1 Kings 11:28
And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.
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(28) A mighty man of valour.—The phrase, like the “mighty valiant man,” applied to the young David (1Samuel 16:18), has nothing to do with war, but simply signifies “strong and capable.”

The charge (or in margin “the burden”), is, of course, the taskwork assigned to the levy from the tribe of Ephraim (and possibly Manasseh with it). It is clear from this that the levy for the Temple—perhaps originally exceptional—had served as a precedent for future burdens, not on the subject races only, as at first (1Kings 9:21-22), but on the Israelites also. The LXX. addition makes Jeroboam build for Solomon “Sarira in Mount Ephraim” also.

Ahijah the Shilonite.—In the person of Ahijah, prophecy emerges from the abeyance, which seems to overshadow it during the greatness of the monarchy. Even in David’s old age, the prophet Nathan himself appears chiefly as a mere counsellor and servant of the king (see 1 Kings 1), and from the day of his coronation of Solomon we hear nothing of any prophetic action. Solomon himself receives the visions of the Lord (1Kings 3:5; 1Kings 3:2); upon him, as the Wise Man, rests the special inspiration of God; at the consecration of the Temple he alone is prominent, as the representative and the teacher of the people. Now, however, we find in Ahijah the first of the line of prophets, who resumed a paramount influence like that of Samuel or Nathan, protecting the spirituality of the land and the worship of God, and demanding both from king and people submission to the authority of the Lord Jehovah.

11:26-40 In telling the reason why God rent the kingdom from the house of Solomon, Ahijah warned Jeroboam to take heed of sinning away his preferment. Yet the house of David must be supported; out of it the Messiah would arise. Solomon sought to kill his successor. Had not he taught others, that whatever devices are in men's hearts, the counsel of the Lord shall stand? Yet he himself thinks to defeat that counsel. Jeroboam withdrew into Egypt, and was content to live in exile and obscurity for awhile, being sure of a kingdom at last. Shall not we be content, who have a better kingdom in reserve?A mighty man of valor - Here "a man of strength and activity." It is a vague term of commendation, the exact force of which must be fixed by the context. See Ruth 2:1; 1 Samuel 9:1, etc.

Solomon made Jeroboam superintendent of all the forced labor ("the charge") exacted from his tribe - the tribe of Ephraim - during the time that he was building Millo and fortifying the city of Jerusalem 1 Kings 9:15.

26-40. Jeroboam—This was an internal enemy of a still more formidable character. He was a young man of talent and energy, who, having been appointed by Solomon superintendent of the engineering works projected around Jerusalem, had risen into public notice, and on being informed by a very significant act of the prophet Ahijah of the royal destiny which, by divine appointment, awaited him, his mind took a new turn. A mighty man of valour, or, a man of great strength of body, or courage of mind, or both.

Industrious; ingenious, and diligent, and active, and every way fit for business and for command.

Over all the charge, i.e. the taxes and tributes which were to be gathered of the people by his power and authority.

Of the house of Joseph; either of Ephraim and Manasseh, who were jointly comprehended under this name, Joshua 17:17; or of Ephraim only, who elsewhere comes under that name, as 1 Chronicles 5:1 Psalm 78:67 Ezekiel 37:6. And it seems most probable that each tribe had a several ruler.

And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour,.... A man of great strength of body, and fortitude of mind:

and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious; in what he was set about in the above buildings and repairs:

he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph; the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, to be a prince or a deputy governor of them; or rather to collect the king's tax from them, or the revenues of that part of the country, see Proverbs 22:29.

And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him {o} ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.

(o) He was overseer of Solomon's works for the tribe of Ephraim and Manasseh.

28. and Solomon seeing] The verb is finite, therefore render (with R.V.) saw.

was industrious] Literally ‘did work.’

he made him ruler over all the charge of, &c.] Better (with R.V., and he gave him charge over all the labour (Heb. burden) of the house of Joseph, i.e. the tribe of Ephraim. The labour here spoken of is that compulsory work, which the Israelites did by turns for parts of the year, and which the tributary subject-population were constantly employed upon. It is not difficult to conceive circumstances under which such duty might become very distasteful to the northern section of the kingdom. For between them and the people of Judah there was a pronounced opposition even in David’s time. And the compulsory labour on the walls of Jerusalem was just the sort of occupation to aggravate this old enmity. Jeroboam saw this and took advantage of it.

Verse 28. - And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour [same expression Judges 6:12; Judges 11:1; 1 Samuel 9:1; 2 Kings 15:20. In Ruth if. 1 it hardly seems to imply valour so much as wealth (as A.V.): and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious [Heb. doing fwork], he made him ruler over all the charge [Heb. appointed him to all the burden] of the house of Joseph. [The tribe of Ephraim, with its constant envy of Judah, must have been mortified to find themselves employed - though it was but in the modified service of Israelites - on the fortifications of Jerusalem. Their murmurings revealed to Jeroboam the unpopularity of Solomon, and perhaps suggested thoughts of overt rebellion to his mind.] 1 Kings 11:28Attempted rebellion of Jeroboam the Ephraimite. - Hadad and Rezon are simply described as adversaries (שׂטן) of Solomon; but in the case of Jeroboam it is stated that "he lifted up his hand against the king," i.e., he stirred up a tumult or rebellion. בּ יד נשׂא is synonymous with בּ יד נשׂא in 2 Samuel 18:28; 2 Samuel 20:21. It is not on account of this rebellion, which was quickly suppressed by Solomon, but on account of the later enterprise of Jeroboam, that his personal history is so minutely detailed. Jeroboam was an Ephraimite (אפרתי, as in 1 Samuel 1:1; Judges 12:5) of Zereda, i.e., Zarthan, in the Jordan valley (see 1 Kings 7:46), son of a widow, and עבד, i.e., not a subject (Then.), but an officer, of Solomon. All that is related of his rebellion against the king is the circumstances under which it took place. אשׁר הדּבר יד, this is how it stands with, as in Joshua 5:4. Solomon built Millo (1 Kings 9:15), and closed the rent (the defile?) in the city of David. פּרץ, ruptura, cannot be a rent or breach in the wall of the city of David, inasmuch as חומה is not added, and since the fortification of the city by David (2 Samuel 5:9) no hostile attack had ever been made upon Jerusalem; but in all probability it denotes the ravine which separated Zion from Moriah and Ophel, the future Tyropoeon, through the closing of which the temple mountain was brought within the city wall, and the fortification of the city of David was completed (Thenius, Ewald, Gesch. iii. p. 330). Compare מפרץ, a gap in the coast, a bay. On the occasion of this building, Jeroboam proved himself a חיל גּבּור, i.e., a very able and energetic man; so that when Solomon saw the young man, that he was doing work, i.e., urging it forward, he committed to him the oversight over all the heavy work of the house of Joseph. It must have been while occupying this post that he attempted a rebellion against Solomon. This is indicated by וגו הדּבר יד in v. 27. According to 1 Kings 12:4, the reason for the rebellion is to be sought for in the appointment of the Ephraimites to heavy works. This awakened afresh the old antipathy of that tribe to Judah, and Jeroboam availed himself of this to instigate a rebellion.
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