And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him.
All Israel with him - i. e., "all Judah and Benjamin" - all the Israelites of those two tribes.
And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD,
Shishak ... came up ... because they had transgressed - The writer speaks from a divine, not a human, point of view. Shishak's motive in coming up was to help Jeroboam, and to extend his own influence.
With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen: and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt; the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians.
twelve hundred chariots - This number is not unusnal (compare Exodus 14:7; 1 Kings 10:26). Benhadad brought 1,200 chariots into the field against Shalmaneser II; and Ahabhad at the same time a force of 2,000 chariots (compare the 1 Kings 20:1 note).
The Lubims or "Libyans" Daniel 11:43, were a people of Africa, distinct from the Egyptians and the Ethiopians dwelling in their immediate neighborhood. They were called Ribu or Libu by the Egyptians. See Genesis 10:13.
Sukkiims - This name does not occur elsewhere. The Septuagint, who rendered the word "Troglodytes," regarded the Sukkiim probably as the "cave-dwellers" along the western shore of the Red Sea; but the conjecture that the word means "tent-dwellers" is plausible, and would point rather to a tribe of Arahs (Scenitae).
And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem.
See 1 the Kings 14:25 note.
Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak.
Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous.
They said, The Lord is righteous - i. e., they acknowledged the justice of the sentence which had gone forth against them 2 Chronicles 12:5.
And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.
Compare the repentance of Ahab (marginal reference) and that of the Ninevites Jonah 3:5-10 which produced similar revocations of divine decrees that had been pronounced by the mouth of a prophet.
Some deliverance - Rather, "deliverance for a short space" (see the margin). Because of the repentance, the threat cf immediate destruction was withdrawn; but the menace was still left impending, that the people might be the more moved to contrition and amendment.
Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.
That they may know my service, and the service of the kingdom - i. e., that they may contrast the light burthen of the theocracy with the heavy yoke of a foreign monarch.
So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made.
Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the entrance of the king's house.
And when the king entered into the house of the LORD, the guard came and fetched them, and brought them again into the guard chamber.
And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, that he would not destroy him altogether: and also in Judah things went well.
So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess.
And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.
He prepared not his heart ... - See the margin. Rehoboam's sin was want of earnestness and consistency.
Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually.
And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.