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16 So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto 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, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.

17 But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.

18 Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam 'made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.

19 So Israel 'rebelled against the house of David unto this day.

20 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 to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.

22 But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying,

23 Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying,

24 Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the word of the LORD.

Heb, hardly. 5 Chap. 11. 31. 6 Heb. strengthened himself. 11 Or, went up to the altar, &c.

25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel.

26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:

27 If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.

28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: "behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

29 And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan.

30 And this thing became a sin for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.

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7 Or, fell away. 9 Chap. 11. 13. 12 Or, to sacrifice.

92 Chron. 11. 2. 10 Exod. 32 8.

13 Or, went up to the altar, &c.

he had made in Beth-el the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and or

dained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, "and burnt incense.

14 Heb. to burn incense.

Verse 4. "Thy father made our yoke grievous.”—The fact seems to be, that it was under Solomon that the Israelites first strongly experienced the consequences, which Samuel had long before told them would result from their determination to have a king to reign over them. It is clear that Solomon's vast establishments and expensive undertakings required a very large revenue, and that no means were left untried to raise it to the highest possible amount. The tribute of the subject nations, the presents from foreign princes, and the profits of his commercial speculations, were not adequate to his wants; and hence he was obliged to establish a regular system of taxation over the country, so that every ene was more or less subject to its operation, such as we now find established in the European nations; besides which, it would seem from chap. ix. 15, that he required extraordinary grants for particular undertakings. Now we do not feel that the grounds of discontent arising from this source have ever been properly discriminated. In the first place, Oriental feeling is altogether opposed to an organized system of taxation, from which none can escape. Although in the long run the people may pay more than such a system would exact, they prefer the contingencies of uncertain demand-in which they do not know beforehand what they shall have to pay, and have room to hope that nothing will be required, or that the demand, being unequal, may not fall individually on themselves-to the certainty that, at such a time, such a proportion of their income will be taken from them, without any hope of postponement or exemption. This kind of feeling extends even to the person who benefits by such demands; for instances have been known of Oriental governors of cities, who have preferred to trust for their income to the chance results of fines and exactions, than to receive from their prince a regular salary, equal or superior to what they might thus hope to secure. Another circumstance is, that all the taxes of the Israelites were taken directly from the produce of their grounds and cattleand under this form, even a light contribution will always be felt more onerous in its pressure, and will occasion more discontent than one much heavier, raised indirectly by duties on articles of consumption-which is a refinement in finance that does not appear to have been understood in the time of Solomon.

8. "The young men that were grown up with him."-It was an ancient custom, particularly in the East, for young princes to be trained up with the young men, who, from the rank or influence of their families, might be expected to become the leading men of the nation. Sesostris in Egypt, Cyrus in Persia, and Alexander in Macedon, were brought up in this manner; and we find that the companions and fellow pupils of their early days were their devoted friends and military commanders in more advanced life. These " young men" were probably as old as Rehoboam himself, who was turned of forty; and he and they were therefore quite old enough to have been wiser than they were. But it seems that they calculated on overawing the malcontents, by using high language on the occasion.

11. Whips...scorpions."-Here a simple scourge and another more painful are mentioned in opposition. The latter is called "a scorpion," probably to denote a comparison between the pain respectively occasioned by the scourge and the reptile. The Rabbins think generally, that this scorpion was a scourge composed of knotted and thorny twigs, by which the flesh was severely lacerated. More probably it consisted of thongs, set with thorns or sharp iron points. sach scourges were known to the Romans as a means of torturing, used by unrelenting persons, and particularly by masters in the punishment of their slaves. Some of the early martyrs were thus tortured. See Calmet's Dissertation sur les Supplices,' and Jahn's Archæologia Biblica.'

17. “Rehoboam reigned over them.”-In the progress of the history we often see Judah and Benjamin mentioned as one tribe, the two having incorporated their interests, and the capital being partly in the one tribe and partly in the sther. It may be useful to distinguish the respective territories of the two kingdoms into which we find the dominion of David and Solomon now divided. Jeroboam possessed ten tribes, together with all the tributary nations eastward to the Euphrates. This formed the kingdom of Israel. Rehoboam retained only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, with Philistia and Edom. But the whole of this territory, which was now called the kingdom of Judah, included scarcely a fourth part of Solomon's dominion. (See Jahn's Hist. of the Heb. Commonwealth.')

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23. Made two calves of gold."-This passage seems a very clear corroboration of the views which we took, in the notes to Exod. xxxii. 4, 5, respecting the golden calf erected in the wilderness. This was, that no apostacy from Jehovah to other gods was immediately intended; but that it was a gross irregularity and an infusion of idolatrous ideas into the worship of the true God. Jeroboam was afraid, not without reason, that if his subjects went three times a year to Jerusalem, as the law required, they would soon return to their allegiance to the house of David. He therefore set up two golden calves at suitable distances from each other, with the declared view of saving them the trouble of so long a journey; and this alone proves that the symbols were intended for the accommodation of the worshippers of Jehovah, who alone could have any inducement to take such a journey. Jeroboam seems to have taken up many Egyptian ideas during his stay in Egypt, and by which he was influenced in the selection of this symbol. He probably thought this was the least offensive contrivance by which his object could be attained: and in that object his successors also were so much interested, that they took care to keep up this symbolical worship, whence we read of all of them, that they "departed not from the sin of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.”

31. He made priests of the lowest of the people."-Properly, "any of the people, not of the sons of Levi." The second clause explains the first. By the law, none but a Levite of Aaron's family could be a priest, and none but a Levite could officiate in the subordinate services of religion. But it seems that the priests and Levites were faithful, and would not be parties in the sin of Jeroboam; which obliged him, one evil bringing on another, to appoint persons out of any of the tribes who were willing to accept the office. We see Jeroboam himself burning incense, in the next chapter; and as this was a function discharged by the high-priest, it would seem that the king himself discharged that high office under the new system, at least on great occasions. Such an union of the priestly and regal offices has had other examples in the East. We never read of any high-priest in the kingdom of Israel. Perhaps no one was ever bold enough formally to assume that office.

33. The month which he had devised of his own heart.”—He changed the feast of tabernacles from the fifteenth day of the seventh month to the fifteenth of the eighth month.

CHAPTER XIII.

1 Jeroboam's hand, that offered violence to him that prophesied against his altar at Beth-el, withereth, 6 and at the prayer of the prophet is restored. 7 The prophet, refusing the king's entertainment, departeth from Beth-el. 11 An old prophet, seducing him, bringeth him back. 20 He is reproved by God, 23 slain by a lion, 26 buried by the old prophet, 31 who confirmeth his prophecy. 33 Jeroboam's obstinacy.

AND, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Beth-el: and Jeroboam stood by the altar 'to burn incense.

2 And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee.

3 And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured

out.

4 And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Beth-el, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.

5 The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.

6 And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.

7 And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.

8 And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I cat bread nor drink water in this place:

9 For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.

1 Or, to offer.

22 Kings 23, 16.

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12 And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah.

13 And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon,

14 And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am.

15 Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.

16 And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:

17 For 'it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.

18 He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.

19 So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.

20 And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back:

21 And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee,

22 But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.

23 And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. Heb, the face of the LORD.

Heb. a word was,

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him.

28 And he went and found his carcase cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcase: the lion had not eaten the carcase, nor "torn the ass.

29 And the prophet took up the carcase

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5 Heb. broken,

6 Heb. broken.

rel, 956-954 of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back and the old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him.

30 And he laid his carcase in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother!

31 And it came to pass, after he had bu ried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones:

32 For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.

33 After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but 'made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.

34 And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth.

8 Heb. filled his hand.

7 Heb, returned and made.

It can

Verse 1. "There came a man of God out of Judah."-There have been many conjectures as to who this was. not be ascertained: but he certainly was not either Ahijah or Iddo, as some suppose, for both these prophets were alive after the circumstances recorded in this chapter.

2. "Josiah by name."-This clear, distinct, and remarkable prophecy, concerning what should be done by a man who was not born till 360 years later (Hales), and whose very name is mentioned, may be advantageously contrasted with the obscure, indeterminate, guarded, and equivocal predictions of the idle oracles of ancient paganism.

9. Eat no bread, nor drink water.”—We have already had occasion to explain that for persons to eat bread or drink water together was a symbol and seal of mutual friendship and peace; which sufficiently explains why the prophet was forbidden to refresh himself in this evil city.

CHAPTER XIV.

Abnjah being sick, Jeroboam sendeth his wife disguised, with presents to the prophet Ahijah at Shitoh. 5 Ahijah, forewarned by God, denounceth G's judgment. 17 Abijah dieth, and is buried. 19 Nadub succeedeth Jeroboam. 21 Rehoboam's

11. “An old prophet.”—The character of this person has been very largely discussed, but with no very satisfactory result. The most likely conclusion is, that he was a true (perhaps unwillingly true) prophet, but a bad man. We know he prophesied truly; but we know also that his sons attended the worship of the golden calf, and that he told a premeditated falsehood, of a very awful character, to divert the stranger from a purpose which he knew that his duty required from him. His object looks kind towards the stranger, in the first instance-and we may suppose that he was not then aware of the terrible judgment which he was afterwards constrained to denounce-but as he must have known that a neglect of duty in a prophetic messenger could not pass unpunished, we may conclude that his object in lucing back the strange prophet was to weaken any impression which his message might have produced on the mind of Jeroboam and others, by affording them room to suspect that he was not an authorised messenger, since he had himself neglected that which he had avowed to have been part of the Lord's command. This explanation will also show that the final judgment of the disobedient prophet was not merely a personal punishment of the messenger, but was necessary to vindicate the character of the message, which had been compromised by his disobedience. We may, upon the whole, conceive the "old prophet" to have been much such another person as Balaam.

24. “A lion met him by the way."—In 2 Kings ii. 24, we find that near Bethel there was a wood, out of which came two she-bears; and it is probable that this lion came from the same wood. All the circumstances of this transactionthat the lion did not devour the body, or rend the ass, or molest the passengers or the old prophet's sons-were calculated, in the most striking manner, to direct the attention of the people to that Divine power which thus authenticated its own message by the destruction of the messenger.

wicked reign. 25 Shishak spoileth Jerusalem. 29 Abijam succeedeth Rehoboam.

AT that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick.

2 And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise,

I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that 'I should be king over this people.

3 And take with thee ten loaves, and 'cracknels, and a 'cruse of honey, and go to him he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.

4 And Jeroboam's wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. But Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age.

5 And the LORD said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son; for he is sick: thus and thus shalt thou say unto her: for it shall be, when she cometh in, that she shall feign herself to be another woman.

6 And 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.

7 Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel,

8 And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, 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 was right in mine eyes;

9 But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:

10 Therefore, behold, 'I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, 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.

11 Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs cat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it.

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

13 Ånd all Israel shall mourn for him,

1 Chap. 11. 31. 2 Heb. in thine hand. 3 Or, cakes. + Or, bottle. 8 Chap. 21. 21. 2 Kings 9.8. 9 Heb. lay down.

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and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

14 Moreover the LORD shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day: but what?

even now.

15 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 their groves, provoking the LORD to

anger.

16 And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin.

17 And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: and when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died;

18 And they buried him; 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.

19 And 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.

20 And the days which Jeroboam reigned were two and twenty years: and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his stead.

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