And he said to Jeroboam, Take you ten pieces: for thus said the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to you:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Take thee ten pieces.—The message delivered by Ahijah first repeats exactly the former warning to Solomon (1Kings 11:9-13), marking, by the two reserved pieces of the garment, the duality of the “one tribe” reserved for the house of David; next, it conveys to Jeroboam a promise like that given to David (so far as it was a temporal promise), “to build thee a sure house, as I built for David,” on condition of the obedience which David, with all his weakness and sin, had shown, and from which Solomon, in spite of all his wisdom, had fallen away; and lastly, declares, in accordance with the famous declaration of 2Samuel 7:14-16, that sin in the house of David should bring with it severe chastisement, but not final rejection. In estimating the “sin of Jeroboam,” the existence of this promise of security and blessing to his kingdom must be always taken into consideration.Jeremiah 13:1-11; Ezekiel 3:1-3). A connection may be traced between the type selected and the words of the announcement to Solomon (1 Kings 11:11-13. Compare 1 Samuel 15:26-28). Take thee ten pieces; whence the kingdom of Israel is oft called the kingdom of the ten tribes; by which expression it may seem that David’s posterity should have one tribe reserved out of the kingdom of Israel besides that of Judah, which because of its greatness and eminency, is commonly distinguished from Israel, and that not only after the division of the two kingdoms, but even before it, as 1 Samuel 11:8 2 Samuel 5:5.
for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon; that is, out of his family:And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)31. Take thee ten pieces] With this symbolical action of Ahijah may be compared the ‘horns of iron’ which Zedekiah made (1 Kings 22:11) to express most significantly the way in which he prophesied that Ahab should repulse the Syrians.
out of the hand of Solomon] i.e. Of his immediate successor, as is explained in 1 Kings 11:34.Verse 31. - And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes [Keil insists that "ten" is here mentioned merely as the number of completeness; that, in fact, it is to be understood symbolically and not arithmetically. He further states that in point of fact the kingdom of Jeroboam only consisted of nine tribes, that of Simeon being practically surrounded by the territory of Judah, and so becoming incorporated in the southern kingdom. But surely, if that had been the idea in the prophet's mind, it would have been better expressed had he torn off one piece from the garment and given the rest, undivided, to Jeroboam (Bahr). And the reference to the number of the tribes is unmistakable. As to Simeon, we have no means of knowing what part that tribe, if it still existed, took at the division of the kingdom. See on 1 Kings 19:3. Its members had long been scattered (Genesis 49:7), and it gradually dwindled away, and has already disappeared from the history. But even if it had a corporate existence and did follow the lead of Judah, still that is not con. clusive on the question, for we know not only that the historian uses round numbers, but also that we are not to look for exact statements, as the next verse proves] to thee. 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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