Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him.Ch. 2 Chronicles 12:1-12 (cp. 1 Kings 14:22; 1 Kings 14:25-28). The Invasion of Shishak
1. all Israel] i.e. all the Southern Kingdom; cp. note on 2 Chronicles 11:3. The details of Judah’s apostasy are given, 1 Kings 14:22-24.
And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD,2. Shishak] The Egyptian king has commemorated this expedition in a pictorial inscription on the wall of the temple of Karnak. It appears that the Northern kingdom suffered as well as the Southern, but no permanent conquest of Canaan was attempted. (Maspero, Histoire Ancienne, ed. v. pp. 360, 1.)
because they had trespassed] A touch characteristic of the Chronicler; cp. 2 Chronicles 13:18; 2 Chronicles 21:10; 2 Chronicles 24:24; 2 Chronicles 25:20; 2 Chronicles 27:6; 2 Chronicles 28:19; and 1 Chronicles 10:13-14. The Chronicler sees the working of temporal rewards and of temporal punishments everywhere.
With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen: and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt; the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians.3. with twelve hundred chariots] The details given in this verse are absent from 1 Kin.
Lubims] R.V. Lubim (cp. 2 Chronicles 16:8). The “s” is not needed, “im” being a mark of the Heb. plural as in “Cherubim” and “Seraphim.” The Lubim are no doubt the Libyans.
Sukkiims] R.V. Sukkiim. LXX. Τρωγλοδύται, i.e. the cave dwellers of the mountains which fringe the west coast of the Red Sea. But whether these are really meant here is doubtful.
And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem.4. the fenced cities] Cp. 2 Chronicles 11:5.
Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak.5. Then came Shemaiah] This intervention of Shemaiah is not mentioned in 1 Kin. For an earlier appearance of the prophet see 2 Chronicles 11:2 ff. = 1 Kings 12:22 ff.
have I also left you in the hand] Rather, I also have forsaken you and delivered you into the hand.
Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous.6. Whereupon] R.V. Then.
princes of Israel] Called “princes of Judah” in 2 Chronicles 12:5; cp. note on 2 Chronicles 11:3.
humbled themselves] i.e. they fasted and put on sackcloth; cp. 1 Kings 21:27; 1 Kings 21:29.
The Lord is righteous] Cp. Pharaoh’s confession (Exodus 9:27), and the Psalmist’s address to God, “That thou mayest be justified (lit. “mayest be righteous”) when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest” (Psalm 51:4). The “righteousness” of God is made known to man in His judgment whether the judgment be of condemnation (as here) or of acquittal (as 1 John 1:9, R.V.).
And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.7. some deliverance] Rather (as R.V. mg.), deliverance within a little while.
Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.8. that they may know my service, etc.] That they may learn the difference between my service and other service.
So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made.9. he took all: he carried away also] R.V. he took all away: he took also. Shishak was bought off with a heavy present from attacking Jerusalem; cp. the case of Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:13-16).
shields] Rather, targets, i.e. small shields; cp. note on 2 Chronicles 9:15.
Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the entrance of the king's house.10. the chief] R.V. the captains.
the guard] R.V. mg. (more literally) the runners. These derived their name from the duty of running before the king’s chariot to clear the way for him; cp. 2 Samuel 15:1; 1 Kings 1:5.
And when the king entered into the house of the LORD, the guard came and fetched them, and brought them again into the guard chamber.11. And when the king entered] R.V. And it was so, that as oft as the king entered.
fet them] R.V. bare them. Fet (obsolete) = “fetched.”
And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, that he would not destroy him altogether: and also in Judah things went well.12. and also in Judah things went well] R.V. and moreover in Judah were good things found; cp. 2 Chronicles 19:3. This is said as giving am additional reason for the mercy which God had shewed (2 Chronicles 12:7).
So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess.13–16 (cp. 1 Kings 14:21; 1 Kings 14:29-31). Summary of Rehoboam’s Reign
13. strengthened himself] See note on 2 Chronicles 1:1. The immediate reference is to a recovery of strength after the departure of Shishak, the further reference is to 2 Chronicles 11:5.
one and forty years old … and he reigned seventeen years] So read both Heb. and LXX. here and in 1 Kings 14:21, but in the additional passage which follows 1 Kings 12:14 in LXX. (B, not A) is read, sixteen years old … and twelve years he reigned. No importance however can be attached to this variation, for the passage which contains it is plainly Midrashic in character.
the city which the Lord had chosen] Though the Ten Tribes were lost to the house of David, the Lord kept his oath to David by securing to his seed the possession of the one holy city of Israel.
Naamah an Ammonitess] R.V. Naamah the Ammonitess.
And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.14. he prepared not his heart] R.V. he set not his heart. The phrase implies steady purpose.
Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually.15. in the book] R.V. in the histories (mg. “words”). Probably one book is meant, begun by Shemaiah and continued by Iddo.
Iddo] See note on 2 Chronicles 9:29.
concerning genealogies] Lit., “to enrol themselves” (the title of the book). Sometimes a book was named from the first striking word occurring in it; e.g. the Hebrew name of Numbers is B’midbar (“in the wilderness of”). Iddo had written another book called, The Visions of Iddo (2 Chronicles 9:29).
And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.