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But although Solomon was become the most erned by them, till he came to imitate their pracglorious of kings, and the best beloved of God, tices. He was forced to give them this demonand had exceeded in wisdom and riches those that stration of his kindness and affection to them, to had been rulers of the Hebrews before him; yet live according to the laws of their countries. And did he not persevere in this happy state till he as he grew into years, and his reason became died. But he forsook the observance of the laws weaker by the length of time, it was not sufficient of his fathers, and came to an end noway suitable to recall to his mind the institutions of his own to our foregoing history of him. He grew mad country; so he still more and more contemned his in his love of women, and laid no restraint on own God, and continued to regard the gods that himself in his lusts. Nor was he satisfied with his marriages had introduced. Nay, before this the women of his own country alone; but he mar- happened, he sinned, and fell into an error about ried many wives out of foreign nations ;* Sidoni- the observance of the laws, when he made|| the ans and Tyrians, Ammonites and Edomites; and images of brazen oxen, that supported the brazen he transgressed the laws of Moses, which pro- sea, and the images of lions about his own throne; hibited Jews from marrying any but those that for these he made, although it was not agreeable were of their own people. He also began to wor- to piety so to do. And this he did notwithstandship their godset which he did in order to the ing that he had his father as a most excellent and gratification of his wives, and out of his affection domestic pattern of virtue ; and knew what a glofor them. This very thing our legislator suspected, rious character he had left behind him, because and so admonished us beforehand, that we should of his piety towards God. Nor did he imitate not marry women of other countries, lest we should David, although God had twice appeared to him be entangled with foreign customs, and apostatize in his sleep, and exhorted him so to do. There from our own; lest we should leave off to honour came therefore a prophet to him, who was sent our own God, and should worship their idols. But by God, and told him, that his wicked actions Solomon was fallen headlong into unreasonable were not concealed from God; and threatened pleasures, and regarded not those admonitions. him that he should not long rejoice at what he For when he had married seven hundred wives,t had done; that indeed the kingdom should not be the daughters of princes and of eminent persons, taken from him, while he was alive; because God and three hundred concubines, and these besides had promised to his father David that he would the king of Egypt's daughter ;8 he soon was gov- make him his successor; but that he would take
* Notwithstanding the vast multitude of wives that Solomon Ş Pharaoh's daughter is generally supposed to have been a had, the Scriptures make mention of no more than three chil. proselyte to the Jewish. religion, and therefore, Solomon, in mar. dren, this son, and two daughters, that are spoken of, 1 Kings rying her, incurred no fault; but, in marrying so many women iv. 11, 15; and, what is strange, in the beginning of his story, besides, and these of a different religion, he committed two sins it takes no notice, as usually it does, of his mother's nation or against the law; one in multiplying wives, and another in marfamily, though in the conclusion of it, 1 Kings xiv. 21—-31, it rying those of strange nations, who still retained their idolatry. twice reminds us, that she was an Ammonitess by birth, and And therefore, the wise son of Sirach, amidst all the encomiums that her name was Naamah Rehoboam was born in the first
that he heaps upon Solomon, could not forget this heinous ini. year of his father's reign, and was thcfefore much about forty- quity, and terrible flaw in his character.—Thou didst bow thy one when he entered upon the government; but he was an un loins to women, and by thy body thou wast brought into subjecskilful and imprudent man, and therefore made a very false step tion. Thou didst stain thine honour, and pollute thy seed, at his first accession to the throne. The author of Ecclesiasti. so that thou broughtest wrath upon thy children, and wast cus gives us no advantageous character of him, when he terms grieved for thy folly, Eccles. xlvii. 19, 20. Patrick's Commenthim, A man void of understanding, who turned the people away with his counsel, chap. xlvii. 23. Nay, his own son makes but Josephus is here certainly too severe upon Solomon, who, a faint apology for him, when he tells the people, that he was in making the cherubims, and these twelve brazen oxen, seems young, (young in understanding) and tender-hearted, and could to have done no more than imitate the patterns left him by Da. not withstand his enemies, 2 Chron. xii. 7; and therefore 'some vid, which were all given David by divine inspiration. See my have imagined, that his father Solomon had him in his thoughts, Description of the Temples, chap. x. And although God gave when he said, in his Preacher, I hated all my labour, which I no direction for the lions that adorned his throne, yet does not had taken under the sun, because I was to leave it to a man that Solomon seem therein to have broken any law of Moses. For should come after me: and who knoweth whether he shall be a
although the Pharisees and later Rabbins, have extended the wise man or a fool ? yet shall he have rule over all my labour, | second commandment, to forbid the very inaking of any image, wherein I have laboured: this also is vanity, chap. ii. 18, 19. though without any intention to have it worshipped; yet do not Calmet's and Patrick's Commentaries. B.
I suppose that Solomon so understood it, nor that it ought to † About An. 999 B. C.
be so understood. The making any other altar for worship, $ These 700 wives, or the daughters of great men, and the 300 but that at the tabernacle, was equally forbidden by Moses : concubines, the daughters of ignoble, make 1000 in all; and Antiq. IV. 3, yet did not the two tribes and a half offend are, I suppose, those very 1000 women intimated elsewhere by when they made an altar for a memorial only, Josh. xxii. Solomon himself, when he speaks of his not having found one
Antiq. V. 1. good woman among that very number, Eccles. vii. 28.
care that this should befall his son when he was into Syria. There he met with one Rezon, I who dead. Not that he would withdraw all the people had run away from Hadadezer,ộ king of Zobah, from him, but that he would give ten tribes to a his master, and was become a robber in that servant of his, and leave only two tribes to Da- country; and joined friendship with him, who had vid's grandson for his sake, because he loved God; already a band of robbers about him. So he and for the sake of the city Jerusalem, wherein went up and seized upon that part of Syria, and he would have a temple.
was made king thereof. He also made incursions When Solomon heard this, he was grieved, and into the land of Israel, and did in it no small mis. greatly confounded, upon this change of almost chief, and spoiled it, and that in the life-time of all that happiness which had made him to be ad- Solomon. And such was the calamity which the mired, into so bad a state. Nor had there much IIebrews suflered by Hadad. time passed after the prophet had foretold what There was also one of Solomon's own nation was coming, before God raised up an enemy that made an attempt against him, Jeroboam, the against him, whose name was lladad ;* who took son of Nebat; who had an expectation of rising, the following occasion of his enmity to him. Ile from a prophecy that had been made to him long was a child of the stock of the Edomites, and of before. He was left a child by his father, and the blood royal. And when Joab, the captain of brought up by his mother; and when Solomon David's host, laid waste the land of Edom, and saw that he was of an active and bold disposition, destroyed all that were men grown, and able to he made him the curator of the walls which he bear arms, for six months' time, this Hadad fled built round about Jerusalem. And he took such away, and came to Pharaoh, king of Egypt; who care of those works, that the king approved of his received him kindly, and assigned him a house to behaviour, and gave him as a reward for the same, dwell in, and a country to supply him with food. the charge over the tribe of Joseph. And when And when he was grown up he loved him exceed about that time Jeroboam was once going out ingly; insomuch that he gave him his wife's sister, of Jerusalem, a prophet of the city Shilo, whose whose name was Tahpenes, to wife, by whom he name was Ahijah, met him, and saluted him; and had a son, who was brought up with the king's when he had taken him a little aside to the place children. When Hadad heard in Egypt that both where there was no one present, he rent the garDavid and Joab were dead, he came to Pharaoh, ment he had into twelve pieces, and bade Jeroand desired that he would permit him to go to his boam take ten of them; saying, “ This is the will own country. The king asked what it was that of God; he will part the dominion of Solomon, he wanted, and what hardships he had met with, and give one tribe, with that which is next it, to that he was so desirous to leave him ? and when his son; because of the promise made to David for he was often troublesome to him, and entreated his succession; and will give ten tribes to thee; him to dismiss him, he did not then do it. But at because Solomon hath sinned against him, and the time when Solomon's affairs began to grow delivered himself up to women, and to their gods. worse,t on account of his aformentioned trans- Seeing, therefore, thou knowest the cause for which gressions and God's anger against him for the God hath changed his mind, and is alienated from same; Hadad, by Pharaoh's permission, came to Solomon, be thou righteous, and keep the laws; Edom, and when he was not able to make the because thou hast proposed to thee the greatest people to forsake Solomon, (for it was kept under of all rewards for thy piety, and the honour thou by many garrisons, and an innovation was not to shalt pay to God; namely, to be as greatly exalted be made with safety,) he removed thence and came
as thou knowest David to have been."
* Hadad was a young prince of the royal family of Idumea, mon's evil life began early, and continued very long ; which the who fled into Egypt when David conquered that country. For multitude of his wives and concubines does also imply. I sup. David, having obtained a signal victory under the conduct of pose he was not fifty years of age. Abisbai, who at that time commanded in chief, sent Joab after # 1 Kings xi. 23. wards with an order to kill all the males that should be found Ś When David made war against Hadadezer, Rezon, one of in the land. But Hadad had escaped into Egypt, where, find his generals, escaped from the field of battle, with the troops ing favour in the eyes of the king, he married his wife's sister, under his command; and, having lived for a little while by plunand there settled. But, after the death of David, he returned der and robbery, at length seized on Damascus, and reigned into Idumea, and gave Solomon no small molestation. Calmet's there. But his reign was not long. For David took Damas. Commentary. B.
cus, as well as the other parts of Syria, and left it in subjection † Since the beginning of Solomon's evil life and adversity to his son Solomon, till God was pleased to suffer this Rezon to was the time when Hadad, (who was born at least twenty or recover Damascus, and there re-establish himself, to the great thirty years before Solomon came to the crown, in the days of disturbance of the latter part of Solomon's reign. Calmet's David, began to give him disturbance, this implies that Solo- Comment. B.
So Jeroboam was elevated by these words of And when he was come to the city Shechem, Rethe prophet, and being a young man* of warm hoboam came thither also; for he had resolved temper, and ambitious of greatness, he could not to declare himself king of the Israelites, while they be quiet. And when he had so great a charge in were there gathered together. So the rulers of the the government, and called to mind what had been people, as well as Jeroboam, came to him and said, revealed to him by Ahijah, he endeavoured to that he ought to relax, and to be gentler than his persuade the people to forsake Solomon; to make father in the servitude he had imposed on them; a disturbance, and to bring the government over because they had borne a heavy** yoke,tt and that to himself. But when Solomon understood his in- | then they should be better affected to him, and be tention and treachery,t he sought to catch him well contented to serve him under his moderate and kill him. But Jeroboam was informed of it government, and should do it more out of love beforehand; and fled to Shishak, king of Egypt; than fear. But Rehoboam told them, they should and there abode till the death of Solomon. By come to him again in three days' time, when he which means he gained these two advantages; to would give an answer to their request. This delay suffer no harm from Solomon, and to be preserved gave occasion to a present suspicion; since he for the kingdom. So Solomon died when he was had not given them a favourable answer immedialready an old man, having reignedt eighty years, ately. However they thought that his consultation and lived ninety-four. He was buried in Jerusa- about it afforded some hope of success. lem: having been superior to all other kings in Rehoboam now called his father's friends, and happiness, riches, and wisdom; excepting that advised with them, what sort of answer he ought when he was grown in years, he was deluded by to give to the multitude. Upon which they gave women, and transgressed the law, concerning him the advice which became friends, and those which transgressions, and the miseries which befell that knew the temper of such a multitude; they the Hebrews thereby, I think proper to discourse advised him to speak in a way more popular than at another opportunity://
suited the grandeur of a king; because he would
thereby oblige them to submit to him with goodCHAP. VIII.
will : it being most agreeable to subjects, that
their kings should be almost upon a level with REVOLT OF TEN TRIBES UNDER JEROBOAM.
them. But Rehoboam rejected this good and Now when Solomon was dead, and his son profitable advice: (it was such at least at that Rehoboam (who was born of an Ammonite wise, time, when he was to be made king :) God himwhose name was Naamah) had succeeded him in self, I suppose, causing what was most advantagethe kingdom, the rulers of the multitude sent im- ous to be contemned by him. So he called for the mediately into Egypt, and recalled Jeroboam. young men who were brought up with him,ff and
OF REHOBOAM'S CONDUCT AFTER HIS FATHER'S DEATH; AND THE
* This youth of Jeroboam when Solomon built the walls of him, and given to his servant, 1 Kings xiv. 8. Patrick's ComJerusalem, not very long after he had finished his twenty years' mentary. B. building of the temple, and his own palace; or not very long # From An. 1056 to 976 B. C. after the twenty-fourth year of his reign, 1 Kings ix. 24. That Josephus justly ascribes eighty years to the reign of 2 Chron. viii. 11, and his youth here still mentioned, when Solomon, see Essay on the Old Testament, page 31, 32. Solomon's wickedness was become intolerable; fully confirm || This discourse is now wanting. my former observation, that such his wickedness began early, An. 976. and continued very long. See Ecclus. xlvii. 14. Had we this ** Probably in maintaining his court, and, in particular, his discourse of Josephus’s, wherein he intended to enlarge on this numerous wives and concubines. part of Solomon's life (which part is only in brief touched upon ++ What the particular grievances were that these people de. in our other copies, 1 Kings xi. and is wholly omitted in the sired to have redressed, we may gather from 1 Kings iv. 7, &c. books of Chronicles) we had probably been inore fully informed viz. the tribute Solomon exacted for his buildings, the expenses of this matter.
of his family, and the maintenance of his chariots and horses, | How Solomon came to know what was thus transacted be which being for the honour of the nation, ought to have been tween Ahijah and Jeroboam alone, is a question of no great borne more contentedly by a people enjoying such a large share difficulty. For perhaps the prophet made no scruple to report of peace and plenty, and from a prince who had brought in such what he delivered in the name of the Lord; perhaps Jeroboam vast riches to his subjects, as made silver to be of no value at himself, being puffed up with this assurance, could not contain, all in bis days, chap. X. 21, but people are more sensible of their but told it to some of his confidants, who spread it abroad; or per pressures than of their enjoyments, and feel the least burdens haps his servants, though they heard not the words the prophet when they are most at ease. It is observable, however, that spake, yet, seeing him rend the garment into twelve parts, and among all their complaints, they take no notice of Solomon's give ten to him, might speak of this strange and unaccountable idolatry, or the strange worship which he had introduced, though action, which Solomon, as soon as he came to hear of it, might this, one would think, should have been reckoned among the easily understand, because the same prophet very likely had greatest of their grievances. Patrick's Commentary. B. told him, but just before, that the kingdom should be rent from # It was a common custom among the kings of the east, to
told them what advice the elders had given him, || should undergo the last of punishments in earnest. and bade them speak what they thought be ought So he got immediately into his chariot,g and fled to do. So they advised him to give the following to Jerusalem. There the tribe of Judah and that answer to the people, (for neither their youth, nor of Benjamin ordained him for their king: but the God himself, suffered them to discern what was rest of the multitude forsook the sons of David, best,) That his little finger should be thicker than from that day; and appointed Jeroboam to be the his father's loins; and, if they had met with hard ruler of their public affairs. Upon this, Rehoboam usage from his father, they should experience assembled a great congregation of those two tribes much rougher treatment from him: and if his that had submitted to him, and was ready to take father had chastised them with whips, they must a hundred and eighty thousand chosen men out expect that he would do it with scorpions.* The of the army, and to make an expedition against king was pleased with this advice; and thought Jeroboam and his people; that he might force it agreeable to the dignity of his government to them by war to be his servants. But he was forgive them such an answer. Accordingly when the bidden of God by the prophet Shemaiah to go to multitude was assembled to hear his answer on the war.|| For that it was not just, that brethren of third day, all the people were in great expectation, the same country should fight against one another. and very intent to hear what the king would say He also said, that this defection of the multitude to them; and supposed they should hear some was according to the purpose of God. So he did what of a kind nature, but he passed by his friends, not proceed in this expedition. And now I will and answered as the young men had given him relate first the actions of Jeroboam, the king of counsel. Now this was done according to the Israel; and afterwards what are therewith conwill of God; that what Ahijah had foretold might nected, the actions of Rehoboam, the king of the come to pass.
two tribes. By this means we shall preserve the By these words the people were struck, as it order of the history unbroken. were, by an iron hammer; and were so grieved as When Jeroboam had built him a palace in the if they had already felt the effects of them; and city Shechem, he dwelt there. He also built him they had great indignation at the king: and all another at a city called Penual. And now the feast cried out aloud, and said, “We will have no longer of tabernacles was approaching in a little time, any relation to David, or his posterity,f after this Jeroboam considered, that if he should permit the day; and will only leave to Rehoboam the temple multitude to go to worship God at Jerusalem, and which his father built.” Nay, they were so bitter, there to celebrate the festival, they would probably and retained their wrath so long, that when he repent of what they had done, and be enticed by sent Adoram, who was over the tribute, that he the temple, and by the worship of God there permight pacify them, and persuade them to forgive formed: and would leave him, and return to their him, if he had said any thing that was rash or first king; and if so, he should run the risk of grievous to them in his youth, they would not losing his own life. So he made two golden heifers, hear it; but threw stones at him, and killed him. and built two little temples for them; the one in When Rehoboam saw this, he thought himself the city Bethel, and the other in Dan:** which last aimed at by those stones, with which the multi- was the ttfountains of the lesser Jordan: and he tude had killed his servant: and feared lest he put the heifers into both the little temples, in the have their sons educated among other young lords that were of See Hudson's and Spenheim's Notes here, and Mr. Barker's the same age, which, as it created a generous spirit of emulation, || parallel observations. and both endeared the prince to the nobles and the nobles to t i Kings xii. 13.
11 Kings xi. 16. the prince, could not but tend greatly to the benefit of the public. $ This is the first time that we read of a king's riding in a Sesostris, the most famous prince that ever Egypt produced, is chariot. Saul, David, and Solomon, rode in none: but after the said to have been educated this way. And by the gallant youths division of the kingdom, mention is frequently made of the use that were his cotemporaries and fellow pupils, it was, that he of them, both by the kings of Judah and Israel. Patrick's Comafterwards did so many surprising actions. The same custom mentary. B. was in use among the Persians, as we may learn from the life || This prophet was very well known in the reign of Rehoof Cyrus; and of Alexander the Great we are told, that his boam. He is supposed to have wrote the annals of that prince; father Philip had trained him up in his youth, among those and of what authority he was in Judah, we may gather from this young noblemen who became his great captains in the conquest passage, where he is said to have prevailed with the king, and of all Asia. So that Solomon's method and design, in the educa- a hundred and four-score thousand men, to lay down their arms, tion of his son, was wise and well concerted, though it failed of and return home, merely by declaring, that the division which success. Calmet's Commentary. B.
had happened was the appointment and order of God. Calmet's * That by scorpions is not here meant the small animals so Commentary. B. called, which were never used in corrections; but either a shrub 11 Kings xii. 24.
** 1 Kings xii. 29. with sharp prickles, like the stings of scorpions, such as is our # Whether these fountains of the lesser Jordan were near a furze-bush; or else some terrible sort of whip of the like nature. I place called Dan, and the fountains of the greater near a place
aforementioned cities. And when he had called about him. But when he was going to offer the the ten tribes together over whom he ruled, he sacrifices, and the burnt-offerings, in the sight of made a speech to the people in these words: “I all the people, a prophet, whose name was suppose, my countrymen, you know that every Jadon, was sent by God, and came to bim from place hath God in it: nor is there any determinate Jerusalem ; who stood in the midst of the mulplace in which he is: but he everywhere hears titude, and in the hearing of the king, and directand sees those that worship him. On which ac- ing his discourse to the altar, said thus: “God count I do not think it right for you to go so long foretells that there shall be a certain man of a journey to Jerusalem, which is an enemy's city, the family of David, Josiah by name, who shall to worship him. It was a man that built the tem- slay upon thee those false priests that shall live at ple; I have also made two golden heifers, dedi- that time, and upon thee shall burn the bones of cated to the same God; and the one I have con- those deceivers of the people, those impostors and secrated in the city Bethel, and the other in Dan; wicked wretches. However, that this people may to the end that those of you who dwell nearest believe these things shall come to pass, I foretell those cities may go to them and worship God a sign to them, that shall also be fulfilled. This there. And I will ordain for you certain priests altar shall be broken to pieces immediately; and and Levites from among yourselves ; that you all the fat of the sacrifices that is upon it shall be may have no want of the tribe of Levi, or of the poured upon the ground.” When the prophet had sons of Aaron. But let him that is desirous among said this, Jeroboam, in a passion, stretched out you of being a priest, bring to God a bullock and his hand, and bade them lay hold of him. But that a ram; which they say* Aaron the first priest hand which he stretched out was enfeebled, and brought also.” When Jeroboam had said this, he he was not able to pull it in again to him; for it deluded the people, and caused them to revolt was become withered, and hung down as if it were from the worship of their forefathers, and to trans- dead. The altar also was broken to pieces, and gress their laws. This was the beginning of mise all that was upon it was poured out: as the ries to the Hebrews; and the cause why they were prophet had foretold should come to pass. So the overcome in war by foreigners, and so fell into king understood that he was a man of veracity, captivity. But we shall relate those things in their and had a divine foreknowledge; and entreated proper places hereafter.
him to pray unto God, that he would restore his When this feast of tabernacles was justf ap- right hand. Accordingly the prophet did pray to proaching, Jeroboami was desirous to celebrate God to grant him that request. So the king having it himself in Bethel; as did the two tribes in Jeru- his hand recovered to its natural state, rejoiced at salem. Accordingly he built an altar before the it; and invited the prophet to sup with him. But heifer, and undertook to be high-priest himself. Jadon said, he could not endure to come into his So he went up to the altar, with his own priests house, nor to taste of bread or water in that city.ll
called Jor, before their conjunction; or whether there was only before at Jerusalem, might have an opportunity to come to his, one fountain, arising at the lake Phiala; at first sinking under if their curiosity led them. But the plain case is, that he did the ground; then rising near the mountain Paneum, and thence every thing he could in opposition to the established religion, running through the lake Semochonites to the sea of Galilee, and his chief intention was to alienate the people from Jerusaand so far called the lesser Jordan, is hardly certain even in Jo- lem. Bedford's Scripture Chronology, lib. VI. c. 2. B.
bephus himself; though the latter account be the most probable. § Who this prophet was, commentators are not agreed. The į See Reland's Palestine, tom. I. lib. I. c. 41, 43. However the Jews would generally have it to have been Iddo ; but unless we
northern idolatrous calf, set up by Jeroboam, was where little may suppose that what is here related fell out in the latter end Jordan fell into great Jordan; near a place called Daphna, as of Jeroboam's reign, Iddo could not be the person ; because Josephus elsewhere informs us: Of the War, IV, 1. See the Iddo was alive in the days of Abijah, son of Rehoboam, whereas note there.
the prophet here spoken of died, in a manner, as soon as he had * Lev. viii, 14, 22.
delivered this prophecy. Others therefore have thought, that † An. 975.
this prophet who came to rebuke Jeroboam was Ahijah, the | As the Jews had their feast of tabernacles on the fifteenth same who had foretold him of his exaltation to the crown of day of the seventh month, so Jeroboam had a feast on the fif. Israel. But besides that Ahijah was alive after the time that teenth day of the eighth month, which he instituted of his own this prophet was slain, Ahijah was certainly a native of Shiloh, accord. Some suppose, indeed, that as this feast was appointed and lived in Shiloh, which is the tribe of Ephraim, and part of by God to be observed after the gathering in of the fruits, which Jeroboam's dominions: whereas it is expressly said of this might be sooner ripe in Jerusalem, than in the northern parts prophet, that he came from Judah. So that there is no foundaof the country, 80 Jeroboam might pretend, that the eighth tion, so much as for a conjecture, what the name of this man of would be a better time for it than the seventh, becanse then God was. Patrick's and Calmet's Commentaries. B. they would everywhere be gathered. Others imagine, that he || Why this prophet was forbid to eat or drink with the peomight have this farther design in the alteration of this month, viz. ple of Bethel, the reason is obvious, because he was to have no that the people of Judah, when their own feast was over a month || familiarity with idolaters; but why he should not return by the