1 Kings 11:40
Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
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(40) Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam.—The knowledge of the promise in itself would be sufficient to excite the jealousy of the old king, and incite him to endeavour to falsify it by the death of Jeroboam. But from 1Kings 11:26 it may be inferred that Jeroboam, characteristically enough, had not patience to wait for its fulfilment, and that he sought in some way by overt act to clutch, or prepare to clutch, at royalty. The addition to the LXX. describes him, before his flight into Egypt, as collecting three hundred chariots, and assuming royal pretensions, taking advantage of his presidency over “the house of Joseph.”

Shishak king of Egypt.—The Shishak of the Old Testament is certainly to be identified with the Sheshenk of the Egyptian monuments, the Sesonchis or Sesonchosis of the Greek historians; and the identification is an important point in the Biblical chronology, for the accession of Sheshenk is fixed by the Egyptian traditions at about B.C. 980. It is a curious proof of historical accuracy that the generic name Pharaoh is not given to Shishak here. For it appears that he was not of the old royal line, but the founder of a new dynasty (the 23rd), called the Bubastite dynasty, in which several names are believed to have a Semitic origin, arguing foreign extraction; and in one genealogical table his ancestors appear not to have been of royal rank. It seems that he united (perhaps by marriage) the lines of the two dynasties which previously ruled feebly in Upper and Lower Egypt, and so inaugurated a new era of prosperity and conquest. His invasion of Judah in the fifth year of Rehoboam (see 1Kings 14:25) is chronicled in the monuments as belonging to the twentieth year of his own reign. He was, therefore, king for the last fifteen years of Solomon’s reign; and his favourable reception of the rebel Jeroboam indicates a natural change of attitude towards the Israelite power. The LXX. addition describes Jeroboam (in a passage clearly suggested by what is recorded in 1Kings 11:19-20 about Hadad) as receiving from Shishak “Ano, the elder sister of Thekemina (Tahpenes), his queen,” which involves an anachronism, for Tahpenes belonged to an earlier Pharaoh. But the whole history implies a close political alliance of Shishak with Jeroboam, both as an exile and as a king.

1 Kings 11:40. Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam — How Solomon came to know what was secretly transacted between Ahijah and Jeroboam alone, is a great question: perhaps the prophet made no scruple to report what he had delivered in the name of the Lord. Or, Jeroboam himself, being puffed up with the expectation of ascending the throne, could not conceal it, nor keep his own counsel, but told the matter to some of his confidants, who spread it abroad. But that Solomon should ever entertain a thought of endeavouring to defeat the purpose of God, is astonishing indeed! Jeroboam arose and fled — unto Shishak king of Egypt — Solomon’s brother-in-law, as is probable, who yet might be jealous of him, or alienated from him, because he had taken so many other wives to his sister; or might cast a greedy eye upon the great riches which Solomon had amassed together, and upon which, presently after Solomon’s death, he laid violent hands, 2 Chronicles 12:9. We may observe here that all the kings of Egypt, from the time of Abraham, are in the sacred history called by the name of Pharaoh, unless Rameses (mentioned Genesis 47.) be the name of a king, not of a country; so that this is the first we meet with called by his proper name, different from the rest of the Pharaohs. The opinion is pretty general that this was the great king, called by the Greeks Sesostris, who, having subdued Ethiopia, extended his conquests into Asia, as far as the Assyrians and Medes, as Josephus tells us, who calls him Sethosis.

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?Compare 1 Kings 11:26. The announcement of Ahijah was followed within a little while by rebellion on the part of Jeroboam. As Solomon's luster faded, as his oppression became greater and its objects more selfish, and as a prospect of deliverance arose from the personal qualities of Jeroboam 1 Kings 11:28, the tribe of Ephraim to which he belonged, again aspired after its old position (see Joshua 17:14 note). Jeroboam, active, energetic, and ambitious, placed himself at their head. The step proved premature. The power of Solomon was too firmly fixed to be shaken; and the hopes of the Ephraimites had to be deferred until a fitter season.

The "exact" date of Jeroboam's flight into Egypt cannot be fixed. It was certainly not earlier than Solomon's twenty-fourth year, since it was after the building of Millo 1 Kings 11:27. But it may have been several years later.

Shishak - This king is the first Pharaoh mentioned in Scripture who can be certainly identified with any known Egyptian monarch. He is the Sheshonk (Sheshonk I) of the monuments, and the Sesonchosis of Manetho. The Egyptian date for his accession is 980 or 983 B.C., which synchronizes, according to the ordinary Hebrew reckoning, with Solomon's 32nd or 35th year. Sheshonk I has left a record of his expedition against Judah, which accords well with what is related of Shishak 1 Kings 14:25-26; 2 Chronicles 12:2-4.

40. Shishak—He harbored and encouraged the rebellious refugee, and was of a different dynasty from the father-in-law of Solomon. This might come to the ears of Solomon, either,

1. By Jeroboam himself, who might speak of this, either out of vain-glory and ostentation, or with design to prepare the people for his purpose. Or,

2. By the servants. See Poole "1 Kings 11:29".

Shishak king of Egypt; who was either,

1. Solomon’s brother-in-law, who yet might be jealous of, him, or alienated from him, because he had taken so many other wives to his sister, as is here noted, 1 Kings 11:1; or might cast a greedy eye upon the great riches and glorious things which Solomon had amassed together, and upon which, presently after Solomon’s death, he laid violent hands, 2 Chronicles 12:9. All this was known to Jeroboam, who therefore durst put himself into Shishak’s protection; especially, considering how little such relations commonly signify in the affairs of princes; and withal, being made confident by God’s promise of the kingdom. Or,

2. One of another line or house, to whom that crown might descend for want of issue.

Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam,.... Which is another instance of his folly, to seek to detest the counsel of God, when he himself was assured by the Lord the kingdom should be rent, and given to his servant, 1 Kings 11:11 and especially if he was informed of what passed between Ahijah and Jeroboam, as it should seem by this he was; either through Ahijah's making no secret of it, or through Jeroboam not being able to keep his own counsel, or through the report of the servants what they saw done, 1 Kings 11:29, which Solomon would easily understand:

and Jeroboam arose and fled into Egypt; the common sanctuary of persons in distress in those days:

unto Shishak king of Egypt; either the father in law or the brother in law of Solomon, or one of another family, on whom the kingdom devolved; and who might not have any good respect for Solomon, and therefore Jeroboam thought himself safe with him: this is the only king of Egypt, in Scripture, that is called by his own name, and not Pharaoh; he is generally supposed to be the same with the Sesostris of Herodotus (t), and the Vexoris or Vexosis of Justin (u); and the rather he may be meant, since, according to Herodotus (w), he was the only king of Egypt that ruled over the Ethiopians: and Strabo says (x) he was the first that subdued Ethiopia and the country of the Troglodytes; also Diodorus Siculus affirms (y), that he fought with the Ethiopians dwelling to the south, and obliged them to pay tribute; out of which countries Shishak brought many with him in his expedition against Jerusalem, 2 Chronicles 12:2.

and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon; not daring to return till that time, and then he did.

(t) Euterpe, sive, l. 2. c. 102. (u) E Trogo, l. 1. c. 1.((w) Ut supra, (Euterpe, sive, l. 2.) c. 110. (x) Geograph. l. 16. p. 529. (y) Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 50.

Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
40. Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam] No doubt the aspirations of Jeroboam, and the prophetic act and words of Ahijah would come to the king’s ears, and make him anxious to remove a rival who had such special encouragement to prosecute his designs.

unto Shishak king of Egypt] This is the first Egyptian king whose name, as distinguished from his title, is recorded in the Old Testament. He has been identified with Sesonchosis, who is mentioned by Manetho as the first king of the twenty-second dynasty. He appears to have come to the throne about 988 B. C. i.e. in the 27th year of Solomon, though some calculations place him a little later. He is mentioned again (1 Kings 14:25) as coming up against Jerusalem in the reign of Rehoboam, and taking away much treasure from the temple and the king’s house.

41–43. Solomon’s death and burial (2 Chronicles 9:29-31)

Verse 40. - Solomon sought the efore to kill Jeroboam. [It is often assumed that Solomon's attempt on Jeroboam's life was the result of the prophecy of Ahijah. And our translation with its "therefore" favours this view. The Hebrews, however, has simply "and Solomon sought," etc. And these words connect themselves with ver. 26, "even he lifted up his hand," etc. With ver. 27 a parenthesis begins, explaining how it came about that Jeroboam rebelled. It is implied distinctly that it was because of Ahijah's prophecy. That prophecy, however, was in no sense a justification of treason or attack on Jeroboam's part. The fact that God had revealed His purposes was no reason why Jeroboam should forestall them. David knew and others knew that he was destined to be king, but he piously left it for God, in His own time and way, to place him on the throne. And Jeroboam's rebellion is the more inexcusable, because Ahijah had expressly stated that Solomon was to retain the kingdom during his lifetime. However "he lifted up his hand;" there was some overt act of rebellion, and Solomon, because of this, and not because of the prophecy (of which, indeed, he may never have heard), sought to slay him. Nor was the king without justification in so doing. Treason must be promptly suppressed, and treason against a benefactor (see ver. 28) is doubly hateful.] And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt [cf. verse 17, and Matthew 2:13. It was the natural place of refuge], unto Shishak, king of Egypt [Shishak is beyond doubt the Sheshonk I. of the monuments, and is the first of the Pharaohs who can be identified with certainty (see Dict. Bib. 3, p. 1288). The date of his accession appears to be somewhere between 988 and 980 B.C. As to his invasion of Palestine, see on 1 Kings 14:25. His reception of Jeroboam almost proves that there has been a change of dynasty, and that the new Pharaoh was no friend to Solomon], and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon. [Compare again Matthew 2:15.] 1 Kings 11:401 Kings 11:40 is a continuation of בּמּלך יד ויּרם in 1 Kings 11:26; for 1 Kings 11:27-39 contain simply an explanation of Jeroboam's lifting up his hand against Solomon. It is obvious from this that Jeroboam had organized a rebellion against Solomon; and also, as 1 Kings 11:29 is closely connected with 1 Kings 11:28, that this did not take place till after the prophet had foretold his reigning over ten tribes after Solomon's death. But this did not justify Jeroboam's attempt; nor was Ahijah's announcement an inducement or authority to rebel. Ahijah's conduct as perfectly analogous to that of Samuel in the case of Saul, and is no more to be attributed to selfish motives than his was, as though the prophetic order desired to exalt itself above the human sovereign (Ewald; see, on the other hand, Oehler's article in Herzog's Cycl.). For Ahijah expressly declared to Jeroboam that Jehovah would let Solomon remain prince over Israel during the remainder of his life. This deprived Jeroboam of every pretext for rebellion. Moreover the prophet's announcement, even without this restriction, gave him no right to seize with his own hand and by means of rebellion upon that throne which God intended to give to him. Jeroboam might have learned how he ought to act under these circumstances from the example of David, who had far more ground, according to human opinion, for rebelling against Saul, his persecutor and mortal foe, and who nevertheless, even when God had delivered his enemy into his hand, so that he might have slain him, did not venture to lay his hand upon the anointed of the Lord, but waited in pious submission to the leadings of his God, till the Lord opened the way to the throne through the death of Saul. By the side of David's behaviour towards Saul the attempt of Jeroboam has all the appearance of a criminal rebellion, so that Solomon would have been perfectly justified in putting him to death, if Jeroboam had not escaped from his hands by a flight into Egypt. - On Shishak see at 1 Kings 14:25.
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