King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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2 Chronicles 11

Rehoboam forbidden to war against Israel. (1-12) The priests and Levites find refuge in Judah. (13-23)

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Rehoboam forbidden to war against Israel

1 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he gathered of the house of Judah and Benjamin an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam.

2 But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,

3 Speak unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying,

4 Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren: return every man to his house: for this thing is done of me. And they obeyed the words of the LORD, and returned from going against Jeroboam.

5 And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah.

6 He built even Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa,

7 And Bethzur, and Shoco, and Adullam,

8 And Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph,

9 And Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah,

10 And Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities.

11 And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of victual, and of oil and wine.

12 And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side.

The priests and Levites find refuge in Judah

13 And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their coasts.

14 For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest’s office unto the LORD:

15 And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made.

16 And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers.

17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon.

18 And Rehoboam took him Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David to wife, and Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse;

19 Which bare him children; Jeush, and Shamariah, and Zaham.

20 And after her he took Maachah the daughter of Absalom; which bare him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith.

21 And Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines; and begat twenty and eight sons, and threescore daughters.)

22 And Rehoboam made Abijah the son of Maachah the chief, to be ruler among his brethren: for he thought to make him king.

23 And he dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his children throughout all the countries of Judah and Benjamin, unto every fenced city: and he gave them victual in abundance. And he desired many wives.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Chosen. Sept. “young,” (H.) as the Heb. term also signifies. T. — His. Heb. “the kingdom again to Roboam.”

Ver. 4. Will, to punish the disorders of Solomon, &c. See 3 K. xii. 24. Gen. xlv. 8. God knows how to draw good out of evil, without approving the misconduct of men. H.

Ver. 5. Juda. This was now become a frontier country, and both kings were forced to erect fortifications. 3 K. xii. 25.

Ver. 6. Etam, famous for fine waters and gardens, (Joseph. viii. 2.) about ten miles from Jerusalem, on the road to Hebron. It was fortified against the inroads of Simeon and Dan. C.

Ver. 11. Governors, of a military character. Heb. “captains, (T.) and store of provisions, (wheat) and of oil,” &c. such as would be requisite in a siege.

Ver. 14. Off. This was done at different times; so that almost all the Levites took refuge in the dominions of Juda. Yet some prevaricated. Ezechiel (xliv. 12.) only exempts the family of Sadoc. C. — The rest set before us a noble example to endure temporal loss, rather than to neglect the practice of religion, or to conform to a false one. W.

Ver. 15. Devils. Heb. “goats.” C. — Sept. express this by two names, “for the idols, and for the fools.” H. — The Mendesians of Egypt, solemnly worshipped the goat; and Pan was represented nearly in the same form. Yet it is probable that the Hebrews style the idols by this name out of derision. 3 K. xv. 2. C.

Ver. 17. They, the pious refugees. T. C. xv. 9. — Solomon, while virtuous. — Only is not expressed in Heb. or Sept. but it is sufficiently implied.

Ver. 18. Daughter. Heb. ban, “the son.” But bath, “daughter,” (H.) occurs properly in some MSS. as in the ancient versions. Leusden has here this very odd note: “perhaps by ban, (with a pathah) here both sexes may be understood.” Forte per ban hic intelligitur uterque sexus. Kennicott — Prot. substitute, “daughter.” H.

Ver. 20. Daughter, or grand-daughter, by Thamar. 3 K. xv. 2. C.

Ver. 22. Head. Sept. “prince.” H. — Grotius maintains that Abia was the eldest. But all others are of a contrary opinion, and believe that Roboam derogated from the law, (Deut. xxi. 16. C.) as David had done, unless it was left to the option of the king to appoint whom he pleased for his successor. H. — Meant. Prot. supply, “he thought” which is found in the Sept.

Ver. 23. Because. Sept. “And he was magnified above….and he gave them (cities, autais) abundance,” &c. This may be all understood of Abia. But Heb. rather speaks of his father: “And he acted wisely, and dispersed all his other children, throughout the countries of Juda;” (H.) keeping them at a distance, to prevent any commotion, (C.) but making ample provision and procuring wives for them, perhaps at no small cost, as few might wish to be thus prisoners at large. T. — It was probably then the custom to educate the royal children in the noblest families. See 4 K. x. 1. C. — This would also tend to increase their father’s influence, and to make them better acquainted with the country, that they might be able to communicate all necessary intelligence. H. — Pagnin and Vatable insinuate, that Roboam “caused to be educated and dispersed some of all his children, throughout all the lands of Juda.” M.