And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was in Egypt, where he fled from the presence of Solomon the king, heard it, that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Who was in Egypt.—Really a parenthesis, “And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard (now he was in Egypt, whither he had fled from the face of Solomon the king), that Jeroboam returned from Egypt.” The chronicler has omitted to say he was still in Egypt (‘ôdennû, Kings), because he has not alluded before to his flight thither. (See 1Kings 11:26-40.)
That Jeroboam returned out of Egypt.—Kings continues the parenthesis, “and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt.” The words dwelt and returned are spelt with the same letters in Hebrew, the difference being one of pointing only.
2Ch 10:1-15. Rehoboam Refusing the Old Men's Good Counsel.
1. Rehoboam went to Shechem—(See on 1Ki 12:1). This chapter is, with a few verbal alterations, the same as in 1Ki 12:1-19.And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was in Egypt, whither he fled from the presence of Solomon the king, heard it, that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. Jeroboam] For his antecedents (which are not given by the Chronicler) see 1 Kings 11:26 ff.
that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt] So we should read also in 1 Kings 12:2 for “and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt.” The difference in Heb. between the two readings when written without the vowels is confined to one letter.Verses 2, 3. - In these verses the compiler brings up lost time. He has not mentioned before the name of Jeroboam, just as he has not mentioned the lustful sins of Solomon that led to idolatry, and these sequel idolatries of his, that heralded the shattering of his kingdom immediately on his decease. So we are now told all in one how Jeroboam, in his refuge-retreat in Egypt (1 Kings 11:26-40), "heard" of Solomon's demise, and apparently (see first clause of our third verse) heard of it in this wise, that "they," i.e. the "all Israel" (of our first verse) "had sent and called him" Probably the growing sense of discontent and the rankling in those tribes that were not closely breathing the atmosphere of Jerusalem and the one home county, because of their burdens and taxation, and possibly also Ephraim's ancient and famed rivalry, knew instinctively that this hour of Solomon's death was the hour, if any, of their redemption. The lacunae in the history speak for themselves; for though the tribes, after the long seething of their com-plainings and sufferings, needed but short time for deliberation, Solomon's death must have been an accomplished fact before they (whoever the "they" were) sent to Egypt to Jeroboam; and that sending and his returning or otherwise, at any rate his hearing and consequent returning, must have taken time. Considering all this, it is remarkable that no note of time is found. But had only our first verse been placed as the last of the foregoing chapter, the ambiguity would have been less. For the strange variations on the history of Jeroboam (a name, together with that of Rehoboam, new to Solomon's time, meaning "many-peopled," while Rehoboam signifies "increaser of people"), as found in the Hebrew texts, and additions to it, see the Septuagint Version, 1 Kings 11:43; 1 Kings 12:24; and A. P. Stanley's article, "Jeroboam," in Dr. Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' 1. 979, 980; and comp. again 1 Kings 11:26-40; 1 Kings 12:25; 1 Kings 14:13, 17, 18. Stanley's faith in the Septuagint notwithstanding, its variations and additions are not reconcileable enough with either the Hebrew text or themselves to command anything like unfeigned acceptance. One thing may be considered to come out without much obscurity or uncertainty - that Jeroboam was the acknowledged rather than tacit leader of an opposition that was tacit at present rather than acknowledged; nor is it at all improbable, under all the circumstances, that the Rehoboam party in, knowing well how the ground really lay, were as content to let the coronation, so to call it, at Shechem linger awhile for Jeroboam's return, as Jeroboam's opposition party out desired and perhaps compelled the delay. Of course, Jeroboam knew well, none better than he, as of old the overseer of the forced labour and taxation of Ephraim (1 Kings 11:28; 1 Kings 9:15), how grievous the service and how heavy the yoke to his people, even when he had acquitted himself as the most "industrious" of taskmasters. 2 Chronicles 9:25 does not correspond to the passage 1 Kings 10:26, but in contents and language agrees with 1 Kings 5:6, and 2 Chronicles 9:26 with 1 Kings 5:1. Only the general estimate of Solomon's riches in gold and silver, in 2 Chronicles 9:27, repeated from 2 Chronicles 1:15, corresponds to 1 Kings 10:27. Finally, in 2 Chronicles 9:28 the whole description is rounded off; all that has already been said in 2 Chronicles 1:16, 2 Chronicles 1:17 as to the trade in horses with Egypt (1 Kings 10:28-29) being drawn together into one general statement.
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