Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
EPISODE CONCERNING ELIJAH.
Moab rebelled against Israel.—David reduced Moab to vassalage (2Samuel 8:2; comp. 2Kings 23:20). After that event, Scripture is silent as to the fortunes of Moab. It probably took occasion of the troubles which ensued upon the death of Solomon, to throw off the yoke of Israel. The famous Moabite stone suplements the sacred history by recording the war of liberation which Mesha, king of Moab, successfully waged against the successors of Ahab. The inscription opens thus: “I am Mesha, son of Chemosh-gad, king of Moab the Dibonite. My father reigned over Moab thirty years, and I reigned after my father. And I made this bamah (“high place,” “pillar”) for Chemosh in Korha, a bamah of salvation, for he saved me from all the assailants, and let me see my desire upon mine enemies . . . Omri, king of Israel, and he oppressed Moab many days, for Chemosh was angry with his land. And his son (i.e., Ahab) succeeded him, and he, toe, said, ‘I will oppress Moab.’ In mỵ days he said (it), but I saw my desire upon him and his house, and Israel perished utterly for ever. And Omri occupied the land of Medeba, and dwelt therein, and (they oppressed Moab he and) his son forty years. And Chemosh looked (?) on it (i.e., Moab) in my days.” From this unique and unhappily much injured record it appears that Omri had reduced Moab again to subjection, and that Ahab, who, like his father, was a strong sovereign, had maintained his hold upon the country. The death of Ahab and the sickness of Ahaziah would be Moab’s opportunity. The revolt of Moab is mentioned here parenthetically. The subject is continued in 2Kings 3:4-27. (See the Notes there.)
(2–16) A new and (according to Ewald and Thenius) later fragment of the history of Elijah.2 Kings 1:1. Then Moab rebelled against Israel — Paid them no more tribute, but utterly disclaimed their authority over them. Moab had been subdued by David, as Edom was; and, upon the division of his kingdom, the former was adjoined to that of Israel, and the latter to that of Judah, each to that kingdom upon which it bordered. But when the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were weak, and forsaken by God, they took that opportunity to revolt from them: Moab here, and Edom a little after.Judges 3:12-14, were reduced to subjection by David, and treated with extreme severity (marginal reference). In the time of Ahab they were dependent on the kingdom of Israel, to which it has been generally supposed that they fell at the separation of Israel from Judah. The Moabite monument (see 2 Kings 3:4), discovered in 1869, has now given reason to believe that they then recovered their independence, but were again reduced by Omri, who, with his son Ahab, is said (in round numbers) to have "oppressed" them for "forty years." Ahab's death was seized upon as an occasion for revolt, and Moab (perhaps owing to Ahaziah's sickness) easily regained her independence.
2Ki 1:1. Moab Rebels.
1. Then Moab rebelled—Subdued by David (2Sa 8:2), they had, in the partition of Israel and Judah, fallen to the share of the former kingdom. But they took advantage of the death of Ahab to shake off the yoke (see on 2Ki 3:6). The casualty that befell Ahaziah [2Ki 1:2] prevented his taking active measures for suppressing this revolt, which was accomplished as a providential judgment on the house of Ahab for all these crimes.2 KINGS CHAPTER 1
Moab rebelleth against Israel, 2Ki 1:1. Ahaziah being sick sendeth to Baal-zebub; Elijah foretelleth his death, 2Ki 1:2-4. Ahaziah hearing it, sendeth twice captains of fifty, to bring Elijah to him; upon whom he bringeth fire from heaven, 2Ki 1:5-12. The third captain entreateth Elijah; who, encouraged by an angel, goeth and telleth the king of his death, 2Ki 1:13-16. Jehoram succeedeth him, 2Ki 1:17,18.
Moab; which had been subdued by David, 2Sa 8:2, as Edom was; and upon the division of this kingdom into two Moab was adjoined to that of Israel, and Edom to that of Judah, each to that kingdom upon which it bordered. And when the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were weak and forsaken by God, they took that opportunity to revolt from them; Moab here, and Edom a little after it. 2 Samuel 8:2 refusing to pay a tribute as they had done; taking advantage of Ahab's ill success with the king of Syria, and of his death, and the condition and circumstances of his successor. Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab.
The Argument - This second book contains the acts of the kings of Judah and Israel: that is, of Israel, from the death of Ahab to the last king Hoshea, who was imprisoned by the king of Assyria, and his city Samaria taken, and the ten tribes led into captivity by the just plague of God for their idolatry and disobedience to God. Also of Judah, from the reign of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat to Zedekiah, who for contemning the Lord's commandment by his prophets, and neglecting his many admonitions by famine and other means was taken by his enemies, saw his sons most cruelly slain before his face, and his own eyes put out, as the Lord had declared to him before by his prophet Jeremiah. By the just vengeance of God for contempt of his word Jerusalem was destroyed, the temple burnt, and he and all his people were led away captives into Babylon. In this book are notable examples of God's favour toward those rulers and people who obey his prophets, and embrace his word: and contrariwise of his plagues on those who neglect his ministers, and do not obey his commandments.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
SECOND BOOK OF THE KINGS,
THE FOURTH BOOK OF THE KINGS
Ch. 2 Kings 1:1-18. Sickness of Ahaziah, King of Israel. His messengers sent to enquire of Baalzebub are destroyed by Elijah. Ahaziah dying is succeeded by his brother Jehoram (Not in Chronicles)
1. Then [R.V. And] Moab rebelled against Israel] The conjunction is the simple copulative. The less severance that is made between the portion of Ahaziah’s history in 1 Kings and that which is given in this chapter the better. The so-called two books of Kings are but one, and the division has been made quite arbitrarily and in the middle of a reign.
We have no record in Scripture how Moab came to be subject to Israel; but the inscription on the Moabite stone shews us that Israel and Moab were in conflict in the days of Omri, Ahab’s father. Of their previous subjugation by David we read 2 Samuel 8:2, after which we have no mention of them till this passage. It is by no means improbable that on the secession of the ten tribes, the Moabites became subjects of Israel, as the tribes on the east of Jordan all appertained to the northern kingdom. The death of Ahab, and the national prostration of the Israelites after their defeat at Ramoth Gilead would be counted a good opportunity for the Moabites to strike a blow for their freedom. The heavy burden laid upon them is seen from 2 Kings 3:4 where their tribute is specified as ‘an hundred thousand lambs and an hundred thousand rams with their wool’. Cf. also Isaiah 16:1. We know from the history of the settlement of the Israelites (Numbers 32:1-4) how well suited for cattle rearing were some parts of the Transjordanic country. From the nature of the Moabite tribute it is very likely that their whole wealth was in their flocks and herds.
after the death of Ahab] Ahab’s death was quite unexpected, and perhaps no long time elapsed between that event and Ahaziah’s fall. Affairs were sure to be out of joint, and would invite subjects who felt their yoke heavy to try and cast it off.Verse 1. - Then Moab rebelled; literally, and Moab rebelled, but with an idea, not merely of sequence, but of consequence. The "Moabite Stone," discovered in 1869, throws considerable light on the character and circumstances of this rebellion. Moab had, we know, been subjected by David (2 Samuel 8:2), and had been very severely treated. Either in the reign of Solomon, or more probably at his death, and the disruption of his kingdom, the Moabites had revolted, and resumed an independent position, which they had maintained until the reign of Omri. Omri, who was a warlike monarch, the greatest of the Israelite monarchs after Jeroboam, after settling himself firmly upon the throne of Israel, attacked the Moabite territory, and in a short time reduced it, making the native king, Chemosh-gad, his tributary. At the death of Omri, Ahab succeeded to the suzerainty, and maintained it during his lifetime, exacting a tribute that was felt as a severe "oppression" (Moabite Stone, line 6; comp. 2 Kings 3:4). The death of Ahab in battle and the defeat of his army encouraged Mesha, who had succeeded his father, Chemosh-gad, to raise the standard of revolt once more, and to emancipate his country after a period of subjection which he estimates roughly at "forty years." The "Stone" is chiefly occupied with an account of the steps by which he recovered his territory. After the death of Ahab. Probably, as soon as he heard of it. In Oriental empires the death of a brave and energetic monarch is constantly the signal for a general revolt of the subject peoples. They entertain a hope that his successor will not inherit his vigor and capacity. 2 Chronicles 20:36-37, where we learn that Jehoshaphat had allied himself with Ahaziah of Israel for this purpose, and that the prophet Eliezer predicted the destruction of his ships on account of this alliance. When the ships had been broken in pieces in Eziongeber, no doubt by a storm, Ahaziah made this fresh proposal to him: "Let my people sail with thy people;" but Jehoshaphat would not. Ahaziah evidently wanted to persuade Jehoshaphat to make another attempt, after the destruction of the ships which were first built; but Jehoshaphat did not agree to it any more, because it was impossible for him, after the fulfilment of Eliezer's prediction, to expect a more favourable result. Thus the two accounts can be harmonized in a very simple manner, with the exception of the words "to go to Tarshish," which we find in the Chronicles in the place of "to go to Ophir," the reading in our text, and which sprang from an erroneous interpretation of the expression "ships of Tarshish" (see above, pp. 105f). The Chethb עשׂר is an error of the pen for עשׂה (Keri); but נשׁבּרה (Chethb) is not to be altered into נשׁבּרוּ, since the construction of a singular verb with the subject following in the plural is by no means rare (vid., Ewald, 317, a.). On Eziongeber and Ophir, see at 1 Kings 9:26 and 1 Kings 9:28.
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