King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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1 Kings 14

Abijah being sick, his mother consults Ahijah. (1-6) The destruction of Jeroboam’s house. (7-20) Rehoboam’s wicked reign. (21-31)

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Abijah being sick, his mother consults Ahijah

1 At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick.

2 And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people.

3 And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.

4 And Jeroboam’s wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. But Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age.

5 And the LORD said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son; for he is sick: thus and thus shalt thou say unto her: for it shall be, when she cometh in, that she shall feign herself to be another woman.

6 And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings.

The destruction of Jeroboam’s house

7 Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel,

8 And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes;

9 But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:

10 Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.

11 Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it.

12 Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die.

13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

14 Moreover the LORD shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day: but what? even now.

15 For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger.

16 And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin.

17 And Jeroboam’s wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: and when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died;

18 And they buried him; and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by the hand of his servant Ahijah the prophet.

19 And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred, and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

20 And the days which Jeroboam reigned were two and twenty years: and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his stead.

Rehoboam’s wicked reign

21 And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess.

22 And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done.

23 For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.

24 And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

25 And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem:

26 And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made.

27 And king Rehoboam made in their stead brasen shields, and committed them unto the hands of the chief of the guard, which kept the door of the king’s house.

28 And it was so, when the king went into the house of the LORD, that the guard bare them, and brought them back into the guard chamber.

29 Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

30 And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days.

31 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. At. The Sept. omit the 20 verses following. But Grabe’s edition has them marked with asterisks, (H.) as being supplied from Theodotion, &c. The Vat. copy gives a great part, with some circumstances which occur no where else. C. xii. 24. C. — The wife of Jeroboam is there called Ano, (M.) the elder sister of the queen of Egypt, Thekemina. See C. xi. 19; where Adad marries another sister. H. — Time. This expression does not determine the year. S. Chrys. &c. — The passage in the Vat. Sept. seems to place this death before Jeroboam ascended the throne: but it took place rather at the end of his reign, v. 14. Abia seems to have been his eldest son, and fit for command; so that the people mourn for him, which they would hardly have done for an infant. C.

Ver. 2. Dress. As if the prophet, who could dive into futurity, could be thus imposed upon. Jeroboam was aware that he would be full of indignation at the changes which had been introduced. He might also fear, lest his wife might be exposed to danger in (C.) or near (H.) the enemy’s country, (C.) and the people would have been more convinced of the vanity of their idols, if they had seen that it was necessary to have recourse to a prophet of the true God. M. — The mother might ask without the least suspicion, “Will my son recover?” — Silo might still be attached to the service of God, in consequence of the ark residing there so long, and the presence of the revered Ahias; so that, if it formed a part of the dominions of Israel, (T.) as it was in the tribe of Ephraim, though nearer Jerusalem than Sichem, (C.) Jeroboam might reasonably fear lest his wife should be treated with indignity. T.

Ver. 3. Cracknels. Heb. nikkudim, “cakes full of holes,” &c. Jos. ix. 12. C. — Sept. give a double translation, “cakes and raisins.” Arab. “fruits.” Syr. adds “dried.” It was customary to make presents to the prophets. 1 K. ix. 7. C. — But these were mean, that the woman might not be known. D. — It is not said that Ahias deigned to receive them. S. Jer. in Mic. iii.

Ver. 4. Dim. Heb. “swelled,” &c. C. — Sept. inform us that the prophet was 60 years old. H.

Ver. 6. Tidings. Heb. “I am a hard messenger to thee.” C.

Ver. 9. Strange gods; that is, foreign gods: which expression destroys the opinion of those who imagine that Jeroboam designed by his calves to worship the Lord God of Israel. Ch. — Back. Lit. “body.”

Ver. 10. Wall. Every male child, or every dog. See 1 K. xxv. 22. H. — The Heb. word mashtin, in Spanish and French, signifies a “shepherd’s dog.” — Israel. This proverbial expression signifies, that even those who keep at home, and meddle not with the affairs of war, will not escape; (C.) nor shall those who have run away from the field of battle, (H.) nor the most precious or contemptible things be spared. Deut. xxxii. 36. 4 K. xiv. 26. M. — Clean. This family is compared to something most disgusting, (H.) because it had introduced idolatry, and the prediction against it was literally fulfilled by Baasa, (C. xv. 29. T.) “as the vintner seeks in the vineyard even for the last grape.” Syr. and Arab.

Ver. 11. Devour. They shall have the burial of asses. Jer. xxii. 19.

Ver. 13. Word from. Heb. or “thought towards.” Grot. — He has entertained sentiments of piety (C.) in the midst of a wicked court; therefore, God will hasten to draw him out of the midst of iniquity. H. — The Rabbins say that he had pulled down the walls, which his father had built, to prevent the people from going to Jerusalem. C. — God was please to shew mercy to him. M.

Ver. 14. Time. Prot. “But what? even now.” The young prince, (H.) who was the firmest support of the family, was presently hurried away. Abia, king of Juda, slew above 500,000 of Jeroboam’s subjects at once; and Baasa exterminated his family. C. — The latter had now begun his conspiracy. Abulensis, q. 26.

Ver. 15. Water. The kingdom of Israel was continually agitated with wars. — River Euphrates, by degrees. The kings of Assyria verified these predictions; and we know not what is become of these ten tribes. C. — To provoke. These people did not perhaps design (H.) to make God their enemy, no more than their king did, v. 9. But their actions had that effect. Such expressions denote not the final cause, but the sequel of other facts, without direct intention. W. — Yet these sins might probably be called sins of malice. H. — They were all involved in ruin, and because they had been accomplices in wickedness. M.

Ver. 16. Sin. This is the common effect of evil example in kings. Plus exemplo quam peccato nocent. Cicero, Leg. iii. “As it is esteemed a sort of service to imitate the customs and vices of the king; they laid aside all piety, lest they might seem to upbraid the king with his impiety, if they should live in a virtuous manner.” Lact. v. 6. The crimes of kings are seldom confined to their own persons. C.

Ver. 17. Thersa. Sept. inform us that Jeroboam had built this place, which the call Sarira, while he was employed by Solomon. No wonder, therefore, that it is not mentioned by Josue. Its exact situation is not known, though it must have been very delightful, since Solomon compares the spouse to it. C. — Where we read sweet, (Cant. vi. 3.) Heb. has, “Thou art beautiful….as Thersa, and comely as Jerusalem.” Hither Jeroboam had removed his court from Sichem. T. — Some place Thersa in the tribe of Manasses; (Adric.) others, in that of Ephraim. Bonfrere. — House. Heb. “door,” or gate of the city, when the prophet had denounced that the child should die, (v. 12.) unless the palace was contiguous to the walls. H.

Ver. 19. The book of the words of the days of the kings of Israel. This book, which is often mentioned in the Book of Kings, is long since lost. For as to the books of Paralipomenon, or Chronicles, (which the Hebrews call the words of the days) they were certainly written after the Book of Kings, since they frequently refer to them; (Ch.) and they also remit us to these journals for farther information. H.

Ver. 21. Forty. Some suspect there is a mistake, and that it should be twenty-one. See 1 Par. xxii. 5. Grotius D. — Hardouin dates from the √¶ra of Solomon. Roboam was young, in the Scripture style. But he might be forty-one years old. C. xii. 10. C. — Ammonitess. She probably perverted her son; (M.) so that he only continued three years faithful to the Lord; (2 Par. xi. 17.) when his people readily imitated the idolatry of Israel, as they had been already staggered in their faith by the conduct of Solomon. C.

Ver. 23. High hill. Such places of devotion had been tolerated, before the temple was built: but now they were deemed profane. C.

Ver. 24. The effeminate. Catamites, or men addicted to unnatural lust. Ch. — This crime had been punished in the Sodomites, and in the people of Chanaan, and of Benjamin. Yet they continued prevalent in the country. C. xv. 12. and 4 K. xxiii. 7. and Isai. ii. 6. and 2 Mac. iv. 12. C. — These were perpetrated in honour of Venus, Priapus, &c. M. See Deut. xxiii. 17. H.

Ver. 25. Sesac. See C. xi. 40. He was allied to Jeroboam, (C.) so that he might come to his assistance, (H.) being attracted by the ivory throne, (Rabbins) and immense riches of Jeroboam. C. — Roboam was informed by Semeias, that resistance would be fruitless; and being humbled, he repaired more frequently to the temple, v. 18. But his piety was of short duration, as it was influenced only by fear. 2 Par. xii. 14.

Ver. 27. Hand. Sym. “the place where the courtiers” (guards) stood, (H.) in the hall; (C.) or he made the guards carry these shields before him, v. 28. H.

Ver. 30. Always. The two kingdoms were constantly divided, and did each other all the harm they could; though we know not that they ever came to a pitched battle. Roboam was too great a coward. 2 Par. xiii. 7.

Ver. 31. Roboam. He deserved some commendation for procuring provisions, and fortifying his dominion; (2 Par. xi. 5, 12.) but was a prince devoid of wisdom and religion. He married 18 wives and 60 concubines. The son of Maacha, his most favourite queen, succeeded him, after he had reigned seventeen years, and lived fifty-eight. C. — Semeias and Addo wrote his history. 2 Par. xii. 15.