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OF JADON'S RETURN TO BETHEL AT THE INSTIGATION OF A FALSE
For that was a thing God had forbidden him to || what that punishment should be ; for he said, that do; as also to go back by the same way which on his return “ he should meet with a lion, by he came: but he said, he was to return by another which he should be torn to pieces, and be deway. So the king wondered at the abstinence of prived of burial in the sepulchres of his fathers.” the man; but was himself in fear, as suspecting a Which things came to pass, as I suppose, accordchange of his affairs for the worse, from what had ing to the will of God: that so Jeroboam might been said to him.
not give heed to the words of Jadon, as of one
that had been convicted of lying. However, as
Jadon was again going to Jerusalem, a lion as-
off the beast he rode
ass: but sat by him, and kept him, as also the Now there was a certain wicked man in that prophet's body. This continued till some travelcity, who was a false prophet, whom Jeroboam lers that saw it came and told it in the city to the had in great esteem: but he was deceived by him, false prophet, who sent his sons, and brought the and his flattering words. This man was then bed- body unto the city, and made a funeral for him, at ridden, by reason of the infirmities of old age. great expenses. He also charged his sons to bury However he was informed by his sons concerning himself with him, and said, “ that all which he had the prophet that was come from Jerusalem, and foretold against that city, and the altar, and concerning the signs done by him; and how when priests, and false prophets, would prove true:* Jeroboam's right hand had been enfeebled, at the and that if he were buried with him
should reprophet's prayer he had it revived again. Where- ceive no injurious treatment after his death; the upon he was afraid that this stranger and prophet bones not being then to be distinguished asunder." should be in better esteem with the king than But when he had performed those funeral rites to himself, and obtain greater honour from him ; and the prophet, and had given that charge to his sons, he gave order to his sons to saddle his ass imme- as he was a wicked and impious man, he went to diately, and make all ready, that he might go out. Jeroboam and said to him :-“ Wherefore is it Accordingly they made haste to do what they now that thou art disturbed at the words of this were commanded ; and he got upon the ass, and silly fellow ?". And when the king related what followed after the prophet. And when he had had happened about the altar and about his own overtaken him, as he was resting himself under a hand; and gave him the names of a divine man, thick and shady oak, he at first saluted him, but and an excellent prophet; he endeavoured, by a presently he complained of him, because he had wicked trick, to weaken that his opinion, and by not come into his house, and partaken of his hos- using plausible words concerning what had happitality. And when the other said, that God had pened, he aimed to injure the truth that was in forbidden him to taste of any one's provision in them. For he attempted to persuade him, that that city, he replied, “ Certainly God had not for- his hand was enfeebled by the labour it had unbidden that I should set food before thee: for I dergone, in supporting the sacrifices; and that am a prophet as thou art, and worship God in the upon its resting awhile it returned to its former same manner that thou dost: and I am now come, nature again. And that as to the altar, it was but as sent by him, in order to bring thee into mine new, and had borne an abundance of sacrifices, house, and make thee my guest.” Now Jadon and those large ones too; and was accordingly gave credit to this lying prophet, and returned broken to pieces, and fallen down, by the weight back with him. But when they were at dinner, of what had been laid upon it. He also informed and were merry together, God appeared to Jadon, him of the death of him that had foretold those and said, that he should suffer punishment for things, and how he perished; whence he contransgressing his commands: and he told him cluded that he had not any thing in him of a
same way that he went, is not so very evident. There is a pas- hinder or divert thee, but take abundant care that thou do thy sage in Isaiah concerning Sennacherib, which helps, as some business effectually.” But this construction is a little too much think, to elucidate this matter, where God tells him, that he strained; nor can I see, why we may not say, that God enjoined would turn him back by the same way that he came, Isaiah | his prophet not to return by the same way, lest Jeroboam, or xxxvii. 29, 34, i. e. he should return home without doing any | any other of the inhabitants of Bethel, either to satisfy their cuthing. All luis threats and all his great projects should have no riosity upon an occasion so uncommon, or to do him some miseffect against Jerusalem. And in like manner, when God com- chief for his severe denunciations against their altar and way of manded the prophet not to return by the same way, it was as worship, might send men after him to bring him back. Cal. much as if he had said, "See that thou be constant, and sted- | met’s and Le Clerc's Commentaries. B. fust in executing the charge committed to thce; let nothing * 1 Kings xiii. 32.
prophet, nor spake any thing like one. When he || three children; he married also another of his had thus spoken, he persuaded the king; and en- own kindred, who was the daughter of Absaloni tirely alienated his mind from God, and from doing by Tamar, whose name was Maachah; and by works that were righteous and holy; and encour- her he had a son, whom he named Abijah. He aged him to go on in his impious practices.* And had also many other children by other wives; but accordingly he was to that degree injurious to he loved Maachah above them all. Now he had God, and so great a transgressor; that he sought eighteen legitimate wives, and thirty concubines;$ for nothing else every day but how he might be and he had born to him twenty-eight sons, and guilty of some new instances of wickedness; and threescore daughters ; but he appointed Abijalı, such as should be more detestable than what he whom he had by Maachah, to be his successor in had been so insolent as to do before. And so the kingdom; and intrusted him with the treasures much shall at present suffice to have said concern- and the strongest cities. ing Jeroboam.
Now I cannot but think, that the greatness of
a kingdom, and its change into prosperity, often CHAP. X.
becomes the occasion of mischief and of transOF REHOBOAM'S IMPIETY, AND HIS PUNISHMENT BY SHISHAK KING gression to men. For when Rehoboam saw his
kingdom so much increased, he went out of the REHOBOAM,t the son of Solomon, who, as we right way into irreligious practices, and despised said before, was king of the two tribes, built the worship of God; till the people themselves strong and large cities, Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, : imitated his wicked actions. For so it usually Bethzur, Shoco, Adullam, Ipan, Maresha, Ziph, happens, that the manners of subjects are corAdoraim, Lachish, Azekalı
, Zorah, Aijalon, and rupted at the same time with those of their govHebron. These he built first of all in the tribe ernors; which subjects then lay aside their own of Judah. He also built other cities in the tribe sober way of living, as a reproof of their governof Benjamin ; and walled them about, and put i ors' intemperate courses; and follow their wickedgarrisons in them all, and captains, and a great ! ness, as if it were virtue. For it is not possible to deal of corn, and wine, and oil; and he furnished show that men approve of the actions of their every one of them plentifully with other provisions kings, unless they do the same actions with then. that were necessary for sustenance. Moreover, Agreeably whereto it now happened to the subhe put therein shields and spears, for many thou- jects of Rehoboam; for when he was grown inThe priests also that were in all Is- pious, and a transgressor himself
, they endeavrael, and the Levites; and if there were any of oured not to offend him by resolving still to be the multitude that were good and righteous men, righteous. But God sent Shishak, Tking of Egypt, they gathered themselves together to him; having to punish them for their unjust behaviour towards left their own cities, that they might worship God him. Concerning whom Herodotus was mistaken, in Jerusalem. For they were not willing to be and applied his actions to Sesostris. For this Shiforced to worship the heifers, which Jeroboam had shak,** in the fifth year of the reign of Rehoboam, made; and they augmented the kingdom of Re- made an expedition into Judea with many thouhoboam for three years. And after he had mar- sand men. For he had one thousand two hundred ried a woman of his own kindred, and had by her chariots, threescore thousand horsemen, and four
• How much a larger and better copy Josephus had in this 1 It may seem something strange, that Shishak, who was 80 remarkable history of the true prophet of Judea, and his con- nearly allied to Rehoboam, should come up against him, and eern with Jeroboam, and with the false prophet of Bethel, than | take his royal city ; but Rehoboam, we must remember, was not our other copies have, is evident at first sight. The prophet's the son of Pharaoh's daughter, and therefore no relation to Shivery name Jadon, or, as the Constitutions call him, Adonias, IV. shak. But even had he been never so nearly related, as king6, is wanting in our other copies; and it is there, with no little doms, we know, never marry, so, it is likely that Jeroboam, who absurdity, said, that God revealed Jadon the true prophet's had lived long in Egypt, stirred him up to invade his rival, that death; not to himself, as here, but to the false prophet. Of thereby he might establish himself in this new kingdom: and which see Essay on the Old Test. page 74, 75. Whether the for this reason it was, that, when the armies of Egypt had taken particular account of the arguments made use of, after all, by the fenced cities of Judah, they returned, without giving Jero. the false prophet against his own belief, in order to persuade boam, or his dominions, any the least disturbance. Patrick's Jeroboam to persevere in his idolatry and wickedness; and Commentary. B. which it seems prevailed with him; than which more plausi- ** That this Shishak was not the same person with the famous ble could not be invented; was intimated in Josephus's copy, Sesostris, as some have very lately, in contradiction to all antior in some other ancient book, cannot now be determined; our quity, supposed; and that our Josephus did not take him to be other copies say not one word of it.
the same, as they pretend; but that Sesostris was many centu† An. 974.
† Gath, 2 Chron. xi. 8. ries earlier than Shishak, see Authent. Records, Part II. page Sixty, 2 Chron. xi. 21. || An. 971
1024, 1025, 1026, and the authors there cited.
hundred thousand footmen. These he brought with | upon many other nations also, and brought Syria him; and they were the greater part of them Libyans of Palestine into subjection; and took the men and Ethiopians. Now therefore when he fell upon that were therein prisoners, without fighting. Now the country of the Hebrews, he took the strongest it is manifest that he intended to declare our nacities of Rehoboam's kingdom, without fighting ; tion was subdued by him; for he saith, that he left and when he had put garrisons in them, he came behind him pillars in the land of those that delast of all to Jerusalem.*
livered themselves up to him, without fighting, and While Rehoboam, and the multitude with him, engraved upon them symbols of their effeminacy. were shut up in Jerusalem, by the army of Shi- Now our king Rehoboam delivered up our city shak; and when they besought God to give them without fighting. He says withal, that “ The victory and deliverance, they could not persuade Ethiopianst learned the rite of circumcision from God to espouse their cause: but Shemaiah the the Egyptians, with this addition, that the Phoeprophet told them, that God threatened to forsake nicians and Syrians that live in Palestine confess ihem, as they had themselves forsaken his wor- that they learned it of the Egyptians." Yet is it ship. When they heard this, they were in great evident that no other of the Syrians that live in consternation, and, seeing no way of deliverance, Palestine besides us alone are circumcised. But they all earnestly set themselves to confess that as to such matters, let every one speak what is God might justly overlook them, since they had agreeable to his own opinion. been guilty of impiety towards him, and had let When Shishak was gone away, king Rehohis laws lie in confusion. 'So when God saw them boam made bucklers and shields of brass,f instead in that disposition, and that they acknowledged of those of gold ;s and delivered the same number their sins, he told the prophet he would not de- of them to the keepers of the king's palace.
So stroy them; but that he would make them servants instead of famous warlike expeditions, and that to the Egyptians ; that they might learn whether glory which results from those public actions, he they would suffer less by serving men or God. So reigned in great quietness, though not without when Shishak had taken the city without fighting, fear; as being always an enemy to Jeroboam. because Rehoboam was afraid, and received him And he died when he had lived fifty-seven years, into it; he spoiled the temple, and emptied the and reigned seventeen. He was in his dispositreasures of God, and those of the king, and car- tion a proud, and a foolish man; and lost part of ried off innumerable thousands of gold and silver; his dominions by not hearkening to his father's and left nothing at all behind him. He also took friends. He was buried at Jerusalem, in the sepulaway the bucklers of gold, and the shields, which chres of the kings. And his son Abijah sucSolomon the king had made. Nay, he did not ceeded him in the kingdom; and this in the leave the golden quivers which David had taken eighteenth year of Jeroboam's reign over the ten from the king of Zobah, and had dedicated to God. tribes. It must be now our business to relate the And when he had thus done, he returned to his affairs of Jeroboam, and how he ended his life. For own kingdom. Now Herodotus of Halicarnassus he ceased not, nor rested to be injurious to God; mentions this expedition; having only mistaken but every day raised up altars upon high mountains, the king's name, and in saying that he made war and went on making priests out of the multitude. * 1 Kings xiv. 25.
true. Nor indeed do there appear to have ever been such + Herodotus, as here quoted by Josephus, and as this passage cities on their coast. See Essay on the Old Testament, Apstill stands in his present copies, Book II. chap. 104, affirms, pendix, page 180. Reland's Palestine, tom. II. lib. iii. page that “the Phænicians and Syrians in Palestine, (which last are 668, 669, 670, and the note on XI. 2. generally supposed to denote the Jews,) owned their receiving # This shows, to what low condition the kingdom of Judah circumcision from the Egyptians.” Whereas it is abundantly was reduced. These shields were a matter of state and grandeur; evident, that the Jews received their circumcision from the and therefore it concerned them, if they were able, to have them patriarch Abraham, Gen. xvii. 9-14. Josh. vii. 22, 23, as I of the same value that they were before. And, as they were conclude the Egyptian priests themselves did. It is not there carried before the king to the house of the Lord, it seemed likefore very unlikely that Herodotus, because the Jews had lived wise to be a matter of religion, that their value should not be long in Egypt, and came out of it circumcised, did thereupon diminished. Now, in making these three hundred shields we think they had learned that circumcision in Egypt, and had it are told, that three pounds of gold went to one shield, 1 Kings not before. Manetho, the famous Egyptian chronologer and x. 17. This, at four pounds per ounce, or forty-eight pounds historian, who knew the history of his own country much better sterling to the pound, amounts to no more than 432,0001. and than Herodotus, complains frequently of his mistakes about their therefore it was a miserable case, that they were reduced from affairs; as does Josephus more than once in this chapter. Nor so much wealth to so much poverty, that neither reason of state, indeed does Herodotus seem at all acquainted with the affairs nor religion, could raise so small a sum on so great an occasion. of the Jews. . For as he never names them, so little or nothing Bedford's Scripture Chronology, lib. vi. c. 2. B. of what he says about them, their country, or maritime cities, § 1 Kings xiv. 27. two of which he alone mentions, Cadytis and Jenysis, proves From An. 976 to 959 B. C.
1 An. 959.