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Jeroboam sends to the prophet, to enquire concerning his sick son,
ver. 1 - 6.
The destruction of Jeroboam's household told, ver. 7 - 16.
The death of his child, ver. 17, 18.
The conclusion of his reign, ver. 19, 20.
The declension of Rehoboam's house and kingdom, ver. 21 - 28.
The conclusion of his reign, ver. 28 - 31.
1: At that time - Presently after the things described in the former
chapter; which, though related in the beginning of his reign, yet might be
done a good while after it, and so Ahijah the prophet might be very old,
as he is described to be ver.(4). It is probable he was his eldest son.
2: His wife - Because she might without suspicion enquire concerning
her own child; and because she would enquire exactly, and diligently, and
faithfully acquaint him with the truth. Disguise - Change thy habit, and
voice, and go like a private and obscure person. This caution proceeded:
first, from the pride of his heart, which made him loth to confess his folly
in worshipping such helpless idols, and to give glory to the God whom he had
forsaken. Secondly, from jealousy and suspicion, lest the prophet knowing
this, should either give her no answer, or make it worse than indeed it was.
Thirdly, from policy, lest his people should by his example be drawn to
forsake the calves, and to return to the God of Judah.
3: And take - A present, after the manner, but mean, as became an
ordinary country woman, which she personated. It had been more pious to
enquire, why God contended with him.
6: Thou wife - By which discovery he both reproves their folly, who
thought to conceal themselves from God, and withal gives her assurance
of the truth, and certainty of that message which he was to deliver.
8: David - Who though he fell into some sins, yet, first, he
constantly persevered in the true worship of God; from which thou art
revolted. Secondly, he heartily repented of, and turned from all his
sins whereas thou art obstinate and incorrigible.
9: Above all - Above all the former kings of my people, as Saul,
and Solomon, and Rehoboam. Images - Namely the golden calves: not
as if they thought them to be other gods in a proper sense; for it is
apparent they still pretended to worship the God of their fathers, but
because God rejected their whole worship, and, howsoever they accounted
it, he reckoned it a manifest defection from him, and a betaking themselves
to other gods, or devils, as they are called, (2Ch 11:15),
whom alone they served and worshipped therein, whatsoever pretences they
had to the contrary. To provoke - Whereby thou didst provoke me. For
otherwise this was not Jeroboam's design in it, but only to establish
himself in the throne. Hast cast - Despised and forsaken me, and my
commands, and my worship, as we do things which we cast behind our backs.
10: Shut up - Those who had escaped the fury of their enemies
invading them, either because they were shut up in caves, or castles,
or strong towns, or, because they were left, over - looked or neglected
by them, or spared as poor, impotent, helpless creatures. But now, saith
he, they shall be all searched out, and brought to destruction.
Dung - Which they remove, as a loathsome thing, out of their houses, and
that throughly and universally.
11: Eat - So both sorts shall die unburied.
12: When, &c. - Presently upon thy entrance into the city; when thou
art gone but a little way in it, even as far as to the threshold of the
king's door, ver.(17), which possibly was near the gates of the city.
And by this judge of the truth of the rest of my prophecy.
13: Shall mourn - For the loss of so worthy and hopeful a person, and
for the sad calamities which will follow his death, which possibly his
moderation, and wisdom, and virtue, might have prevented. So they should
mourn, not simply for him, but for their own loss in him. Grave - Shall
have the honour of burial. Some good - Pious intentions of taking away
the calves, and of permitting or obliging his people to go up to
Jerusalem to worship, if God gave him life and authority to do it, and
of trusting God with his kingdom. In the house - Which is added for his
greater commendation; he was good in the midst of so many temptations and
wicked examples; a good branch of a bad flock.
14: A king - Baasha, (1Ki 15:28).
That day - When he is so raised; in the very beginning of his reign,(1Ki 15:29).
But what? - But what do I say, he shall raise, as it were a thing to
be done at a great distance of time: the man is now in being if not in
power, who shall do this: this judgment shall be shortly executed.
Sometimes God makes quick work with sinners. He did so with the house of
Jeroboam. It was not twenty four years from his first elevation, to the
final extirpation of his family.
15: Is shaken - Hither and thither, with every wind. So shall the
kingdom and people of Israel be always in an unquiet and unsettled
posture, tossed to and fro by foreign invasions and civil wars; by opposite
kings and factions, and by the dissensions of the people.
The river - Euphrates, so called by way of eminency, this was
accomplished in part (2Ki 15:29), and more fully, (2Ki 17:6).
Groves - For the worship of their idols, God having before condemned the
making and worshipping of the calves, by which they pretended to worship the
true God; he now takes notice that they were not contented with the calves,
but (as it is in the nature of idolatry, and all sin, to proceed from evil
to worse) were many of them fallen into a worse kind of idolatry, even their
worship of the heathenish Baals, which they commonly exercised in groves.
16: Who made, &c. - By his invention, and making the occasion of
their sin, the calves; by his example, encouraging those and only those
that worshipped the calves; and by his authority requiring and compelling
them to do it. This is mentioned as a monstrous aggravation of his
wickedness, that he was not content with his own sin, but was the great
author of drawing others into sin, and of corrupting and undoing the whole
kingdom, which therefore God would never forgive him, but upon all occasions
mentions him with this eternal brand of infamy upon him.
17: Tirzah - An ancient and royal city, in a pleasant place, where
the kings of Israel had a palace, whither Jeroboam was now removed
from Shechem, either for his pleasure, or for his son's recovery, by
the healthfulness of the place. The threshold - Of the king's house,
which probably was upon, or by the wall of the city, and near the gate.
18: Mourned - And justly: not only for the loss of an hopeful prince,
but because his death plucked up the floodgates, at which an inundation of
judgments broke in.
19: The chronicles - not that canonical book of chronicles; for that
was written long after this book: but a book of civil records, the annals,
wherein all remarkable passages were recorded by the king's command from
day to day; out of which the sacred penman by the direction of God's
spirit, took those passages which were most useful for God's honour, and
21: Forty one years - Therefore he was born a year before Solomon
was king, as appears from (1Ki 11:42), this is noted as an aggravation
of Rehoboam's folly, that he was old enough to have been wiser.
An Ammonitess - A people cursed by God, and shut out of the congregation
of his people for ever. This is observed as one cause both of God's
displeasure in punishing Solomon with such a son, and of Rehoboam's
apostacy after his three first years, (2Ch 11:17). None can imagine
how fatal and how lasting are the consequence of being unequally yoked with
22: In the sight of the Lord - In contempt and defiance of him, and
the tokens of his special presence. Jealousy - As the adulterous wife
provokes her husband, by breaking the marriage covenant.
23: They also - Followed the example of the Israelites, although
they were better instructed, and had the temple in their kingdom, and
liberty of access to it, and the privilege of worshipping God in his
own way, and the counsels, and sermons, and examples of the priests and
Levites, and the dreadful example of Israel's horrid apostacy,
to caution and terrify them. High places - Which was unlawful, and,
now especially when the temple was built, and ready to receive them;
unnecessary, and therefore expressed a greater contempt of God and his
express command. Groves - Not only after the manner of the Heathens
and Israelites, but against a direct and particular prohibition.
Under every green tree - The people were universally corrupted: which
is prodigious, all things considered, and is a clear evidence of the
greatness and depth of the original corruption of man's nature.
24: Abomination - They dishonoured God by one sin, and then God left
them to dishonour themselves by another.
25: Fifth year - Presently after his and his people's apostacy, which
was not 'till his fourth year: while apostate, Israel enjoyed peace and
some kind of prosperity, of which difference, two reasons may be given:
first, Judah's sins were committed against clearer light, and more
powerful means and remedies of all sorts, and therefore deserved more
severe and speedy judgments. Secondly, God discovered more love to Judah
in chastizing them speedily, that they might be humbled, reformed, and
preserved, as it happened; and more anger against Israel, whom he spared
to that total destruction which he intended to bring upon them.
Sishak - He is thought to be Solomon's brother - in - law. But how little
such relations signify among princes, when their interest is concerned, all
histories witness. Besides Rehoboam was not Solomon's son by
Pharaoh's daughter and so the relation was in a manner extinct.
Came up - Either, from a desire to enlarge his empire: or, by
Jeroboam's instigation: or from a covetous desire of possessing those
great treasures which David and Solomon had left: and above all, by
God's providence, disposing his heart to this expedition for Rehoboam's
26: He took - First the city: which may seem strange, considering the
great strength of it, and how much time it took Nebuchadnezzar and
Titus to take it. But, first, it might cost Shishak also a long
siege though that be not here related. Secondly, it is probable David
and Solomon in their building and altering the city, had more respect to
state and magnificence than to its defence, as having no great cause to fear
the invasion of any enemies. And it is certain, that after the division
between Judah and Israel, the kings of Judah added very much to
the fortifications of it.
27: Brazen shields - This was an emblem of the diminution of his
glory. Sin makes the gold become dim, it changes the most fine gold and
turns it into brass.
28: To the house, &c. - By which it seems the affliction had done
him some good, and brought him back to the worship of God, which he
30: Was war - Not an invasive war with potent armies, which was
forbidden, (1Ki 12:24), and not revived 'till
Abijam's reign, (2Ch 13:1-3), but a defensive war from those
hostilities which by small parties and skirmishes they did to one another.
31: An Ammonitess - This is repeated as a thing very observable.