1 Kings 12:9
And he said to them, What counsel give you that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which your father did put on us lighter?
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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 age of Rehoboam at his accession is an interesting and difficult question. According to the formal statement of the present text of 1 Kings 14:21; 2 Chronicles 12:13, he had reached the mature age of 41 years, and would therefore be unable to plead youth as an excuse for his conduct. The general narrative, however, seems to assume that he was quite a young man (compare 2 Chronicles 13:7). Perhaps the best way of removing the whole difficulty would be to read in the above text "twenty-one" for "forty-one." The corruption is one which might easily take place, if letters were used for numerals. 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. No text from Poole on this verse. And he said unto them, what counsel give ye, that we may answer this people, saying,.... See Gill on 1 Kings 12:4. And he said unto them, {c} What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?

(c) There is nothing harder for them that are in authority than to control their desires and follow good counsel.

9. that we may answer] Better, ‘may return answer’ as the words are precisely those of 1 Kings 12:6. It is noteworthy that Rehoboam includes the young counsellors with himself and says ‘we’ when he speaks to them, but he employs the singular number ‘I’ in 1 Kings 12:6, when addressing the older men. He appears to have dispensed summarily with the services of his father’s advisers, and taken others into his confidence. One among several marks of folly which are to be found in the history of this business.Verse 9. - And he said unto them, What counsel give ye [emphatic in the original] that we [it is noticeable how Rehoboam identifies these young men with himself. He employs a different expression when addressing the old men (ver. 6). The A.V. perhaps gives its force by the translation, "that I may answer," etc.; lit., "to answer"] may answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter? The construction of 1 Kings 12:2, 1 Kings 12:3 is a complicated one, since it is only in ויּבאוּ in 1 Kings 12:3 that the apodosis occurs to the protasis וגו כּשׁמע ויהי, and several circumstantial clauses intervene. "And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard, sc., that Solomon was dead and Rehoboam had been made king ... he was still in Egypt, however, whither he had fled from king Solomon; and as Jeroboam was living in Egypt, they had sent and called him ... that Jeroboam came and the whole congregation of Israel," etc. On the other hand, in 2 Chronicles 10:2 the construction is very much simplified, and is rendered clearer by the alteration of בּמצרים יר ויּשׁב, "and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt," into ממּצרים יר ויּשׁב, "that Jeroboam returned from Egypt."

(Note: At the same time, neither this explanation in the Chronicles, nor the fact that the Vulgate has the same in our text also, warrants our making alterations in the text, for the simple reason that the deviation in the Chronicles and Vulgate is so obviously nothing but an elucidation of our account, which is more obscurely expressed. There is still less ground for the interpolation, which Thenius has proposed, from the clauses contained in the Septuagint partly after 1 Kings 11:43, partly in 1 Kings 12 between 1 Kings 12:24 and 1 Kings 12:25, and in an abbreviated form once more after 1 Kings 13:34, so as to obtain the following more precise account of the course of the rebellion which Jeroboam instigated, and of which we have not a very minute description in 1 Kings 11:26 : "Solomon having appointed Jeroboam superintendent of the tributary labour in Ephraim, for the purpose of keeping in check the Sichemites, who were probably pre-eminently inclined to rebel, directed him to make a fortress, which already existed upon Mount Gerizim under the name of Millo, into a strong prison (צרירה( ), from which the whole district of Gerizim, the table-land, received the name of the land of Zerirah, and probably made him governor of it and invested him with great power. When holding this post, Jeroboam rebelled against Solomon, but was obliged to flee. Having now returned from Egypt, he assembled the members of his own tribe, and with them he first of all besieged this prison, for the purpose of making himself lord of the surrounding district. Now this castle was the citadel of the city in which Jeroboam was born, to which he had just returned, and from which they fetched him to take part in the negotiations with Rehoboam. Its ruins are still in existence, according to Robinson (Pal. iii. p. 99), and from all that has been said it was not called Zeredah (1 Kings 11:26), but (after the castle) Zerira." This is what Thenius says. But if we read the two longer additions of the lxx quite through, we shall easily see that the words ᾠκοδόμησε τῷ Σαλωμὼν τὴν ἐν ὄρει Ἐφραΐ́μ do not give any more precise historical information concerning the building of the Millo mentioned in 1 Kings 11:27, since this verse is repeated immediately afterwards in the following form: οὖτος ᾠκοδόμησε τὴν ἄκραν ἐν ταῖς ἄρσεσιν οἴκου Ἐφραΐ́μ οὖτος συνέκλεισε τὴν πόλιν Δαβίδ, - but are nothing more than a legendary supplement made by an Alexandrian, which has no more value than the statement that Jeroboam's mother was named Sarira and was γυνὴ πόρνη. The name of the city Σαριρά is simply the Greek form of the Hebrew צררה, which the lxx have erroneously adopted in the place of צרדה, as the reading in 1 Kings 11:26. But in the additional clauses in question in the Alexandrian version, Σαριρά is made into the residence of king Jeroboam and confounded with Thirza; what took place at Thirza according to 1 Kings 14:17 (of the Hebrew text) being transferred to Sarira, and the following account being introduced, viz., that Jeroboam's wife went ἐκ Σαριρά to the prophet Ahijah to consult him concerning her sick son, and on returning heard of the child's death as she was entering the city of Sarira. - These remarks will be quite sufficient to prove that the Alexandrian additions have not the least historical worth.)

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