1 Kings 13:6
And the king answered and said to the man of God, Entreat now the face of the LORD your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God sought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Kings 13:6. The king said, Entreat now the face of the Lord thy God — Of him who hath manifested himself to be thy God and friend in a singular manner; and therefore will hear thy prayers for me, though he will not regard mine, because I have forsaken him and his worship. The man of God besought the Lord — This he did to assure Jeroboam that what he had said was not from ill-will to him, and that he heartily desired his reformation, not his ruin. And the king’s hand was restored — God showed him this mercy, 1st, Because he repented of the violence intended against the prophet, for which his hand had been dried up: 2d, To assure him that the stroke was from God: and, 3d, That this goodness of God to him might lead him to repentance, or if he continued impenitent, might leave him without excuse.13:1-10 In threatening the altar, the prophet threatens the founder and worshippers. Idolatrous worship will not continue, but the word of the Lord will endure for ever. The prediction plainly declared that the family of David would continue, and support true religion, when the ten tribes would not be able to resist them. If God, in justice, harden the hearts of sinners, so that the hand they have stretched out in sin they cannot pull in again by repentance, that is a spiritual judgment, represented by this, and much more dreadful. Jeroboam looked for help, not from his calves, but from God only, from his power, and his favour. The time may come when those that hate the preaching, would be glad of the prayers of faithful ministers. Jeroboam does not desire the prophet to pray that his sin might be pardoned, and his heart changed, but only that his hand might be restored. He seemed affected for the present with both the judgment and the mercy, but the impression wore off. God forbade his messenger to eat or drink in Bethel, to show his detestation of their idolatry and apostacy from God, and to teach us not to have fellowship with the works of darkness. Those have not learned self-denial, who cannot forbear one forbidden meal.We need not suppose a complete shattering of the altar, but rather the appearance of a crack or fissure in the fabric, which, extending from top to bottom, caused the embers and the fragments of the victims to fall until they reached the ground. 2-9. he cried against the altar—which is put for the whole system of worship organized in Israel.

Behold, a child shall be born … Josiah by name—This is one of the most remarkable prophecies recorded in the Scriptures; and, in its clearness, circumstantial minuteness, and exact prediction of an event that took place three hundred sixty years later, it stands in striking contrast to the obscure and ambiguous oracles of the heathen. Being publicly uttered, it must have been well known to the people; and every Jew who lived at the accomplishment of the event must have been convinced of the truth of a religion connected with such a prophecy as this. A present sign was given of the remote event predicted, in a visible fissure being miraculously made on the altar. Incensed at the man's license of speech, Jeroboam stretched out his hand and ordered his attendants to seize the bold intruder. That moment the king's arm became stiff and motionless, and the altar split asunder, so that the fire and ashes fell on the floor. Overawed by the effects of his impiety, Jeroboam besought the prophet's prayer. His request was acceded to, and the hand was restored to its healthy state. Jeroboam was artful, and invited the prophet to the royal table, not to do him honor or show his gratitude for the restoration of his hand, but to win, by his courtesy and liberal hospitality, a person whom he could not crush by his power. But the prophet informed him of a divine injunction expressly prohibiting him from all social intercourse with any in the place, as well as from returning the same way. The prohibition not to eat or drink in Beth-el was because all the people had become apostates from the true religion, and the reason he was not allowed to return the same way was lest he should be recognized by any whom he had seen in going.

The king answered, i.e. spoke, as that word is oft used in both Testaments.

Entreat now the face of the Lord thy God, who by his zeal for time hath manifested himself to be thy God and Friend in a singular manner; and therefore will hear thy prayers for me, though he will not regard mine, because I have forsaken him and his worship.

The man of God besought the Lord, to assure Jeroboam that what he had said was not from ill-will to him, and that he heartily desired his reformation, not his ruin.

The king’s hand was restored again; partly, to assure him that the stroke was from God; partly, because he repented of that violence which he intended against the prophet, for which God inflicted it; and partly, that the goodness of God to him might have led him to repentance; or if he continued impenitent, leave him without all excuse. And the king answered and said unto the man of God,.... In another tone than when he bid the people lay hold on him; not in a haughty, but humble manner; not as threatening, but supplicating:

entreat now the face of the Lord thy God; he does not say "my God", for he had apostatized from him, and served other gods, but "thy" God, whose prophet he was, and who had an interest in him, as clearly appeared by what he had said and done by him;

and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again; not that the anger of God might be turned away from him, and he enjoy the divine favour, and have an application of pardoning grace made to him, only to have this outward mercy, this temporal favour restored to him, the use of his hand:

and the man of God besought the Lord; not rendering evil for evil; but being of a forgiving spirit, though the king had stretched out his hand against him, he lifted up his hands to heaven for him:

and the king's hand was restored again, and became as it was before; which was another instance of divine power, and a further proof of the prophet's divine mission; from whence it might be concluded, that what he had prophesied of would be fulfilled, and was an instance also of divine goodness to the king, which should have led him to repentance, but did not.

And the king answered and said unto the man of God, {e} Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.

(e) Though the wicked humble themselves for a time when they feel God's judgment, they return to their old malice and declare that they are but vile hypocrites.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. Intreat now the face of the Lord thy God] Here the R.V. has adopted the rendering of the phrase by A.V. in Psalm 119:58; Proverbs 19:6 “Intreat now the favour, &c.” The idea of the original word is that of soothing, so as to relax the frowns and anger of any one, and hence to gain favour instead of displeasure. We are not to conclude because Jeroboam says ‘the Lord thy God’ that he himself had ceased to acknowledge Jehovah. But in the present circumstances God was evidently more favourable to the prophet than to the king and this Jeroboam intends to express.

and pray for me] These words are omitted in the LXX. (Vat.).

besought the Lord] The expression is exactly the same in the Hebrew as in the former part of the verse. So the R.V. has here ‘intreated the Lord’. To insert ‘the favour’ a second time would make the verse read heavily, but there seems no reason for varying the verb.Verse 6. - And the king [humbled and alarmed by the judgment he had experienced in his own person] answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now [The Heb. is very expressive - "Smooth or stroke the face." It is an expression which occurs several times. See especially Exodus 32:11; 2 Kings 13:4; 2 Chronicles 33:12; Proverbs 19:6] of the Lord thy God [i.e., whose messenger thou art. "Jeroboam, conscience stricken, does not dare to call Jehovah his own God" (Wordsworth). This was probably the case, yet surely it is an inference not warranted by the text. The expression, "The Lord thy God," is of constant occurrence, especially when a "man of God" is addressed; cf. 1 Kings 17:12; 1 Kings 18:10], and pray for me [This sudden change in his bearing shows how much Jeroboam was frightened. The sight, too, of the king humbly supplicating the prophet who a moment before had protested against the calf worship was calculated to make an impression on the minds of the people], that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought [lit., stroked the face of] the Lord, and the king's hand was restored him, and became as it was before. Jeroboam also transferred to the eighth month the feast which ought to have been kept in the seventh month (the feast of tabernacles, Leviticus 23:34.). The pretext for this arbitrary alteration of the law, which repeatedly describes the seventh month as the month appointed by the Lord (Leviticus 23:34, Leviticus 23:39, Leviticus 23:41), he may have found in the fact that in the northern portion of the kingdom the corn ripened a month later than in the more southern Judah (see my Bibl. Archol. ii. 118, Anm. 3, and 119, Anm. 2), since this feast of the ingathering of the produce of the threshing-floor and wine-press (Exodus 23:16; Leviticus 23:39; Deuteronomy 16:13) was a feast of thanksgiving for the gathering in of all the fruits of the ground. But the true reason was to be found in his intention to make the separation in a religious point of view as complete as possible, although Jeroboam retained the day of the month, the fifteenth, for the sake of the weak who took offence at his innovations. For we may see very clearly that many beside the Levites were very discontented with these illegal institutions, from the notice in 2 Chronicles 11:16, that out of all the tribes those who were devoted to the Lord from the heart went to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the God of the fathers there. "And he sacrificed upon the altar." This clause is connected with the preceding one, in the sense of: he instituted the feast and offered sacrifices thereat. In 1 Kings 12:32 (from עשׂה כּן onwards) and 1 Kings 12:33, what has already been related concerning Jeroboam's religious institutions is brought to a close by a comprehensive repetition of the leading points. "Thus did he in Bethel, (namely) to offer sacrifice to the calves; and there he appointed the priests of the high places which he had made, and offered sacrifice upon the altar which he had made at Bethel, on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, which he himself had devised, and so made a feast for the children of Israel and sacrificed upon the altar to turn." מלּבד signifies seorsum, by himself alone, i.e., in this connection, i.q. "from his own heart." The Keri מלּבּו is therefore a correct explanation as to the fact; but it is a needless correction from Nehemiah 6:8. The last clause, להקטיר...ויּעל, leads on to what follows, and it would be more correct to take it in connection with 1 Kings 13:1 and render it thus: and when he was offering sacrifice upon the altar to burn, behold there came a man of God, etc. Thenius has rendered ויּעל incorrectly, and he stood at the altar. This thought would have been expressed by הם על ויּעמוד, as in 1 Kings 13:1. By הקטיר we are not to understand the burning or offering of incense, but the burning of the sacrificial portions of the flesh upon the altar, as in Leviticus 1:9, Leviticus 1:13, Leviticus 1:17, etc.
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