1 Kings 11:13
However, I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to your son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.
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11:9-13 The Lord told Solomon, it is likely by a prophet, what he must expect for his apostacy. Though we have reason to hope that he repented, and found mercy, yet the Holy Ghost did not expressly record it, but left it doubtful, as a warning to others not to sin. The guilt may be taken away, but not the reproach; that will remain. Thus it must remain uncertain to us till the day of judgment, whether or not Solomon was left to suffer the everlasting displeasure of an offended God.One tribe - i. e., (marginal reference) the tribe of Judah. Benjamin was looked upon as absorbed in Judah, so as not to be really a tribe in the same sense as the others. Still, in memory of the fact that the existing tribe of Judah was a double one 1 Kings 12:2 l, the prophet Ahijah tore his garment into twelve parts, and kept back two from Jeroboam 1 Kings 11:30-31. 13. I will give one tribe to thy son—There were left to Rehoboam the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi (2Ch 11:12, 13); and multitudes of Israelites, who, after the schism of the kingdom, established their residence within the territory of Judah to enjoy the privileges of the true religion (1Ki 12:17). These are all reckoned as one tribe. How but one tribe, when he had both Judah and Benjamin, 2 Chronicles 11:12?

Answ. Either Benjamin is swallowed up in Judah, because it was comparatively very small, and their habitation much intermixed with that of Judah: or one, to wit, of that kingdom which he here threatens to rend away from him, i.e. of the kingdom of Israel, and that was Benjamin; one beside Judah, which was his own tribe: or but one, because Benjamin was not entirely his, but part of it adhered to Jeroboam, as Beth-el, 1 Kings 12:29, and Ephrain, 2 Chronicles 13:19, both which were towns of Benjamin, Joshua 18:22. Or if God promised to give one, and gave him two, I suppose that was no great injury to him.

For Jerusalem’s sake; not, surely, for its merits; but because he had chosen it, as it follows, to be the seat of his temple and worship; it being God’s usual method

to give to him that hath, and to continue and multiply favours to them whom he hath begun to favour. Howbeit, I will not rend away all the kingdom,.... The whole kingdom of Israel:

but will give one tribe to thy son; but it seems he had both Benjamin and Judah, and only ten tribes were rent from him; the reason of this mode of expression may be, either because he gave him one of the tribes of Israel, besides that of Judah, which was his own tribe; or only the tribe of Judah is meant, the whole tribe of Benjamin not being his, since Bethel, and some other places in that tribe, were in the possession of Jeroboam; or rather both these are called but one, because their inheritances lay together, and were mixed with one another; and particularly both had a share in the city of Jerusalem, and the kingdom always after the division went by the name of Judah only: and this tribe was given

for David my servant's sake; because of the promise to him, that there should not want one of his seed to sit on his throne, 1 Kings 9:5.

and for Jerusalem's sake, whom I have chosen; to have the house of his sanctuary and worship in, and therefore thought fit to have one rule there, that, would have a regard to his service in it.

Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one {g} tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.

(g) Because the tribes of Judah and Benjamin had their possessions mixed, they are here taken as one tribe.

13. but will give one tribe] The reference is to the tribe of Judah from which the southern kingdom took its name. Benjamin which went with Judah was so small as to be hardly worth accounting of, and Simeon was also absorbed in Judah. The same form of words is used below (1 Kings 11:32) in the account of Ahijah’s action, though it is expressly said in a previous verse ‘Take thee ten pieces.’ One reason for the close union of Benjamin with Judah was that the territorial division between the two tribes was such as to make the Temple the common property of both. The city of the Jebusite, which David conquered, and all the ground north of the valley of Hinnom was in the tribe of Benjamin.

for Jerusalem’s sake, which I have chosen] In Deuteronomy 12:5 it is signified that God will choose some place out of all the tribes ‘to place His name there,’ and in 1 Kings 14:21 Jerusalem is expressly called ‘the city which the Lord did choose out of all the tribes of Israel to put His name there.’ Hence the place was an object of Jehovah’s unchanging regard.Verse 13. - Howbeit I win not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe [viz., Judah (1 Kings 12:20, "the tribe of Judah only"). "Even the reservation of one tribe is called a gift" (Wordsworth) to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen. [But for this provision, Jerusalem would have ceased to be the religious capital. When the sceptre departed from Judah, we may be sure that the "envy of Ephraim" would have demanded that the city of their solemnities should be placed elsewhere - at Shiloh, which for 400 years had been God's "bright sanctuary," or at Bethel, which from far earlier times had been a holy place. See on 1 Kings 12:29, 32.]

CHAPTER 11:14-43. SOLOMON'S ADVERSARIES. - As the historian has collected together in chs. 6, 7, 8. all the information he can convey respecting the temple, and in chs. 9, 10. all the scattered notices respecting Solomon's power and greatness, so here he arranges in one section the history of Solomon's adversaries. It must not be supposed that the following records stand in due chronological order. The enmities here mentioned did not date from the delivery of the message of which we have just heard; on the contrary, the hatred and opposition of Hadad and Rezon began at an early period, though not the earliest (1 Kings 5:4), of Solomon's reign. It was only in his later life, however, that they materially affected his position and rule; hence it is that they are brought before us at this stage of the history, and also because they are manifestly regarded as chastisements for Solomon's sin. He walked after the Ashtaroth, etc. According to 1 Kings 11:7, the idolatry here condemned consisted in the fact that he built altars to the deities of all his foreign wives, upon which they offered incense and sacrifice to their idols. It is not stated that he himself also offered sacrifice to these idols. But even the building of altars for idols was a participation in idolatry which was irreconcilable with true fidelity to the Lord. עשׁתּרת, Astarte, was the chief female deity of all the Canaanitish tribes; her worship was also transplanted from Tyre to Carthage, where it flourished greatly. She was a moon-goddess, whom the Greeks and Romans called sometimes Aphrodite, sometimes Urania, Σεληναίη, Coelestis, and Juno (see the Comm. on Judges 2:13). מלכּם, which is called מלך (without the article) in 1 Kings 11:7, and מלכּם in Jeremiah 49:1, Jeremiah 49:3, and Amos 1:15, the abomination of the Ammonites, must not be confounded with the Molech (המּלך, always with the article) of the early Canaanites, to whom children were offered in sacrifice in the valley of Benhinnom from the time of Ahaz onwards (see the Comm. on Leviticus 18:21), since they had both of them their separate places of worship in Jerusalem (cf. 2 Kings 23:10, 2 Kings 23:13), and nothing is ever said about the offering of children in sacrifice to Milcom; although the want of information prevents us from determining the precise distinction between the two. Milcom was at any rate related to the Chemosh of the Moabites mentioned in 1 Kings 11:7; for Chemosh is also described as a god of the Ammonites in Judges 11:24, whereas everywhere else he is called the god of the Moabites (Numbers 21:29; Amos 1:15, etc.). Chemosh was a sun-god, who was worshipped as king of his people and as a god of war, and as such is depicted upon coins with a sword, lance, and shield in his hands, and with two torches by his side (see at Numbers 21:29). The enumeration of the different idols is incomplete; Chemosh being omitted in 1 Kings 11:5, and Astarte, to whom Solomon also built an altar in Jerusalem, according to 2 Kings 23:13, in 1 Kings 11:7. Still this incompleteness does not warrant our filling up the supposed gaps by emendations of the text. וגו/ .txe הרע ויּעשׂ, as in Judges 2:11; Judges 3:7, etc. יי אהרי מלּא, a pregnant expression for יי אח ללכת מלּא, as in Numbers 14:24; Numbers 32:11-12, etc. - These places of sacrifice (בּמה, see at 1 Kings 3:2) Solomon built upon the mountain in front, i.e., to the east, of Jerusalem, and, according to the more precise account in 2 Kings 23:13, to the right, that is to say, on the southern side, of the Mount of Corruption, - in other words, upon the southern peak of the Mount of Olives; and consequently this peak has been called in church tradition from the time of Brocardus onwards, either Mons Offensionis, after the Vulgate rendering of המּשׁחית הר in 2 Kings 23:13, or Mons Scandali, Mount of Offence (vid., Rob. Pal. i. 565 and 566).
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