Page images

that supported the brazen sea, and the images | his enmity to him. He was a child of the of lions about his own throne: for these he stock of the Edomites, and of the blood royal. made, although it was not agreeable to piely | And when Joab, the captain of David's host so to do. And this he did notwithstanding laid waste the land of Edom, and destroyed that he had his father, as a most excellent and all that were men grown, and able to bear domestic pattern of virtue ; and knew what a arms, for six months' time, this Hadad flėd glorious character he had left behind him, be- || away, and came to Pharaoh, king of Egypt; cause of his piety towards God. Nor did be who received him kindly, and assigned him a

imitate David, although God had twice ap-house to dwell in, and a country to supply him peared to him in his sleep, and exhorted himn with food. And when he was grown op hë so to do. There came therefore a prophet to loved him exceedingly; insomuch that he him, who was sent by God, and told him, that I gave him his wife's sister, whose name was his wicked actions were not concealed from Tahpenes to wife, by whom he had a son; God; and threatened him that he should not! who was brought up with the king's children., long rejoice at what he had done: that in- When Hadad heard in Egypt that both Dadeed the kingdom should not be taken from vid and Joab were dead, he came to Pharaob, him, while he was alive; because God had | and desired that he would permit him to promised to his father David that he would go to his own country. The king asked what make bim his successor : but that he would it was that he wanted, and what hardship he take care that this should befal his son when I had met with, that he was so desirous to leave he was dead. Not that he would withdraw ll him and when he was often troublesome to all the people from him, but that he would | him, and intreated him to dismiss him, be give ten tribes to a servant of his, and leave || did not then do it. But at the time when Soonly two tribes to David's grand-son for his lomon's affairs began to grow worse, † on acsake, because he loved God; and for the sake count of his aforementioned transgressions, of the city Jerusalem, wherein he would have and God's anger against him for the same, a temple.

Hadad, by Pharaoh's permission, came to When Solomon heard this, he was grieved, Edom, and when he was not able to make and greatly confounded, upon this change of the people to forsake Solomon ; (for it was

post all that happiness which had made him || kept under by many garrisons, and an inno to be admired, into so bad a state. Nor had vation was not to be made with safety;) he there much time passed after the prophet had | removed thence and came into Syria. There foretold what was coming, before God raised he met with one Rezon, $ who had run away up an enemy against him, whose name was from Hadadezer, g king of Zobah, his master, Hadad : * who took the following occasion of and was become a robber in that country;

cond commandment, to forbid the very making of any sity was the time when Hadad, (who was born at least image, though without any intention to have it worship- twenty or thirty years before Solomon came to the crown; ped; yet do not I suppose that Solomon so understood it, in the days of David,) began to give him disturbance, nor that it ought to be so understood. The making any this implies that Solomon's evil life began early, and other altar for worship, but that at the tabernacle, was continued very long; which the multitude of his wives equally forbidden by Moses : Antig. IV. 3, yet did not and concubines does also imply. "I suppose he was not the two tribes and a half offend when they made an altar || fifty years of age. for a memorial oply, Josh. xxii. Antiq. V. 1.

1 Kings xi. 23. * Hadad was a young prince of the royal family of Idu Ś When David inade war against Hadadezer, Rezon, one mæa, who fled into Egypt when David conquered that of his generals, escaped from the field of battle, with the country: For David, having obtained a signal victory, troops under his command; and, having lived for a little under the conduct of Abishai, who, at that time, com while by plunder and robbery, sat length seized on Damanded in chief, sert' Joab afterwards with an order to kill mascus, and reigned there. But bis reign was not long. all the males that should be found in the land. But Hadad For David took Damascus, as well as the other pärts of had escaped into Egypt, where, finding favor in the eyes Syria, and left it is subjection to his son Solomon, till of the king, he married his wife's sister, and there'setiled. God was pleased to suffer this Rezon to recover DamasBut, after the deaibi of David, he returned into Idumæa, cus, and there re-establish himself, to the great disturbo and gave Solomon no'small molestation. Calmet's Com. B. ance of the latter part of Solomon's reiga. Calmets + Since the beginning of Solomon's evil life' and adver Comment. B.


and joined friendship with him, who had al- || fore, thou knowest the cause for which God ready a band of robbers about him.. So he hath changed his mind, and is alienated from went up'and seized upon that part of Syria, Solomon, be thou righteous, and keep the and' was made king 'thereof. He also made laws; because thou hast proposed to thee the incursions into the land of Israel, and did in greatest of all rewards for thy piety, and the its no: smalt mischief, and spoiled it, and that honor thou shalt pay to God: namely, to be in the life time of Solomon. And sucb was the as greatly exalted as thou knowest David to calamity which the Hebrews suffered by Hadad. have been.

si: There was also one of Solornon's own na. So Jeroboam, was elevated by these words tion that made an attempt against him, Jero of the prophet, and being a young man,* of boam, the son of Nebat*;, who had an expec warm temper, and ambitious of greatness, he tation of rising, from a prophecy that had could not be quiet. And when he had so been made to him long before. He was left a great a charge in the government, and called child iby his father, and brought up by his mo to mind what had been revealed to him by ther, and when Solomon saw that he was of Ahijah, he endeavoured to persuade the peoan active and bold disposition, he made him ple to forsake Solomon; to make a disturbthe curator of the walls which he built round ance, and to bring the government over to about Jerusalem. And he took such care of himself. But when Solomon understood his those works, that the king approved of his be intention and treachery; † he sought to catch haviour; and gave him, as a reward for the him and kill him." But Jeroboam was informsame, the charge over the tribe of Joseph. ed. of it beforehand.; and Aed to Sbishak, Andil when about that time Jeroboam was king of Egypt: and there abode till the death onde 'going out of Jerusalem, la prophet of of: Solomon. By: which means he gained the city Shilo, whose name was Ahijah, met these two advantages : to suffer no harm from him, and saluted him; and when he had Solomon, and to be preserved. for the kingtaken 'him a little aside to the place where dom. So Solomon died when:be was already there was no one present, he rent the garment an old man; having reigned | eighty years, he had on into twelve pieces, and bade Jero and lived ninety-four. He was buried in Jeboam take ten of them; saying,

6 This is the rusalem baving been superior to all other will of God':' he will part the dominion of kings in happiness, riches, and wisdom; exSolomon, and give one tribe, with that which cepting that when he was grown.into yeais, is nest it, to his son ;' because of the promise he was deluded by women, and transgressed made to David for his succession ; and will the law, concerning which transgressions, and give ten tribes to thee; because Solomon bath the miseries which befel the Hebrews thereby, sinned against him, and delivered himself up I think proper to discourse at another opporto women, and to their gods. Seeing, there tunity. ||

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* This youth of Jeroboam when Solounon built the walls of: Jerusalem, not very long after he had fivished his twenty years' building of the temple, and his own palace; or not very long after the twenty-fourth year of bis ́reign,

1 Kings ix. 24. 2 Chron. viii. Ili and his youth here still mentioned, when Solomon's wickedness was become intolerable; fully confirm my former observation, that such his wickedness began early, and continued very long. See Eccles. xlvii. 14. Had we this discourse of Jos sepbus's, wherein be intended to enlarge on this part of Solomon's life (wbich part is only in brief touched upon in our other copiese 3 Kings xi. and his wholly omitted in the books of Chronicles) we had probably been more fully informed of this matter.

How Solomon came to know what was thus transact, ed between Abijah and Jeroboam alone, is a question of no great difficulty. For perhaps the propbet · VOL, 1. (26.) )

scruple to report what he had delivered in the name of
the Lord; perhaps Jeroboam himself, being puffed up
with this assurance, could not contain, but told it to some
of his confidants, who spread it abroad; or perhaps his
servants, though they heard not the words the prophet
spake, yet, seeing himn rend the garment into twelve
parts, and give ten to, hin, inight speak of this strange
and unaccountable action, which Solomon, as soon as he
came to hear of it, might easily understand, because the
same prophet very likely had told him but just before,
that the kingdom should be rent from him, and given
his servant, !. Kings xiv, 8. Patrick's Coniment. B.

| From An, 1056 to 976 B. C.

Ś Tbat Josepbus justly, ascribes eighty years to the reign of Solomon, see Essay on the Old Testament, p. 31, 32. . This discourse is now wanting:


4 H


and advised with them, what sort of answer CHAP. VIII.

he ought to give to the multitude. * Upon of REHOBOAM'S CONDUCT AFTER HIS FATHER'S DEATH;

which they gave him the advice which became AND THE REVOLT OF TEN TRIBES UNDER JEROBOAM.

friends, and those that knew the temper of

such a multitude; they advised bim to speak OW* when Solomon was dead, and his in a way more popular than suited the.gran

son Rehoboam (who was born of an deur of a king; because he would thereby Ammonite wife, whose name was. Naamah) oblige them to submit to him with good will: had succeeded bim in the kingdom, the rulers it being most agreeable to subjects, that their of the multitude sent immediately into Egypt, kings should be almost upon a level with them. and recalled Jeroboam. And when he was But Rehoboam rejected this good and profitcome to the city Shechem, Rehoboam came able advice: (it was such at least at that time; thither also; for he bad resolved to declare when he was to be made king :) God bimself, himself king of the Israelites, while they were I suppose, causing what was most advantagethere gathered together. So the rulers of the ous to be contemned by him. So he called people, as well as Jeroboam, came to him and for the young men who were brought up with said, that he ought to relax, and to be gent-him, and told them what advice the elders ler than his father in the servitude he had im- had given him, and bade them speak what posed on them; because they had born a heavy they thought he ought to do. So they advis

yoke, I and that then they should be better ed him to give the following answer to the affected to him, and be well contented to serve people, (for neither their youth, por God himhim under his moderate government, and self, suffered them to discern what was best,) should do it more out of love than fear. But

That his little finger should be thicker than Rehoboam told them, they should come to his father's loins; and if they had met with him again in three days' time, when he would hard usage from his father, they should expegive an answer to their request. This delay rience much rougher treatment from him: and gave occasion to a present suspicion ; since if his father had chastised them with w hips; he had not given then a favorable answer they must expect that he would do it with immediately. However they thought that scorpions. || The king was pleased with this bis consultation about it afforded some bope advice; and thought it agreeable to the digof success.

nity of his government to give them such an Rehoboam now called his father's friends, answer. Accordingly when the multitude was * Av. 976.

rit of emulation, and both endeared the privce to ihe nos + Probably in maintaining his court, and, in particular, bles and the nobles to the prince, could not but tend greathis numerous wives and concubines.

ly to the benefit of the public. Sesostris, the most famous What ibe particular grievances were that these peo prince that ever Egypt produced, is said to bave been ple desired to have redressed, we may gather from ! educated this way. And by the gallant youths that were Kinys iv. 7, &c. viz. the tribute Solomon exacted for bis his cotemporaries and fellow pupils, it was, that he afterbuildings, the expences of his family, and the mainten wards did so many surprising actions. The same custom ance of his chariots and horses, wbich being for the ho was in use among the Persians, as we may learn from the nor of the nation, ought to have been borne more content life of Cyrus: and of Alexander the Great we are told, edly by a people enjoying such a large share of peace that his father Philip bad him trained up in his youth, and plenty, and from a prince who had brought in such


noblemen who became his great.capvast riches to his subjects, as made silver to be of no tains in the conquest of all Asia. So that Solomon's method value at all in his days, chap. x. 21, but people are more and design, in the education of his son, was wise and sensible of their pressures than of their enjoyments, and well concerted, though it failed of success. . Calmet's feel the least burdens when they are most at ease. It is Comment. B. observable, however, that among all their complaints, tbey take no notice of Solomon's idolatry, or the strange ll That by scorpions is not here meant the small aniworship which he had introduced, though this, one would mals so called, which were never used in corrections; think, should have been reckoned among the greatest of but either a shrub, with sharp prickles, like the stings of their grievances. Patrick's Com. B.

scorpions, such as is our furze-bush; or else some § It was a common custom among the kings of the east, terrible sort of whip of the like nature; see Hudson's to have their sons educated among other young lords that and Spanheim's Notes here, and Mr. Barker's parallel were of the same age, which as it created a generous spi observation.


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]


assembled to hear his answer on the third day,'| ready to take a hundred and eighty thousand all the people were in great expectation, and chosen men out of the army, and to make an very intent: to hear what the king would say expedition against Jeroboam and his people; to them; and supposed they should hear some . that he might force themi by' war to be his serwhat of a kind nature, but he passed by his vants. But he was forbidden of God by the friends, and answered as the young men had prophet Shemaiah to go to war. $ For that: given him 'counsel. * Now this was done ac it was not just, that brethren of the same cording to the will of God: that what Ahijah country should fight against one another. He had foretold might come to pass.

also said, that this defection of the multitude By these words the people were struck, as it was according to the

was according to the purpose of God. So he were by an iron hammer; and were so grieved | did not proceed in this expedition. || And: as if they had already felt the effects of them; now I will relate first the actions of Jeroboam, and they had great indignation at the king: the king of Israel ; and afterwards what are and all cried out aloud, and said, “ We will therewith connected, the actions of Rehobohave no longer any relation to David or bis | am, the king of the two tribes. By this means posterity, t after this day; and will only leave shall


the order of the history unto Rehoboam the temple which his father broken. built.” Nay, they were so bitter, and retained When Jeroboam had built him a palace in their wrath so long, that when be sent Adoram, the city Shechem, he dwelt there. He also who was over the tribute, that he might pacify built hiin another at a city called Penuel. And them, and persuade them to forgive him, if now the feasť of tabernacles was approaching he had said any thing that was rash or grieve in a little time, Jeroboam considered, that if ous to them in his youth, they would not hear he should permit the multitude to go to worit; but threw stones at him, and killed him. ship God at Jerusalem, and there to celebrate When Rehoboam saw this, he thought him- the festival, they would probably repent of self aimed at by those stones, with which the what they had done, and be enticed by the multitude liad killed his servant: and feared temple, and by the worship of God there perlest he should undergo the last of punishments formed ; and would leave him, and return to in earnest. So he got immediately into his their first king; and if so, he should run the chariot, I and fled to Jerusalém. There the risk of losing his own lif tribe of Judah and that of Benjamin ordain- golden heifers, and built two little temples for ed him for their king: but the rest of the mul- them; the one in the city Bethel, and the titude forsook the sons of David, from that other in Dan: which last was the ** fountains day; and appointed Jeroboam to be the ruler of the lesser Jordan : and he put the heifers of their public affairs. Upon this, Rehoboam into both the little temples, in the aforemenassembled a great congregation of those two tioned cities. And when he bad called the ten. tribes that had submitted to him, and was tribes together over whom he ruled, he made a.

* i Kings xii. 13. + 1 Kings xii. 16.

1 This is the first time that we read of a king's riding in a chariot. Saul, David, and Solomon, rode in none : but after the division of the kingdom, mention is frequently made of the use of them, both by the kings of Judalı and Israel. Patrick's Com. B.

§ This prophet was very well known in the reign of Reboboam. He is supposed to have wrote the annals of that prince; and of wbat authority be was in Judah, we may, gather from this passage, where he is said to have prevailed with the king, and a hundred and four-score thousand men, to lay down their arms, and return home, merely by declaring, that the division, which had bappened was by the appointment and order of God. Cal. met's Com. B.

| 1 Kings xii. 24.
1 i Kings xii. 29.

** Whetber these fountains of the lesser Jordan were: near a place called Dan, and the fountains of the greater near a place called Jor, before their conjunction; or whether there was only one fountain, arising at the lake : Pbiala; at first sinking under the ground, then rising near the mountain Paneum, and thence running through the Jake Semochonitis to the sea of Galilee, and so far called the lesser Jordan, is hardly certain even in Josepbus him-: self ; though the latter account be the most probable. See Reland's Palestine, Tom. I. L. I. C. 41, 43. However the northern idolatrous calf, set up by: Jeroboam, was where little Jordao fell into great Jordan; near a place called Daphoa, as Josephus elsewhere informs us :: Of the War,, IV. 1. See the note there.


speech to the people in these words:," I suppose, | tar, with his own priests, about him.' But my, you know that every place hath when he was going to offer the sacrifices, and God in it; nor is there any, determinate place in the burnt offerings, in the sight of all the peowhich he is : but he every where hears and sees ple, a prophet, §. whose name was Jadon, was those that worship him. On which account I do sent by :God, and came to him from Jerusanot think it right for you to go so, Jong a jour-lem'; who stood in the midst of the multitude, ney to Jerusalem, which is an enemy's city, and in the hearing of the king, and directing to worship him. It was, a man that built the his discourse to the altar, said thus :+“ God temple: I have also made two golden heifers, foretels that there shall be a certain man of thel dedicated to the same: God; and the one. I family of David, Josiah by name, who shall have consecrated in the city Bethel, and the slay upon thee those false priests that shall other in Dan; to the,,end that those of you live at that time, and upon thee shall burn wbio dwell.pearest those cities may go to them, the bones of those deceivers of the people, and worship God there. And I will ordain those impostors and wicked wretches. Hows for you certaiņ priests and Levites from among ever, that this people: nay believe these thingsl yourselves; that you may have, no want of the shall come to pass, 1 foretel a sign to them, tribe of Levi, or of the sons of Aaron. But that shall also be fulfilled.

that shall also be fulfilled. This altar' shall let him that is desirous among you of being a be broken to pieces immediately: and all the priest, bring: to God. a bullock and a ram; fat of the sacrifices that is upon it shall"ibe which they say * Agron the first priest brought poured upon the grondd.”. When the prophet also.” When Jeroboam had said this, he de. had said this, Jeroboam, in a passion; stretch: luded the people, and caused them to revolt ed out his hand, and bade them lay hold ofil from the worship of their forefathers, and to him. But that hand which he stretched touto transgress their laws. This was the beginning was enfeebled, and he was not-able to pull it of miseries to the Hebrews; and the cause in again to him ; for it was become withered, why they were overcome in war by foreigners, and hung down as if it were dead.. The altár. and, so fell into captivity, But we shall re also was broken to pieces, and all that was lạte those things in their proper places here upon it was poured out: as the prophet had after.

foretold should come to pass. So the king When this feast of tabernacles . was just + understood that he was a man of veracity, and approaching, Jeroboam Iwas desirous to ce had a divine:foreknowledge; and intreated him lebrate it himself in Bethel; as did the two to :pray, unto: God, that he would restore i his tribes in Jerusalem. Accordingly he built an right hand. Accordingly the prophet did pray altar before the heifer, and undertook to be to God to grant him that request. So : the high-priest himself. $9 he went up to the al- | king having his band recovered to its natural

..: * Lev, viii. 1a, 22. if An. 975.

Who this propbet was commentators are not agreed. # As the Jews had their feast of tabernacles on the fif The Jews would generally bave it to have been Iddo ; but teenth day of the seventh month, so Jeroboam had a feast unless we may suppose 'thal what is here related fell out on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, which he insti in the latter end of Jeroboam's reign, Iddo could not be tuted of his own accord. Some suppose, indeed, that as the person; because Iddo was alive in the days of. Ahijah, this feast was appointed by God to be observed after the son of Rehoboam, whereas the prophet bere spoken of gathering in of the fruits, which might be sovner ripe in died, in a manner, as soon as he bad delivered his proJerusalem than in the northern parts of the country, so phecy. Others therefore bave thought, that this prophet Jeroboam might pretend, that the eighth would be a bet who came to rebuke Jeroboam was Abijah, the same who ter time for iç than the seventh, because then they would had foretold him of his exaltation to the crown of Israel every where be gathered. Others imagine, that he might But besides that Abijah was alive after the time that ibis have this farther design in the alteration of this month, prophet was slain, Abijah was certainly a native of Shiloh, viz. that the people of Judah, when their own feast was and lived in Shilob, which is the tribe of. Ephraim, and. over a month before at Jerusalem, might have an oppor part of Jeroboam's dominions: whereas it is expressly said tunity to come to his, if their curiosity led them. But of this prophet, that he came from Judah. . So that there the plain case is, that he did every thing he could in op: iş no foundation, so much us for a conjecture, what the position to the established religion, and his chief intention name of this man of God was. Patrick's and Calmet's was' to alienate the people from Jerusalem. Bedford's Comment. B. Scripture Chronology, lib. 6. c. 2. B.


« PreviousContinue »