And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1 Kings 11:29. When Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem — Probably to execute his charge. The Prophet Ahijah found him — Met with him as he was going along. “Ahijah was a native of Shiloh, and one of those who wrote the annals of King Solomon’s reign, 2 Chronicles 9:29. And he is thought to have been the person who spake twice to Solomon from God, once while he was building the temple, (1 Kings 6:12,) and again when he fell into his irregularities,” 1 Kings 11:11. They two were alone in the field — Having gone aside for private conference; for otherwise Jeroboam’s servants, (it being most likely he had servants attending him,) if they heard not the words, might have seen the action of rending his coat, and thus the matter might have come to Solomon’s ears.1 Kings 11:40).When Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem; upon some occasion, possibly to execute his charge.
They two were alone in the field; having gone aside thither for some private conference; for otherwise it is most likely that he had servants attending upon him, who, though they heard not the words, yet might see the action, and the rending of Jeroboam’s coat; and thus it came to Solomon’s ears, who being so acute and wise, could easily understand the thing by what he heard of the action, especially when a prophet did it.
that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; not accidentally, but purposely was in the way to meet him, and converse with him; this prophet was of the city of Shiloh, and where was now his abode, see 1 Kings 14:2.
and he had clad himself with a new garment; not Jeroboam, but the prophet, and that by the direction of the Lord, for the following purpose:
and they two were alone in the field: it is possible Jeroboam might have some servants with him; but Ahijah desiring some private conversation with him, he sent them onwards, or bid them stay at some distance; who yet might be capable of observing what was done, though not of hearing what was said; or otherwise how should Solomon come to the knowledge of it? 1 Kings 11:40.And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)29. at that time] i.e. While the building-works at the Millo and the completion of the wall was in progress.
Ahijah the Shilonite] This prophet, whose home was in Shiloh (see 1 Kings 14:2), is mentioned in connexion with this prophecy to Jeroboam and again when Jeroboam has become king, and sends his wife to inquire of the prophet about the issue of his child’s sickness. A writing of his is spoken of in 2 Chronicles 9:29 as ‘the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite’. This may have contained other prophecies beside those which have been preserved to us. He was evidently a person of much importance and influence during this and the following reign.
found him in the way] Here the LXX. adds ‘and he drew him aside out of the way’: an addition which may have been made to explain how it came to pass, as is said immediately, that ‘they two were alone in the field.’
and he had clad himself] i.e. Ahijah had done so. The R.V. following the LXX. inserts the proper name in italics to make the sense clearer in the English.Verse 29. - And it came to pass at that time [a general expression = "when he was thus employed"] when [Heb. that] Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem that [Heb. and], the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite [i.e., of Shiloh, as is expressed 1 Kings 14:2-4, where see notes. He too, therefore, was an Ephraimite (Joshua 16:5). This portion of the history is probably derived from his writings (2 Chronicles 9:29). We may be pretty sure that Nathan was now dead] found him in the way; and he [i.e., Ahijah. Ewald understands Jeroboam to be meant, and would see in the new garment his "splendid robe of office"] had clad himself with a new garment [שַׂלְמָה same word as שְׂמְלָה such transpositions of letters being common. The simlah was the outer garment (Genesis 9:23; 1 Samuel 21:10, etc.), which served at night as a covering (Deuteronomy 22:17). It was probably identical in shape, etc., with the camel's-hair burnous, or abba, worn by the Arabs at the present day (cf. Conder, pp. 318, 342), and being almost a square would lend itself well to division into twelve parts]; and they two were alone in the field [i.e., open country.] 1 Kings 15:18), who had fled from his lord Hadadezer, king of Zobah, and who became the captain of a warlike troop (גּדוּד), when David smote them (אתם), i.e., the troops of his lord (2 Samuel 8:3-4). Rezon probably fled from his lord for some reason which is not assigned, when the latter was engaged in war with David, before his complete overthrow, and collected together a company from the fugitives, with which he afterwards marched to Damascus, and having taken possession of that city, made himself king over it. This probably did not take place till towards the close of David's reign, or even after his death, though it was at the very beginning of Solomon's reign; for "he became an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon (i.e., during the whole of his reign), and that with (beside) the mischief which Hadad did, and he abhorred Israel (i.e., became disgusted with the Israelitish rule), and became king over Aram." הדד אשׁר is an abbreviated expression, to which עשׂה may easily be supplied, as it has been by the lxx (vid., Ewald, 292, b., Anm.). It is impossible to gather from these few words in what the mischief done by Hadad to Solomon consisted.
(Note: What Josephus (Ant. viii. 7, 6) relates concerning an alliance between Hadad and Rezon for the purpose of making hostile attacks upon Israel, is merely an inference drawn from the text of the lxx, and utterly worthless.)
Rezon, on the other hand, really obtained possession of the rule over Damascus. Whether at the beginning or not till the end of Solomon's reign cannot be determined, since all that is clearly stated is that he was Solomon's adversary during the whole of his reign, and attempted to revolt from him from the very beginning. If, however, he made himself king of Damascus in the earliest years of his reign, he cannot have maintained his sway very long, since Solomon afterwards built or fortified Tadmor in the desert, which he could not have done if he had not been lord over Damascus, as the caravan road from Gilead to Tadmor (Palmyra) went past Damascus.
(Note: Compare Ewald, Gesch. iii. p. 276. It is true that more could be inferred from 2 Chronicles 8:3, if the conquest of the city of Hamath by Solomon were really recorded in that passage, as Bertheau supposes. But although על הזק is used to signify the conquest of tribes or countries, we cannot infer the conquest of the city of Hamath from the words, "Solomon went to Hamath Zobah עליה ויּחזק and built Tadmor," etc., since all that עליה יחזק distinctly expresses is the establishment of his power over the land of Hamath Zobah. And this Solomon could have done by placing fortifications in that province, because he was afraid of rebellion, even if Hamath Zobah had not actually fallen away from his power.)
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