1 Kings 13:7
And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.
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(7) Come home with me . . .—The invitation may have been in part the mark of some impression made on the king, and an impulse of gratitude for the restoration of his withered hand. Such was the request of Naaman to Elisha (2Kings 5:15), though even this was emphatically refused. But it still savours of astute policy in Jeroboam: for the acceptance of hospitality and reward would in the eyes of the people imply a condonation of the idolatrous worship, which might well destroy or extenuate the impression made by the prophet’s prediction. It indicates also—what experience of such men as “the old prophet” would have produced—a low idea of prophetic character and mission, not unlike that which is shown in Balak’s treatment of Balaam. That such conceptions are perfectly compatible with a certain belief in the reality of a supernatural power in the prophet—although they, of course, derogate from its true sacredness—the monstrous request of Simon Magus (in Acts 8:19) shows with the most startling clearness. It was evidently to provide against these things—as fatal to the effectiveness of the prophet’s mission—that the prohibition of 1Kings 13:9 was given; nor could its general purpose have been easily misunderstood, either by the king or by the prophet himself. It is a curious coincidence that in his refusal he uses words strangely like the reluctant refusal of Balak’s offer by Balaam (Numbers 22:18). The very strength of the language is suspicious.

1 Kings 13:7-9. I will give thee a reward — He desires to requite the instrument, but takes no notice of God, the chief cause and author of this wonderful mercy. The man of God said, I will not go in with thee, &c. — In obedience to God, he refuses to eat, or drink, or have any familiar society with him, against whom he had pronounced God’s indignation. For so it was charged me — My refusal of thy favour is not from any contempt or hatred of thy person, but in compliance with the just command of my God, who hath forbidden me all further converse or communication with thee. Saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water — Namely, in that place, or with that people. Hereby God showed his detestation of their idolatry, not because it was as bad as that of the heathen, but because they were vile apostates from the true God, and embraced this idol-worship against the light of their own consciences, merely to comply with the king’s humour and command; and because their vicinity and relation to Judah, exposed that tribe to the danger of being infected by their idolatry. God also intended hereby to teach his people in all ages to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, lest they should either give encouragement to, or receive infection from, them. Nor turn again by the same way thou earnest — That by avoiding the way that led him to Beth-el as execrable, although he went by God’s special command, he might teach all others how much they ought to abhor that way, and all thoughts of going to that place, or to such idolatrous people, upon any unnecessary occasion.

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.I will give thee a reward - It was customary to honor a prophet with a gift, if he performed any service that was requested at his hands (see the marginal references). 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.

Horrid stupidity! He desires to requite the instrument, but takes no notice of the chief cause and author of this great and wonderful mercy, which was God.

And the king said unto the man of God, come home with me, and refresh thyself,.... By eating a meal with him, after such a journey he had taken, and delivered his prophecies, and put up his prayers for the king:

and I will give thee a reward; for his prayers, by means of which his hand was restored to him; but takes no notice of the Lord, the author of this miraculous cure, nor expresses the least degree of thankfulness and gratitude to him.

And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.
7. Come home with me] The subsequent narrative shews that there was no alteration in Jeroboam’s feelings or intentions in consequence of what had occurred. He still went on in his evil way. But he would fain have the man of God continue in his company a while, that his people might not be terrified by what had happened and decide to break off from the calf-worship and go up to Jerusalem to the Temple again.

Verse 7. - And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself [with food, ablutions, etc. (Genesis 18:4, 5; Genesis 19:2; Mark 7:3, etc.) We are hardly justified in seeing in these words (with Bahr and Keil) an attempt to "gain the prophet over to his side by friendliness," and to render his threat harmless in the eyes of the people. The king doubtless may have hoped that it would "blunt the edge of the prophet's denunciation of his schismatical altar" (Wordsworth); but this was not the object, or not the sole object, with which the invitation was given. Jeroboam could not possibly have done less, after the signal service the man of God had rendered him, than invite him to his palace. Eastern courtesy alone (Genesis 18:4; Genesis 19:2; Genesis 43:24, etc.) would require him to offer hospitality to his benefactor. And he could scarcely hope that any hospitalities would either neutralize the impression which the recent miracles had made, or win over to his side one who had a direct commission from the Most High to oppose him. With more reason, Wordsworth cites 1 Samuel 15:30, "Honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people." A feeling of gratitude may have prompted the invitation, while the king at the same time was very sensible of the advantages which would accrue to himself if it were accepted], and I will give thee a reward. [The services, especially of seers and prophets, were invariably requited in the East with presents, as are those of Judges, Kadis, Kaimakams, and other officers at the present day (see 1 Kings 14:3; Genesis 24:53; Genesis 33:11; Genesis 43:11; Numbers 22:17; Judges 3:17; Judges 6:18; Judges 13:15; 1 Samuel 9:7, 8; 1 Samuel 12:3; 2 Kings 5:5, 15; 2 Kings 8:8, 9).] 1 Kings 13:7As Jeroboam could do nothing by force against the prophet, he endeavoured to gain him over to his side by friendliness, that at least he might render his threat harmless in the eyes of the people. For this purpose, and not to do him honour or to make him some acknowledgment for the restoration of his hand, he invited him to his house, to strengthen himself with food (סעד as in Genesis 18:5; Judges 9:5; for the form סעדה, see Ewald, 41, c.) and receive from him a present.
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