|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:9-13 The Lord told Solomon, it is likely by a prophet, what he must expect for his apostacy. Though we have reason to hope that he repented, and found mercy, yet the Holy Ghost did not expressly record it, but left it doubtful, as a warning to others not to sin. The guilt may be taken away, but not the reproach; that will remain. Thus it must remain uncertain to us till the day of judgment, whether or not Solomon was left to suffer the everlasting displeasure of an offended God.
Verse 13. - Howbeit I win not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe [viz., Judah (1 Kings 12:20, "the tribe of Judah only"). "Even the reservation of one tribe is called a gift" (Wordsworth) to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen. [But for this provision, Jerusalem would have ceased to be the religious capital. When the sceptre departed from Judah, we may be sure that the "envy of Ephraim" would have demanded that the city of their solemnities should be placed elsewhere - at Shiloh, which for 400 years had been God's "bright sanctuary," or at Bethel, which from far earlier times had been a holy place. See on 1 Kings 12:29, 32.]
CHAPTER 11:14-43. SOLOMON'S ADVERSARIES. - As the historian has collected together in chs. 6, 7, 8. all the information he can convey respecting the temple, and in chs. 9, 10. all the scattered notices respecting Solomon's power and greatness, so here he arranges in one section the history of Solomon's adversaries. It must not be supposed that the following records stand in due chronological order. The enmities here mentioned did not date from the delivery of the message of which we have just heard; on the contrary, the hatred and opposition of Hadad and Rezon began at an early period, though not the earliest (1 Kings 5:4), of Solomon's reign. It was only in his later life, however, that they materially affected his position and rule; hence it is that they are brought before us at this stage of the history, and also because they are manifestly regarded as chastisements for Solomon's sin.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Howbeit, I will not rend away all the kingdom,.... The whole kingdom of Israel:
but will give one tribe to thy son; but it seems he had both Benjamin and Judah, and only ten tribes were rent from him; the reason of this mode of expression may be, either because he gave him one of the tribes of Israel, besides that of Judah, which was his own tribe; or only the tribe of Judah is meant, the whole tribe of Benjamin not being his, since Bethel, and some other places in that tribe, were in the possession of Jeroboam; or rather both these are called but one, because their inheritances lay together, and were mixed with one another; and particularly both had a share in the city of Jerusalem, and the kingdom always after the division went by the name of Judah only: and this tribe was given
for David my servant's sake; because of the promise to him, that there should not want one of his seed to sit on his throne, 1 Kings 9:5.
and for Jerusalem's sake, whom I have chosen; to have the house of his sanctuary and worship in, and therefore thought fit to have one rule there, that, would have a regard to his service in it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. I will give one tribe to thy son—There were left to Rehoboam the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi (2Ch 11:12, 13); and multitudes of Israelites, who, after the schism of the kingdom, established their residence within the territory of Judah to enjoy the privileges of the true religion (1Ki 12:17). These are all reckoned as one tribe.
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