1 Kings 11:28
And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor: 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.] When Hadad heard in Egypt of the death of David and Joab, he asked permission of Pharaoh to return to his own country. Pharaoh replied, "What is there lacking to thee with me?" This answer was a pure expression of love and attachment to Hadad, and involved the request that he would remain. But Hadad answered, "No, but let me go." We are not told that Pharaoh then let him go, but this must be supplied; just as in Numbers 10:32 we are not told what Hobab eventually did in consequence of Moses' request, but it has to be supplied from the context. The return of Hadad to his native land is clearly to be inferred from the fact that, according to 1 Kings 11:14, 1 Kings 11:25, he rose up as an adversary of Solomon.

(Note: The lxx have supplied what is missing e conjectura: καὶ ἀνέστρεψεν Ἄδερ (i.e., Hadad) εἰς τὴν γῆν αὐτοῦ· αὑτὴ ἡ κακία ἥν ἐποίησεν Ἄδερ· καὶ ἐβαρυθύμησεν Ἰσραήλ, καὶ ἐβασίλευσεν ἐν γῇ Ἐδώμ. Thenius proposes to alter the Hebrew text accordingly, and draws this conclusion, that "shortly after the accession of Solomon, Hadad, having returned from Egypt, wrested from the power of the Israelites the greatest part of Edom, probably the true mountain-land of Edom, so that certain places situated in the plain, particularly Ezion-geber, remained in the hands of the Israelites, and intercourse could be maintained with that port through the Arabah, even though not quite without disturbance." This conclusion, which is described as "historical," is indeed at variance with 1 Kings 22:48, according to which Edom had no king even in the time of Jehoshaphat, but only a vicegerent, and also with 2 Kings 8:20, according to which it was not till the reign of Jehoshaphat's son Joram that Edom fell away from Judah. But this discrepancy Thenius sets aside by the remark at 1 Kings 22:48, that in Jehoshaphat's time the family of Hadad had probably died out, and Jehoshaphat prudently availed himself of the disputes which arose concerning the succession to enforce Judah's right of supremacy over Edom, and to appoint first a vicegerent and then a new king, though perhaps one not absolutely dependent upon him. But this conjecture as to the relation in which Jehoshaphat stood to Edom is proved to be an imaginary fiction by the fact that, although this history does indeed mention a revolt of the Edomites from Judah (2 Chronicles 20; see at 1 Kings 22:48), it not only says nothing whatever about the dying out of the royal family of Hadad or about disputes concerning the succession, but it does not even hint at them. - But with regard to the additions made to this passage by the lxx, to which even Ewald (Gesch. iii. p. 276) attributes historical worth, though without building upon them such confident historical combinations as Thenius, we may easily convince ourselves of their critical worthlessness, if we only pass our eye over the whole section (1 Kings 11:14-25), instead of merely singling out those readings of the lxx which support our preconceived opinions, and overlooking all the rest, after the thoroughly unscientific mode of criticism adopted by a Thenius or Bttcher. For example, the lxx have connected together the two accounts respecting the adversaries Hadad and Rezon who rose up against Solomon (1 Kings 11:14 and 1 Kings 11:23), which are separated in the Hebrew text, and have interpolated what is sated concerning Rezon in 1 Kings 11:23 and 1 Kings 11:24 after האדמי in 1 Kings 11:14, and consequently have been obliged to alter וגו שׂטן ויהי in 1 Kings 11:25 into καὶ ἦσαν Σατάν, because they had previously cited Hadad and Rezon as adversaries, whereas in the Hebrew text these words apply to Rezon alone. But the rest of 1 Kings 11:25, namely the words from ואת־רעה onwards, they have not given till the close of 1 Kings 11:22 (lxx); and in order to connect this with what precedes, they have interpolated the words καὶ ἀνέστρεψεν Ἄδερ εἰς τὴν γῆν αὐτοῦ. The Alexandrians were induced to resort to this intertwining of the accounts concerning Hadad and Rezon, which are kept separate in the Hebrew text, partly by the fact that Hadad and Rezon are introduced as adversaries of Solomon with the very same words (1 Kings 11:14 and 1 Kings 11:23), but more especially by the fact that in 1 Kings 11:25 of the Hebrew text the injury done to Solomon by Hadad is merely referred to in a supplementary manner in connection with Rezon's enterprise, and indeed is inserted parenthetically within the account of the latter. The Alexandrian translators did not know what to make of this, because they did not understand ואת־הרעה and took ואת for זאת, αὕτη ἡ κακία. With this reading ויּקץ which follows was necessarily understood as referring to Hadad; and as Hadad was an Edomite, על־ארם ויּמלך had to be altered into ἐβασίλευσεν ἐν γῇ Ἐδώμ. Consequently all the alterations of the lxx in this section are simply the result of an arbitrary treatment of the Hebrew text, which they did not really understand, and consist of a collocation of all that is homogeneous, as every reader of this translation who is acquainted with the original text must see so clearly even at the very beginning of the chapter, where the number of Solomon's wives is taken from 1 Kings 11:3 of the Hebrew text and interpolated into 1 Kings 11:1, that, as Thenius observes, "the true state of the case can only be overlooked from superficiality of observation or from preconceived opinion.")

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