1 Kings 14
Clarke's Commentary
Abijah, son of Jeroboam, falls sick, 1 Kings 14:1. Jeroboam sends his wife disguised to Ahijah the prophet, and with her a present, to inquire concerning his son, 1 Kings 14:2-4. Ahijah discovers her by a Divine intimation and delivers to her a heavy message concerning the destruction of Jeroboam's house, and the death of her son, 1 Kings 14:5-16. The child dies, according to the prediction of Ahijah, 1 Kings 14:17. Jeroboam's reign and death, 1 Kings 14:18-20. Rehoboam's bad reign, and the apostasy of Judah, 1 Kings 14:21-24. Shishak, king of Egypt, invades Judea, spoils the temple, and takes away the golden shields made by Solomon; instead of which Rehoboam makes others of brass, 1 Kings 14:25-28. Rehoboam's reign and death, 1 Kings 14:29-31.

At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick.
Abijah - fell sick - This was but a prelude to the miseries which fell on the house of Jeroboam; but it was another merciful warning, intended to turn him from his idolatry and wickedness.

And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people.
And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.
Ten loaves - Probably common or household bread.

Cracknels - נקדים nikkuddim, spotted, or perforated bread; thin cakes, pierced through with many holes, the same as is called Jews' bread to the present day, and used by them at the passover. It was customary to give presents to all great personages; and no person consulted a prophet without bringing something in his hand.

And Jeroboam's wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. But Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age.
And the LORD said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son; for he is sick: thus and thus shalt thou say unto her: for it shall be, when she cometh in, that she shall feign herself to be another woman.
Feign herself to be another woman - It would have been discreditable to Jeroboam's calves, if it had been known that he had consulted a prophet of Jehovah.

And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings.
Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel,
And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes;
And rent the kingdom away from the house of David - That is, permitted it to be rent, because of the folly and insolence of Rehoboam.

But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:
Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.
Him that pisseth against the wall - Every male. The phrase should be thus rendered wherever it occurs.

Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it.
Shall the dogs eat - They shall not have an honorable burial: and shall not come into the sepulchres of their fathers.

Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die.
And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.
In him there is found some good thing - Far be it from God to destroy the righteous with the wicked; God respects even a little good, because it is a seed from himself. The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed.

Moreover the LORD shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day: but what? even now.
For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger.
For the Lord shall smite Israel - See this prophecy fulfilled, 1 Kings 15:28-30, when Baasha destroyed all the house and posterity of Jeroboam.

And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin.
And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: and when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died;
And they buried him; and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by the hand of his servant Ahijah the prophet.
And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred, and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
The rest of the acts of Jeroboam - are written in the - chronicles - For some important particulars relative to this reign, see 2 Chronicles 13:1-20.

And the days which Jeroboam reigned were two and twenty years: and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his stead.
And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess.
And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done.
For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.
And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
There were also sodomites in the land - קדשים kedeshim, consecrated persons; persons who had devoted themselves, in practices of the greatest impurity, to the service of the most impure idols.

And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem:
And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made.
He took away the treasures - All the treasures which Solomon had amassed, both in the temple and in his own houses; a booty the most immense ever acquired in one place.

All the shields of gold which Solomon had made - These were three hundred in number, and were all made of beaten gold. See a computation of their value in the note on 1 Kings 10:17 (note).

And king Rehoboam made in their stead brasen shields, and committed them unto the hands of the chief of the guard, which kept the door of the king's house.
And it was so, when the king went into the house of the LORD, that the guard bare them, and brought them back into the guard chamber.
The guard bare them - The guard probably were just three hundred, answering to the number of the shields.

Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days.
And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead.
Naamah an Ammonitess - He was born of a heathen mother, and begotten of an apostate father. From such an impure fountain could sweet water possibly spring?

Abijam his son reigned in his stead - Though righteousness cannot be propagated, because it is supernatural, yet unrighteousness may, for that is a genuine offspring of nature. Abijam was the wicked son of an apostate father and heathenish mother. Grace may be grafted on a crab stock; but let none do evil that good may come of it. A bad stock will produce bad fruit.

Dr. Kennicott observes that the name of this king of Judah is now expressed three ways: here and in four other places it is Abijam or Abim; in two others it is Abihu, but in eleven other places it is Abiah, as it is expressed by St. Matthew, Matthew 1:7, Ῥοβοαμ εγεννησε τον ΑΒΙΑ; and this is the reading of thirteen of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS., and of thirteen respectable editions of the Hebrew Bible. The Syriac is the same. The Septuagint in the London Polyglot has αβιου, Abihu; but in the Complutensian and Antwerp Polyglots, it is αβια, Abiah. Though the common printed Vulgate has Abiam, yet the Editio Princeps of the Vulgate, some MSS., and the text in the Complutensian and Antwerp Polyglots, have Abia; which without doubt is the reading that should in all cases be followed.

The rabbins say, and particularly Rab. Sol. Jarchi, that the Shishak mentioned in this chapter is Pharaoh Necho, and that he invaded Israel in order to get the ivory throne of his son-in-law Solomon, which he had always coveted; and this throne he carried away. It appears however that he spoiled the temple, the king's palace, etc., and in short took every thing away without resistance which he chose to carry off. It is very likely that this had a good effect on Rehoboam; it probably caused him to frequent the temple, 1 Kings 14:28, which it is likely he had before neglected. This history is more particularly told in 2 Chronicles 12, to which the reader will do well to refer; and as to Rehoboam, though so much positive iniquity is not laid to his charge as to his father, yet little can be said for his piety; the idolatry introduced by Solomon does not appear to have been lessened in the days of Rehoboam.

Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke [1831].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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