your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also
chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scor-
pions. Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for 15
the cause was from the Lord, that he might perform his
saying, which the Lord spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto
Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto it,
them, the people answered the king, saying,

What portion have we in David ?

Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse :
# To your tents, Israel :

10. my little, finger shall be (K.V. is) thicker than my fathers
loins] The italics of A.V. shew that the word 'finger' is ex-
planatory, and not represented in the text. There can however be
no doubt that the text is here correctly expounded by 'my little
finger.' 11. with whips] We have no record of such an act

on the part of Solomon, and it may be the phrase is only meta-
phorical, with scorpions] Most likely some sort of lash on
Avhich metal points were fixed so that each blow might wound like
a scorpions sting. 12. as the king had appointed] K.\ T. has
'as the king bade.' 15. Wherefore the king] Better, as
R.V., 'So the khitf.' The original has merely the ordinary copu-
lative, for the cause was from the Lord] E.V. for it was a
thing brought about of the Lord. The Hebrew noun signifies
'the turn of events.' For a similar idea, compare the case of
Pharaoh (Exod. iv. "21). The course of events had been shaped by
Solomon's transgression, and they were left by God to work out
their natural results. The sin of the father was here visited on
the child. perform his saying] E.V. establish his word.
This is the rendering of the same words in A.V. 1 Sam. i. 23.

16. all Israel saw that the king hearkened not] Josephus says
' they were struck bv his words as by an iron rod.' TJ hat

portion hare we in David f] Very similar words were used (2 bam.
xx. 1) by Sheba the Benjamite when he strove to rouse the people
against David. The tribe of Judah was more closely connected
with the house of Jesse, because his home was at Bethlehem.
To your tents, Israel] i.e. Disperse to your homes, that you

I. KINGS "



82 I. KINGS, XII. 17—21.

Now see to thine own house, David.

17 So Israel departed unto their tents. But as for the children
of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned

18 over them. Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who teas over
the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he
died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to

19 his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel rebelled against

20 the house of David unto this day. And it came to pass, when
all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent
and called him unto the congregation, and made him king
over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of
David, but the tribe of Judah only.

21 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled
all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred
and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to
fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again



may take steps for protecting yourselves. see to thine oicn

house] As though the tribe to which he belonged was now all that
would be left to him. 17. the children of Israel xohich dwelt

in the cities of Judah] We see from expressions like this that we
must not necessarily make 'Israel' include only the notthern
tribes. 18. Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram] The same

man who is called Adoniram in ch. iv. 6. He presided over the
forced labour service, and it was an additional sign of the infatua-
tion of Rehoboam, that a person so likely to be obnoxious to the
people should be sent as the king's representative. vho was

over the tribute] Read, with R.V. 'over the levy.' See above on
iv. 6. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed] The idea is ' he


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Online LibraryJoseph Rawson LumbyThe first book of the Kings : with map, introduction and notes → online text (page 10 of 18)