1Ki 14:1-20. Ahijah
Denounces God's Judgments against Jeroboam.
1. At that time—a phrase used often
loosely and indefinitely in sacred history. This domestic incident in
the family of Jeroboam probably occurred towards the end of his reign;
his son Abijah was of age and considered by the people the heir to the
2. Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee,
and 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 this extreme caution was an unwillingness
to acknowledge that he looked for information as to the future, not to
his idols, but to the true God; and 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 his queen, either insult or refuse to
receive her. 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!
3-11. And take with thee ten loaves, and
cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him—This was a
present in unison with the peasant character she assumed. Cracknels are
a kind of sweet seed-cake. The prophet was blind, but having received
divine premonition of the pretended countrywoman's coming, he addressed
her as the queen the moment she appeared, 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
8. thou hast not been as my servant
David—David, though he fell into grievous sins, repented and
always maintained the pure worship of God as enjoined by the law.
10, 11. 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 shut 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 peculiar phrase occurs only
in regard to the threatened extermination of a family (1Sa 25:22-34). See the manner of extermination
12. the child shall die—The death and
general lamentation felt through the country at the loss of the prince
were also predicted. The reason for 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.
13. all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury
him—the only one of Jeroboam's family who should receive the
rites of sepulture.
14. the Lord shall raise him up a king … but
what? even now—namely, Baasha (1Ki 15:27); he was already raised—he was in
being, though not in power.
17. Tirzah—a place of pre-eminent beauty
(So 6:4), three hours' travelling east of
Samaria, chosen when Israel became a separate kingdom, by the first
monarch, and used during three short reigns as a residence of the royal
house. 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].
Its site is occupied by the large village of Taltise [Robinson]. 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 [1Ki 14:12].
19. the rest of the acts of
Jeroboam—None of the threatenings denounced against this
family produced any change in his policy or government.
1Ki 14:21-24. Rehoboam's
21. he reigned … in Jerusalem—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 and its attendant
his mother's name was Naamah an
Ammonitess—Her heathen 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 (1Ki 12:23), as well as by the large immigration of
Israelites into his kingdom (1Ki 12:17; 2Ch 11:16), he continued for the first three
years of his reign a faithful patron of true religion (2Ch 11:17). But afterwards he began and encouraged
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, the idolatrous statues, the groves and impure rites that
with unchecked license were observed in them. The description is suited
to the character of the Canaanitish worship.
1Ki 14:25-31. Shishak Spoils
25, 26. Shishak king of Egypt came up—He
was the instrument in the hand of Providence for punishing the national
defection. Even though this king had been Solomon's father-in-law, he
was no relation of Rehoboam's; but there is a strong probability that
he belonged to another dynasty (see on 2Ch
12:2). He was the Sheshonk of the Egyptian monuments, who is
depicted on a bas-relief at Karnak, as dragging captives, who, from
their peculiar physiognomy, are universally admitted to be Jews.
29. Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam …,
are they not written in the book of the chronicles?—not the
book so called and comprehended in the sacred canon, but the national
archives of Judah.
30. 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.