1 Kings 12:24
Thus said the LORD, You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They listened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the word of the LORD.
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12:16-24 The people speak unbecomingly of David. How soon are good men, and their good services to the public, forgotten ! These considerations should reconcile us to our losses and troubles, that God is the Author of them, and our brethren the instruments: let us not meditate revenge. Rehoboam and his people hearkened to the word of the Lord. When we know God's mind, we must submit, how much soever it crosses our own mind. If we secure the favour of God, not all the universe can hurt us.The remnant - i. e., "the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah" (1 Kings 12:17 note). 1Ki 12:20-33. Jeroboam Made King over Them.

20-24. when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again—This verse closes the parenthetical narrative begun at 1Ki 12:2, and 1Ki 12:21-24 resume the history from 1Ki 12:1. Rehoboam determined to assert his authority by leading a large force into the disaffected provinces. But the revolt of the ten tribes was completed when the prophet Shemaiah ordered, in the Lord's name, an abandonment of any hostile measures against the revolutionists. The army, overawed by the divine prohibition, dispersed, and the king was obliged to submit.

This thing is from me; this event is from my counsel and providence, to punish Solomon’s apostacy, though they procured it by sinful means; and therefore, if you proceed, you must fight with me as well as them.

They hearkened therefore to the word of the Lord; either from conscience of their duty, or because they durst not oppose so potent an adversary. Thus saith the Lord,.... A common preface the prophets used when they spoke in the name of the Lord:

ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel; and that because they were their brethren; though that is not the only reason, another follows:

return every man to his house, for this thing is from me; it was according to the will of God, as Josephus rightly says (o); it was by his ordination and appointment, though Jeroboam and the people sinned in the way and manner in which they brought it about; and therefore to fight against Israel, in order to regain the kingdom, would be fighting against God, and so to no purpose:

they hearkened therefore to the word of the Lord, and returned to depart according to the word of the Lord; they knew Shemaiah was a prophet of the Lord, and they believed the message he brought came from him, and therefore hearkened and were obedient to it; and with the consent of Rehoboam were disbanded, and returned to their habitations, being satisfied with, and submissive to, the will of God, both king and people.

(o) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 8. c. 8. sect. 3.)

Thus saith the {k} LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the word of the LORD.

(k) Who of his just judgment will punish the trespasser, and of his mercy spare the innocent people.

24. for this thing is from me] See above on 1 Kings 12:15.

and returned to depart] This is the literal rendering of the original, but is Hebrew rather than English. In R.V. the sense is given by ‘and returned and went their way.’ The LXX. has καὶ κατέπαυσαν τοῦ πορευθῆναι, ‘and they ceased from going.’

At this point the LXX. (Vat.) has a long passage inserted, for an account of which see additional note at the end of this chapter.

On the addition in the LXX. after 1 Kings 12:24This long passage has many peculiarities not only in the arrangement, which differs considerably from that of the narrative of the Hebrew text, but also in some portions of its contents. It takes up the history at 1 Kings 11:43 with Solomon’s death and Rehoboam’s accession. But it gives different numbers, both for the age of Rehoboam when he began to reign and for the duration of his reign, from those in the Hebrew text. Instead of 41 years old (as in 1 Kings 14:21) he is here stated to have been 16, and to have reigned 12 and not 17 years. It must be owned that the conduct of Rehoboam is much more like that of a very young man than of one who had passed middle-age. The LXX. continues the history with an account of Jeroboam, stating that his mother’s name was Sarira, γυνὴ πόρνη, and that he was put over the levy of the house of Joseph. And Jeroboam built for Solomon a city, also called Sarira, in the hill country of Ephraim, and was employed in the buildings around Jerusalem, and began to aspire to the kingdom. Then follows Solomon’s attempt to kill him, and his flight into Egypt, the king of which is Shishak (Σουσακίμ). After this the story is an exact parallel of what is given in the Hebrew about Hadad (1 Kings 11:19-22). Jeroboam finds favour with Shishak, and marries Ano, the elder sister of Thekemina, the wife of the king. He seeks to return, but is hardly allowed to go. At length he comes back to Sarira, gathers the people and fortifies the place. After this follows the sickness of his son and his wife’s visit to Ahijah, somewhat like the narrative in 1 Kings 14:1-13. Next we are told of a gathering at Shechem where both Rehoboam and Jeroboam are present, and it is said that on this occasion Shemaiah the prophet (and not Ahijah) rent his garment and gave ten parts to Jeroboam to signify the ten tribes over which he was hereafter to be king. Next comes the account of the popular petition to Rehoboam, and his delay and final answer; then his flight from Shechem to Jerusalem and the preparations for war, which is forbidden by Shemaiah.

Among other peculiarities of this form of the story may be added that the Egyptian wife is said to have been given to Jeroboam after his first request to be allowed to depart, apparently with a view to make him more contented. In the account of the visit of inquiry about the sick child, Ahijah says, ‘Thou shalt go forth from me, and it shall be when thou enterest into the city, into Sarira, that thy maidens shall come out to meet thee, and shall say, ‘The child is dead,’ and further on it is added ‘and the cry of mourning came to meet her.’ There is an addition also to the complaint which is presented to Rehoboam, ‘Thy father made his yoke heavy upon us’, καὶ ἐβάρυνε τὰ βρώματα τῆς τραπέζης αὐτοῦ, ‘and he made burdensome the meat of his table’; a sentence which seems to relate to the demands made so largely on the various districts for the supply of Solomon’s table. A different form is given also when the revolt begins, ‘And all the people spake, as one man, each to his neighbour, and they all cried out, saying, We have no part in David &c.… Each of you to your tents, O Israel, for this man is not to be our prince or our leader.’ It is also said that Rehoboam’s preparation for war was made ἐνισταμένου τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ, ‘when the year came round’: a phrase which has very close parallels in the Greek of 2 Samuel 11:1; 1 Kings 20:22; 1 Kings 20:26; and is so completely after the Hebrew manner that from this and much beside in the passage we can hardly doubt that it is derived from some Hebrew original. But the numerous inconsistencies found in it make it unworthy to be put in comparison with the story as recorded in the sacred text. It partakes very much of the character of those additions which we find made in the LXX. to the story of Ezra and Daniel, and, though of interest as a specimen of this kind of literature, cannot be accepted as raising any serious questions about the general correctness of the Massoretic text in the history of Jeroboam.Verse 24. - Thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren [a timely reminder of the unity of the race, notwithstanding the division of the kingdom] the children of Israel: return every man to his house: for this thing [i.e., the division, rupture] is [lit., was] from me. [A prophet of Judah now confirms what a prophet of Israel had already announced]. They hearkened therefore unto the word of the Lord, and returned [not "because they probably saw that a war with the numerically greater, and just now bitterly excited, ten tribes would bring them into a worse condition still" (Bahr), but because of the "word of the Lord." It was the remonstrance of the prophet alone restrained them. They knew their numerical inferiority before, but they nevertheless mustered for battle] to depart [a common Hebraism. The phrase in 2 Chronicles 11:4, יָשׁוּבוּ מִלֶּכֶת "they returned from going," was probably designed as an explanation], according to the word of the Lord. At this point the Vat. LXX. inserts along addition, which differs from, and indeed contradicts, the Hebrew text in some important particulars. Rehoboam is represented as 16 years of age (Hebrews 40), as reigning 12 years (Hebrews 17); his mother is Naanan (Heb. Naamah), and is the daughter of Ana, son of Nahash, king of Ammon. Jeroboam is described as son of Sarira, a harlot. He is appointed by Solomon superintendent of the levy of Ephraim, and builds for him a city Sarira, and also completes the circumvallation of Jerusalem. He has 300 chariots and aims at royalty. Solomon seeking to slay him, he flees to Shishak, king of Egypt, who treats him with distinction, giving him the sister of his own wife in marriage. Here his son Abijah is born, when Rehoboam has been, something like a year upon the throne. After his birth, Jeroboam asks a second time to be released: he returns to his own country, takes up his abode at Sarira, fortifies it, and gathers the tribe of Ephraim round him. Here Abijah falls sick, and the visit to the prophet, narrated in chap. 14, takes place. The child dies; there is general mourning, after which Jeroboam goes to Shechem, and collects the tribes. Here the prophet Shemaiah (not Ahijah) tears a new garment in twelve pieces, gives him ten, and promises him the dominion over ten tribes. After which follow the events of vers. 5-24 of this chapter. The great circumstantiality of this narrative has led some scholars - Dean Stanley among them - to prefer it before the Hebrew version. But its details will not bear careful examination, and there is little doubt that it is a compilation of later date. Its untrustworthiness has been well shown among others by Rawlinson, Speaker's Commentary in loc. But he omits to notice what is perhaps its strongest condemnation, viz., that this LXX. addition is in conflict with the LXX. (and Hebrews) text of chap. 11. The account of Jeroboam's marriage with the sister of the queen, e.g., is manifestly a variation of the history of Hadad (ch. 11. ver. 19; see also ver. 22). Nor does it harmonize with the preceding history of this chapter, as given by the LXX.

CHAPTER 12:25-33. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL, AND THE SCHISM IN THE CHURCH. - The historian, after describing the great rebellion of the Jewish people, proceeds, in the rest of this chapter, to relate the measures which the new king took to secure his position. These were both external and internal. The external means were the erection of fortresses; the internal, the provision of new sanctuaries, priests, and ordinances. In order to appease the agitated tribes and commence negotiations with them, Rehoboam sent Adoram, the superintendent of the tribute, to them (see at 1 Kings 4:6). Rehoboam entrusted him with the negotiation, because the tribes had complained that the tribute burdens were too severe, and the king was no doubt serious in his wish to meet the demands of the people. But the very fact that he sent this man only increased the bitterness of feeling, so that they stoned him to death, and Rehoboam himself was obliged to summon up all his strength (התאמּץ) to escape a similar fate by a speedy flight to his chariot.
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