1 Kings 15:1
Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(1) Abijam.—The form of the name given in 2 Chronicles 13, “Abijah,” is probably correct, as having a more distinct significance. The variation here, if not (as some think) a mere false reading, may have been made for the sake of distinction from the son of Jeroboam.

1 Kings 15:1-2. Reigned Abijam over Judah — So his reign began with Jeroboam’s eighteenth year, continued his whole nineteenth year, and ended within his twentieth year, in which also Asa’s reign began; and thus one and the same year may be attributed to two several persons. Three years reigned he, &c. — That is, part of three years. The daughter of Abishalom — Or, of Absalom, as he is called 2 Chronicles 11:21; and because he is here mentioned as a known person, without any addition of his kindred or quality, some conceive that this was Absalom’s daughter, called properly Tamar, (2 Samuel 14:27,) and from her royal grandmother, (2 Samuel 3:3,) Maacah.

15:1-8 Abijam's heart was not perfect with the Lord his God; he wanted sincerity; he began well, but he fell off, and walked in all the sins of his father, following his bad example, though he had seen the bad consequences of it. David's family was continued as a lamp in Jerusalem, to maintain the true worship of God there, when the light of Divine truth was extinguished in all other places. The Lord has still taken care of his cause, while those who ought to have been serviceable thereto have lived and perished in their sins. The Son of David will still continue a light to his church, to establish it in truth and righteousness to the end of time. There are two kinds of fulfilling the law, one legal, the other by the gospel. Legal is, when men do all things required in the law, and that by themselves. None ever thus fulfilled the law but Christ, and Adam before his fall. The gospel manner of fulfilling the law is, to believe in Christ who fulfilled the law for us, and to endeavour in the whole man to obey God in all his precepts. And this is accepted of God, as to all those that are in Christ. Thus David and others are said to fulfil the law.Slept with his fathers and was buried ... - Compare 1 Kings 11:43. The expression is a sort of formula, and is used with respect to all the kings of Judah, except two or three. The writer probably regards the fact, which he records so carefully, as a continuation of God's mercy to David.

His mother's name ... - The mention of the queen-mother so regularly in the account of the kings of Judah is thought to indicate that she had an important position in the state. There are, however, only two instances where such a person seems to have exercised any power 1 Kings 15:13; 2 Kings 11:1-20.

Abijam - Abijah (see the marginal reference) was probably his real name, while Abijam is a form due to the religious feeling of the Jews, who would not allow the word JAH to be retained as an element in the name of so bad a king. Instances of a similar feeling are the change of Bethel" into Beth-aven in Hosea 1 Kings Hosea 4:15, and perhaps of Jehoahaz into Ahaz (2 Kings 15:38 note).

CHAPTER 15

1Ki 15:1-8. Abijam's Wicked Reign over Judah.

1. Abijam—His name was at first Abijah (2Ch 12:16); "Jah," the name of God, according to an ancient fashion, being conjoined with it. But afterwards, when he was found "walking in all the sins of his father" [1Ki 15:3], that honorable addition was withdrawn, and his name in sacred history changed into Abijam [Lightfoot].Abijam followeth his father’s sins; God however keepeth promise: he dieth, and Asa his son succeedeth him, 1 Kings 15:1-8. His good reign, 1 Kings 15:9-15. Baasha wareth against him: he maketh a league with Ben-hadad, 1 Kings 15:16-22. He dieth, and Jehoshaphat succeedeth him, 1 Kings 15:23,24. Nadab’s wicked reign: Baasha slayeth him; destroyeth his father’s house, and succeeds him: his wicked reign, 1 Kings 15:25-34.

Object. How can this be, when he reigned three years, 1 Kings 15:2, and Asa his successor began his reign in the twentieth year of Jeroboam, 1 Kings 15:9?

Answ. Parts of years are commonly called and accounted years, both in the Old and New Testament, and in profane writers. So his reign began with Jeroboam’s eighteenth year, and continued his whole nineteenth year, and ended within his twentieth year, in which also Asa’s reign began. And thus one and the same year may well be, as it frequently is, attributed to two several persons.

Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah. That is, began to reign; and by this it appears that Rehoboam was in the eighteenth year of his reign when he died, for he and Jeroboam began their reign at the same time. Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ch. 1 Kings 15:1-8. Abijam, king of Judah (2 Chronicles 13:1-2)

1. reigned Abijam over Judah] Better, with R.V. began Abijam to reign. This is the sense of the verb here, though in the next verse it must be simply ‘reigned.’ The A.V. renders it ‘began to reign’ in 1 Kings 15:25 of this chapter, and elsewhere.

Abijam] The LXX. adds ‘son of Rehoboam.’ The name is Abijah in 2 Chron., and, comparing with other names of like formation, that appears the more correct.

Verse 1. - Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, reigned Abijam [see note on 1 Kings 14:31. It is implied in 2 Chronicles 11:20-22 that he was not the firstborn among Rehoboam's twenty-eight sons, but the eldest son of the favourite wife. As he left behind him thirty-eight children (2 Chronicles 13:21) at his decease, some three years later, he must have been of considerable age at his accession. This consideration rather favours the idea that Rehoboam was "forty and one years old when he began to reign" (2 Chronicles 12:13)] over Judah. 1 Kings 15:1Reign of Abijam (cf., 2 Chronicles 13). - Abijam reigned three years, and his mother's name was Maacah, daughter (i.e., grand-daughter) of Absalom. We have the same in 2 Chronicles 11:20-21; but in 2 Chronicles 13:2 she is called Michajahu, daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. If אבישׁלום was without doubt Absalom, the well-known son of David, as we may infer from the fact that this name does not occur again in the Old Testament in connection with any other person, since Absalom had only one daughter, viz., Thamar (2 Samuel 14:27), who was fifty years old when Solomon died, Maacah must have been a daughter of this Thamar, who had married Uriel of Gibeah, and therefore a grand-daughter of Absalom. This is sustained by Josephus (Ant. viii. 10, 1). The form of the name מיכיהוּ is probably an error in copying for מעכה, as the name is also written in 2 Chronicles 11:20, 2 Chronicles 11:21, and not a different name, which Maacah assumed as queen, as Caspari supposes (Micha, p. 3, note 4).
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