|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:1-8 Abijam's heart was not perfect with the Lord his God; he wanted sincerity; he began well, but he fell off, and walked in all the sins of his father, following his bad example, though he had seen the bad consequences of it. David's family was continued as a lamp in Jerusalem, to maintain the true worship of God there, when the light of Divine truth was extinguished in all other places. The Lord has still taken care of his cause, while those who ought to have been serviceable thereto have lived and perished in their sins. The Son of David will still continue a light to his church, to establish it in truth and righteousness to the end of time. There are two kinds of fulfilling the law, one legal, the other by the gospel. Legal is, when men do all things required in the law, and that by themselves. None ever thus fulfilled the law but Christ, and Adam before his fall. The gospel manner of fulfilling the law is, to believe in Christ who fulfilled the law for us, and to endeavour in the whole man to obey God in all his precepts. And this is accepted of God, as to all those that are in Christ. Thus David and others are said to fulfil the law.
Verse 2. - Three years [The Alex. LXX. says δεκὰεξ, sixteen. The" three years" are not to be interpreted strictly. As he ascended the throne in the eighteenth and died in the twentieth year of Jeroboam's reign, he cannot have completed three years. But it does not follow that "he cannot have reigned much more than two years" (Rawlinson, and similarly Keil). He may have reigned all but three] reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah [in 2 Chronicles 13:2 called Michaiah, Heb. Michajahu. That the same person is meant is proved as well by the context as by 2 Chronicles 11:21, where the name is given as here. Keil (cf. Dict. Bib. 2:162) ascribes the discrepancy to an error of the copyist; but the names are so unlike in the original as to discountenance this assumption. I venture to suggest that Michajahu was the significant form - the word means "Who is like Jehovah?" - which the name Maachah, "oppression," borne by the Geshurite princess who married David (2 Samuel 3:3) assumed when she joined the Lord's people, and embraced, as no doubt she would do, the religion of Jehovah. Such a change would be quite in accordance with the genius and traditions of the Semitic races (Genesis 17:5, 15; Genesis 30. passim; 32:28; 41:45; Exodus 6:3, etc. Cf. 2 Kings 23:34; 2 Kings 24:17; Hosea 1:4, 6), and there may well have been special reasons in this case, apart from the piety of David, why it should be made. For the name Maachah appears to have been taken Iron the town and district of that name near Geshur - a part of Syria was called Syria Maachah (1 Chronicles 19:6; cf. 2 Samuel 10:6-8). In 2 Samuel 20:14, 15 we read of a district of Beth Maachah - and it not improbably witnessed to unhappy memories. How natural it would be that David's bride should take a name of better omen and of a religious import, and how natural that the grand-daughter who bore her name should be called by that name in both its forms. Since writing the above, I find that a somewhat similar idea has occurred long since to others. Both Kimchi and Jarchi hold that she had two names. It is supposed by some that she assumed the name Michaiah, as more dignified, on becoming queen. Wordsworth thinks that Michaiah was her real name, and that it was degraded into Maachah when she was deposed for idolatry. This latter view dovetails with the one suggested above. It would be quite in accordance with Jewish usages and habits of thought that the name which had been changed into Michaiah when the grandmother became a proselyte, should be changed back into Maachah when this princess apostatized], the daughter [rather, grand-daughter. בַּת includes all female descendants, as אֵם (see ver. 10) all anxestresses] of Abishalom. We can hardly doubt that Absalom, the son of David, is meant here. We have
(1) the express statement of 2 Chronicles 11:21, "Rehoboam loved Maachah, the daughter of Absalom," etc.
(2) The fact that two of Rehoboam's other wives were of the family of David, which shows that it was part of his policy to marry the daughters of that house.
(3) The mother of Absalom was named Maachah (2 Samuel 3:3).
(4) The name is so uncommon - in fact, it is ἅπαξ λεγ - that another person can hardly be intended. Moreover the variation in spelling is extremely slight. It has been held, however, that a different person is designated by the name, principally because Absalom had but one daughter whose name was Tamar (2 Samuel 14:27), whereas Abijah's mother is said to have been the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah (2 Chronicles 13:2). But this difficulty admits of an easy solution. Tamar was doubtless married to Uriel, and Maachah was the fruit of this marriage. And with this explanation agrees the account of Josephus (Ant. 8:10,1).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Three years reigned he in Jerusalem,.... And three only; his reign was short, and indeed not three full years, only one whole year and part of two others; for Asa his son began to reign in the twentieth of Jeroboam, 1 Kings 15:9 so that he reigned part of his eighteenth, this whole nineteenth, and part of his twentieth:
and his mother's name was Maachah the daughter of Abishalom; called Absalom, 2 Chronicles 11:20, generally supposed by the Jews to be Absalom the son of David, and which may seem not improbable, since his other two wives were of his father's family, 2 Chronicles 11:18. Josephus says (q) she was the daughter of Tamar the daughter of Absalom, and so his granddaughter; and which may account for her being called Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah, 2 Chronicles 13:2 since the difference between Maachah and Michaiah is not very great; and Uriel might he the name of Tamar's husband; though it is most likely that both father and daughter had two names; she seems to be mentioned here, to observe that she was the cause and means of her son's disagreeable walk, as follows, see 1 Kings 15:13.
(q) Antiqu. l. 8. c. 10. sect. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. Three years reigned he—(compare 1Ki 15:1 with 1Ki 15:9). Parts of years are often counted in Scripture as whole years. The reign began in Jeroboam's eighteenth year, continued till the nineteenth, and ended in the course of the twentieth.
his mother's name was Maachah—or Michaiah (2Ch 13:2), probably altered from the one to the other on her becoming queen, as was very common under a change of circumstances. She is called the daughter of Abishalom, or Absalom (2Ch 11:21), of Uriel (2Ch 13:2). Hence, it has been thought probable that Tamar, the daughter of Absalom (2Sa 14:27; 18:18), had been married to Uriel, and that Maachah was their daughter.
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