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Hadad, Rezon, and Jeroboam
become adversaries to Solomon.
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A. M. 3020. Pharaoh king of Egypt; which gave || answered, 6 Nothing: howbeit, let me A. M. 2020.
him a house, and appointed him go in any wise. victuals, and gave him land.
23 4 And God stirred him up another adver19 And Hadad found great favour in the sary, Rezon the son of Elidah, which fled from sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes | 24 And he gathered men unto him, and be
came captain over a band, 2 when David slew 20 And the sister of Tahpenes bare him them of Zobah : and they went to Damascus, Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus. in Pharaoh's house: and Genubath was in 25 And he was an adversary to Israel all Pharaoh's household among the sons of Pha- the days of Solomon, besides the mischief that raoh.
Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and 21 * And when Hadad heard in Egypt that reigned over Syria. David slept with his fathers, and that Joab 26 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, to Pharaoh, 5 Let me depart, that I may go to whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow mine own country.
woman, even he blifted up his hand against 22 Then Pharaoh said unto him, But what the king. hast thou lacked with me, that, behold, thou 27 And this was the cause that he lifted up seekest to go to thine own country? And he his hand against the king : Solomon built
* 1 Kings ii. 10, 34.
_ Heb. Send me away.-
6 Heb. Not.
22 Samuel viii. 3 ; x. 8, 18.- - Chap. xii. 2; 2 Chron. xiii. 6.
2 Sam. XX. 21. - Chap. ix. 24.
Verses 19, 20. Hadad found great favour in the Damascus—And took it while Solomon was walsight of Pharaoh-God so disposing Pharaoh's lowing in luxury: David had put a garrison into heart, that Hadad might be a scourge to Solomon for Damascus, and brought the people under tribute, 2 his impieties. Here Hadad married the sister of Sam. viii. 5, 6; and so they probably continued durTahpenes the queen, who bare him a son. Whom ing his life, and were subject to Solomon after his Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house-Having as death, till that prince, doting upon strange women, great a fondness for the child, as the king had for his minded not the defence of his conquests. This Refather; and kept the feast generally made at the zon took advantage of, and invaded and got possesweaning of a child. In all these things the provision of Damascus, and reigned there, as Hadad did dence of God was conspicuous, thus causing Hadad || in Edom. and his family to rise into power and influence, that Verse 25. He was an adversary to Israel all the he might give the greater trouble to Solomon. days of Solomon—This, perhaps, is not to be under- Verses 21, 22. Hadad said“Let me depart, that stood of the whole reign of Solomon, which for the I may go to my own country, To Edom, which he most part was peaceable, but of all the days which hoped to recover, now that the great enemies of it, || remained of his life, from the time that his wives David and Joab, (whom he feared as much as David,) | publicly exercised their idolatry, unto the day of his were dead, and Solomon was young. Thither he death. Or, it may mean, that he was a secret enemy accordingly came; and was there even from the all that time, and when Solomon had forsaken God, beginning of Solomon's reign. And, it is probable, he showed himself openly. Besides the mischief by the near relation which was between his wife and that Hadad did–This infelicity was added to the Solomon's, and by Pharaoh's intercession, he ob- former; while Hadad molested him in the south, tained his kingdom with condition of subjection and Rezon threatened him in the north. But what hurt tribute to be paid by him to Solomon; which condi- could Hadad or Rezon have done to so powerful a tion he kept till Solomon fell from God, and then' king as Solomon, if he had not by sin made himself began to be troublesome and dangerous to his house mean and weak ? If God be on our side, we need and kingdom.
not fear the greatest adversary; but if he be against Verses 23, 24. Which fled from his lord Hadade- us, he can make us fear the least; yea, the
grasszer--When David had defeated him. King of 20-hopper shall be a burden. And reigned over Syria bah--A part of Syria, between Damascus and Eu--Over all that part of Syria, enlarging his empire phrates. And he gathered men unto him--Some of the more, and thereby laying a foundation for much those that fled when David defeated Hadadezer, 2 misery to Solomon's kingdom. Sam. x. 18. And became captain over a band--Who Verses 26-28. Even he lifted up his hand ugainst listed themselves under him as their commander, the king-Probably made some secret attempts to with others, who readily joined them, and lived by raise a dissatisfaction against Solomon; for we do robbery, as many Arabians did. And they went to not read of any open attempt. And this was the
God threatens to take
the kingdom from his seed.
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the city of David his father. saken me, and have worshipped 28 And the man Jeroboam was a mighty Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Cheman of valour : and Solomon seeing the young || mosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom man that he was industrious, he made him the god of the children of Ammon, and have ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph. | not walked in my ways, to do that which is
About 29 And it came to pass at that time right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes B. C. 930.
when Jeroboam went out of Jerusa- and my judgments, as did David his father. lem, that the Prophet d Ahijah the Shilonite 34 Howbeit, I will not take the whole kingfound him in the way; and he had clad him- | dom out of his hand: but I will make him self with a new garment; and they two were prince all the days of his life for David my seralone in the field :
vant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept 30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that my commandments and my statutes : ras on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: 35 But I will take the kingdom out of his
31 And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten son's hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten pieces: for 'thus saith the LORD, the God of tribes. Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out 36 And unto his son will I give one tribe, of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten that David my servant may have a tribes to thee :
always before me in Jerusalem, the city which 32 (But he shall have one tribe for my ser- || I have chosen me to put my name there. vant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, | 37 And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign the city which I have chosen out of all the according to all that thy soul desireth, and tribes of Israel :)
shalt be king over Israel.
'Heb. closed. -Heb. did work.-Heb. burden. - Chap. nv. 2-1 Sam. xv. 27; xxiv. 5.
—Verses 11, 13.
8 Verses 5,7. Chap. xii. 16. -i 1 Kings xv. 4; 2 Kings
viii. 19 : Psa. cxxxii. 17.- -1° Heb. lamp, or, candle.
cause, &c.—This was the occasion of Jeroboam's Verses 30-32. And rent it in twelve pieces-An adrancement, as it follows in the next verse. Solo- emblem of what he was to acquaint him with; or noe built Millo, &c.—Solomon, being engaged in || rather a prediction of it. For there were two ways, many buildings, made choice of such as he judged || in those ancient times, of foretelling future events; were fit persons to oversee his works; among whom one in express words, the other by signs and resemJeroboam was one. A mighty man of valour-Of | blances, many instances of which we have often great courage and strength of body. Solomon see- after this of Ahijah. And will give ten tribes to thee ing-that he was industrious—Very diligent in the 1-Hence it is generally called, the kingdom of the business wherein he had employed him, of overlook- || ten tribes. But he shall have one tribe-Besides ing his works. He made him ruler, &c.--Set him his own. Or Benjamin and Judah may be lookover those of the tribe of Benjamin who were em- ed upon as but one tribe, both of them having a ployed in carrying stones, &c., for Solomon's build- || share in the city of Jerusalem, and lying near one ings; or over the taxes and tributes which were another. to be collected of the house of Joseph, that is, of Verse 34. I will not take the whole kingdom out Epbraim and Manasseh, or of Ephraim only, termed of his hands-Solomon held even the ten tribes as bere, as often elsewhere, the house of Joseph. long as he lived. But I will make him prince all
Verse 29. When Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem the days of his life—This was an admonition to Je- Probably to execute his charge. The Prophet roboam not to molest Solomon in his life-time, by thijah found him-Met with him as he was going | raising a rebellion against him; and also to walk in along. “ Ahijah was a native of Shiloh, and one of || God's ways as David did, and not fall into idolatry; those who wrote the annals of King Solomon's reign, | for which sin God resolved to punish Solomon so 2 Chron. ix. 29. And he is thought to have been the || severely as to rend the greatest part of his kingdom person who spake twice to Solomon from God, once il from his posterity. For David my servant's sake while he was building the temple, (chap. vi. 12,) and || -Not for his own sake; he had forfeited his crown again when he fell into his irregularities,” verse 11. to the justice of God; but for his father's sake. They two were alone in the field Having gone “Children that do not tread in their parents' steps," aside for private conference; for otherwise Jero-says Henry, “yet often fare the better in this world bean's servants, (it being most likely he had ser- || for their good parents' piety." Fants attending him,) if they heard not the words, Verse 37. I will take thee-From the condition inight have seen the action of rending his coat, and wherein thou art, and place thee on a throne, as thus the matter might have come to Solomon's ears. || here follows. Thou shalt reign according to all Solomon dies, and Rehoboam
reigns in his stead.
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38 And it shall be, if thou wilt || Shishak king of Egypt, and was in A. M. 3024.
hearken unto all that I command Egypt until the death of Solomon. thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that 41 ! And m the rest of the 11 acts of Solois right in my sight, to keep my statutes and mon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, my commandments, as David my servant did ; | are they not written in the book of the acts that I will be with thee, and build thee a of Solomon ? sure house, as I built for David, and will give 42 And the 12 time that Solomon reigned in Israel unto thee.
Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. 39 And I will for this afflict the seed of Da- 43 · And Solomon slept with his fa- B. C. 957. vid, but not for ever.
thers, and was buried in the city of 40 Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. David his father : and p Rehoboam his son And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto reigned in his stead.
i Joshua i. 5.
2 Samuel vii. 11, 27. - 2 Chron. ix. 29.
n 2 Chronicles ix. 30.
_13 Heb. days.
02 Chronicles ix. 31. P Matt. i. 7; called Roboam.
thy soul desireth-According to thy utmost wishes made no scruple to report what he had delivered in and desires. It appears from this that he was a the name of the Lord. Or, Jeroboam himself, being very aspiring and ambitious man, fond of power and puffed up with the expectation of ascending the pre-eminence; and it is not unlikely but he might throne, could not conceal it, nor keep his own counat this time be plotting against Solomon, and con- | sel, but told the matter to some of his confidants, triving to rise to the throne. The Jews say, that who spread it abroad. But that Solomon should ever when he was employed by Solomon in repairing | entertain a thought of endeavouring to defeat the and building Millo, as the expenses attending the purpose of God, is astonishing indeed! Jeroboam work were very great, he took opportunities of re- arose and fled-unto Shishak king of Egypt-Soloflecting upon Solomon as oppressive to his people, mon's brother-in-law, as is probable, who yet might and of suggesting that which he thought would be jealous of him, or alienated from him, because alienate them from his government, and infuse a spi- || he had taken so many other wives to his sister ; or rit of sedition and revolt. He complained heavily, I might cast a greedy eye upon the great riches which especially to his brethren of the tribe of Ephraim, | Solomon had amassed together, and upon which, “of the hard labour to which they were forced presently after Solomon's death, he laid violent to submit, and the taxes they were obliged to pay; hands, 2 Chron. xii. 9. We may observe here that and to represent the whole affair as a work of vanity, | all the kings of Egypt, from the time of Abraham, merely to gratify a proud foreign woman, and a silly, are in the sacred history called by the name of Phadoting king; for Solomon filled up a part of the val- | raoh, unless Rameses (mentioned Gen. xlvii.) be ley of Millo to build a palace for Pharaoh's daughter. || the name of a king, not of a country; so that this is By these insinuations, it is thought, Jeroboam the first we meet with called by his proper name, wrought in the people a disaffection to Solomon and different from the rest of the Pharaohs. The opinion his government." See Calmet's Dict. under the || is pretty general that this was the great king, called word Millo.
by the Greeks Sesostris, who, having subdued EthiVerse 38. If thou wilt hearken to all that I com-opia, extended his conquests into Asia, as far as the mand thee, &c.—He is hereby given to understand, || Assyrians and Medes, as Josephus tells us, who calls that the grant of the crown to him and his descend- him Sethosis. ants will be conditional, and that he and they will be Verse 41. The rest of the acts of Solomon, &c.upon their good behaviour.
It is probable that Solomon employed a chronologer, Verse 39. I will for this-For Solomon's sin, or historiographer, to write the annals of his reign, mentioned verse 33; afflict the seed of David-By | which public record is here termed, The book of the rending the greatest part of the kingdom from them; | acts of Solomon. And out of these annals the sabut not for ever--A time shall come when the seed cred writer of this history took what he judged most of David shall not be thus molested by the kingdom useful, and omitted the rest, which he did not think of Israel, but shall flourish again in great power and so necessary to be related, or so instructive. prosperity; which it did in many illustrious kings Verses 42, 43. The time that Solomon reignedof Judah, who reigned in glory when Jeroboam's was forty years—His reign was as long as his fafamily was extirpated. And at last the Messiah ther's, but not his life: sin shortened his days. And came, who united together the broken sticks of Solomon slept with his fathers—This expression is Judah and Joseph, and rules over Jews and Gen- | promiscuously used concerning good and bad, and tiles also.
signifies only, that they died as their fathers did. Verse 40. Solomon sought therefore to kill Jero- | And was buried in the city of David his fatherboam-How Solomon came to know what was | Thus concludes the history of this great man; withsecretly transacted between Ahijah and Jeroboam out any the least mention of his repentance, or of alone, is a great question: perhaps the prophet | his bringing forth any of the proper fruits of reRehoboam succeeds
to the throne.
pentance, such as pulling down the high places he and profession of his repentance. On the other had built for the worship of idols, and abandoning hand, many are of opinion, that the silence of the his idolatrous wives and concubines. Many Jews divine historian on this subject is an insuperable oband Christians, however, think it extremely probable jection to all this, and that if he had truly repented, that he was awakened to a sense of his sin and mi- so considerable a circumstance of his life would not sery by means of the message which God sent him, have been omitted, and that we should, at least, have is recorded verse 1l; and that he humbled himself been informed of his abolishing all the monuments before him, and became a true penitent from that of his idolatry, and those of his wives and concutime. They even judge that this is put out of dis- bines. Perhaps, as Dr. Dodd observes, “this is one pute by the book of Ecclesiastes, written after his of those questions which will for ever be a field of fall
, as, they say, is evident, not only from the una controversy, as we have no certain guide from the nimous testimony of the Hebrew writers, but also Scripture to direct us." We may, however, safely from the whole strain of that book, which was ma- conclude, that if Solomon did repent, yet as the sanifestly composed long after he had finished all his cred writer has not recorded that he did, but suffered works, and after he had liberally drunk of all sorts the important circumstance to remain doubtful, he of sensual pleasures, and sadly experienced the bit- | intended to leave a blot upon his memory, that all ter effects of the love of women. Now in this book posterity might have before their eyes an awful exhe appears greatly to lament his own folly and mad- || ample of human weakness, even in a man of the Dess, chap. vii. 25-28; and warns others to take heed greatest endowments; and might learn thereby to of the like evil courses, and to fear God and keep watch and pray lest they should enter into temptahis commandments, in consideration of the judgment | tion; and to beware of the beginnings and infatuato come, chap. xi. 9, 10, and xii. 13, 14. They think tions of vice, since even Solomon was not secure it probable, therefore, that as David wrote Psalm li., | against its delusions; and, once unhappily immersed so Solomon wrote this book, as a public testimony || in it, perhaps, was never disengaged from it
svet, 3–15. Ten tribes revolt and make Jeroboam king, 16–20. God forbids Rehoboam to make war upon them, 21-24.
chem: for all Israel were come heard of it, (for he was fled from the to Shechem to make him king.
presence of King Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt 2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the in Egypt ;)
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a 2 Chron. x. 1, &c.
–6 Chap. xi. 26.
– Chap. xi. 40.
place of general convention. The glory of the Verse 1. Rehoboam went to Shechem—With a kingdom of Israel was in its height and perfection in view to be there declared Solomon's successor by Solomon's reign. It was long in coming to it, but it the people, and made king. It does not appear that soon declined and began to sink and wither under be called the people thither, but went thither because | Rehoboam his successor, as we find in this chapter, they had prevented him, and pitched upon that place in which we see the kingdom divided, and thereby rather than upon Jerusalem, because it was most weakened, and made little in comparison of what it convenient for all, being in the centre of the king- | had been. Solomon probably supposed that by takdom; and because, as it was in the potent tribe of ing to himself seven hundred wives that were prinEphraim, they supposed they might there more se- cesses, he should greatly strengthen his power, and curely propose their grievances, which they were | enlarge his kingdom; and that from them and his resolved to do, and use a greater freedom of speech three hundred concubines he should have a numethan they could at Jerusalem, where the family of | rous progeny to perpetuate that power and dominion, David was more powerful, more numerous, and bet- in all its extent, to the latest generations. But if so, ter supported. And it is not improbable but Jero- | he was sadly disappointed: of these thousand woboam had a hand in this, and that it was partly atmen, it appears, he had but one son, and he a fool ! least by his management, or that of some of his and two daughters, mentioned chap. iv. 11, 15, to friends, who durst not, perhaps, venture themselves bear up his name, and continue his race. “Sin," at Jerusalem, that this city was made choice of as a says Henry, “is an ill way of building up a family." Rehoboam rejects the
NOTES ON CHAPTER XII.
counsel of the elders.
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3 That they sent and called him. || speak good words to them, then they A. M. 3029.
And Jeroboam and all the congrega- will be thy servants for ever. tion of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, || 8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, saying,
which they had given him, and consulted with 4 Thy father made our d yoke grievous : now the young men that were grown up with him, therefore make thou the grievous service of thy and which stood before him : father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon 9 And he said unto them, What counsel give us, lighter, and we will serve thee.
ye that we may answer this people, who have 5 And he said unto them, Depart yet for spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which three days, then come again to me. And the thy father did put upon us lighter ? people departed.
10 And the young men that were grown up 6 And King Rehoboain consulted with the with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt old men that stood before Solomon his father thou speak unto this people that spake unto while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, that I may answer this people ?
but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt 7 And they spake unto him, saying, .If thou thou say unto them, My little finger shall be wilt be a servant unto this people this day, thicker than my father's loins. and wilt serve them, and answer them, and 11 And now whereas my father did lade
di Sam. viii. 11-18; Chap. iv. 7.
e 2 Chron. x. 7; Prov. xv. 1.
Verse 3. They sent and called him-When the so wise, yet would not depend solely on his own people sent Jeroboam word of Solomon's death, they | wisdom, but had other wise men about him, with also sent a message to him to desire he would attend | whom he advised, as his counsellors in all matters of their general meeting at Shechem, and assist them moment. If thou wilt be a serrant unto this people to get their grievances redressed. For they judged this day, &c.—By complying with their desires, and that the presence and countenance of a man of such condescending to them for a time, till thou art better great interest and reputation might lay the greater || established in thy throne. They say, This day, obligation upon Rehoboam to grant them ease and that is, now, for a short season, foreseeing that some relief. Some suppose that they had heard of what would dissuade him from this course, as below the had passed between the Prophet Ahijah and him, and majesty of a prince; and answer them, and speak had an inclination to fulfil what the prophet had good words—The service is not hard: it is only to foretold to him; which is not unlikely. And all the give a few good words, which it is as easy to give as congregation came—That is, all their elders, and the bad ones. This was most wise advice, and if Rehoheads of their tribes. These, it appears, chose Je- || boam had pursued this method, by his mild behaviour roboam to be their speaker.
and kind speeches he would have won their hearts, Verse 4. Thy father made our yoke grievous—By || and made them submit cheerfully to him, so that he heavy taxes and impositions, not only for the temple would soon have had the same power over them and his magnificent buildings, but for the expenses which his father had. of his numerous court, and of so many wives and Verse 8. But he forsook the counsel of the old men concubines, and the maintenance of so many cha- | -Judging it unworthy of his majesty and authority, riots and horses. Thus they began with a complaint and likely to encourage the people in their insolent against the former government; and, as Solomon | demands; and, being proud and vain, he scorned to had so grossly forsaken God, it is no wonder if he condescend to them and court them in this way, but oppressed the people. The burdens, however, of would have obedience paid to him as to an absolute which they complain, could not be so heavy as they monarch; and consulted with the young men-So represented them, considering the peace and plenty called compared with the old men, otherwise, as which they enjoyed, (chap. iv. 25,) and the vast they had grown up with him, they must have been riches he brought into the kingdom; and it is ex- near forty years old. They were, however, men pressly said, (chap. ix. 22,) that Solomon made no who were unexperienced, and who understood not Israelite a bondman. But to those desirous of a the humour of the people they had to do with. change, a light cause seems sufficient. Make thou This is frequently the fault of new kings: to show the grievous service of thy father lighter, &c.— their power, and gratify their dependants, they freThey promise to submit to Rehoboam as their king, quently change their counsellors and put in new ofand be his faithful subjects, if he would promise to ficers; not considering who are wisest and worthiest, ease them of those burdens which his father had but who have been their companions. imposed on them.
Verses 10, 11. My little finger shall be thicker, &c. Verses 6, 7. Consulted with the old men that stood-Or, rather, is thicker, and therefore stronger, and before-his father-Solomon, in his best days, though | more able to crush you, if you proceed in these