1 Kings 14:2
And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Shiloh, the regular habitation of Ahijah, is hardly mentioned in Scripture after the time of Eli, and the destruction which then seems to have fallen upon it, probably after the great defeat by the Philistines (Jeremiah 7:12). It is evident that the old blind prophet still remained there, and exercised his prophetic office for the benefit of Israel, though he stood aloof from, and denounced, the new idolatry of Bethel. This idolatry is always described as pre-eminently the “sin of Jeroboam,” who by it “made Israel to sin.” Hence, while in consequence of it the royal house is condemned, the people are still regarded as God’s chosen people, to whom, even more than to the inhabitants of the kingdom of Judah, the prophets ministered, and to whom—having no longer the Temple and the consecrated royalty of David, as perpetual witnesses for God—the prophetic ministrations were of pre-eminent importance. Accordingly, the wife of Jeroboam is bidden to approach the prophet disguised as a daughter of the people.

1 Kings 14:2. Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, &c. — “He most probably sent his wife to consult the prophet at Shiloh, because this was a secret not to be intrusted with any body else; a secret which, had it been divulged, might have endangered his whole government; because, if once his subjects came to understand that he himself had no confidence in the calves which he had set up, but in any matter of importance had recourse to true worshippers of God, it can hardly be conceived what an inducement this would have been for them to forsake these senseless idols, and to return to the worship of the God of Israel, whom they had imprudently forsaken. The queen then was the only person in whom he could have confidence. As a mother he knew she would be diligent in her inquiry; and as a wife faithful in her report.” — Dodd. Disguise thyself — Change thy habit and voice, and go like a private and obscure person. This caution proceeded, first, from the pride of his heart, which made him unwilling to confess his folly in worshipping such helpless idols, and to give glory to the God whom he had forsaken: secondly, from jealousy and suspicion, lest the Prophet Ahijah, (who he knew was greatly offended at him for the idolatry he had introduced,) if he knew her to be his wife, should either give her no answer, or make things worse than indeed they were.

14:1-6 At that time, when Jeroboam did evil, his child sickened. When sickness comes into our families, we should inquire whether there may not be some particular sin harboured in our houses, which the affliction is sent to convince us of, and reclaim us from. It had been more pious if he had desired to know wherefore God contended with him; had begged the prophet's prayers, and cast away his idols from him; but most people would rather be told their fortune, than their faults or their duty. He sent to Ahijah, because he had told him he should be king. Those who by sin disqualify themselves for comfort, yet expect that their ministers, because they are good men, should speak peace and comfort to them, greatly wrong themselves and their ministers. He sent his wife in disguise, that the prophet might only answer her question concerning her son. Thus some people would limit their ministers to smooth things, and care not for having the whole counsel of God declared to them, lest it should prophesy no good concerning them, but evil. But she shall know, at the first word, what she has to trust to. Tidings of a portion with hypocrites will be heavy tidings. God will judge men according to what they are, not by what they seem to be.Disguise thyself - Jeroboam fears that even Ahijah the Shilonite, who in some sort made him king, will scarcely give his queen a favorable answer. The king's conscience tells him that he has not performed the conditions on which he was promised "a sure house" 1 Kings 11:38. 2. Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself—His natural and intense anxiety as a parent is here seen, blended with the deep and artful policy of an apostate king. The reason of this extreme caution was an unwillingness to acknowledge that he looked for information as to the future, not to his idols, but to the true God; and a fear that this step, if publicly known, might endanger the stability of his whole political system; and a strong impression that Ahijah, who was greatly offended with him, would, if consulted openly by his queen, either insult or refuse to receive her. For these reasons he selected his wife, as, in every view, the most proper for such a secret and confidential errand, but recommended her to assume the garb and manner of a peasant woman. Strange infatuation, to suppose that the God who could reveal futurity could not penetrate a flimsy disguise! Jeroboam said to his wife; partly, because he would trust none else with this secret; partly, because she might, without suspicion, inquire concerning her own child; and partly, because she would inquire most exactly and diligently, and faithfully acquaint him with the whole truth.

Disguise thyself; change thy habit and voice, and go like a private and obscure person.

That thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam: this caution proceeded, first, From the pride of his heart, which made him loth to confess his folly in worshipping such ignorant and helpless idols, and to give glory to the God whom he had forsaken. Secondly, From jealousy and suspicion, lest the prophet knowing this, should either give her no answer, or make it worse than indeed it was. Thirdly, From policy, lest his people should by his example be drawn to forsake the senseless calves, and to return to the God of Judah, whom they had rashly forsaken.

And Jeroboam said to his wife,.... Who she was is not known:

arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself; put off her royal apparel, and clothe herself like a common person, mimic the dress and language of a country woman:

that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam: by any that should see her on the road, or at the city she was to go to, or by the prophet to whom she would be sent:

and get thee to Shiloh; which, according to Bunting (g), was twenty four miles, from Tirzah, where Jeroboam now lived, see 1 Kings 14:17.

behold, there is Ahijah the prophet: called from thence the Shilonite, 1 Kings 11:29,

which told me that I should be king over this people: and this coming to pass, proved him to be a true prophet, and to be credited in what he should say concerning their child. Jeroboam desired his wife to go on this errand, because he did not care it should be known that he applied to any of the prophets of the Lord; nor did he choose it should be known whose child was inquired about, which another must have told, whereas his wife could speak of it as her own; and she was the fittest person to give an account of the child's illness, and would ask the most proper and pertinent questions, and bring him back a faithful report; and he would have her be disguised, lest the prophet, who bore no good will to him because of his apostasy, should refuse to give any answer at all, or else give a very rough and disagreeable one.

(g) Travels, &c. p. 161.

And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, {a} and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people.

(a) His own conscience bore witness to him that the prophet of God would not satisfy his desires, who was a wicked man.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. and disguise thyself] She was to put on such a dress that no one would recognise her for the queen. Jeroboam no doubt felt that the prophets generally were against him, and that if it were known that he was the applicant, he would receive an unfavourable answer. Josephus describes the queen as putting aside her royal robe, and assuming the dress of a private person. Otherwise she could scarcely have gone abroad on her errand. Of course she was also to conceal her identity from Ahijah, but as he was not able to see, the dress would have mattered little on his account. In the LXX. (Alex.) it is said ‘they shall not know thee’, i.e. people generally.

Ahijah] On Ahijah and Shiloh see above on 1 Kings 11:29.

which told me that I should be king] R.V. ‘Which spake concerning me that I should be king’. This is somewhat nearer to the Hebrew, but the difficulty is in the word rendered ‘that I should be king’ which is a noun with a preposition לְמֶלֶךְ = ‘for a king’, where we should have expected rather the verbal form לִמְלךְ.

Verse 2. - And Jeroboam said to his wife [Conscious that his proceedings would merit Ahijah's reproof, he is afraid to go in person. And his wife - if in this particular we may trust the LXX., an Egyptian princess - could be more readily disguised. The commission was too delicate to be entrusted to a stranger. "None might know it but his own bosom, and she that lay in it" (Bp. Hall). Jeroboam evidently suspected that this sickness was punitive, and he would not have others think so too], Arise, I pray thee, and disguise [lit., change. The word suggests that the disguise was to be effected by a change of garments. "She must put off her robes and put on a russet coat" (ib.) Possibly the queen was not unknown to the prophet (ver. 4)] thyself, that thou [Observe the archaic form אַתִּי for אַתְּ, which latter the Keri would substitute, quite needlessly, here] be not known [Heb. and they (i.e., those whom she met, not the prophet only) shall not know that thou art, etc.] to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh [the modern Seilun. "There is no site in the country fixed with greater certainty than that of Shiloh" (Conder, p. 44. See Judges 21:19). The identification, however, was only effected in 1838. Conder gives some interesting particulars which lead him to believe that we can identify the very site of the tabernacle. For its history, see Joshua 16:5; Joshua 18:1-10; Judges 18:31; Judges 21:19; 1 Samuel 4:3; Jeremiah 41:5. Presuming that Tirzah is to be identified with Teiasir (see on ver. 17) Shiloh would be over thirty miles' distant - more than a day's journey to the queen, as the road involves some toilsome climbing]: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet [see on 1 Kings 11:29. Shiloh was probably the birthplace, as well as the residence, of Ahijah. It was in the territory of Ephraim (Joshua 16:6), and at no great distance from Bethel. We can only explain Ahijah's continued residence there, after the migration of the God-fearing Israelites to the southern kingdom, not by his great age, but by the supposition that, having been concerned in the transfer of the kingdom to Jeroboam, he felt it a duty to stay and watch his career. And the time has now come when he can be useful. His relations with Jeroboam had apparently so far been good. He had not protested, so far as we know, against the calf worship, but then God had sent another prophet to do that], which told me that I should be king [Heb. he spake of me for king] over this people. [So that he had already proved himself a true prophet, and so far a prophet of good.] 1 Kings 14:2When his son fell sick, Jeroboam said to his wife: Disguise thyself, that thou mayest not be known as the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh to the prophet Ahijah, who told me that I should be king over this people; he will tell thee how it will fare with the boy. השׁתּנּה, from שׁנה, to alter one's self, i.e., to disguise one's self. She was to go to Shiloh disguised, so as not to be recognised, to deceive the old prophet, because otherwise Jeroboam did not promise himself any favourable answer, as he had contemptuously neglected Ahijah's admonition (1 Kings 11:38-39). But he turned to this prophet because he had spoken concerning him למלך, to be king, i.e., that he would become king, over this people. למלך stands for מלך להיות, with which the infinitive esse can be omitted (vid., Ewald, 336, b.). As this prophecy, which was so favourable to Jeroboam, had come to pass (1 Kings 11:29-30), he hoped that he might also obtain from Ahijah a divine revelation concerning the result of his son's illness, provided that he did not know who it was who came to seek counsel concerning her sick son. To complete the deception, she was to take with her as a present for the prophet (cf., 1 Samuel 9:8) "ten loaves and crumbs" and a jar with honey, i.e., a trifling gift such as a simple citizen's wife might take. According to the early versions and the context, a kind of plain cake, κολλυρίδα (lxx), crustulam (Vulg.). It is different in Joshua 9:5.
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