1 Kings 13:9
For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(9) Nor turn again . . .—The significance of this command is less obvious. It may have meant that he should not suffer the way of his return (which would clearly not be the obvious way) to be known, but should vanish swiftly, like the messenger of Elisha to Jehu (2Kings 9:3; 2Kings 9:10), when his work was done. If so, his neglect of the spirit of the command was the first step in the way of his destruction.

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.Eat no bread, nor drink water - The reason of the command is evident. The man of God was not to accept the hospitality of any dweller at Bethel, in order to show in a marked way, which men generally could appreciate, God's abhorrence of the system which Jeroboam had "devised of his own heart."

Nor turn again by the same way that thou camest - This command seems to have been given simply to test the obedience of the prophet by laying him under a positive as well as a moral obligation.

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.

My refusal of thy favour is not from any contempt or hatred of thy person, but in obedience to the just command of my God, who hath forbidden me all further converse or communication with thee.

Eat no bread, nor drink water, to wit, in that place, or with that people; whereby God declares how detestable they were in God’s eyes; not because their idolatry was so bad as that of the heathens, but because they were vile apostates from the true God, and embraced this idolworship against the light of their own consciences, merely to comply with the king’s humour and command; and because their vicinity and relation to the tribe of Judah made this more dangerous, as to their infection by it.

Nor turn again by the same way that thou camest; that by thy avoiding the way that led thee to Beth-el as execrable, although thou wentest by my special command, thou mightest teach all others how much they should abhor that way, and all thoughts of going to that place, or to such people, upon any trivial and unnecessary occasion.

For so it was charged me by the word of the Lord,.... The command of the Lord, by which he came to Bethel, and cried against the altar there, 1 Kings 13:1.

saying, eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest: signifying that no communion was to be had with idolaters, nor any example to be set and followed; but the way to them, and to their idolatry, was to be shunned and avoided.

For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, {f} Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.

(f) Seeing he had the express word of God, he should not have declined from it, neither for the persuasion of man nor angel.

9. nor turn again by the same way] There is nothing in the original for ‘same’. Therefore the R.V. is more close to the text, in giving neither return by the way as in the following verse in A. V. The injunction to go back by another way was given lest after what happened in Bethel those who had seen him coming might try to detain him and he be thus tempted to lessen the effect of his mission. The refusal to eat and the hurried departure were to shew how the Lord was grieved at the national sin.

Verse 9. - For so was it charged [Heb. he, sc. the Lord, charged me] me by [Heb. in] the word of the Lord, saying, Fat no bread, nor drinkwater [Participation in food - the "eating salt" - is in the East a token of friendship and affinity; a sign of close communion and fellowship. The prophet's refusal to participate was consequently a practical and forcible disclaimer of all fellowship, a virtual excommunication, a public repudiation of the calf worshippers. Cf. 1 Corinthians 5:11, "With such an one, no, not to eat." As Corn. a Lapide," Ut ipso facto ostenderet, Bethelitas idololatras adeo esse detestabiles, et a Deo quasi excommunicates, ut nullum fidelium cum iis cibi vel potus communionem habere velit"], nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. [ the object of this command was not "simply to test the obedience of the prophet" (Rawlinson), nor yet that no one might "force him to a delay which was irreconcilable with his commission" (Keil), for that was practically executed, but to avoid as far as possible - what, indeed, happened in spite of these precautions - his being traced and followed. Because of this provision, the old prophet (ver. 10) was reduced to ask, "What way went he?" But the charge, we can hardly doubt,was also designed to serve another purpose, viz., to warn the prophet against doing what he did presently - against returning to Bethel. When he was followed, and when he was told of a revelation commanding his return, he should have remembered, among other things, that it had clearly been part of God's purpose, as evidenced by the explicit instructions given him, that he should not be followed. This alone should have led him to suspect this old prophet of deceit.] 1 Kings 13:9But this design was also frustrated, and the rejection of his worship on the part of God was still more strongly declared. "If thou gavest me," the man of God replied, "the half of thy house, I shall not go in with thee, nor eat bread and drink water in this place; for thus hath Jehovah commanded me," etc. The subject, Jehovah, is easily supplied to צוּה from the context (vid., Ewald, 294, b.). God had forbidden the prophet to eat and drink "to manifest His detestation of idolatry, and to show by that fact that the Bethelites were so detestable, and as it were excommunicated by God, that He wished none of the faithful to join with them in eating and drinking" (C. a Lap.). He was not to return by the way by which he came, that no one might look out for him, and force him to a delay which was irreconcilable with his commission, or "lest by chance being brought back by Jeroboam, he should do anything to please him which was unworthy of a prophet, or from which it might be inferred that idolaters might hope for some favour from the Deity" (Budd.).
1 Kings 13:9 Interlinear
1 Kings 13:9 Parallel Texts

1 Kings 13:9 NIV
1 Kings 13:9 NLT
1 Kings 13:9 ESV
1 Kings 13:9 NASB
1 Kings 13:9 KJV

1 Kings 13:9 Bible Apps
1 Kings 13:9 Parallel
1 Kings 13:9 Biblia Paralela
1 Kings 13:9 Chinese Bible
1 Kings 13:9 French Bible
1 Kings 13:9 German Bible

Bible Hub

1 Kings 13:8
Top of Page
Top of Page