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Go to Bible: 2 Chronicles 11
|2Ch 11:1||- (top)|
|2Ch 11:2||- (top)|
“to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin.” These are the Israelites who were living in Benjamin and Judah.(top)
|2Ch 11:4||- (top)|
“fortified cities.” The Hebrew is “built cities,” but the word “built” can mean “built-up” or “fortified,” and that is the case here.(top)
|2Ch 11:6||- (top)|
|2Ch 11:7||- (top)|
|2Ch 11:8||- (top)|
|2Ch 11:9||- (top)|
|2Ch 11:10||- (top)|
|2Ch 11:11||- (top)|
|2Ch 11:12||- (top)|
|2Ch 11:13||- (top)|
“Jeroboam and his sons.” Jeroboam had two sons, Nadab and Abijah (1 Kings 14:1, 20), and it is likely that they oversaw the worship in the northern kingdom of Israel, and kept the legitimate priests from worshiping the true God the way He required.(top)
“he appointed priests for himself.” Jeroboam chose priests that were not descendants of Aaron to be the priests for his shrines and golden calves.
“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).
“goat demons.” Demons have associated themselves with goats and appeared as goats or goat men from very ancient times, and biblically, unbelievers are referred to as “goats” (Matt. 25:33). Israel worshiped goat demons when they were in the wilderness (Lev. 17:7).
[For more on Azazel and goat demons, see commentaries on Lev. 16:8 and Isa. 14:9.](top)
“Those from every tribe of Israel.” This is important historically, because people tend to think that after the United Kingdom of Israel under David and Solomon split into “Judah” in the south and “Israel” in the north, that only Judeans and Benjamites were in Judah, but that is not the case. The southern kingdom, “Judah,” had men and women from every tribe in it, as well as priests and Levites who had originally been assigned by Joshua to live in every tribal area. This means that people from every tribe of Israel—all 12 tribes—were preserved in the Babylonian exile to return to Judah and eventually make up the “Jews” who were in Judea and Galilee at the time of Christ.
When Jeroboam set up his golden calves in Bethel and Dan and set up his own priests who were not descendants of Aaron and changed the calendar given to Moses by God (1 Kings 12:25-33), there was an exodus of the truly godly people from the Kingdom of Israel to the Kingdom of Judah. That many godly people left Israel accelerated the downward move into idolatry and godlessness in Israel that eventually led to its destruction by the Assyrians (2 Kings 17). It also shows that truly godly people can determine Good from Evil and Right from Wrong, and that sometimes they have to be bold to do what it takes to worship God even though it means persecution and hardship. It would have been very difficult for many of the godly people of the northern tribes to uproot their families and move to Judah, but to them the true worship of Yahweh was worth the hardship. Abraham, Moses, and many others had suffered hardship in order to follow the true God (cp. Heb. 11:8-27), and very often believers today have to suffer hardships to worship the true God in a genuine way.
“followed them.” That is, the people followed the priests and Levites that had already left the kingdom of Israel and gone south to the kingdom of Judah.(top)
“they walked for three years in the way of David and Solomon.” For an unstated reason, Rehoboam and the people turned away from Yahweh after three years (cp. 2 Chron. 12:1).(top)
“Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David and of Abihail.” So, Mahalath is the granddaughter of David and Eliab, David’s oldest brother. So both sides of Mahalath, her father and mother, were descendants of Jesse. In fact, Mahalath’s mother (Abihail) and her father (Jerimoth) were first cousins. Jerimoth is not mentioned elsewhere as a son of David, and it is believed that he was the son of David and one of David’s unnamed wives.(top)
“Jeush, and Shemariah, and Zaham.” This may be included because in spite of the royal pedigree of these men, none of them became king. It was Rehoboam’s wife Maacah, the daughter of David’s rebellious son Absalom, who gave birth to Abijah, who became the king after Rehoboam because Rehoboam loved Maacah the most of all his wives (2 Chron. 11:21).(top)
|2Ch 11:20||- (top)|
“for he took 18 wives and 60 concubines.” Rehoboam is to a degree following in the footsteps of his father, Solomon, in spite of the injunction in Deuteronomy 17:17 that a king was not to take many wives.(top)
|2Ch 11:22||- (top)|
“and he acquired many wives for them.” Rehoboam acquired many wives for his sons so he would be assured of having solidity in his kingdom and his dynasty would continue.(top)