1 Kings 14:21
And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess.
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(21) And Rehoboam.—Here begins the second series of the book—a series of brief annals, touching only the main points of the history of the kings of Israel and Judah, till the appearance of Elijah (1Kings 17:1). In respect of the kingdom of Judah, and of Israel so far as it is connected with Judah, it is largely supplemented by the fuller record of the Chronicles (2 Chronicles 11-17).

During this first epoch of the existence of the two kingdoms, including about sixty years, their relations appear to have been incessantly hostile, the aggression being on the side of the kingdom of Israel. In the reign of Rehoboam the invasion of Shishak was probably instigated, perhaps aided, by Jeroboam; subsequently the attack on Abijah, victoriously repelled, seems a direct attempt at subjugation; the same policy in substance is pursued by Baasha, and only checked by the desperate expedient of calling in the foreign power of Syria; till at last, wearied out by continual war against a superior force, Judah, even under such a king as Jehoshaphat, is forced to ally itself, apparently on a footing of something like dependence, with the kingdom of Israel.

1 Kings 14:21. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign — Although many learned men are of opinion that there is an error in the text here in regard to the age of Rehoboam when he began to reign, and some think the reading should be twenty-one, while Houbigant, following the Seventy, reads sixteen years; yet as they do not seem to give sufficient reasons for the alteration, it is certainly safest to abide by the Hebrew text. According to this, he was born in the last year of David’s life, and certainly had his education, and the forming of his mind, in the best days of Solomon; and yet, with all the advantages he enjoyed, he was a weak and inconsiderate prince, who, instead of being a blessing, proved a curse to his kingdom. Probably Solomon’s defection, in the latter part of his life, did more to corrupt him than his prior wisdom and devotion had done to render him wise and virtuous. He reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city, &c. — Where he had opportunities in abundance to know his duty, had he but had a heart to practice it. His mother was Naamah an Ammonitess — She was probably the daughter of Shobi, the Ammonite, who was so kind to David in Absalom’s rebellion. And as there is reason to think Shobi had become a proselyte to the true religion, it is likely that gratitude, for his kindness moved David to take his daughter, though an Ammonitess, to be the wife of his son Solomon. It is very doubtful, however, whether ever she cordially embraced the religion of the Israelites, and as Solomon worshipped the gods of the Ammonites, among his other idols, it is not improbable that she was concerned in seducing him. None can imagine how lasting and how fatal the consequences may be, of being unequally yoked with an unbeliever.

14:21-31 Here is no good said of Rehoboam, and much said to the disadvantage of his subjects. The abounding of the worst crimes, of the worst of the heathen, in Jerusalem, the city the Lord had chosen for his temple and his worship, shows that nothing can mend the hearts of fallen men but the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit. On this alone may we depend; for this let us daily pray, in behalf of ourselves and all around us. The splendour of their temple, the pomp of their priesthood, and all the advantages with which their religion was attended, could not prevail to keep them close to it; nothing less than the pouring out the Spirit will keep God's Israel in their allegiance to him. Sin exposes, makes poor, and weakens any people. Shishak, king of Egypt, came and took away the treasures. Sin makes the gold become dim, changes the most fine gold, and turns it into brass.On the age of Rehoboam at his accession, see 1 Kings 12:8 note. The 17 years of his reign must have been complete, or a little more than complete, if Abijam ascended the throne in the "eighteenth" year of Jeroboam 1 Kings 15:1. 1Ki 14:21-24. Rehoboam's Wicked Reign.

21. he reigned … in Jerusalem—Its particular designation as "the city which the Lord did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there," seems given here, both as a reflection on the apostasy of the ten tribes, and as a proof of the aggravated wickedness of introducing idolatry and its attendant vices there.

his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess—Her heathen extraction and her influence as queen mother are stated to account for Rehoboam's tendency to depart from the true religion. Led by the warning of the prophet (1Ki 12:23), as well as by the large immigration of Israelites into his kingdom (1Ki 12:17; 2Ch 11:16), he continued for the first three years of his reign a faithful patron of true religion (2Ch 11:17). But afterwards he began and encouraged a general apostasy; idolatry became the prevailing form of worship, and the religious state of the kingdom in his reign is described by the high places, the idolatrous statues, the groves and impure rites that with unchecked license were observed in them. The description is suited to the character of the Canaanitish worship.

Rehoboam was forty and one years old; therefore he was born a year before Solomon was king, as appears from 1 Kings 11:42. This is noted as an aggravation of Rehoboam’s folly, that he was old enough to have been wiser.

An Ammonitess; a people cursed by God, and shut out of the congregation of his people for ever, Deu 23:3 Nehemiah 13:1. This is observed as one cause both of God’s displeasure in punishing Solomon with such a son, and of Rehoboam’s apostacy after his three first years, 2 Chronicles 11:17.

And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah,.... Over the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, when Jeroboam reigned over the other ten:

Rehoboam was forty one years old when he began to reign; being born one year before his father Solomon began to reign, and so it might have been expected he would have begun his reign more wisely than he did:

and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem; not half so long as his father and grandfather, being neither so wise nor so good a prince as either of them:

the city which the Lord did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there; to have a temple built for him, and his worship carried on in it; which was an aggravation of the sin of Rehoboam, that he should reign in such a place, and yet be guilty of the crimes he was; the three first years he reigned well, but afterwards forsook the law of the Lord, 2 Chronicles 11:17.

and his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess; and which is observed again, 1 Kings 14:31, she being the instrument of drawing him into idolatry, which it is very probable she practised in the days of Solomon, 1 Kings 11:5.

And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen {p} years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess.

(p) And died about four years before Jeroboam.

21–24. The sinful reign of Rehoboam in Judah (2 Chronicles 12:13)

21. Rehoboam was forty and one years old] As Solomon’s reign lasted forty years (1 Kings 11:42), this son must have been born a year or more before his father came to the throne, and Solomon must have married this Ammonitish wife, Naamah, before Pharaoh’s daughter. The age of Rehoboam makes it strange that he should have been led by the counsels of young men rather than the elders, as we read in chap. 12, and appears to contradict the words of 2 Chronicles 13:7, where Rehoboam is described as ‘young and tender-hearted’ and not able to withstand the rebellion of Jeroboam. Hence the reading of a few MSS. in this passage, of 21 for 41 years, has been thought more probable, though it is not supported either by Josephus or by the narrative of Chronicles (2 Chronicles 12:13). May it not have been that the compilers used different documents and did not try to reconcile them?

the Lord did choose] R.V. ‘the Lord had chosen.’ The choice had been made long before.

his mother’s name] The high position and great influence of the queen-mother in Oriental courts accounts for the regular mention of the mother’s name in the history of each king’s reign. (See above on 1 Kings 11:19.) This Ammonitish princess must probably have been an idolatress, so that even in his father’s time, if the chronology of this verse be correct, the heart of Solomon went after strange women. The R.V. notes that the national designation of this princess has the article ‘the Ammonitess’, she was probably well known.

Verse 21. - And Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty [or twenty. See on 1 Kings 12:1] and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned [this reign is related at greater length in 2 Chronicles 11, 12.] seventeen years [cf. 1 Kings 15:1] in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord did choose [cf. 1 Kings 11:36; Psalm 78:68; Nehemiah 1:9] out of all the tribes of Israel [cf. 2 Chronicles 6:6; 2 Kings 21:7] to put his name there. The historian reminds us that Jerusalem was by God's appointment the religious centre of the land; that Bethel and Dan were no sanctuaries of His choosing; and that, however much the realm of Rehoboam was restricted, he still reigned in the capital of God's choice. It is possible the words have some reference to the next verse, and imply that, though it was the holy city, yet even there they fell away from God (Bahr). And his mother's name was Naamah [or, according to the LXX., Naanan. See on 1 Kings 12:24], an [Heb. the, i.e., the well-known] Ammonitess. [The name of the mother is given with every king of Judah, principally because of the position of influence she occupied in the kingdom. See on 1 Kings 2:13, and ver. 31 below.] 1 Kings 14:21Reign of Rehoboam in Judah (compare 2 Chronicles 11:5-12:16). - 1 Kings 14:21. Rehoboam, who ascended the throne at the age of forty-one, was born a year before the accession of Solomon (see at 1 Kings 2:24). In the description of Jerusalem as the city chosen by the Lord (cf., 1 Kings 11:36) there is implied not so much an indirect condemnation of the falling away of the ten tribes, as the striking contrast to the idolatry of Rehoboam referred to in 1 Kings 14:23. The name of his mother is mentioned (here and in 1 Kings 14:31), not because she seduced the king to idolatry (Ephr. Syr.), but generally on account of the great influence which the queen-mother appears to have had both upon the king personally and upon his government, as we may infer from the fact that the mother's name is given in the case of every king of Judah (vid., 1 Kings 15:2, 1 Kings 15:13; 1 Kings 22:42, etc.).
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