Keil and Delitzsch OT Commentary
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.Rehoboam's defection from the Lord, and his humiliation by the Egyptian king Shishak. - 2 Chronicles 12:1. The infinitive כּהכין, "at the time of the establishing," with an indefinite subject, may be expressed in English by the passive: when Rehoboam's royal power was established. The words refer back to 2 Chronicles 11:17. כּחזקתו, "when he had become strong" (חזקה is a nomen verbale: the becoming strong; cf. 2 Chronicles 26:16; 2 Chronicles 11:2), he forsook the Lord, and all Israel with him. The inhabitants of the kingdom of Judah are here called Israel, to hint at the contrast between the actual conduct of the people in their defection from the Lord, and the destiny of Israel, the people of God. The forsaking of the law of Jahve is in substance the fall into idolatry, as we find it stated more definitely in 1 Kings 14:22.
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,In punishment of this defection (בי מעלוּ כּי, because they had acted faithlessly to Jahve), Shishak, the king of Egypt, marched with a great host against Jerusalem. This hostile invasion is also briefly narrated in 1 Kings 14:25-28. Shishak (Sisak) is, as we have remarked on 1 Kings 14, Sesonchis or Sechonchosis, the first king of the 22nd dynasty, who has celebrated his victory in a relief at Karnak. In this sculpture the names of the cities captured are recorded on shields, and a considerable number have been deciphered with some certainty, and by them our account is completely confirmed. According to 2 Chronicles 12:3, Shishak's host consisted of 1200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen-numbers which, of course, are founded only upon a rough estimate-and an innumerable multitude of footmen, among whom were לוּבים, Libyans, probably the Libyaegyptii of the ancients (see on Genesis 10:13); סכּיּים, according to the lxx and Vulg. Troglodytes, probably the Ethiopian Troglodytes, who dwelt in the mountains on the west coast of the Arabian Gulf; and Cushites, i.e., Ethiopians. The Libyans and Cushites are mentioned in Nahum 3:9 also as auxiliaries of the Egyptians.
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.
And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem.After the capture of the fenced cities of Judah, he marched against Jerusalem. - 2 Chronicles 12:5. Then the prophet Shemaiah announced to the king and the princes, who had retired to Jerusalem before Shishak, that the Lord had given them into the power of Shishak because they had forsaken Him. בּיד עזב, forsaken and given over into the hand of Shishak. When the king and the priests immediately humbled themselves before God, acknowledging the righteousness of the Lord, the prophet announced to them further that the Lord would not destroy them since they had humbled themselves, but would give them deliverance in a little space. כּמעט, according to a little, i.e., in a short time. פּליטה is accusative after ונתתּי. My anger shall not pour itself out upon Jerusalem. The pouring out of anger is the designation of an exterminating judgment; cf. 2 Chronicles 34:25.
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.
Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous.
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.
Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.But (כּי after a negative clause) they shall be his servants, sc. for a short time (see 2 Chronicles 12:7), "that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries" (cf. 1 Chronicles 29:30); i.e., that they may learn to know by experience the difference between the rule of God and that of the heathen kings, and that God's rule was not so oppressive as that of the rulers of the world.
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.With 2 Chronicles 12:9 the account of the war is taken up again and continued by the repetition of the words, "Then marched Shishak ... against Jerusalem" (2 Chronicles 12:4). Shishak plundered the treasures of the temple and the palace; he had consequently captured Jerusalem. The golden shields also which had been placed in the house of the forest of Lebanon, i.e., the palace built by Solomon in Jerusalem, which Solomon had caused to be made (cf. 2 Chronicles 9:16), Shishak took away, and in their place Rehoboam caused brazen shields to be prepared; see on 1 Kings 14:26-28. - In 2 Chronicles 12:12 the author of the Chronicle concludes the account of this event with the didactic remark, "Because he (Rehoboam) humbled himself, the anger of Jahve was turned away from him." להשׁחית ולא, and it was not to extermination utterly (לכלה, properly to destruction, i.e., completely; cf. Ezekiel 13:13). And also in Judah were good things. This is the other motive which caused the Lord to turn away His wrath. Good things are proofs of piety and fear of God, cf. 2 Chronicles 19:3.
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.
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.
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.
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.The length of Rehoboam's reign, his mother, and the judgment about him. Cf. 1 Kings 14:21 and 1 Kings 14:22. ויּתחזּק here, as in 2 Chronicles 13:21, can, in its connection with what precedes, be only understood to mean that Rehoboam, after his humiliation at the hands of Shishak, by which his kingdom was utterly weakened and almost destroyed, again gained strength and power. Cf. also 2 Chronicles 1:1, where יתחזּק is used of Solomon in the beginning of his reign, after he overcame Adonijah, the pretender to the crown, and his party. - As to the age of Rehoboam, etc., see on 1 Kings 14:21. הרע ויּעשׂ, 2 Chronicles 12:14, is defined by the addition, "for he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord." For the expression cf. 2 Chronicles 19:3; 2 Chronicles 30:19; Ezra 7:10.
And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.
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.Close of his reign. On the authorities, see the Introduction, and in reference to the other statements, the commentary on 1 Kings 14:29-31. מלחמות, wars, i.e., a state of hostility, was between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all days, can only be understood of the hostile attitude of the two rulers to each other, like מלחמה in Kings; for we have no narrative of wars between them after Rehoboam had abandoned, at the instance of the prophet, his proposed war with the Israelites at the commencement of his reign.
And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.