1 Kings 13:33
After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(33) Whosoever would.—See 1Kings 12:32. The emphatic tone of the words, “whosoever would, he consecrated him,” possibly indicates that, in spite of all that Jeroboam and his prophet could do, there was some difficulty in securing candidates for his unauthorised priesthood.

1 Kings 13:33. After this — That is, after all these things; the singular number being put for the plural; after so many evident and successive miracles; Jeroboam returned not from his evil ways — He was not at all changed in his principles or practice, but continued in his idolatry. Made again of the lowest of the people, &c. — He abated not so much as a circumstance in his idolatrous worship. Whosoever would he consecrated him, &c. — Without any respect to tribe, or family, or integrity of body, or mind, or life; all which things were to be regarded in the priesthood.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.Whosoever would, he consecrated him - i. e., he exercised no discretion, but allowed anyone to become a priest, without regard to birth, character, or social position. We may suspect from this that the office was not greatly sought, since no civil governor who cared to set up a priesthood would wish to degrade it in public estimation. Jeroboam did impose one limitation, which would have excluded the very poorest class. The candidate for consecration was obliged to make an offering consisting of one young bullock and seven rams 2 Chronicles 13:9. 31. bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried—His motive in making this request was either that his remains might not be disturbed when the predicted events took place (see 2Ki 23:18), or he had some superstitious hope of being benefited at the resurrection by being in the same cave with a man of God. After this thing, i.e. after all these things; the singular number put for the plural; after so many, and evident, and successive miracles; which is noted to aggravate his infidelity and apostacy.

Made again of the lowest of the people priests; he abated not so much as a circumstance in his idolatrous worship.

Whosoever would; without any respect to tribe or family, or integrity of body, or mind, or life; all which were to be regarded in the priesthood.

He consecrated him, Heb. he filled his hand; of which phrase see Exodus 28:41 29:9,33. After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way,.... From the idolatrous practices he had started, and was establishing; though he had seen his altar rent, and the ashes poured out as the man of God predicted, his own hand withered, and that restored again upon the prayer of the prophet; and though he had heard of the death he died for his disobedience to the command of God, and the several marvellous things that attended it; these were so far from reforming him, that he seemed to be the more hardened thereby:

but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: and officiated there, and indeed those of the tribe of Levi would not serve there, and therefore were expelled their cities; see 2 Chronicles 11:14.

After this thing Jeroboam {u} returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.

(u) So the wicked do not profit by God's threatenings, but go backward and become worse and worse, 2Ti 3:13.

33–34. Jeroboam goes on in his evil way (Not in Chronicles)

33. made again of the lowest of the people] R.V. made again from among all the people. See note on 1 Kings 12:31 above.

he consecrated him] The Hebrew expression is ‘he filled his hand.’ See margin of A.V. The idea is ‘he intrusted this solemn office to his charge.’

and he became one of the priests of the high places] The insertion of the italic ‘one of’ shews that the construction is irregular. The R.V. gives, that there might be priests of the high places. But the awkwardness of the Hebrew which has the verb in the singular and the noun in the plural is not removed thereby. It can be explained but not imitated in a translation. ‘Whosoever would’ in the previous clause is singular in form but plural in notion. Hence the latter portion of the verse says ‘whosoever would he became,’ but as there were many who did so, the result was not one priest but many ‘priests of the high places.’Verse 33. - After this thing [calculated though it was to make a deep impression and to furnish a solemn warning] Jeroboam turned not from his evil way. "Some hand was found that durst repair the altar God had rent" (Matthew Henry). According to Josephus, the old prophet now explained away the miracles of the prophet of Judah, alleging that the altar had fallen because it was new and the king's hand had become powerless from fatigue (Ant., 8:09, § 1)], but made again [Heb. "returned and made." The tautology is significant. He returned not from his sin, but returned to it] of the lowest [see on 1 Kings 12:11] of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would [Heb. pleased], he consecrated [Heb. filled his hand. In the consecration of Aaron and his sons, and possibly of their successors also, the portions of the victim which were usually burned upon the altar, together with the right shoulder or leg, which was the priest's portion, and three cakes of unleavened Bread, were put into the hands of the candidates for the priesthood, and waved before the Lord before they were offered on the altar (Exodus 29:22-26; Leviticus 8:25-28). To "fill the hand" consequently Became a synonym for consecration] him [It would almost appear, from the extreme readiness with which Jeroboam ordained his priests, that few candidates offered themselves for the office. In one respect, however, he exacted more from the candidate than did the law. For whereas the latter required "one bullock and two rams" (Exodus 29:1, etc.), he demanded one Bullock and seven rams as the offering on consecration (2 Chronicles 13:9], and he became one of the priests [Heb. and he became priests, etc. So the Chaldee. LXX. καὶ ἐγένετο ἱερεύς] of the high places. He thereupon had his ass saddled, and went and found the corpse and the ass standing by it, without the lion having eaten the corpse or torn the ass in pieces; and he lifted the corpse upon his ass, and brought it into his own city, and laid the corpse in his grave with the customary lamentation: אחו הוי, alas, my brother! (cf., Jeremiah 22:18), and then gave this command to his sons: "When I die, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried, let my bones rest beside his bones; for the word which he proclaimed in the word of Jehovah upon the altar at Bethel and upon all the houses of the high places in the cities of Samaria will take place" (i.e., will be fulfilled). The expression "cities of Samaria" belongs to the author of these books, and is used proleptically of the kingdom of the ten tribes, which did not receive this name till after the building of the city of Samaria as the capital of the kingdom and the residence of the kings of Israel (1 Kings 16:24). There is a prophetic element in the words "upon all the houses of the high places," etc., inasmuch as the only other erection at that time beside the one at Bethel was a temple of the high places at Dan. But after such a beginning the multiplication of them might be foreseen with certainty, even without any higher illumination.

The conduct of the old prophet at Bethel appears so strange, that Josephus and the Chald., and most of the Rabbins and of the earlier commentators both Catholic and Protestant, have regarded him as a false prophet, who tried to lay a trap for the prophet from Judah, in order to counteract the effect of his prophecy upon the king and the people. But this assumption cannot be reconciled with either the divine revelation which came to him at the table, announcing to the Judaean prophet the punishment of his transgression of the commandment of God, and was so speedily fulfilled (1 Kings 13:20-24); or with the honour which he paid to the dead man after this punishment had fallen upon him, by burying him in his own grave; and still less with his confirmation of his declaration concerning the altar at Bethel (1 Kings 13:29-32). We must therefore follow Ephr. Syr., Theodor., Hengstenberg, and others, and regard the old prophet as a true prophet, who with good intentions, and not "under the influence of human envy" (Thenius), but impelled by the desire to enter into a closer relation to the man of God from Judah and to strengthen himself through his prophetic gifts, urged him to enter his house. The fact that he made use of sinful means in order to make more sure of securing the end desired, namely, of the false pretence that he had been directed by an angel to do this, may be explained, as Hengstenberg suggests (Dissert. vol. ii. p. 149), on the ground that when Jeroboam introduced his innovations, he had sinned by keeping silence, and that the appearance of the Judaean prophet had brought him to a consciousness of this sin, so that he had been seized with shame on account of his fall, and was anxious to restore himself to honour in his own eyes and those of others by intercourse with this witness to the truth. But however little the lie itself can be excused or justified, we must not attribute to him alone the consequences by which the lie was followed in the case of the Judaean prophet. For whilst he chose reprehensible means of accomplishing what appeared to be a good end, namely, to raise himself again by intercourse with a true prophet, and had no wish to injure the other in any way, the Judaean prophet allowed himself to be seduced to a transgression of the clear and definite prohibition of God simply by the sensual desire for bodily invigoration by meat and drink, and had failed to consider that the divine revelation which he had received could not be repealed by a pretended revelation from an angel, because the word of God does not contradict itself. He was therefore obliged to listen to a true revelation from God from the moth of the man whose pretended revelation from an angel he had too carelessly believed, namely, to the announcement of punishment for his disobedience towards the commandment of God, which punishment he immediately afterwards endured, "for the destruction of the flesh, but for the preservation of the spirit: 1 Corinthians 15:5" (Berleb. Bible). That the punishment fell upon him alone and not upon the old prophet of Bethel also, and that for apparently a smaller crime, may be accounted for "not so much from the fact that the old prophet had lied with a good intention (this might hold good of the other also), as from the fact that it was needful to deal strictly with the man who had just received a great and holy commission from the Lord" (O. v. Gerlach). It is true that no bodily punishment fell upon the old prophet, but this punishment he received instead, that with his lie he was put to shame, and that his conscience must have accused him of having occasioned the death of the man of God from Judah. He was thereby to be cured of his weakness, that he might give honour to the truth of the testimony of God. "Thus did the wondrous providence of God know how to direct all things most gloriously, so that the bodily destruction of the one contributed to the spiritual and eternal preservation of the soul of the other" (Berleb. Bible). - Concerning the design of these marvellous events, H. Witsius has the following remarks in his Miscell. ss. i. p. 118 (ed. nov. 1736): "So many wondrous events all occurring in one result caused the prophecy against the altar at Bethel to be preserved in the mouths and memories of all, and the mission of this prophet to become far more illustrious. Thus, although the falsehood of the old man of Bethel brought disgrace upon himself, it injured no one but the man of God whose credulity was too great; and, under the overruling providence of God, it contributed in the most signal manner to the confirmation and publication of the truth."

(Note: Compare with this the remark of Theodoret in his quaest. 43 in 3 libr. Reb.: "In my opinion this punishment served to confirm the declaration concerning the altar. For it was not possible for the statement of such a man to be concealed: and this was sufficient to fill with terror those who heard it; for if partaking of food contrary to the command of God, and that not of his own accord, but under a deception, brought such retribution upon a righteous man, to what punishments would they be exposed who had forsaken the God who made them, and worshipped the likenesses of irrational creatures?")

The heaping up of the marvellous corresponded to the great object of the mission of the man of God out of Judah, through which the Lord would enter an energetic protest against the idolatrous worship of Jeroboam at its first introduction, to guard those who feared God in Israel, of whom there were not a few (2 Chronicles 11:16; 2 Kings 18:3; 2 Kings 19:18), from falling away from Him by joining in the worship of the calves, and to take away every excuse from the ungodly who participated therein.

1 Kings 13:33 Interlinear
1 Kings 13:33 Parallel Texts

1 Kings 13:33 NIV
1 Kings 13:33 NLT
1 Kings 13:33 ESV
1 Kings 13:33 NASB
1 Kings 13:33 KJV

1 Kings 13:33 Bible Apps
1 Kings 13:33 Parallel
1 Kings 13:33 Biblia Paralela
1 Kings 13:33 Chinese Bible
1 Kings 13:33 French Bible
1 Kings 13:33 German Bible

Bible Hub

1 Kings 13:32
Top of Page
Top of Page