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

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nature of a divine judgement. 2. and disguise thyself] She

was to put on such a dress that no one would recognise her for the
queen. Ahijah] On Ahijah and Shiloh see above on xi. 29.

which told me that I should be king] B.V. 'Which spake con-
cerning me that I should be king.' 3. cracknels] The word
so rendered is found only here and in Joshua ix. 5. In the present
passage it must mean a sort of cake, perhaps dry baked. The whole
of the present which the queen was to take with her was such as a
woman of humble position would bring. and a cruse] The
word only occurs here and in Jer. xix. 1, 10, where it is rendered
' bottle. 1 he shall tell thee what shall become of the child] It
reveals to us a singular condition of mind, when we see the king
confident hi the prophet's power of foretelling the future even in
the case of an individual life, and yet thinking that the queen
could go to him with her question and he not know who was
making the inquiry. 4. for his eyes were set] The same
expression is used of Eli, 1 Sam. iv. 15. The idea is of one whose
eye has lost its power so that the light no longer acts upon it to



I. KINGS, XIV. 6-11. 91

to ask a thing of thee for her son; for he is sick: thus and
thus shalt thou say unto her : for it shall he, when she cometh
in, that she shall feign herself to be another xcoman. And 6
it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she
came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of
Jeroboam ; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am
sent to thee with heavy tidings. Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus 7
saith the Lord God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee
from among the people, and made thee prince over my people
Israel, and rent the kingdom away from the house of David, 8
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 woa right in mine
eyes; but hast done evil above all that were before thee: for 9
thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images,
to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:
therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jero- 10
boam, 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. Him that dieth of 11



enlarge or contract the pupil. 5. to ash a thing of thee] The

R.V. gives the rendering 'to inquire', which is most common for
the verb, and regards the noun as expository, and so leaves it un-
rendered. The rendering of the A.V. misrepresents the mission.
It was not to ask something for her son, but to inquire concerning
him. thus and thus shalt thou say] The writer, knowing

that immediately he will record the conversation, abbreviates his
story thus to avoid repeating twice the same words. 9. but

hast done evil above all that were before thee] This must refer not
only to the kings who had preceded Jeroboam, but to the cases of
idolatry in the earlier days, e.g. of the Judges. for thou

hast gone] R.V. 'and thou hast gone'. other gods] So

certain was the making of an image, to lead to the introduction
of false worship, that God speaks of it as already effected.

and hast cast me behind thy back] An expression indicative
of the extremest contempt. 10. and toill cut of] The

entire family is to be exterminated. E.V. 'will cut off from
Jeroboam every man child'. and him that is shut up

and left in Israel] The E.V. has given the sense somewhat more
fully: 'him that is shut up and him that is left at large'. That
is whether a man be young and so under wardship, or older, and
free to go about as he pleases. Hence the expression amounts
to 'young and old'. and will tale aivay the remnant]

The sense is, 'I will clear away after the house of Jeroboam 1 , i.e.
not only that they shall be taken away, but all traces of their
existence shall be removed. The R.V. has translated the whole
passage ' and will utterly sweep away the house of Jeroboam,



92 I. KINGS, XIV. 12—18.

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

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

] 3 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 Loud God of Israel in the

14 house of Jeroboam. Moreover the Lord shall raise him up a
king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that

15 day: but what? even now. 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

IS their groves, provoking the Lord to anger. And he shall give
Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and

17 who made Israel to sin. And Jeroboam's wife arose, and
departed, and came to Tirzah : and when she came to the

18 threshold of the door, the child died; and they buried him;

as a man sweepeth away dung*. 11. shall the dogs

eat] It was this circumstance which rendered it so horrible to
the Oriental mind to be cast out unburied. 12. to thine

own house] There is nothing in the text to represent 'own'.

13. And all Israel shall mourn for him] Abijah, though called
'a child' in verses 3, 12 and 17 must have been of such an age as
to exhibit qualities that made him beloved of the people. there

is found some good thing toward the Lord] Out of this expression
has grown the Jewish tradition that Abijah endeavoured, contrary
to the wish of his father, to encourage the people to go up to
Jerusalem to worship. 14. that day] i.e. on which the Lord

hath appointed: the day when the new king shall arise. but

what? even now] This elliptic phrase seems to be best filled out
somewhat thus. But what (am I saying? Why do I speak of that
day? It will so soon come to pass that I may call it) even
now. 15. as a reed is shaken] For this figure of entire

instability, cf. Matt. xi. 7. beyond the river] i.e. The River,

par excellence, the Euphrates. their groves] R.V. their

Asherim. This is a plural form of the word Asherah; which is
the name of a goddess worshipped with rites similar to those of
Baal-worship. 16. and he shall give Israel up] i.e. Into the

bands of their enemies. who did sin, and who made Israel to

sin] It is better with R.V. to take the relative as referring to
1 the sin.' Render which he hath sinned and wherewith he
hath made Israel to sin. 17. and came to Tirzah] This

place has not been identified with certainty. It was an ancient
city, mentioned first Josh. xii. "24. Jeroboam, as we see here,
made it a royal residence, and it was so used, and by some kings
as a place of burial, till Omri built Samaria. to the threshold

of the door] The Hebrew has ' the threshold of the house.'

18. and they buried him] The R.V. transposes 'all Israel,'



I. KINGS, XIV. 19—23. 93

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. And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he 19
warred, and how he reigned, behold they are written in the
book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. And the days 20
which Jeroboam reigned were two and twenty years: and he
slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his
stead.

And Kehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Re- 21
hoboam 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 Ammo-
nitess. And Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they 22
provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had
committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they 23
also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every



putting it before 'buried,' and thus the sentence assumes an
English form. by the hand of] A common Hebrew form

for the simple 'by.' 19. how he warred] His war with

Abijah king of Judah is spoken of in 2 Chron. xiii. 3 — 20. The
history hi that place describes Jeroboam's defeat, and the loss of
five thousand of his men, and the capture of several Israelite cities
by the king of Judah. 20. two and twenty years] So that

Jeroboam's death occurred in the second year of the reign of Asa,
king of Judah. Cf. xv. 9, 25. Nadab his son] We have only

Abijah and Nadab mentioned of Jeroboam's family, but perhaps we
may infer from the language of xv. 29, that these were not the
whole of his' children.

21. Rehoboam was forty and one years old] As Solomon's
reign lasted forty years (xi. 42), this son must have been born a
year or more before his father came to the throne, and Solomon
must have married this Ammonitish wife, Naamah, before Pharaoh's
daughter. The age of Rehoboam makes it strange that he should
have been led by the counsels of young men rather than the
eluers. the Lord did choose] R.V. 'the Lord had chosen/
The choice had been made long before. his mother's name]
The high position and great influence of the queen-mother in
Oriental courts accounts for the regular mention of the mother's
name in the history of each king's reign. (See above on xi. 19.)
The R.V. notes that the national designation of this princess has
the article 'the Ammonitess,' she was probably well known.

22. did evil] R.V. did that which was evil. provoked
him to jealousy] Jehovah had called Himself a jealous God, when
the Law was given on Sinai (Exod. xx. 5). which they had
committed] The word 'had' is better omitted. The sins were still
continuing. 23. high places] We read constantly of
'houses' of the high places, and it is to these erections on some
lofty hills that the 'building' here spoken of applies. See above.



94 I. KINGS, XIV. 24—31.

24 high hill, and under every green tree. 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.

25 And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that

26 Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem : 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

27 the shields of gold which Solomon had made. And king Reho-
boam made in their stead brasen shields, and committed them
unto the hands of the chief of the guard, which kept the door

28 of the king's house. And it was so, when the king went into
the house of the Lord, that the guard bare them, and brought

29 them back into the guard chamber. Now the rest of the acts
of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the

30 book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? And there was

31 war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days. 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.



xii. 31. images'] The R.V. renders by pillars, with ' obelisks '

in the margin. There is nothing in the word itself to denote an
image. and groves'] R.V. Asherim. See above on verse 15.

24. which the Lord cast (R.V. drave) out] The change of
R.V. brings the expression into harmony with nearly all the rest
of the places where this verb occurs.

25. Shishak king of Egypt] See on xi. 40. Shishak is there
represented as giving a friendly reception to Jeroboam. It may
have been at Jeroboam's prompting that the invasion of Judah was
undertaken by him within such a short time after Rehoboam's
accession. 26. he even took aiuay all] On the shields of
gold made by Solomon cf. 1 Kings x. 17. 27. brasen shields]
R.V. 'shields of brass' (or, rather, 'bronze') which is the form
in 2 Chron. xii. 10. chief of the guard] The margin of A.V.
gives Heb. runners. We see from this that the Cherethites (or
Cretans) and Pelethites, of David and Solomon, had disappeared,
and that Rehoboam had only native troops, and those much more
meanly armed. 28. And it was so, when] For 'when' the
R.V. gives, as often as. 30. all their days] R.V. con-
tinually: as the same words are rendered, by A.V., in a very
similar passage. 1 Sam. xviii. 29. 31. and his mother's
name — Ammonitess] The occurrence of these words twice so
close together seems to shew that the compiler of 1 Kings was
drawing from several sources, and that he copied verses 21 — 24
from one narrative just as they stood, and verses 25 — 31 from
another, and that both contained the same piece of information
about Reboboam's mother. Here as in verse 21 we should render
'the Ammonitess.' Abijam his son] Called in 2 Chron. xii. 16,
and elsewhere, Abijah.



1. KINGS, XV. 1—7. 95

Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of 15
Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah. Three years reigned he in 2
Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter
of Abishalom. And he walked in all the sins of his father, 3
which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect
with the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father.
Nevertheless for David's sake did the Lord his God give him a 4
lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to es-
tablish Jerusalem: because David did that which was right in 5
the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing
that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only
in the matter of Urijah the Hittite. And there was war 6
between Kehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.
Now the rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did, are 7
they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings
of Judah ? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.

XV. 1. reigned Abijam over Judah] Better, with B.V. began
Abijam to reign. This is the sense of the verb here, though in
the next verse it must be simply ' reigned.' Abijam] The

name is Abijah in 2 Chron., and, comparing it with other names of
like formation, that appears the more correct. 2. Three

years reigned he] If he began his reign in the eighteenth year of
Jeroboam, and was succeeded by Asa (verse 9) in the twentieth
year of the same king, the three years cannot have been com-
plete. Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom] In 2 Chron.
xiii. 2 Abijah's mother is called ' Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of
Gibeah.' But in 2 Chron. xi. 20 it is said that Behoboam married
'Maachah the daughter of Absalom, which bare him Abijah.'
Abishalom is only another form of Absalom and the person here
meant may be the well-known son of David. 'Daughter' is some-
times used for 'grand-daughter.' Absalom had one daughter,
called Tamar (2 Sam. xiv. 27), who may have married Uriel, and
have had a daughter Maachah. 3. And he walked in all the
sins of his father] For an account of the sins of Behoboam see
above xiv. 22 — 24. as the heart of David his father] The
word 'perfect' as here applied to David, does not mean that he
did not offend. It was prompt repentance which made David to
differ from most of the kings who came after him. 4. a
lamp] Cf. above on xi. 36. 5. save only in the matter of
Urijah the Hittite] See 2 Sam. xi. 4, 15. Time would soften
down the offence which David committed in numbering the people,
so that the compiler of the narrative before us can pass it by in
giving expression to the high estimate which was sure to be enter-
tained of the great king David. 6. And [B.V. Now] there
teas war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam &c] This verse seems
altogether out of place in a notice of the reign of Abijam, and has
been already inserted [xiv. 30] in the history of Behoboam.

7. Now [B.V. And] the rest of the acts of Abijam] Consisting
no doubt principally of the great victory over Jeroboam near mount
Zemaraim (2 Chron. xiii. 17). %oar between Abijam and



96 I. KINGS, XV. 8—14.

8 And Abijam slept with bis fathers; and they buried him in the
city of David : and Asa his son reigned in his stead.

9 And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned
10 Asa over Judah. And forty and one years reigned he in Jeru-
salem. And his mother's name teas Maachah. the daughter of

n Abishalom. And Asa did that which ivas right in the eyes

12 of the Lord, as did David his father. And he took away the
sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his

13 fathers had made. And also Maachah his mother, even her
he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol
in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the

14 brook Kidron. But the high places were not removed: never-
theless Asa's heart was perfect with the Lord all his days.



Jeroboam] Josephus (Ant. vm. 11. 2) says Jeroboam despised
Abijam because of bis youth. 8. And Abijam .slept with

his fathers] If Abijam came to the throne in the 18th year of
Jeroboam and reigned '6 years, bis death would fall in the twenty-
first year of Jeroboam, or if the three years of bis reign were in-
complete at the beginning and end it might occur, as is said
immediately in verse 9, in the 20th year of Jeroboam.

9. reiyned Asa] R.V. began Asa to reign. See on ver. 1 of
this chapter. 10. And his mother's name was Maachah, the

daughter of Abishalom] The most probable explanation of this
clause, which is the same as in verse 2 above, is that the word
4 mother ' is here used for ' grandmother,' and that Asa's own mother
sank into small importance in comparison with her mother-in-law.
Clearly Maa


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Online LibraryJoseph Rawson LumbyThe first book of the Kings : with map, introduction and notes → online text (page 12 of 18)