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Go to Bible: 1 Kings 14
“Abijah.” The name seems both appropriate and ironic at the same time. Jeroboam turned away from Yahweh in many ways, and did evil in Yahweh’s sight, but he named his son “Abijah,” “My father is Yahweh.” As it turned out, however, Abijah was a godly person and was good in the eyes of Yahweh (1 Kings 14:13).(top)
|1Ki 14:2||- (top)|
|1Ki 14:3||- (top)|
“Ahijah...Ahijah.” In the Hebrew text the name is spelled two different ways, but they refer to the same person.
“his eyesight was gone.” The Hebrew is a strange idiom, literally, “his eyes stood up” because of his age. But it means he could not see.(top)
“request a word.” Jeroboam’s wife was coming to get a prophetic word about her son.(top)
“I am sent to you.” Although it was Jeroboam’s wife who came to Ahijah, Ahijah was sent by God with the hard message.(top)
|1Ki 14:7||- (top)|
|1Ki 14:8||- (top)|
“making me angry.” For this translation, see commentary on Deuteronomy 32:21.(top)
“I will cut off from Jeroboam everyone.” Ahijah the prophet foretold that the house of Jeroboam would be completely destroyed, and that occurred during the reign of his son Nadab. Baasha the son of Ahijah (not Ahijah the prophet; another Ahijah) from the tribe of Issachar killed the entire house of Jeroboam, who apparently was from either the tribe of Ephraim or Manasseh (1 Kings 11:28).
“who pisses against a wall.” A crass idiom and cultural way of referring to the men, but as we learn from the verse, the women were killed also.
“he who is slave or free in Israel.” The meaning of this phrase is debated because the words themselves have a range of meanings. There are six major ideas as to what the phrase means that have been set forward by scholars. The ideas are: “slave and free men;” “those who are still under taboo and the pure;” “the controlled (or obligated) and the liberated (or independent);” “the military conscript and the one whose duty has been deferred;” “the one under the protection of the family and the one deprived of such protection;” and “the one under the authority of the father and guardian and the one released from it,” i.e., “the minor and the adult” (cp. Walter Maier III, Concordia Commentary; 1 Kings 12-22). Although the exact meaning of the phrase is not known, it is clear that it seems to refer to people who are restricted in some way and those who are not, and the point of the prophecy is that no male who is of the family of Jeroboam will escape being killed no matter what their circumstances in life. The same phrase is used in 1 Kings 21:21. See commentary on Deuteronomy 32:36.(top)
“the dogs will eat.” In a culture where family ties were strong and family tombs common, to not have anyone bury your dead body was considered a terrible curse. In fact, many people believed (falsely, but it was a very widely held belief) that a proper burial was important for a comfortable existence in the afterlife. Thus the threat of not being buried but having one’s dead body eaten by animals, birds, and vermin was a horrifying threat of unspeakable loneliness and rejection, both on this earth and in the afterlife (see commentary on Jer. 14:16).(top)
|1Ki 14:12||- (top)|
“he only of Jeroboam will come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing.” Occasionally it seems God could prolong a good person’s life but instead protects them from evil by not prolonging it (Isa. 57:1). In this case the premature death of the boy is said to be a blessing.(top)
“who will cut off the house of Jeroboam.” In this context, “house” means “dynasty,” and it refers to the reigns of Jeroboam and his son Nadab. This prophecy was fulfilled by Baasha of the tribe of Issachar (1 Kings 15:29). [For more on the first three dynasties in Israel, see commentary on 2 Kings 9:9].(top)
“he will root up Israel out of this good land that he gave to their fathers and will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River.” This amazing prophecy by Ahijah the prophet was spoken during the reign of Jeroboam I of Israel, and far enough into his reign that the evil set in motion by Jeroboam would have had some time to be ritualized and set in the culture. So this prophecy would likely have occurred somewhere around 930 BC, a full 200 years before Israel was finally destroyed by the Assyrians and carried away captive to parts of Assyria in 722 BC (2 Kings 17:6-23).
The Hebrew text just reads, “the river,” not the Euphrates River. In biblical times, the Euphrates was often just referred to as “the River,” and that is the case here. This prophecy of Ahijah was fulfilled when the Assyrians conquered the country of Israel and carried them beyond the Euphrates (2 Kings 17:1-23).(top)
|1Ki 14:16||- (top)|
“Tirzah.” The capital of Israel had moved from Shechem to Tirzah at this time.(top)
|1Ki 14:18||- (top)|
“Book of the Chronicles.” The Hebrew is idiomatic and literally reads, “the book of the events of the days” of the kings of Israel. The Schocken Bible reads, “the record of yearly events of the kings of Israel.”(top)
“Nadab.” Jeroboam named his sons the same as Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu.(top)
“Now Rehoboam.” The text shifts from following the northern kingdom of Israel to the southern kingdom of Judah.
“Rehoboam was 41 years old when he began to reign.” The fact that Rehoboam was 41 when he became king the year Solomon died, and Solomon had reigned 40 years, means that Rehoboam was born before David died and Solomon became king. So Solomon already had at least one wife, Naamah, who was an Ammonite, before he married Pharaoh’s daughter (1 Kings 3:1).
“and his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonite.” Naamah apparently had a very special relationship with Solomon, because she is the only wife of Solomon who is named in the Bible, and here in 1 Kings 14 she is listed twice (1 Kings 14:21, 31).
[For more information on Naamah, see commentary on 2 Chron. 12:13.](top)
|1Ki 14:22||- (top)|
“shrines.” The Hebrew word “shrines” is bamot, which referred to a place that was leveled and built up and on which were placed various idols and objects of worship. Many of the towns had such shrines (see commentary on Num. 33:52).
“standing-stones.” Standing-stones were set up for various reasons, some of them being godly memorials, but here the context is pagan worship. Standing-stones would often be set up as part of the worship of pagan gods, and God has no tolerance for idols. They are harmful in many different ways and are to be destroyed. [For more on standing-stones, see commentary on Gen. 28:18. For more on idols being harmful, see commentary on Deuteronomy 7:5].(top)
|1Ki 14:24||- (top)|
“Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem.” The attack of Sheshak is given in more detail in 2 Chronicles 12:2-9.(top)
“of the house of Yahweh and the treasures of the king’s house.” The house of Yahweh is the Temple, and the “king’s house” is the palace. Some of the treasures of the Temple went back to Egypt, which is ironic since some of those treasures may have come from Egypt at the time of the Exodus.
“he also took away all the shields of gold that Solomon had made.” This is quite an irony. Israel left Egypt with their gold because Pharaoh had hardened his heart against God, and now Rehoboam and Judah hardened their hearts against Yahweh and so the gold went back to Egypt. Pharaoh Shishak took away the gold weapons that were stored in the Temple, but he must have left the bronze ones because there were weapons from the time of David still in the Temple many years later at the time of Joash (2 Kings 11:10; 2 Chron. 23:9).(top)
“the guard.” The Hebrew is strange, literally, “the runners.” It may be that these guards ran with the message that there were people coming.(top)
|1Ki 14:28||- (top)|
|1Ki 14:29||- (top)|
|1Ki 14:30||- (top)|
“Abijam.” He is called Abijah in 2 Chronicles 12:16.(top)