|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:1-16 Rehoboam, forsaking the Lord, is punished. - When Rehoboam was so strong that he supposed he had nothing to fear from Jeroboam, he cast off his outward profession of godliness. It is very common, but very lamentable, that men, who in distress or danger, or near death, seem much engaged in seeking and serving God, throw aside all their religion when they have received a merciful deliverance. God quickly brought troubles upon Judah, to awaken the people to repentance, before their hearts were hardened. Thus it becomes us, when we are under the rebukes of Providence, to justify God, and to judge ourselves. If we have humbled hearts under humbling providences, the affliction has done its work; it shall be removed, or the property of it be altered. The more God's service is compared with other services, the more reasonable and easy it will appear. Are the laws of temperance thought hard? The effects of intemperance will be found much harder. The service of God is perfect liberty; the service of our lusts is complete slavery. Rehoboam was never rightly fixed in his religion. He never quite cast off God; yet he engaged not his heart to seek the Lord. See what his fault was; he did not serve the Lord, because he did not seek the Lord. He did not pray, as Solomon, for wisdom and grace; he did not consult the word of God, did not seek to that as his oracle, nor follow its directions. He made nothing of his religion, because he did not set his heart to it, nor ever came up to a steady resolution in it. He did evil, because he never was determined for good.
Verse 1. - When Rehoboam had established the kingdom... strengthened himself; i.e. while insecure and full of apprehensions, Rehoboam walked humbly and surely, but when he thought his object, simply safety, was gained, his true and worse self appeared or reappeared, and, clothed with self-confidence, he forsakes the "Law," to bring sure retribution on himself. All Israel with him. When we turn to the fuller statements of the parallel (1 Kings 14:22-24), we see that the sins that were at work were not those of king merely, but of people, especially in abominations such as those of sodomy and the immoral practices of the "groves," as well as the ecclesiastical and irreligious iniquities of "high places" and "image" worship!
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom,.... Or when the kingdom of Rehoboam was established; the tribes of Judah and Benjamin being firmly attached to him, and great numbers from the other tribes coming over to him, and things going on peaceably and prosperously during the three years that he and his people abode by the pure worship of God:
and had strengthened himself; built fortified cities for the defence of himself and kingdom, 2 Chronicles 11:5, he forsook the law of the Lord; after he had reigned three years, and was become strong, and thought himself safe and secure on the throne, trusting to his strength:
and all Israel with him; the greater part of them following the example of their king; of this defection, and the sins they fell into, see 1 Kings 14:22.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2Ch 12:1-12. Rehoboam, Forsaking God, Is Punished by Shishak.
1. when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself—(See on 2Ch 11:17). During the first three years of his reign his royal influence was exerted in the encouragement of the true religion. Security and ease led to religious decline, which, in the fourth year, ended in open apostasy. The example of the court was speedily followed by his subjects, for "all Israel was with him," that is, the people in his own kingdom. The very next year, the fifth of his reign, punishment was inflicted by the invasion of Shishak.
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