1 Kings 13:23
And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Kings 13:23-24. He saddled for him the ass — But it is observable, he does not accompany him: his guilty conscience making him fear to be involved in the same judgment with him. A lion met him by the way, and slew him — There was a wood not far from Bethel, out of which the two she-bears came, mentioned 2 Kings 2:24; and, it is not unlikely, that out of the same wood came the lion that slew this prophet. His carcass was cast in the way — His dead body fell to the ground, and lay in the place where the soul left it. The lion also stood by the carcass — Which plainly showed that he was sent by God to execute only what God had threatened, and not to move one step beyond that commission, otherwise, agreeable to his nature and fierceness, he would certainly have devoured the carcass and torn the ass. “Some have thought,” says Dr. Dodd, “that this prophet’s was a small offence to have met with so severe a punishment: but the true state of the case is this: the prophet from Judah had sufficient evidence of the truth of his own revelation; had sufficient cause to suspect some corrupt ends in the prophet who came to recall him; and had sufficient reason to expect, an interposition of the same power that gave him the injunction to repeal it; and, therefore, his crime was an easy credulity, a complying with an offer merely to gratify a petulant appetite, which he knew was repugnant to a divine command. It argued a great levity, if not infidelity, of his own revelation, to listen to the pretended one of another man.” It must be acknowledged, however, to be strange, that the lying prophet should escape, while he, who, notwithstanding this error, was truly a man of God, is so severely punished. But judgment must begin at the house of God: God must correct his own children first. And there is a judgment to come, when these things shall be called over again, and when those who sinned most and suffered least in this world, will receive according to their works. This punishment of the prophet was a very striking admonition to Jeroboam of what he might expect, since God spared not a less guilty offender. And we may all learn from God’s severity, in this instance, 1st, Not to suffer our faith to be perverted by any suggestions made against a revelation of uncontested divine authority; and, 2d, Always to pay a strict regard and obedience to all the known commands of God.13:23-34 God is displeased at the sins of his own people; and no man shall be protected in disobedience, by his office, his nearness to God, or any services he has done for him. God warns all whom he employs, strictly to observe their orders. We cannot judge of men by their sufferings, nor of sins by present punishments; with some, the flesh is destroyed, that the spirit may be saved; with others, the flesh is pampered, that the soul may ripen for hell. Jeroboam returned not from his evil way. He promised himself that the calves would secure the crown to his family, but they lost it, and sunk his family. Those betray themselves who think to support themselves by any sin whatever. Let us dread prospering in sinful ways; pray to be kept from every delusion and temptation, and to be enabled to walk with self-denying perseverance in the way of God's commands.On the anxiety of the Hebrews to be buried with their fathers, see Genesis 47:30; Genesis 49:29, Genesis 49:1,Genesis 49:25; 2 Samuel 19:37, etc. 1Ki 13:23-32. The Disobedient Prophet Slain by a Lion. That he might sooner come to his home, and, if possible, escape the judgment threatened. But it is observable, he doth not accompany him; his guilty conscience making him to expect and fear to be involved in the same judgment with him. And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk,.... That is, had finished the meal; for he had begun to eat and drink before the word came, which came while they were eating and drinking; and it seems this did not hinder their proceeding to make an end of their meal, which one would have thought would have spoiled their appetite:

that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back; he ordered his sons to get it ready for him, that he might not walk on foot as he had; though it does not appear that either he or any of his servants accompanied him, but the contrary.

And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23–32. The prophet of Judah is slain. He is buried, and his words confirmed, by the old prophet (Not in Chronicles)

23. he saddled for him the ass] There has been no mention before of an ass belonging to the prophet of Judah, but as travelling was ordinarily performed in this way, we may suppose that he had ridden from Jerusalem, and had been riding back. Instead of the concluding words of this verse ‘to wit, for &c. the LXX. has ‘and he turned and went away.’

Because the word ‘prophet’ נביא is not used elsewhere in the story for the Judæan prophet, who is always called ‘a man of God,’ some have rendered the last part of this verse ‘he saddled for him the ass, the ass belonging to the prophet who had brought him back.’ But it seems far more natural to take the לו = for him, as in close relation to the לנביא = for the prophet, as they are both introduced by the same preposition.Verse 23. And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled [i.e., the prophet of Bethel; the "man of God" would seem to have come on foot. See below] for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. This translation is inadmissible. For not only is the term "prophet" throughout this narrative restricted to the prophet of Bethel (the prophet of Judah being always spoken of as "the man of God,") but the expression here used הַנָּבִיא א ה is also twice used (vers. 20, 26) of the same prophet. He is characterized there, that is to say, as "the prophet which brought him back;" it is hardly likely, therefore, that the same words are here to be interpreted, "the prophet whom he brought back." The mistake has arisen from the proximity of לו ("for him") to לַנָּבִיּא ("to" or "for the prophet"). But the לוis here indicative of possession (the dative of the possessor), as in 1 Samuel 14:16, "the watchmen to," i.e., of, "Saul," and 1 Samuel 16:18, "a son to Jesse" (cf. Genesis 14:18 Heb.; 1 Kings 5:29 [1 Kings 5:15] Heb.; Ruth 2:3 Heb.) We must therefore render "He (the old prophet, but this is not absolutely certain; the "man of God" may be understood) saddled for him (the man of God) the ass of the prophet which brought him back." The man of God had been delayed by his return to Bethel, and the prophet, out of pity, lends or gives him his ass. Not merely, it is probable, for the sake of speeding him on his way, but that he might have some living thing with him on a journey which he had so much cause to dread. Seduction of the man of God by an old prophet, and his consequent punishment. - 1 Kings 13:11-19. The man of God had resisted the invitations of Jeroboam, and set out by a different road to return to Judah. An old prophet at Bethel heard from his sons what had taken place (the singular בנו יבוא as compared with the plural ויספּרוּם may be explained on the supposition that first of all one son related the matter to his father, and that then the other sons supported the account given by the first); had his ass saddled; hurried after him, and found him sitting under the terebinth (the tree well known from that event); invited him to come into his house and eat with him; and when the latter appealed to the divine prohibition, said to him (1 Kings 13:18), "I am a prophet also as thou art, and an angel has said to me in the word of the Lord: Bring him back with thee into thy house, that he may eat and drink," and lied to him (לו כּחשׁ without a copula, because it is inserted as it were parenthetically, simply as an explanation) - then he went back with him, and ate and drank in his house.
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