Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Chosen. Septuagint, "young," (Haydock) as the Hebrew term also signifies. (Tirinus) --- His. Hebrew, "the kingdom again to Roboam."
Will, to punish the disorders of Solomon, &c. See 3 Kings xii. 24., and Genesis xlv. 8. God knows how to draw good out of evil, without approving the misconduct of men. (Haydock)
Juda. This was now become a frontier country, and both kings were forced to erect fortifications, 3 Kings xii. 25.
Etam, famous for fine waters and gardens, (Josephus, [Antiquities?] viii. 2.) about ten miles from Jerusalem, on the road to Hebron. It was fortified against the inroads of Simeon and Dan. (Calmet)
Governors, of a military character. Hebrew, "captains, (Tirinus) and store of provisions, (wheat) and of oil," &c., such as would be requisite in a siege.
Off. This was done at different times; so that almost all the Levites took refuge in the dominions of Juda. Yet some prevaricated. Ezechiel (xliv. 12.) only exempts the family of Sadoc. (Calmet) --- The rest set before us a noble example to endure temporal loss, rather than to neglect the practice of religion, or to conform to a false one. (Worthington)
Devils. Hebrew, "goats." (Calmet) --- Septuagint express this by two names, "for the idols, and for the fools." (Haydock) --- The Mendesians of Egypt, solemnly worshipped the goat; and Pan was represented nearly in the same form. Yet it is probable that the Hebrews style the idols by this name out of derision, 3 Kings xv. 2. (Calmet)
They, the pious refugees. (Tirinus) (Chap. xv. 9.) --- Solomon, while virtuous. --- Only is not expressed in Hebrew or Septuagint, but it is sufficiently implied.
Daughter. Hebrew ban, "the son." But bath, "daughter," (Haydock) occurs properly in some manuscripts, as in the ancient versions. Leusden has here this very odd note: "perhaps by ban, (with a pathah) here both sexes may be understood." Forte per ban hic intelligitur uterque sexus. (Kennicott) --- Protestants substitute, "daughter." (Haydock)
Daughter, or grand-daughter, by Thamar, 3 Kings xv. 2. (Calmet)
Head. Septuagint, "prince." (Haydock) --- Grotius maintains that Abia was the eldest. But all others are of a contrary opinion, and believe that Roboam derogated from the law, (Deuteronomy xxi. 16.; Calmet) as David had done, unless it was left to the option of the king to appoint whom he pleased for his successor. (Haydock) --- Meant. Protestants supply, "he thought" which is found in the Septuagint.
Because. Septuagint, "And he was magnified above....and he gave them (cities, Greek: autais) abundance," &c. This may be all understood of Abia. But Hebrew rather speaks of his father: "And he acted wisely, and dispersed all his other children, throughout the countries of Juda;" (Haydock) keeping them at a distance, to prevent any commotion, (Calmet) but making ample provision and procuring wives for them, perhaps at no small cost, as few might wish to be thus prisoners at large. (Tirinus) --- It was probably then the custom to educate the royal children in the noblest families. See 4 Kings x. 1. (Calmet) --- This would also tend to increase their father's influence, and to make them better acquainted with the country, that they might be able to communicate all necessary intelligence. (Haydock) --- Pagnin and Vatable insinuate, that Roboam "caused to be educated and dispersed some of all his children, throughout all the lands of Juda." (Menochius)