|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:7-20 Whether we keep an account of God's mercies to us or not, he does; and he will set them in order before us, if we are ungrateful, to our greater confusion. Ahijah foretells the speedy death of the child then sick, in mercy to him. He only in the house of Jeroboam had affection for the true worship of God, and disliked the worship of the calves. To show the power and sovereignty of his grace, God saves some out of the worst families, in whom there is some good thing towards the Lord God of Israel. The righteous are removed from the evil to come in this world, to the good to come in a better world. It is often a bad sign for a family, when the best in it are buried out of it. Yet their death never can be a loss to themselves. It was a present affliction to the family and kingdom, by which both ought to have been instructed. God also tells the judgments which should come upon the people of Israel, for conforming to the worship Jeroboam established. After they left the house of David, the government never continued long in one family, but one undermined and destroyed another. Families and kingdoms are ruined by sin. If great men do wickedly, they draw many others, both into the guilt and punishment. The condemnation of those will be severest, who must answer, not only for their own sins, but for sins others have been drawn into, and kept in, by them.
Verse 17. - And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came [possibly she lingered for some time on the road, dreading to return] to Tirzah [Identified by Robinson and Van de Velds (Narrative, 2:334, 335), with Telluzah, or Taluse, a place in the mountains, six miles north of Shechem. See Joshua 12:24. Both these writers admit, however, that if this is indeed Tirzah, "all traces of royalty have disappeared." "With the exception of a few sepulchral caves, subterranean granaries, wells, and old hewn stones, nothing of ancient Tirzah remains in Taluse." Condor recognizes the name in the modern Teiasir - a village near Jezreel, in the Great Plain which "contains the exact letters of the Hebrew word, though the two last radicals are interchanged in position." "The beauty of the position... the ancient remains, and the old main road from the place to Shechem seem to agree well with the idea of its having once been a capital" ("Tentwork," p. 57). Some of its "numerous rock-cut sepulchres," he thinks, may be the tombs of the early kings of Israel. It was famed for its beauty (Song of Solomon 6:4), and for this reason, perhaps, among others (see on ver. 1) was selected by Jeroboam for his residence. It is not certain that it had taken the place of Shechem as the political capital]: and when she came [the Hebrew is much more graphic. "She came to... and the child died"] to the threshold of the door [Heb. house], the child died. [This statement seems at first sight to contradict that of ver. 12, which says the child should die as she entered the city. But the palace may have been on the edge of the city (Rawl.), or the "city" may have been little more than the palace.]
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, Upon this speech of the prophet's to her:
and came to Tirzah; where Jeroboam now had his court, and where their son now was; it was a royal city in the time of the Canaanites, and is commonly placed in the tribe of Manasseh, and was a very pleasant one, as its name signifies, to which there is an allusion, Sol 6:4; see Gill on Joshua 12:24,
and when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died: just as she was about to step over the threshold of the royal palace, which seems to have been at the entering of the city of Tirzah, 1 Kings 14:12.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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].
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