1 Kings 16:34
In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(34) Did Hiel . . . build Jericho.—This marks both the growth of prosperity and power, and the neglect of the old curse of Joshua (Joshua 6:26). The place had not, it would appear, been entirely deserted. (See Judges 3:13; 2Samuel 10:5.) But it was now made—what it continued to be even down to the time of Herod—an important place. Its natural advantages were great. It stood in a position well watered, and accordingly of great beauty and fruitfulness (“the city of palm trees”), and was, moreover, a city of military consequence, as commanding the pass from the valley of the Jordan to the high ground of Ai and Bethel. Having been assigned to Benjamin (Joshua 18:21), it should have properly belonged to the kingdom of Judah. Its being rebuilt by a Bethelite, evidently under the patronage of Ahab, is one of the indications of a half-dependent condition of the Southern kingdom at this time.

1 Kings 16:34. In his days, &c. — This is mentioned here, 1st, As an instance of the certainty of the accomplishment of the divine predictions; that here referred to being fulfilled upward of five hundred years after it was delivered: a most striking proof of the divine prescience, as well as of the authority of those sacred writings which contain so remarkable a prophecy; 2d, It is recorded as an evidence of the horrible corruption of Ahab’s times, and of the high contempt of God which then reigned; this Hiel beginning to build in defiance of the curse well known in Israel, probably jesting with it as a bug-bear, or fancying its force worn out by length of time; and going on to build in defiance of the execution of the curse in part. For though his eldest son died when he began, yet he would proceed in spite of God and his wrath revealed from heaven against his ungodliness; 3d, It was intended to be a warning to the Israelites not to think themselves innocent or safe, because the judgment threatened against them by Ahijah was not yet executed. The Bethelite — Who lived in Beth-el, the seat and sink of idolatry, wherewith he was thoroughly leavened. He laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn — Whom God took away in the beginning of his building, and others of his children successively in the progress of the work, and the youngest when he finished it. So that he found by his own sad experience the truth of God’s word, the sentence which Joshua pronounced against the builder of this city being literally and exactly executed. (See Joshua, chapter 6. 1 Kings 16:26.) A remarkable instance this of the certainty of the accomplishment of God’s threatenings, and that he never forgets what he has spoken! 16:29-34 Ahab did evil above all that reigned before him, and did it with a particular enmity both against Jehovah and Israel. He was not satisfied with breaking the second commandment by image-worship, he broke the first by worshipping other gods: making light of lesser sins makes way for greater. Marriages with daring offenders also imbolden in wickedness, and hurry men on to the greatest excesses. One of Ahab's subjects, following the example of his presumption, ventured to build Jericho. Like Achan, he meddled with the accursed thing; turned that to his own use, which was devoted to God's honour: he began to build, in defiance of the curse well devoted to God's honour: he began to build, in defiance of the curse well known in Israel; but none ever hardened his heart against God, and prospered. Let the reading of this chapter cause us to mark the dreadful end of all the workers of iniquity. And what does the history of all ungodly men furnish, what ever rank or situation they move in, but sad examples of the same?This seems to be adduced as a proof of the general impiety of Ahab's time. The curse of Joshua against the man who should rebuild Jericho had hitherto been believed and respected. But now faith in the old religion had so decayed, that Joshua's malediction had lost its power. Hiel, a Bethelite of wealth and station, undertook to restore the long-ruined fortress. But he suffered for his temerity. In exact accordance with the words of Joshua's curse, he lost his firstborn son when he began to lay anew the foundations of the walls, and his youngest when he completed his work by setting up the gates. We need not suppose that Jericho had been absolutely uninhabited up to this time. But it was a ruined and desolate place without the necessary protection of walls, and containing probably but few houses (Judges 3:13 note). Hiel re-established it as a city, and it soon became once more a place of some importance 2 Chronicles 28:15. 1Ki 16:34. Joshua's Curse Fulfilled upon Hiel the Builder of Jericho.

34. In his days did Hiel the Beth-elite build Jericho—(see on [318]Jos 6:26). The curse took effect on the family of this reckless man but whether his oldest son died at the time of laying the foundation, and the youngest at the completion of the work, or whether he lost all his sons in rapid succession, till, at the end of the undertaking, he found himself childless, the poetical form of the ban does not enable us to determine. Some modern commentators think there is no reference either to the natural or violent deaths of Hiel's sons; but that he began in presence of his oldest son, but some unexpected difficulties, losses, or obstacles, delayed the completion till his old age, when the gates were set up in the presence of his youngest son. But the curse was fulfilled more than five hundred years after it was uttered; and from Jericho being inhabited after Joshua's time (Jud 3:13; 2Sa 10:5), it has been supposed that the act against which the curse was directed, was an attempt at the restoration of the walls—the very walls which had been miraculously cast down. It seems to have been within the territory of Israel; and the unresisted act of Hiel affords a painful evidence how far the people of Israel had lost all knowledge of, or respect for, the word of God.

In his days: this is here added,

1. As a character of the time, and an instance of the truth and certainty of Divine predictions and comminations, this being fulfilled eight hundred years after it was threatened; and withal, as a warning to the Israelites, not to think themselves innocent or safe, because the judgment threatened against them by Ahijah, 1 Kings 14:15, was not yet executed, though they continued in that calf-worship which he condemned; but to expect the certain accomplishment of it in due time, if they persisted in their impenitency. Or,

2. As an evidence of the horrible corruption of his times, and of that high contempt of God which then reigned.

Hiel the Beth-elite; who lived in Beth-el, the seat and sink of idolatry, wherewith he was thoroughly leavened.

Built Jericho; a place seated in the tribe of Benjamin, but belonging to the kingdom of Israel; which place he seems to have chosen for his buildings; not so much for his own advantage as out of a contempt of the true God, and of his threatenings, which he designed to convince of falsehood by his own experience; and out of an ambitious desire to. advance his own reputation and interest thereby, by attempting that which he knew his king and queen too would be highly pleased with.

He laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his first-born, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub; i.e. in the beginning of his building God took away his first-born, and others successively in the progress of the work, and the youngest when he finished it. And so he found by his own sad experience the truth of God’s word, and how vain it was to contend with him.

Quest. Why did not God rather punish Hiel himself?

Answ. This was a terrible punishment, to see his children cut off by Divine vengeance before their time, one after another; and all this for his own folly and rashness. Compare Jeremiah 52:10. And as for Hiel himself, possibly after he had been spared so long, that he might be an eyewitness of his sons untimely deaths, he also might be cut off, though it be not recorded, as not belonging to the prophecy here mentioned; or if not, his present impunity was his greatest misery; either as it continued his torment in the sad and lasting remembrance of his loss and misery; or as it was a mean to harden his heart so for greater judgments, to which he was reserved.

According to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Joshua; of which See Poole "Joshua 6:26". And in his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho,.... Which was forbidden by Joshua under an anathema; but this man, either ignorant of that adjuration of Joshua, or in contempt and defiance of it, and knowing it might please the king and queen, set about the rebuilding of it; and it being done by the leave and under the authority of Ahab, is mentioned together with his wicked actions:

he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn: that is, his firstborn died as soon as he laid the foundation of the city, but this did not deter him from going on with it:

and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub; all the rest of his children died as he was rebuilding the city, until only his youngest son was left, and he was taken off by death just as he had finished it, signified by setting up the gates of it: all which was

according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun: between four hundred and five hundred years ago. It was after this a place of great note, and so continued many hundreds of years; See Gill on Joshua 6:26 but is now, as Mr. Maundrell says (k), a poor nasty village of the Arabs.

(k) Journey from Aleppo, &c. p. 81.

In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build {n} Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun.

(n) See Jos 6:26.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
34. The rebuilding of Jericho (Not in Chronicles)

34. Hiel the Bethelite] We may perhaps trace the influence here of evil surroundings. Hiel had been living at one of the seats of Jeroboam’s calf-worship, and the neglect of one command had led to ignorance or disregard of another.

did … build Jericho] As the kings, Omri and Ahab, were great builders, so their wealthier subjects were led to imitate their grand works. For the command that Jericho should not be rebuilt, see Joshua 6:26. The importance of the place lay no doubt in its neighbourhood to the passage of the Jordan, and at a time when commerce was much fostered this advantage was likely to outweigh, with such men, the prohibition which had been given so many generations before, and would be now reckoned as obsolete.

in Abiram] R.V. with the loss of Abiram. The R.V. explains the literal rendering of A.V. The preposition is used to express the cost or price of anything, and so here the penalty which Hiel paid for his transgression. The same change is also made in the second clause of the verse. The meaning is that between the beginning and the end of the undertaking all Hiel’s children were cut off.

by Joshua] The Hebrew has ‘by the hand of Joshua,’ as in so many other places where a message is in question.Verse 34. - In his days did Hiel the Bethelite [Observe the form בֵּית הָךאלִי, and see note on 1 Kings 2:8. It is noticeable that it was reserved for a man of Bethel to commit this act of impiety. It was to such results the worship of the calves contributed] build [i.e., rebuild, fortify, as in 1 Kings 12:25; cf. 1 Kings 9:17. It is clear from Judges 3:13 and 2 Samuel 10:5 that it had not been entirely uninhabited. But the Arab village was now converted into a town with gates and bars] Jericho [We learn from Joshua 18:21 that Jericho then belonged to Benjamin. It had evidently passed, however, at this date into the possession of Israel. It has been suggested that the transference took place in the reign of Baasha (Rawlinson). But it would seem that from the very first, parts of Benjamin (notably Bethel, Joshua 18:13) belonged to the northern kingdom. See Ewald, "Hist. Israel," 4:2, 3. It is not quite clear whether the rebuilding of Jericho is mentioned as a proof of the daring impiety of that age and of the utter contempt with which the warnings of the law were treated, or as showing the ignorance and consequent disregard of law which prevailed. But, on the whole, it seems to be implied that Hiel knew of the threatening of Joshua, and treated it with defiance. It has been suggested that the rebuilding had really been instigated by Ahab, and for his own purposes, hoping thereby to "secure to himself the passage across the Jordan" (Keil), but the text affords but slight warrant for this conjecture]: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn [i.e., at the cost of, in the life of, Abiram], and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord [Joshua 6:26], which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun. [The exact fulfilment of the prophecy is mentioned, as showing that even in those dark and troublous times God did not leave Himself without witness, and that law could never be violated with impunity.]



Omri also walked in the ways of Jeroboam, and acted worse than his predecessors upon the throne. - For 1 Kings 16:26 and 1 Kings 16:27, compare 1 Kings 16:13 and 1 Kings 16:14.
Links
1 Kings 16:34 Interlinear
1 Kings 16:34 Parallel Texts


1 Kings 16:34 NIV
1 Kings 16:34 NLT
1 Kings 16:34 ESV
1 Kings 16:34 NASB
1 Kings 16:34 KJV

1 Kings 16:34 Bible Apps
1 Kings 16:34 Parallel
1 Kings 16:34 Biblia Paralela
1 Kings 16:34 Chinese Bible
1 Kings 16:34 French Bible
1 Kings 16:34 German Bible

Bible Hub






1 Kings 16:33
Top of Page
Top of Page