1 Kings 14:3
And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.
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(3) And take.—The presentation of this offering, designedly simple and rustic in character, accords with the custom (1Samuel 9:7-8) of approaching the prophet at all times with some present, however trifling. In itself an act simply of homage, it would easily degenerate into the treatment of the prophetic function as a mere matter of merchandise. (See above, 1Kings 13:7.)

1 Kings 14:3. Take with thee ten loaves, &c. — It was usual for those that went to inquire of a prophet to make him some present as a token of their respect for him, 1 Samuel 9:7. The present which she was here directed to take, was of such things as suited the disguise in which she was to go, and were calculated to make Ahijah think her a country woman rather than a queen. And go to him — To inquire the event of this sickness, as the following words imply. It would have been more pious to have inquired why God contended with him; to have desired the prophet to pray for him, and to have cast away his idols; then the child might have been restored to him, as his hand was: “but most people,” says Henry, “would rather be told their fortune, than told their faults, or their duty.”

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.See the marginal reference The presents here were selected for the purpose of deception, being such as a poor country person would have been likely to bring. Jeroboam counted also on Ahijah's blindness 1 Kings 14:4 as favoring his plan of deception (compare Genesis 27:1, Genesis 27:22).

Cracknels - See the margin. The Hebrew word is thought to mean a kind of cake which crumbled easily.

3-11. And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him—This was a present in unison with the peasant character she assumed. Cracknels are a kind of sweet seed-cake. The prophet was blind, but having received divine premonition of the pretended countrywoman's coming, he addressed her as the queen the moment she appeared, apprised her of the calamities which, in consequence of the ingratitude of Jeroboam, his apostasy, and outrageous misgovernment of Israel, impended over their house, as well as over the nation which too readily followed his idolatrous innovations. A cruse of honey; a present, after the manner, Judges 13:17 1 Samuel 9:7,8 2 Kings 5:15 8:8; but mean, as became an ordinary country woman, which she personated.

And go to him, to inquire the event of this sickness, as the following words imply.

And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him,.... It being usual to carry a present to a prophet when he was inquired of on any account, see 1 Samuel 9:7 and this being a plain present, and of such things as the country afforded, she might be taken for a plain countrywoman, and not for such a personage as she was: the ten loaves could not be large for a woman to carry, most probably made of wheat; the cracknels, according to the Greek version in Drusius, were for the prophet's children; they very likely were spiced, or were sweetened with honey, and might be somewhat like our simnels; they seem to have their name in Hebrew from having points and pricks in them for the sake of ornament; such as Plautus (h) calls "scribilitae", because as Turnebus (i) says, they were marked and pricked, and seemed as if they were written:

he shall tell thee what shall become of the child; whether it should live or die, for that was all he wanted to know; he did not desire to know what should be done to the child for its recovery, nor to request the prophet's prayers for it.

(h) Prolog. Poenulo, ver. 43. (i) Adversar. l. 23. c. 10.

And take with {b} thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.

(b) According to the custom when they went to ask counsel of prophets, 1Sa 9:7.

3. cracknels] The word so rendered is found only here and in Joshua 9:5, of the bread of the Gibeonites, which became mouldy. Some take the word there in the sense of crumbling, so dry that it crumbled into bits. In the present passage however it must mean a sort of cake, perhaps dry baked. The whole of the present which the queen was to take with her was such as a woman of humble position would bring. The traditional interpretation of the Talmud makes the word to mean small cakes about the size of half an egg. The LXX. (Alex.) adds as explanatory, that they were for the prophet’s children.

and a cruse] The word only occurs here and in Jeremiah 19:1; Jeremiah 19:10, where it is rendered ‘bottle’.

he shall tell thee what shall become of the child] It reveals to us a singular condition of mind, when we see the king confident in the prophet’s power of foretelling the future even in the case of an individual life, and yet thinking that the queen could go to him with her question and he not know who was making the inquiry.

Verse 3. - And take with thee [Heb. in thine hand] ten loaves [Ten would seem to have been a usual number (1 Samuel 17:18). On the subject of gifts or fees to prophets, judges, etc., see on ch. 13:7], and cracknels [or cakes, as marg. The original word נִקֻּדִּים (תךגעפעפ נָקַד) means "pricked," or "spotted." It is the word translated "mouldy" in Joshua 9:5, 12, where Gesenius would render "crumbs." Mouldy bread would hardly be taken as a present. These cakes, according to the LXX., Cod. Alex., were for the prophet's children] and a cruse [i.e., leather bottle, בַּקְבֻּק Bakbuk, is clearly an onomatopoetic word, suggested by the bubbling noise of liquids in emptying] of honey [Spices and other delicacies were often given as presents, and honey was a special product of the country (Exodus 3:8; Deuteronomy 8:8; 2 Samuel 17:29. The honey sent by Jacob to Joseph was probably "honey of grapes"). The present was purposely a poor one, for the sake of maintaining the deception; i.e., it was a part of the disguise], and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of [Heb. be to] the child. [At first it strikes us as strange that Jeroboam merely asks what the result will be. He does not petition, that is to say, as in 1 Kings 13:6, for a cure. But we find the same peculiarity, which some would explain by the fatalism of the East, in 2 Kings 1:2, and ch. 8:9, In the present instance, however, no such explanation is needed. For

(1) Jeroboam could hardly ask a favour of a prophet of Jehovah, or hope that it would be granted if he did, and

(2) if, as he feared, the sickness was judicial, it would be useless to ask for healing. The infatuation which insisted on a disguise for the purpose of deceiving the prophet, who nevertheless was believed to be able to divine the issue of the sickness, is very characteristic, and has had many parallels since. 1 Kings 14:3When 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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