2 Kings 3:3
Nevertheless he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.
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(3) He cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam.1Kings 12:28, seq., 1Kings 16:2; 1Kings 16:26.

Therefrom.—Heb., from it (a collective feminine). So in 2Kings 13:2; 2Kings 13:6; 2Kings 13:11.

3:1-5 Jehoram took warning by God's judgment, and put away the image of Baal, yet he maintained the worship of the calves. Those do not truly repent or reform, who only part with the sins they lose by, but continue to love the sins that they think to gain by.On the "evil" done by Ahab, see especially 1 Kings 16:30-34. Jehoram, warned by the fate of his brother (2 Kings 1:4 note), began his reign by a formal abolition of the Phoenician state religion introduced by Ahab - even if he connived at its continuance among the people 2 Kings 10:26-27; and by a re-establishment of the old worship of the kingdom as arranged by Jeroboam. CHAPTER 3

2Ki 3:1-3. Jehoram's Evil Reign over Israel.

1, 2. Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat—(compare 1Ki 22:51). To reconcile the statements in the two passages, we must suppose that Ahaziah, having reigned during the seventeenth and the greater part of the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat, was succeeded by his brother Joram or Jehoram, in the end of that eighteenth year, or else that Ahaziah, having reigned two years in conjunction with his father, died at the end of that period when Jehoram ascended the throne. His policy was as hostile as that of his predecessors to the true religion; but he made some changes. Whatever was his motive for this alteration—whether dread of the many alarming judgments the patronage of idolatry had brought upon his father; or whether it was made as a small concession to the feelings of Jehoshaphat, his ally, he abolished idolatry in its gross form and restored the symbolic worship of God, which the kings of Israel, from the time of Jeroboam, had set up as a partition wall between their subjects and those of Judah.

The sins of Jeroboam, i.e. the worship of the calves; which all the kings of Israel kept up as a wall of partition between their subjects and those of Judah. Thus he shows that his religion was overruled by his interest and policy.

Nevertheless he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin,.... He closely adhered to the worship of the calves set up by him:

he departed not therefrom: that being a piece of state policy, to keep up the division of the two kingdoms.

Nevertheless he cleaved unto the {b} sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.

(b) He sacrificed to the golden calves that Jeroboam had made.

3. he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam] The calf-worship was the token of Israel’s separation from Judah, and had a political significance. Other kings beside Jeroboam would feel the danger of allowing the northern people to return to the temple at Jerusalem to worship. So a king who might be disposed for religious reforms would shrink from including the suppression of the calves in his programme.

which made [R.V. wherewith he made] Israel to sin] The A.V. is inconsistent, sometimes making the relative, in this oft-recurring phrase, refer to Jeroboam, sometimes to the sin. It is clear from 1 Kings 15:26, that there, where it is first found, it must refer to the sin, and so A.V. there translates ‘wherewith he made’. The other places have been made uniform in rendering in R.V.

Verse 3. - Nevertheless he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not there from. The maintenance of the calf-worship was, no doubt, viewed as a political necessity. If the two sanctuaries at Dan and Bethel had been shut up, the images broken, and the calf-worship brought to an end, there would, as a matter of course, have been a general flocking of the more religious among the people to the great sanctuary of Jehovah at Jerusalem; and this adoption of Jerusalem as a spiritual center would naturally have led on to its acceptance as the general political center of the whole Israelite people. Israel, as a separate kingdom, a distinct political entity, would have disappeared. Hence every Israelite monarch, even the Jehovistic Jehu, felt himself bound, by the political exigencies of his position, to keep up the calf-worship, and maintain the religious system of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 2 Kings 3:3Reign of Joram of Israel. - For the chronological statement in 2 Kings 3:1, see at 2 Kings 1:17. Joram or Jehoram was not so ungodly as his father Ahab and his Mother Jezebel. He had the statue or pillar of Baal, which his father had erected in Samaria, removed; and it was only to the sin of Jeroboam, i.e., the calf-worship, that he adhered. Joram therefore wished to abolish the worship of Baal and elevate the worship of Jehovah, under the image of the calf (ox), into the region of his kingdom once more. For the singular suffix ממּנּה see Ewald, 317, a. He did not succeed, however, in exterminating the worship of Baal. It not only continued in Samaria, but appears to have been carried on again in the most shameless manner (cf. 2 Kings 10:18.); at which we cannot be surprised, since his mother Jezebel, that fanatical worshipper of Baal, was living throughout the whole of his reign (2 Kings 9:30).
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