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Prophecy Against Jeroboam
1At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. 2And Jeroboam said to his wife, “Arise, and disguise yourself, that it not be known that you are the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh. Behold, Ahijah the prophet is there, who said of me that I should be king over this people. 3Take with you ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what shall happen to the child.”
4Jeroboam's wife did so. She arose and went to Shiloh and came to the house of Ahijah. Now Ahijah could not see, for his eyes were dim because of his age. 5And the Lord said to Ahijah, “Behold, the wife of Jeroboam is coming to inquire of you concerning her son, for he is sick. Thus and thus shall you say to her.”
When she came, she pretended to be another woman. 6But when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another? For I am charged with unbearable news for you. 7Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: “Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over my people Israel 8and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, and yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my eyes, 9but you have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods and metal images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back, 10therefore behold, I will bring harm upon the house of Jeroboam and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will burn up the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone. 11Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat, for the Lord has spoken it.”’ 12Arise therefore, go to your house. When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. 13And 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 something pleasing to the Lord, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam. 14Moreover, the Lord will raise up for himself a king over Israel who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam today. And henceforth, 15the Lord will strike Israel as a reed is shaken in the water, and root up Israel out of this good land that he gave to their fathers and scatter them beyond the Euphrates, because they have made their Asherim, provoking the Lord to anger. 16And he will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, which he sinned and made Israel to sin.”
17Then Jeroboam's wife arose and departed and came to Tirzah. And as she came to the threshold of the house, the child died. 18And all Israel buried him and mourned for him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Ahijah the prophet.
The Death of Jeroboam
19Now 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. 20And the time that Jeroboam reigned was twenty-two years. And he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his place.
Rehoboam Reigns in Judah
21Now Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city that the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. His mother's name was Naamah the Ammonite. 22And Judah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins that they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. 23For they also built for themselves high places and pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, 24and there were also male cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations that the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.
25In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. 26He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house. He took away everything. He also took away all the shields of gold that Solomon had made, 27and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze, and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king's house. 28And as often as the king went into the house of the Lord, the guard carried them and brought them back to the guardroom.
29Now 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? 30And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 31And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. His mother's name was Naamah the Ammonite. And Abijam his son reigned in his place.
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 throne.
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 idolatrous innovations.
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 (1Ki 16:4; 21:24).
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 Wicked Reign.
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 vices there.
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 Jerusalem.
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.