Obrazy na stronie

b Deut. 17. 17. Nch. 13. 26.

e c. 8. 61.

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• called Molech. ver. 7.

& Ps. 78. 58. hc. 3. 5. 9. 2.

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and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned 8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, away his heart.

which burnt incense, and sacrificed unto their gods. 4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, 9 And the LORD was angry świth Solomon, bethat his wives turned away his heart after other cause his heart was turned from the LORD God of gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, his God, as was dthe heart of David his father : 10 And had commanded him concerning this

5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess thing, that he should not go after other gods : but of the Zidonians, and after * Milcom the abomination he kept not that which the LORD commanded. of the Ammonites.

11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, 6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast and I went not fully after the Lord, as did David not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I his father.

have commanded thee, I will surely rend "the king7 Then did Solomon build an high place for dom from thee, and will give it 'to thy servant. Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill 12 Notwithstanding, in thy days I will not do it, that is before Jerusalem; and for Molech, the abo- for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of mination of the children of Ammon.

the hand of thy son.
29. Judg. 11.24.

1 Is. 29. 13, 14. t fulfilled nor after. Num. 14. 24. e Num. 33.52, 2 Kings 23. 13. Num. 21. k ver. 31. I c. 12. 16, 20. in c. 21. 29. 2 Kings 20. 17, 19. 2. 19, 20. among them, thought every thing well they said and did, and it. God foresaw it, when he said concerning him that should despised Pharaoh's daughter, his rightful wife, who had been build the temple, If he commit iniquity, &c. 2 Sam. 7. 14. dear to him, and all the ladies of Israel, in comparison of them. (2.) But it concerns us to inquire what good use we may make Solomon was master of a great deal of knowledge, but to of it. [1.] Let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest be what purpose, when he had no better a government of his ap- fall; we see how weak we are of ourselves, without the grace petites?

of God; let us therefore live in a constant dependence on that 2. He was drawn by them to the worship of strange gods; as grace. [2.] See the danger of a prosperous condition, and how Israel to Baal-peor, by the daughters of Moab. This was the hard it is to overcome the temptations of it; Solomon, like bad consequence of his multiplying wives. We have reason to Jeshurun, waxed fat, and then kicked; the food convenient, think it impaired his health, and hastened upon him the decays which Agur prayed for, is safer and better than the food abunof age; it exhausted his treasure, which, though vast indeed, dant, which Solomon was even surfeited with, (3.) See what would be found little enough to maintain the pride and vanity need those have to stand upon their guard, who have made a of all these women; perhaps it occasioned him, in his latter great profession of religion, and showed themselves forward and end, to neglect his business, by which he lost his supplies from zealous in devotion, because the devil will set upon them most abroad, and was forced, for the keeping up of his grandeur, to violently, and if they misbehave, the reproach is the grcaler: burden his subjects with those taxes which they complained of, it is the evening that commends the day; let us therefore fear, ch. 12.4. But none of these consequences were so bad as this, lest, having run well, we seem to come short, His wives turned away his heart after other gods, v. 3, 4.

V. 9-13. Here is, (1.) He grew cool and indifferent in his own religion, and I. God's anger against Solomon for his sin: the thing he did, remiss in the service of the God of Israel. His heart was not displeased the Lord: lime was, when the Lord loved Solomon, perfect with the Lord his God, (v. 4,) nor did he follow him (2 Sam. 12. 24,) and delighted in him, (ch. 10. 9;) but now the fully, (v. 6,) like David. We cannot suppose that he quite Lord was angry with Solomon, (v. 9,) for there was in his sin, cast off the worship of God, much less that he restrained or 1. The most base ingratitude that could be; he turned from the hindered it; (the temple service went on as usual:) but he grew Lord which had appeared unto him twice, once, before he began less frequent, and less serious, in his ascent to the house of the to build the temple, (ch. 3. 5,) and once, after he had dedicated Lord, and his attendance on his altar; he left his first love, lost it, ch. 9.2. God keeps account of the gracious visits he makes bis zeal for God, and did not persevere to the end as he had us, whether we do or no; knows how often he has appeared begun; therefore it is said, he was not perfect, because he was to us, and for us, and will remember it against us, if we turn not constant; and he followed not God fully, because he turned from him. God's appearing to Solomon, was such a sensible from following him, and did not continue to the end. His confirmation of his faith, as should have for ever prevented his father David had many faults, but he never neglected the wor- worshipping of any other God; it was also such a distinguishship of God, nor grew remiss in that, as Solomon did, his wives ing favour, and put such an honour upon him, as he ought never using all their arts to divert him from it, and there began his to have forgotten, especially considering what God said to him apostacy.

in both these appearances. 2. The most wilful disobedience: (2.) He tolerated and maintained his wives in their idolatry, this was the very thing concerning which God had commanded and made no scruple of joining with them in it. Pharaoh's him-that he should not go after other gods, yet he was not kept daughter was proselyted (as is supposed) to the Jews' religion, right by such an express admonition, v. 10. Those who have but when he began to grow careless in the worship of God him- dominion over men, are apt to forget God's dominion over them, self, he used no means to convert his other wives io it; in com- and while they demand obedience from their inferiors, to deny plaisance to them, he built chapels for their gods, (v. 7, 8,) it to him who is the Supreme. maintained their priests, and occasionally did himself attend II. The message he sent him hereupon; (v. 11,) The Lord their altars; making a jest of it, as if there were no harm in said unto Solomon, (it is likely by a prophet,) that he must ex. it, but all religions were alike; which (says Bishop Patrick) pect to smart for his apostacy. And here, 1. The sentence is has been the disease of some great wits; when he humoured one just, that since he had revolied from God, part of his kingdom thus, the rest would take it ill, if he did not, in like manner, should revolt from his family; he had given God's glory to the gratify them, so that he did it for all his wives, (v. 8,) and, at creature, and therefore God would give his crown to his servant, last, came to that degree of impiety, that he set up a high place “ I will rend the kingdom from thee, in thy posterity, and will for Chemosh in the hill that is before Jerusalem, the mount of give it to thy servant, who shall bear rule over much of that for Olives, as if to confront the temple which he himself had built; which thou hast laboured." This was a great mortification to these high places continued here, not uiterly demolished, till Solomon, who pleased himsell, no doubt, with the prospect of Josiah did it, 2 Kings 23. 13. This is the account here given the entail of his rich kingdom upon his heirs for ever; sin brings of Solomon's apostacy.

ruin upon families, cuts off entails, alienates estates, and lays II. Let us now pause a while, and lament Solomon's fall; men's honour in the dust, 2. Yet the mitigations of it are very and we may justly stand and wonder at it. How is the gold kind, for David's sake, (v. 12, 13:) that is, for the sake of the become dim! How is the most fine gold changed! Be asto- promise made to David ; thus, all the favour God shows to man, nished, 0 heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, as the prophet is for Christ's sake, and for the sake of the covenant made with exclaims in a like case, Jer. 2. 12. Strange! 1. That Solo- him; the kingdom shall be rent from Solomon's house, but, mon, in his old age, should be insnared with feshly lusts, (1.) Not immediately ; Solomon shall not live to see it done, but youthful lusts; as we must never presume upon the strength of it shall be rent out of the hand of his son, a son that was born to our resolutions, so neither upon the weakness of our corrup-him by one of his strange wives, for his mother was an Amtions, so as to be secure and off our guard. 2. That so wise a monitess, (ch. 14. 31,) and, probably, had been a promoter of man as Solomon was, so famed for a quick understanding and idolatry. What comfort can a man lake in leaving children sound judgment, should suffer himself to be made such a fool and an estate behind him, if he do not leave a blessing behind of by these foolish women. 3. That one who had so often and him ; Yet if judgments be coming, it is a favour to us, if they so plainly warned others of the danger of the love of women, come not in our days, as 2 Kings 20. 19. (2.) Not wholly ; one should himself be so wretchedly bewitched with it; it is easier tribo, that of Judah, the strongest and most numerous, shall to see a mischief, and to show it others, than lo shun it our remain to the house of David, (u. 13,) for Jerusalem's sake, selves. 4. That so good a man, so zealous for the worship of which David built, and for the sake of the temple there, which God, who had been conversant with divine things, and who Solomon built, these shall not go into other hands; Solomon did prayed that excellent prayer at the dedication of the temple, not quickly nor wholly turn away from God, therefore God did. should do these sinful things- Is this Solomon? Are all his wis- not quickly nor wholly take the kingdom from him, dom and devotion come to this, at last? Never was gallant Upon this message which God graciously sent to Solomon, ship so wrecked; never was crown so profaned.

to awaken bis conscience and bring him to repentance, we have What shall we say to this? (1.) Why God permitted it, it reason to hope that he humbled himself before God, confessed is not for us to inquire; his way is in the sea, and his path in his sin, begged pardon, and returned to his duty; that he then the great waters; he knew how to bring glory to himself out of published his repentance in the book of Ecclesiastes, where he

1 Geu. 21. 21.

u Gen. 41. 45.

• Send me away.

t Not.

. Gen. 25. 2, 4. Ex. 2. 15.

13 Howbeit "I will not rend away all the king; house : and Genubath was in Pharaoh's household, dom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David among the sons of Pharaoh. my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, which 21 And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David I have chosen.

slept with his fathers, and that Joab, the captain of 14 And the Lord Pstirred up an adversary unto the host, was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's me depart, that I may go to mine own country, seed in Edom.

22 'hen Pharaoh said unto him, But what hast 15 For it came to pass, when „David was in thou lacked with me, that, behold, thou seekest 10 Edom, and Joab, the captain of the host, was gone go to thine own country? And he answered, up to bury the slain, aiter he had smitten every Nothing: howbeit let me go in any wise. male rin Edom,

23 And God stirred him up another adversary, 16 (For six months did Joab remain there with Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom,) Hadadezer, king of Zobah.

17 That Hadad fed, he and certain Edomites of 24 And he gathered men unto him, and became his father's servants with him, to go into Egypt; captain over a band, when David slew them of Hadad being yet a little child.

Zobah : and they went_to Damascus, and dwelt 18 And they arose out of Midian,' and came to therein, and reigned in Damascus. Paran:' and they took men with them out of Paran, 25 And he was an adversary to Israel all the and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad Egypt; which gave him an house, and appointed did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over him victuals, and gave him land.

Syria, 19 And Hadad found great favour in the sight 26 And Jeroboam ythe son of Nebat, an Ephraof Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife uthe sister thite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, (whose moof his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen. ther's name was Zeruah, a widow woman,) even

20 And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genu- he lifted up his hand against the king, bath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's 27 And this was the cause that he lifted up his n 2 Sam. 7. 15. ver. 39. . Deut. 12. 11. p I Chr. 5. 26. 9.2 Sam. 8. 14. 1 Chr.

• c. 2. 10, 34. 18. 12, 13. Num. 24. 19. Deut. 20. 13.

# 2 Sam. 8. 3. 2 Sam. 10. 8, 18. y c. 12. 2. 2 Chr. 13. 6. 22 Sam. 20. 21. bitterly laments his own folly and madness, (ch. 7. 25, 26,) and not told what he did against him, nor which way he gave him warns others to take heed of the like evil courses, and to fear disturbance; only, in general, that he was an adversary to him : God and keep his commandments, in consideration of the judg- but we are told, (1.) What induced him to bear Solomon a ment to come, which, it is likely, had made him tremble, as it grudge. David had conquered Edom, (2 Sam. 8. 14;) Joab did Felix; that penitential sermon was as true an indication put all the males to the sword, (v. 15, 16;) a terrible execution of a heart broken for sin, and turned from it, as David's peni- he made, avenging on Edom their old enmity to Israel, yet pertential psalms, though of another nature; God's grace in his haps with too great a severity. While Joab was burying the people works variously; thus, though Solomon fell, he was not slain, (for he left not any alive of their own people to bury them, utterly cast down; what God had said to David concerning him, and buried they must be, or they would be an annoyance to the was fulfilled, I will chasten him with the rod of men, but my country, Ez. 39. 12,) Hadad, a branch of the royal family, then mercy shall not depart from him, 2 Sam. 7. 14, 15. Though a little child, was taken and preserved by some of the king's God may suffer those whom he loves to fall into sin, he will not servants, and brought to Egypt, v. 17. They halted by the suffer them to lie still in it. Solomon's defection, though it was way, in Midian first, and then in Paran, where they furnished much his reproach, and a great blemish to his personal charac- themselves with men, not to fight for them, or force their paster, yet did not so far break in upon the character of his reign, sage, but to attend them, that their young master might come but that it was afterward made the pattern of a good reign, into Egypt with an equipage agreeable to his quality; there he 2 Chr. 11. 17, where they are said to do well, while they walked was kindly sheltered and entertained by Pharaoh, as a distressed in the way of David and Solomon. But though we have all prince, was well provided for, and so recommended himself, that, this reason to hope he repented, and found mercy, yet the Holy in process of time, he married the queen's sister, (v. 19,) and, Ghost did not think fit expressly to record it, but left it doubt- by her, had a child, which the queen herself conceived such a ful, for warning to others, not to sin upon presumption of repent kindness for, that she brought him up in Pharaoh's house, among ing, for it is but a peradventure whether God will give them the king's children. (2.) What enabled him to do Solomon à repentance, or if he do, whether he will give the evidence of it mischief. He returned to his own country again, upon the to themselves or others; great sinners may recover themselves, death of David and Joab, in which, it should seem, he settled, and bave the benefit of their repentance, and yet be denied and remained quiet, while Solomon continued wise and watchboth the comfort and credit of it; the guilt may be taken away, ful for the public good, but from which he had opportunity of and yet not the reproach.

making inroads upon Israel, when Solomon, having sinned away V.14–25. While Solomon kept close to God and to his his wisdom, as Samson did his strength, (and in the same way duty, there was no adversary nor evil occurrent, (ch.5.4,) nothing grew careless of public affairs, was off his guard himself, and to create him any disturbance or uneasiness in the least, but had forfeited the divine protection. What vexation he gave to here we have an account of two adversaries that appeared Solomon, we are not here told, but only how loath Pharaoh was against him, inconsiderable, and that could not have done any to part with him, and how earnestly he solicited his stay; thing worth taking notice of, if Solomon had not first made God (v. 22,) What hast thou lacked with me? "Nothing,” says Hahis Ènemy. What hurt could Hadad or Rezon have done to so, dad; "but, however, let me go to my own country, my native great and powerful a king as Solomon was, if he had not, by air, my native soil." Peter Martyr has a pious reflection upon sin, made himself mean and weak? And then, those little peo- this; “That heaven is our home, and we ought to keep up a ple menace and insult him. If God be on our side, we need holy affection to that, and desire toward it, even then when ihe not fear the greatest adversary; but if he be against us, he can world, the place of our banishment, smiles most upon us." Does make us fear the least, and the very grasshopper shall be a it ask, What have you lacked, that you are so willing to be burden.

gone e? We may answer, "Nothing that the world can do for Both these adversaries God stirred up, v. 14, 23. Though they us; but however, let us go thither, where our hope, and honour, themselves were moved by principles of ambition or revenge, and treasure are. God made use of them to serve his design of correcting Solomon. 2. Rezon, a Syrian, was another adversary to Solomon; The principal judgment threatened, was deferred, namely, the when David conquered the Syrians, he headed the remains, rending of the kingdom from him, but he himself was made to lived at large by spoil and rapine, till Solomon grew careless, feel the smart of the rod, for his greater humiliation. Note, and then he got possession of Damascus, reigned there, (v. 24,) Whoever are, any way, adversaries to us, we must take notice and over the country about, (v. 25 :) and he created troubles tn of the hand of God stirring them up to be so, as he bade Shimei Israel, probably, in conjunction with Hadad, all the days of curse David; we must look through the instruments of our Solomon, namely, after his apostacy; or he was an enemy to trouble to the author of it, and hear the Lord's controversy

in it. Israel, during all Solomon's reign, and upon all occasions vented Both these adversaries had the original of their enmity to his then impotent malice against them; but till Solomon's reSolomon and Israel laid in David's time, and in his conquests volt, when

his defence was departed from him, he could not do of their respective countries, v. 15,24. Solomon had the benefit them any mischief; it is said of him, that he abhorred Israel : and advantage of his father's successes, both in the enlargement other princes loved and admired Israel and Solomon, and courted of his dominion, and the increase of his treasure, and would never their friendship, but here was one that abhorred them. The have known any thing but the benefit of them,

if he had kept greatest and best of princes and people, that are ever so much close to God; but now he finds evils to balance the advantages, respected by the most, yet perhaps will be haled and abhorred and that David had made himself enemies, which were thorns by some. in his sides; they that are too free in giving provocation, ought V. 26–40. We have, here, the first mention of that infato consider that perhaps it may be remembered in time to come, mous name, Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, that made Israel to sin; and returned with interest to theirs after them; having so few he is here brought upon the stage as an adversary to Solomon, friends in this world, it is our wisdom not to make ourselves whom God had expressly told, (v. 11,) that he would give the more enemies than we needs must.

greatest part of his kingdom to his servant, and Jeroboam was 1. Hadad, an Edomite, was an adversary to Solomon; we are the man. We have here an account, VOL. 1.-105

( 933 )

hand against the king: Solomon built Millo,a, and 34 Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom * repaired the breaches of the city of David his out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the father.

days of his lite, for David &my servant's sake, whom 28 And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man I chose, because he kept my commandments and my of valour : and Solomon seeing the young man that statutes ; he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the 35 But I will take the kingdom out of his #charge of the house of Joseph.

son's hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten 29 And it came to pass at that time, when tribes. Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet 36 And unto his son will I give 'one tribe, that Ahijah “the Shilonite found him in the way; and David my servant may have a slight alway before he had clad himself with a new garment: and me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me they two were alone in the field :

to put my name there. 30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that 37 And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces.

according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be 31 And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten king over Israel. pieces; for 'thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, 38 And it shall be, if 'thou wilt hearken unto all Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee;

and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statules 32 But he shall have one tribe for my servant and my commandments, as David my servant did; David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city that m1 will be with thee, and "build thee a sure which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel: house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto

33 Because «that they have forsaken me, and thee. have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the 39 And I will for this afflict the seed of David, Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and butonot for ever. Milcom the god of the children of Ammon; and 40 Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam: have not walked in my ways, to do that which is and Jeroboam arose, and fed into Egypt, unto right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the judgments, as did David his father.

death of Solomon.

k c. 15. 4. 2 Kings 8. 19. P. 132. 17. lemp, or, candle. 10. 9.

a c. 9. 24.

closed. t did leork. burden. b c. 14. 2. < 1 Sam. 15. 27. d ver. 11-13. o ver. 5-7. Jer. 2. 13. Hos. 4. 17. Ps. 103. 10. g Is. 55. 3.

Ex. 20.5, 6.

i c. 12. 17.
4, 5.

mn Josh. 1.5.
p Prov. 19.21.

n 2 Sam. 7. 11, 27.

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I. Of his extraction ; (v. 26,) he was of the tribe of Ephraim, his own before, than of that which was; the prophets, both the next in honour to Judah; his mother was a widow, to whom true and false, used such signs, even in the New Testament, Providence had made up the loss of a husband in a son that as Agabus, Acts 21. 11. was active and ingenious, and (we may suppose) a great sup 3. The message itself, which is very particular. port and comfort to her.

(1.) He assures him that he should be king over ten of the II. Or his elevation. It was Solomon's wisdom, when he twelve tribes of Israel, v. 31. The meanness of his extraction had work to do, to employ proper persons in it; he observed and employment should be no hinderance to his advancement, Jeroboam to be a very industrious young man, one that minded when the God of Israel says, (by whom kings reigo,) I will give his business, took a pleasure in it, and did it with all his might, ten tribes unto thee. and therefore he gradually advanced him, till, at length, he made (2.) He tells them the reason; not for his good character or hiin receiver-general for the two tribes of Ephrain and Manas- deserts, but for the chastising of Solomon's apostacy, because seh, or perhaps put him into an office equivalent to that of lord-he, and his family, and many of his people with him, have forlieutenant of those two counties, for he was ruler of the burden, saken me, and worshipped other gods, v. 33. It was because or tribute, that is, either of the taxes, or of the militia, of the they had done ill, not because he was likely to do much better; house of Joseph. Note, Industry is the way to preferment; thus Israel must know, that it is not for their righteousness that Seest thou a man diligent in his business, that will take care they are made masters of Canaan, but for the wickedness of and pains, to go through with it? He shall stand before kings, the Canaanites, Deut. 9. 4. Jeroboam did not deserve so good and not always be on the level with mean men. Observe a a post, but Israel deserved so bad a prince. In telling him that difference between David and both his predecessor and his the reason why he rent the kingdom from the house of Solomon, successor ; when Saul saw a valiant man, he took him to him was, because they had forsaken God, he warns him to take self, (1 Sam. 14. 52 ;) when Solomon saw an industrious man, heed of sinning away his preferment, in like manner. he preferred him; but David's eyes were upon the faithful in the (3.) He limits his expectations to the ten tribes only, and to land, that they might dwell with him: if he saw a godly man, them, in reversion, after the death of Solomon ; lest he should he preferred him, for he was a man after God's own heart, aim at the whole, and give immediate disturbance to Solomon's whose countenance beholds the upright.

government. He is here told, [1.] That two tribes (called III. Or his designation to the government of the ten tribes, here one tribe, because little Benjamin was, in a manner, lost after the death of Solomon. Some think he was himself ploto in the thousands of Judah) should remain sure to the house of ting against Solomon, and contriving to rise to the throne, that David, and he must never make any attempt upon them; He he was turbulent and aspiring. The Jews say that when he shall have one tribe, (v. 32, and again, v, 36,) that David may was employed by Solomon in building Millo, he took opportu- have a lamp, that is, a shining name and memory, (Ps. 132.17,) nities of reflecting upon Solomon as oppressive to his people, and his family, as a royal family, may not be extinct. He must and suggesting that which would alienate them from his govern- not think that David was rejected, as Saul was; no, God would ment; it is not indeed probable that he should say much to that not take his loving kindness from him, as he did from Saul. purport, for Solomon would have got notice of it, and it would The house of David must be supported and kept in reputation have hindered his preferment; but it is plainly intimated that for all this, because out of it the Messiah must arise. Destroy he had it in his thoughts, for the prophet tells him, (v. 37,) it not, for that Blessing is in it. (2.) That Solomon must keep

Thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth? but this possession during his life, v. 34, 35. Jeroboam therefore must was the cause, or, rather, this was the story, of his lifting up not offer to dethrone him, but wait with patience till his day his hand against the king; he made bim ruler over the tribes of shall come to fall

. Solomon shall be prince, all the days of his Joseph, and as he was going to take possession of his govern life, not for his own sake, (he had forfeited his crown to the ment, he was told by a prophet, in God's name, that he should justice of God,) but for David my servant's sake, because he be king, which imboldened him to aim high, and, in some in- kept my commandments. Children that do not tread in their stances, to oppose the king, and give him vexation.

parents' steps, yet often fare the better in this world for their 1. The prophet, by whom this message was sent, was, Ahijah good parents' piety. of Shiloh; we shall read of him again, ch. 14. 2. It seems, (4.) He is given to understand that he will be upon his good Shiloh was not so perfectly forsaken and forgotten of God, but behaviour. The grant of the crown must run quam diu se bene that, in remembrance of the former days, it was blessed with a gesserit-during good behaviour. If thou wilt do what is right prophet; he delivered himself to Jeroboam in the way, his ser in my sight, I will build thee a sure house, and not otherwise, vants being, probably, ordered to retire, as in a like case, (v. 38,) intimating, that if he forsook God, even his advance. (1 Sam. 9. 27,) when Samuel delivered his

message to Saul; ment to the throne would, in time, lay his family in the dust; God's word was not the less sacred and sure, for being deli' whereas the seed of David, though afflicted, should not be vered to him thus obscurely, under a hedge, it may be.

afflicted for ever, (v. 39,) but should fourish again, as it did in 2. The sign by which it was represented to him, was, the many of the illustrious kings of Judah, who reigned in glory, rending of a garment into twelve pieces, and giving him ten, when Jeroboam's family was extirpated. v. 30. It is not certain whether the garment was Jeroboam's, IV. Jeroboam's Aight into Egypt, hereupon, v, 40. Some as it is commonly taken for granted, or Ahijah's, which is more way or other, Solomon came to know of all this ; probably, probable ; he (that is, the

prophet) clad himself with a new gar- from Jeroboam's own talk of it; he could not conceal it, as Saul ment, on purpose that he might

with it give him a sign. The did, nor keep his own counsel; if he had, he might have stayed rending of the kingdom from Saul was signified by the rending in his own country, and been preparing there for his future of Samuel's mantle, not Saul's, 1 Sam. 15. 27, 28. And it was advancement; but letting it be known, 1. Solomon foolishly more significant, to give him len pieces of that which was not sought to kill his successor. Had not he taught others, that


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41 And the rest of the 'acts of Solomon, and all, and all the congregation of Israel came and spake that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in unto Rehoboam, saying, the book of the Acts of Solomon?

4 Thy father made our yoke «grievous : now, 42 And the time that Solomon reigned in Jeru- therefore, make thou the grievous service of thy salem, over all Israel, was forty years.

father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, 43 And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was lighter, and we will serve thee. buried in the city of David his father: and Reho 5 And he said unto them, Depart yet for three boam this son reigned in his stead.

days, then come again to me. And the people de

parted. CHAPTER XII.

6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old

dmen that stood before Solomon his father while he The glory of the kingdom of Israel was in its height and persection, in Solomon ; it was long in coming to it, but it sou declined, and began to sink and witberin yet lived, and said, How do ye advise, that I may the very next reign, as we find in this chapter, where we have the kingdom divided, and thereby weakened, and made little, in comparison with what it had

answer this people? been. Here is, Rehoboam's accession to the thronie, and Jeroboam's return 7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt out of Egyp, v. 1, 2. II. The people's petition to Rehoboam for the redress of grievances, and the rough answer he gave, by the advice of his young counsellors, be a servant' unto this people this day, and wilt to that petition, ".3-15. HI. The revolt of the ten tribes, thereupon, and their

serve them, and answer them, and speak good words , , and the prohibition God gave to that attempt, w: 21–24. v. Jeroboam's esta to them, then they will be thy servants for ever. blishment of his government upon idolatry, v. 25–33. Thus did Judlah become werk, being deserted by their brethren ; and Israel, by deseruing the house of the

8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men,

which they had given him, and consulted with the ND "Rehoboam went to Shechem; for all Israel young men that were grown up with him, and

which stood before him. 2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son 9 And he said unto them, What counsel give ye, of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for that we may answer this people, who have spoken he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt,).

put upon us lighter? 3 That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam 10 And the young men that were grown up 92 Chr. 9. 29–31. * words, or, things. t days. I called Roboam. Matt. 1. 7. b c. 11. 26, 40. c 1 Sam. 8. 11-18. c. 4. 7. 9. 15. d Job 12. 12. e Mark 10. 43, a 2 Chr, 10. I, c.

4. s Prov. 15.1. whatever devices are in men's hearts, the counsel of the Lord, and be their speaker: which they needed not to have done, ho that shall stand ? And yet does he himself think to defeat that knew what God had designed him for, and would have come, counsel? 2. Jeroboam prudently withdrew into Egypt; though though he had not been sent for, for now was his time to expect God's promise would have secured him any where, yet he the possession of the promised crown. In their address, would use means for his own preservation, and was content to 1. They complain of the last reign; Thy father made our yoke live in exile and obscurity for a while, being sure of a kingdom grievous, v. 4. They complain not of his father's idolatry, and at last.

And shall not we be so, who have a better kingdom revolt from God; that which was the greatest grievance of all, in reserve ?

was none to them; so careless and indifferent were they in the V.41–43. We have here the conclusion of Solomon's story, matters of religion, as if God or Moloch were all one, so they and in it, 1. Reference is had to another history then extani, might but live at ease, and pay no taxes. Yet the complaint but (not being divinely inspired) since lost, the book of the Acts was groundless and unjust. Never did people live more at ease of Solomon, v. 41. Probably, this book was written by a chro- than they did, or in greater plenty. Did they pay taxes ? It nologer or historiographer, whom he employed to write his was to advance the strength and magnificence of their kingdom. annals, out of which the sacred writer extracted what God saw If Solomon's buildings cost them money, they cost them no fit to transmit to the church. 2. A summary of the years of blood, as war would do. Were many servile hands employed his reign; (v. 42,) He reigned in Jerusalem, (not as his father, about them? They were not the hands of the Israelites.

Were part of his time in Hebron, and part in Jerusalem,) over all the taxes a burden? How could that be, when Solomon imIsrael, (not as his son, and his father in the beginning of his ported bullion in such plenty, that silver was, in a manner, as time, over Judah only,) forty years. His reign was as long as common as the stones? So that they did but render to Solomon his father's, but not his life. Sin shortened his days. 3. His the things that were Solomon's. Nay, suppose there was some death and burial, and successor, v. 43. (1.) He followed his hardship put upon them, were they not told before, that this fathers to the grave; slept with them, and was buried in David's would be the manner of the king, and yet they would have one. burying-place, with honour, no doubt. (2.) His son followed The best government cannot secure itself from reproach and him in the throne. Thus the graves are filling with the gene- censure, no not Solomon's. Factious spirits will never want rations that go off, and houses are filling with those that are something to complain of. I know nothing in Solomon's adgrowing up. As the grave cries, “Give, give," so land is ministration, that could make the people's yoke grievous, unless, never lost for want of an heir.

perhaps, the women, whom in his latter days he doted on, were connived at in oppressing them. 2. They demanded relief from

him, and, on that condition, will continue in their allegiance to V.1-15. Solomon had 1000 wives and concubines, yet we the house of David. They asked not to be wholly free from read but of one son he had to bear up his name, and he a fool. paying taxes, but to have the burden made lighter; that was all It is said, (Hos. 4. 10,) They shall commit whoredom and shall their care, to save their money, whether their religion was not increase. Sin is a bad way of building up a family. Reho- supported, and the government protected, or no. All seek their boam was the son of the wisest of men, yet did not inherit his own. father's wisdom, and then it stood him in little stead to inherit III. Rehoboam consulted with those about him, concerning his father's throne. Neither wisdom nor grace runs in the the answer he should give to this address. It was prudent to blood. Solomon came to the crown very young, yet he was take advice, especially having so weak a head of his own ; yet, then a wise man: Rehoboam at forty years old, when men will upon this occasion, it was impolitic to take time himself to conbe wise, if ever they will, yet he was then foolish. Wisdom sider, for thereby he gave time to the disaffected people to ripen does not go by age, nor is it the multitude of years, or the ad-things for a revolt; and his deliberating, in so plain a case, vantage of education, that reaches it. Solomon's court was a would be improved as an indication of the little concern he had mart of wisdom, and the rendezvous of learned men, and Reho- for the people's ease. They saw what they must expect, and boam the darling of the court; and yet all was not sufficient to prepared accordingly. Now, make him a wise man: the race is not to the swift, nor the battle 1. The grave experienced men of his council advised him, by to the strong. No dispute is made of Rehoboam's succession ; all means, to give the petitioners a kind answer, to promise them upon the death of his father, he was immediately proclaimed. fair, and, this day, this critical day, to serve them, that is, to But,

tell them that he was their servant, and that he would redress I. The people desire a treaty with him at Shechem, and he all their grievances, and make it his business to please them, condescends to meet them there. 1. Their pretence was, to and make them easy. “Deny thysell" (say they) “so far as make him king, but the design was, to unmake him. They to do this, for this once, and they will be thy servants for ever. would give him a public inauguration, in another place than the When the present heat is allayed with a soft answer, and the city of David, that he might not seem to be king of Judah only. assembly dismissed, their cooler thoughts will reconcile and fix They have ten parts in him, and will have him among them- them to Solomon's family still." Note, The way to rule, is to selves, for once, that they might recognize his title. 2. The serve; to do good, and stoop to do it ; to become all things to place was ominous; at Shechem, where Abimelech set up him- all men, and so win their hearts. Those in power, really sit self, Judg. 9. Yet it had been famous for the convention of the highest, and easiest, and safest, that do so. states there, Josh. 24. 1. Rehoboam, we may suppose, knew 2. The young men of his council were hot and haughty, and of the threatening, that the kingdom should be rent from him, they advised him to return a severe and threatening answer to and hoped, by going to Shechem, and treating there with the the people's demands. It was an instance of Rehoboam's ten tribes, to prevent it; yet it proves the most impolitic thing weakness, (1.) That he did not prefer aged counsellors, but had he could do, and hastens the rupture,

a better opinion of the young men that had grown up with him, II. The representatives of the tribes address him, praying to and with whom he was familiar, v. 8. Days should speak. It be eased of the taxes they were burdened with. The meeting was a folly for him to think that because they had been his being appointed, they sent for Jeroboam out of Egypt to come l agreeable companions in the sports and pleasures of his youth,


& Ex. 2. 6. hardly. 20. k 2 Chr. 22. 4, 5.

with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou mby Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Nebat. Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it 16 So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened ligliter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My not unto them, the people answered the king, saylittle finger shall be thicker than my father's loins. ing, What "portion have we in David? neither have

11 And now, whereas my father did lade you we inheritance in the son of Jesse : to your tents, o with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my Israel: Now see to thine own house, David. So father hath chastised you with whips, but I will Israel departed unto their tents. chastise you with scorpions.

17 But as for the children of Israel which 12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, over them. saying, Come to me again the third day.

18 Then king Rehoboam sent pAdoram, who 13 And the king answered the people *roughly, was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with land forsook 'the old men's counsel that they gave stones, that he died: therefore king Rehoboam him;

made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to 14 And spake to them after the counsel of the Jerusalem. young men, saying, My father made your yoke 19 So Israel #rebelled against the house of David heavy, and Í will add to your yoke: my father also unto this day. chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you 20 And it came to pass, when all Israel heard with scorpions.

that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and 15 Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the called him unto the congregation, and made him people; for 'the cause was from the Lord, that he king over all Israel: there was none that followed might perform his saying, which the Lord spake the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.

A Prov. 10. 11, 32. Ec, 10. 12. Jam. 3. 17. i Prov. 13. m c. 11. 11, 31. 2 Sam. 20. I. oc. II. 13, 36, PC. 4.6. 5. 14. 1 atrength

Judg. 14. 1. ver. 24. 2 Chr. 22. 7. 25. 20. Am. 3. 6. ened himself. 72 Kings 17. 21. I or, fell away. i Hos. 11. 12. they were therefore fit to have the management of the affairs of of Jesse, no greater a man than his neighbours. How soon are his kingdom. Great wits have not always the most wisdom; good men, and their good services to the public, forgotten! The nor are those to be relied on as our best friends, that know how rashness of their resolution was also much to be blained; in to make us merry, for that will not make us happy. It is of time, and with prudent management, they might have settled the great consequence to young people that are selling out in the original contract with Rehoboam, to mutual satisfaction. Had world, to have suitable persons to associate with, accommodate they inquired who gave Rehoboam this advice, and taken a themselves to, and depend upon for advice. If they reckon those course to remove those evil counsellors from about him, the that feed their pride, gratify their vanity, and further them in rupture might have been prevented: otherwise, their jealousy their pleasures, their best friends, they are already marked for for their liberty and property well became that free people, ruin. (2.) That he did not affect moderate

but was

Israel is not a servant, is not a homeborn slave; why should he be pleased with those that put him upon harsh and rigorous me- spoiled? Jer. 2. 14. They are willing to be ruled, but not to thods, and advised him to double the taxes, whether there was be ridden; protection draws allegiance, but destruction cannot, occasion for it or no, and to tell them, in plain terms, that he No marvel thal Israel falls away from the house of David, would do so, v. 10, 11. They thought the old men expressed (v. 19,) if the house of David fall away from the great ends of themselves but dully, v.7. They affect to be witty in their their advancement, which was to be ministers of God to them advice, and value themselves on that. The old men did not for good. But thus to rebel against the seed of David, wliom undertake to pul words into Rehoboam's mouth, only counselled God had advanced to die kingdom, (entailing it on his seed,) him to speak good words : but the young men will furnish him and to set up another king, in opposition to that family, was a with very pointed and pert similitudes; My little finger shall be great sin; see 2 Chr. 13. 5–8. To this God refers, Hos. 8. 4, thicker than my father's loins, &c. That is not always the best They have set up kings, but not by me. And it is here mensense that is best worded.

tioned, to the praise of the tribe of Judah, that they followed the IV. He answered the people according to the counsel of the house of David, (v. 17, 20,) and, for aught that appears, they young men, v. 14, 15. He affected to be haughty and imperious, found Rehoboam better than his word, nor did he rule with the and fancied he could carry all before him with a high hand, and rigour which, at first, he threatened. therefore would rather run the risk of losing them, than deny II. Rehoboam was imprudent in the further management of himself so far as to give them good words. Note, Many ruin this affair, and more and more infatuated. Having foolishly themselves by consulting their humour more than their interest. thrown himself into a quicksand, he sunk the further in, with

See, 1. How Rehoboam was infatuated in his counsels. He plunging to get out, 1. He was very unadvised, in sending could not have acted more foolishly and impolitically. (1.) He | Adoram, who was over the tribute, to treat with them, v. 18. owned their reflections upon his father's government to be true, The tribute was the thing, and, for the sake of that, Adoram My father made your yoke heavy: and therein was unjust to his was the person, they most complained of; the very sighi of him, father's memory which he might easily have vindicated from the whose name was odious among them, exasperated them, and imputation. (2.) He fancied himself better able to manage made them outrageous. He was one whom they could not so them, and impose upon them, than his father was; not consi. much as give a patient hearing to, but stoned him to death in a dering that he was vastly inferior to him in capacity. Could popular tumult.' Rehoboam was now as unhappy in the choice he think to support the blemishes of his father's reign, who of his ambassador, as before of his counsellors. 2. Some think could never pretend to come near the glories of it? (3.) He he was also unadvised, in quitting his ground, and making so threatened not only to squeeze them by taxes, but to chastise much haste to Jerusalem, for thereby he deserted his friends, them by cruel laws, and severe executions of them; which and gave advantage to his enemies, who had gone to their tents should not be as whips only, but as scorpions, whips with rowels indeed, (v. 16,) in disgust, but did not offer to make Jeroboam in them, that will fotch blood at every lash. In short, he would king, till Rehoboam was gone, v. 20. See how soon this foolish use them as brute beasts, load them, and beat them, ai his plea- prince went from one extreme to the other. He hectored and sure; not caring whether they loved him or no, he would make alked big, when he thought all was his own, but sunk and looked them fear him. (4.) He gave this provocation to a people that very mean, when he saw himself in danger. It is common for by long ease and prosperity were made wealthy, and strong, those that are most haughty in their prosperity, to be most and proud, and would not be trampled upon, as a poor coward abject in adversity. dispirited people may; that were now disposed to revolt, and III. God forbade his attempt to recover what he had lost by had one ready to head them. Never, surely, was man so the sword. What was done, was of God, who would not suffer, blinded by pride, and affectation of arbitrary power, than which 1. That it should be undone again, as it would be, if Rehoboam nothing is more fatal.

got the better, and reduced the ten tribes. Nor, 2. That more 2. How God's counsels were hereby fulfilled. It was from should be done to the prejudice of the house of David, as would the Lord, v. 15. He left Rehoboam in his own folly, and hid be, if Jeroboam should get the better, and conquer the two from his eyes the things which belonged to his peace, that the tribes. The thing must rest as it is, and therefore God forbids kingdom might be rent from him. Note, God serves his own the battle. wise and righteous purposes by the imprudences and iniquities (1.) It was brave in Rehoboam, to design the reducing of the of men, and snares sinners in the work of their own hands. revolters by force. His courage came to him, when he was They that lose the kingdom of heaven, throw it away, as Re come to Jerusalem, v. 21. There he thought himself among hoboam did his, by their own wilfulness and folly.

his fast friends, who generously adhered to him, and appeared V. 16–24. We have here the rending of the kingdom of the for him. Judah and Benjamin (who feared the Lord and the ten tribes from the house of David ; to effect which,

king, and meddled not with them that were given to change) I. The people were bold and resolute in their revolt. They presently raised an army of 180,000 men, for the recovery of highly resented the provocation that Rehoboam had given them, their king's right to the ten tribes, and were resolved to stand were incensed at his menaces, concluded that that government by him (as we say) with their lives and fortunes; having either would, in the progress of it, be intolerably grievous, which, in not such cause, or rather not such a disposition, to complain as the beginning of it, was so very haughty ; and therefore imme- the rest had. diately came to this resolve, one and all, What portion have we (2.) It was more brave in Reboboam, to desist, when God, in David? v. 16. They speak here very unbecomingly of by a prophet, ordered him to lay down his arms. He would David, that great benefactor of their nation, calling him the son not lose a kingdom tamely, for then he had been unworthy tho

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