1 Kings 12:6
And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do you advise that I may answer this people?
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1 Kings 12:6-7. Consulted with the old men that stood before — his father — Solomon, in his best days, though so wise, yet would not depend solely on his own wisdom, but had other wise men about him, with whom he advised, as his counsellors in all matters of moment. If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, &c. — By complying with their desires, and condescending to them for a time, till thou art better established in thy throne. They say, This day, that is, now, for a short season, foreseeing that some would dissuade him from this course, as below the majesty of a prince; and answer them, and speak good words — The service is not hard: it is only to give a few good words, which it is as easy to give as bad ones. This was most wise advice, and if Rehoboam had pursued this method, by his mild behaviour and kind speeches he would have won their hearts, and made them submit cheerfully to him, so that he would soon have had the same power over them which his father had. 12:1-15 The tribes complained not to Rehoboam of his father's idolatry, and revolt from God. That which was the greatest grievance, was none to them; so careless were they in matters of religion, if they might live at case, and pay no taxes. Factious spirits will never want something to complain of. And when we see the Scripture account of Solomon's reign; the peace, wealth, and prosperity Israel then enjoyed; we cannot doubt but that their charges were false, or far beyond the truth. Rehoboam answered the people according to the counsel of the young men. Never was man more blinded by pride, and desire of arbitrary power, than which nothing is more fatal. God's counsels were hereby fulfilled. He left Rehoboam to his own folly, and hid from his eyes the things which belonged to his peace, that the kingdom might be rent from him. God serves his own wise and righteous purposes by the imprudences and sins of men. Those that lose the kingdom of heaven, throw it away, as Rehoboam, by wilfulness and folly.The old men, that stood before Solomon his father - Perhaps "the princes" of 1 Kings 4:2. Solomon placed great value upon good advisers Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 24:6. 5-8. he said … Depart yet for three days—It was prudent to take the people's demand into calm and deliberate consideration. Whether, had the advice of the sage and experienced counsellors been followed, any good result would have followed, it is impossible to say. It would at least have removed all pretext for the separation. [See on [312]2Ch 10:7.] But he preferred the counsel of his young companions (not in age, for they were all about forty-one, but inexperienced), who recommended prompt and decisive measures to quell the malcontents. With the old men that stood before Solomon; with Solomon’s old counsellors, whom age, and experience of men and things, and converse with such a king, had made wise. And King Rehoboam consulted with the old men that stood before Solomon his father, while he yet lived,.... Which was very prudently done; for as these were men in years, and had been his father's counsellors, from whom, do doubt, they had learnt much wisdom, being often in cabinet council with him, they were capable of giving him the best advice:

and said, how do you advise, that I may answer this people? what answer would you advise me to give to them, and in what manner?

And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?
6. And king Rehoboam consulted] That the close similarity between the narrative here and 2 Chron. may be as apparent as possible to the English reader, the R.V. reads here as there, took counsel, and similarly in 1 Kings 12:8 ‘and took counsel with the young men.’ The change is of no importance to the sense, but where two passages are identical in the original they are with advantage represented so in the translation.

the old men] These persons must have been advanced in years, and perhaps were not in public office under Rehoboam. The age of Rehoboam on his accession was 41 years (1 Kings 14:21). (See, however, the note at the end of this chapter.) So though he and his favoured advisers are spoken of as ‘young,’ they were not so, except in comparison with Solomon’s counsellors.

How do you advise that I may answer] Here again in R.V. the translation is harmonized with 2 Chron. What counsel give ye me to return answer. Though this is certainly not so idiomatic as the English of Kings.Verse 6. - And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men [According to Bahr," the זְקֵנִים are not old people, but the elders." No doubt the word is constantly used, as in the expressions, "elders of Israel," "elders of the city," etc. (cf. πρεσβυτέροι, senatores (from senex), aldermen = elder men), without any reference to age; but this is not the case here, as the strong contrast with "young men" (vers. 8, 13, 14) proves] that stood before [see on 1 Kings 1:2] Solomon his father [among them, perhaps, were some of the "princes" of 1 Kings 4:2 sqq.] while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people? Conclusion of the history of Solomon. - Notice of the original works, in which further information can be found concerning his acts and his wisdom (see the Introduction); the length of his reign, viz., forty years; his death, burial, and successor. Solomon did not live to a very great age, since he was not more than twenty years old when he ascended the throne. - Whether Solomon turned to the Lord again with all his heart, a question widely discussed by the older commentators (see Pfeifferi Dubia vex. p. 435; Buddei hist. eccl. ii. p. 273ff.), cannot be ascertained from the Scriptures. If the Preacher Koheleth) is traceable to Solomon so far as the leading thoughts are concerned, we should find in this fact an evidence of his conversion, or at least a proof that at the close of his life Solomon discovered the vanity of all earthly possessions and aims, and declared the fear of God to be the only abiding good, with which a man can stand before the judgment of God.
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