|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:1-10 In threatening the altar, the prophet threatens the founder and worshippers. Idolatrous worship will not continue, but the word of the Lord will endure for ever. The prediction plainly declared that the family of David would continue, and support true religion, when the ten tribes would not be able to resist them. If God, in justice, harden the hearts of sinners, so that the hand they have stretched out in sin they cannot pull in again by repentance, that is a spiritual judgment, represented by this, and much more dreadful. Jeroboam looked for help, not from his calves, but from God only, from his power, and his favour. The time may come when those that hate the preaching, would be glad of the prayers of faithful ministers. Jeroboam does not desire the prophet to pray that his sin might be pardoned, and his heart changed, but only that his hand might be restored. He seemed affected for the present with both the judgment and the mercy, but the impression wore off. God forbade his messenger to eat or drink in Bethel, to show his detestation of their idolatry and apostacy from God, and to teach us not to have fellowship with the works of darkness. Those have not learned self-denial, who cannot forbear one forbidden meal.
Verse 10. - So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.
CHAPTER 13:11-34. THE DISOBEDIENCE AND DEATH OF THE MAN OF GOD. - The seduction of the man of God, who has borne such fearless witness against Jeroboam's ecclesiastical policy, and his tragical end, are now narrated, partly because of the deep impression the story made at the time, but principally because these events were in themselves an eloquent testimony against the worship of the calves and the whole ecclesiastical policy of Jeroboam, and a solemn warning for all time against any, the slightest, departure from the commandments of God. The very unfaithfulness of this accredited messenger of the Most High, and the instant punishment it provoked, became part of the Divine protest against the new regime, against the unfaithfulness of Israel; whilst the remarkable manner in which these occurrences were recalled to the nation's memory in the reign of Josiah (2 Kings 23:17, 18) made it impossible for the historian of the theocracy to pass them over without notice.
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So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel. Neither ate nor drank with the king, though that is not expressed; nor did he go back the same way he came; but in each particular observed the divine command, and was obedient to it.
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