1 Kings 14:13
And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Because in him there is found some good thing.—There is something singularly pathetic in this declaration of early death, in peace and with due mourning, as the only reward which can be given to piety in the time of coming judgment. It is much like the prophetic declaration to Josiah at the time of the approaching fall of the kingdom of Judah (2Kings 22:18-20). But, at the same time, we find in the Old Testament little indication of that general view of the prevalent sorrow and burden of life, which makes Herodotus, in his celebrated story of Cleobis and Bito (Book 1:100:31), imply that at all times early death is Heaven’s choicest blessing. Such a view, indeed, is expressed in such passages as Job 3:11-22, Ecclesiastes 4:1-3; but these are clearly exceptional. Life is viewed—sometimes, as in Psalm 88:10-12, Isaiah 38:18-19, even in contrast with the unseen world—as a place of God’s favour and blessing, which nothing but man’s wilful sin can turn to sorrow. The presence and the penalty of sin are recognised from the day of the Fall onwards, yet as only impairing, and not destroying, man’s natural heritage of joy.

1 Kings 14:13. All Israel shall mourn for him — For the loss of so worthy and hopeful a person, and for the sad calamities which will follow his death, which possibly his moderation, and wisdom, and virtue, might have prevented. So they should mourn, not simply for him, but for their own loss in him. He only shall come to the grave — Shall have the honour of burial. In him is found some good — Pious intentions of taking away the calves, and of permitting or obliging his people to go up to Jerusalem to worship, if God gave him life and authority to do it, and of trusting God with his kingdom. In the house of Jeroboam — Which is added for his greater commendation; he was good in the midst of so many temptations and wicked examples; a good branch of a bad stock.14:7-20 Whether we keep an account of God's mercies to us or not, he does; and he will set them in order before us, if we are ungrateful, to our greater confusion. Ahijah foretells the speedy death of the child then sick, in mercy to him. He only in the house of Jeroboam had affection for the true worship of God, and disliked the worship of the calves. To show the power and sovereignty of his grace, God saves some out of the worst families, in whom there is some good thing towards the Lord God of Israel. The righteous are removed from the evil to come in this world, to the good to come in a better world. It is often a bad sign for a family, when the best in it are buried out of it. Yet their death never can be a loss to themselves. It was a present affliction to the family and kingdom, by which both ought to have been instructed. God also tells the judgments which should come upon the people of Israel, for conforming to the worship Jeroboam established. After they left the house of David, the government never continued long in one family, but one undermined and destroyed another. Families and kingdoms are ruined by sin. If great men do wickedly, they draw many others, both into the guilt and punishment. The condemnation of those will be severest, who must answer, not only for their own sins, but for sins others have been drawn into, and kept in, by them.The child was evidently a prince of some promise. It is probable that he was heir to the throne. 13. all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him—the only one of Jeroboam's family who should receive the rites of sepulture. All Israel shall mourn for him; either, first, for the loss of so worthy and hopeful a person; or, secondly, for the sad calamities which should follow his death, which possibly his moderation, and wisdom, and virtue might have prevented, whereof his death was a certain presage and evidence. So they should mourn, not simply for him, but for their own loss in him.

Shall come to the grave; shall have the honour of burial, denied to the rest, 1 Kings 14:11.

Some good thing toward the Lord God of Israel; some pious inclinations and intentions of taking away the calves, or of permitting or obliging his people to go up to Jerusalem to worship, if God gave him life and authority to do it, and of trusting God with his kingdom in that case.

In the house of Jeroboam; which is added for his greater commendation; he was good in the midst of so many temptations and wicked examples; a good branch of a bad stock. And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him,.... Give him an honourable interment, and follow him to the grave with lamentation, because he was the heir apparent to the throne, and an hopeful prince, of whom they had raised expectations; that when he came to the throne things would take a different turn, especially in matters of religion, and they might fear, he being removed, things would grow worse instead of better:

for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave; or be buried, the rest should be devoured by dogs or fowls:

because in him there is found some good thing towards the Lord God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam; the principles of grace were implanted, and seeds of piety and religion sown in his heart; and there appeared a disposition of mind, and desires in him to the name of God, and the remembrance of it; or to his pure worship and service; it might be discerned that he had a dislike of idolatry, and a desire to have true religion restored. The Jews say (k) that this good thing in him was, that he was the means of removing the watch or guards that were placed in the way to hinder the Israelites from going up to the feasts of the Lord.

(k) T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 28. 2.

And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found {k} some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

(k) In the midst of the wicked, God has some on whom he bestows his mercies.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. And all Israel shall mourn for him] Abijah, though called ‘a child’ in 1 Kings 14:3; 1 Kings 14:12; 1 Kings 14:17 must have been of such an age as to exhibit qualities that made him beloved of the people. The Hebrew word for ‘child’ in 1 Kings 14:3; 1 Kings 14:17 (not in 12) is the same which Solomon uses of himself in 1 Kings 3:7 above. See note there.

there is found some good thing toward the Lord] Out of this expression has grown the Jewish tradition that Abijah endeavoured, contrary to the wish of his father, to encourage the people to go up to Jerusalem to worship, and removed hindrances that had been put in the way of such journeys. This was his goodness toward the Lord.Verse 13. - And an Israel shall mourn for him [no doubt he was heir to the throne] and bury him [mentioned to heighten the contrast. He should be the one exception to the rule of ver. 11]: for he [Heb. this] only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found [Heb, was found] some [Heb. a] good thing [The idea is not merely that he was an amiable youth, but the words imply some degree of piety, and almost suggest that he dissented from his father's ecclesiastical policy. "The Rabbins have a fable that he disobeyed his father's command to hinder people travelling to Jerusalem to keep the feasts, and that he even removed obstructions in the road" (Bahr)] toward the Lord God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam. The saying was as follows: "Therefore, because thou hast exalted thyself from the people, and I have made thee prince over my people Israel (cf., 1 Kings 11:31), ... but thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments...(cf., 1 Kings 11:34), and hast done worse than all who were before thee (judices nimirum et duces Israelis - Cler.), and hast gone and hast made thyself other gods (contrary to the express command in Exodus 20:2-3), ... and hast cast me behind thy back: therefore I bring misfortune upon the house of Jeroboam," etc. The expression, to cast God behind the back, which only occurs here and in Ezekiel 23:35, denotes the most scornful contempt of God, the strict opposite of "keeping God before the eyes and in the heart." בּקיר משׁתּין, every male person; see at 1 Samuel 25:22. A synonymous expression is ועזוּב עצוּר, the fettered (i.e., probably the married) and the free (or single); see at Deuteronomy 32:36. "In Israel," i.e., in the kingdom of the ten tribes. The threat is strengthened by the clause in 1 Kings 14:10, "and I will sweep out after the house of Jeroboam, as one sweepeth out dung, even to the end," which expresses shameful and utter extermination; and this threat is still further strengthened in 1 Kings 14:11 by the threat added from Deuteronomy 28:26, that of those cut off not one is to come to the grave, but their bodies are to be devoured by the dogs and birds of prey, - the worst disgrace that could befall the dead. Instead of wild beasts (Deuteronomy 28:26) the dogs are mentioned here, because in the East they wander out in the streets without owners, and are so wild and ravenous that they even devour corpses (vid., Harmar, Beobachtungen, i. p. 198). לירבעם with ל of relationship, equivalent to of those related to Jeroboam. It is the same in 1 Kings 14:13.
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