|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:1-22 Abijah overcomes Jeroboam. - Jeroboam and his people, by apostacy and idolatry, merited the severe punishment Abijah was permitted to execute upon them. It appears from the character of Abijah, 1Ki 15:3, that he was not himself truly religious, yet he encouraged himself from the religion of his people. It is common for those that deny the power of godliness, to boast of the form of it. Many that have little religion themselves, value it in others. But it was true that there were numbers of pious worshippers in Judah, and that theirs was the more righteous cause. In their distress, when danger was on every side, which way should they look for deliverance unless upward? It is an unspeakable comfort, that our way thither is always open. They cried unto the Lord. Earnest prayer is crying. To the cry of prayer they added the shout of faith, and became more than conquerors. Jeroboam escaped the sword of Abijah, but God struck him; there is no escaping his sword.
Verse 20. - The Lord struck him; and he died. The writer of Chronicles here, for brevity's sake, and not to recur to his name again, records the death of Jeroboam, which, however, did not happen till after Abijah's death, in the second year of Asa's reign (1 Kings 14:20; 1 Kings 15:25). That the Lord struck him, may glance at the fearful announcement conveyed to him through his wife by Ahijah (1 Kings 14:6-16).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah,.... So as to bring an army into the field against him, and fight him:
and the Lord struck him; by some Jewish writers (a), this is interpreted of Abijah; and the reason of his being stricken, they say, was because he did not destroy the calf when he took Bethel; but it is best to understand it of Jeroboam, since Abijah is afterwards said to wax mighty:
and he died; not immediately, for he lived two years after Abijah, 1 Kings 14:20, but continued under a lingering disease he was smitten with, and which issued in his death.
(a) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 65. fol. 58. 8. Seder Olam Rabba, c. 16.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah—The disastrous action at Zemaraim, which caused the loss of the flower and chivalry of his army, broke his spirits and crippled his power.
the Lord struck him, and he died—that is, Jeroboam. He lived, indeed, two years after the death of Abijah (1Ki 14:20; 15:9). But he had been threatened with great calamities upon himself and his house, and it is apparently to the execution of these threatenings, which issued in his death, that an anticipatory reference is here made.
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