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Abijah, son of Jeroboam, falls sick, 1 Kings 14:1. Jeroboam sends his wife disguised to Ahijah the prophet, and with her a present, to inquire concerning his son, 1 Kings 14:2-4. Ahijah discovers her by a Divine intimation and delivers to her a heavy message concerning the destruction of Jeroboam‘s house, and the death of her son, 1 Kings 14:5-16. The child dies, according to the prediction of Ahijah, 1 Kings 14:17. Jeroboam‘s reign and death, 1 Kings 14:18-20. Rehoboam‘s bad reign, and the apostasy of Judah, 1 Kings 14:21-24. Shishak, king of Egypt, invades Judea, spoils the temple, and takes away the golden shields made by Solomon; instead of which Rehoboam makes others of brass, 1 Kings 14:25-28. Rehoboam‘s reign and death, 1 Kings 14:29-31.
Abijah - fell sick - This was but a prelude to the miseries which fell on the house of Jeroboam; but it was another merciful warning, intended to turn him from his idolatry and wickedness.
Ten loaves - Probably common or household bread.
Cracknels - נקדים (nikkuddim), spotted, or perforated bread; thin cakes, pierced through with many holes, the same as is called Jews‘ bread to the present day, and used by them at the passover. It was customary to give presents to all great personages; and no person consulted a prophet without bringing something in his hand.
Feign herself to be another woman - It would have been discreditable to Jeroboam‘s calves, if it had been known that he had consulted a prophet of Jehovah.
And rent the kingdom away from the house of David - That is, permitted it to be rent, because of the folly and insolence of Rehoboam.
Him that pisseth against the wall - Every male. The phrase should be thus rendered wherever it occurs.
Shall the dogs eat - They shall not have an honorable burial: and shall not come into the sepulchres of their fathers.
In him there is found some good thing - Far be it from God to destroy the righteous with the wicked; God respects even a little good, because it is a seed from himself. The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed.
For the Lord shall smite Israel - See this prophecy fulfilled, 1 Kings 15:28-30, when Baasha destroyed all the house and posterity of Jeroboam.
The rest of the acts of Jeroboam - are written in the - chronicles - For some important particulars relative to this reign, see 2 Chronicles 13:1-20.
There were also sodomites in the land - קדשים (kedeshim), consecrated persons; persons who had devoted themselves, in practices of the greatest impurity, to the service of the most impure idols.
He took away the treasures - All the treasures which Solomon had amassed, both in the temple and in his own houses; a booty the most immense ever acquired in one place.
All the shields of gold which Solomon had made - These were three hundred in number, and were all made of beaten gold. See a computation of their value in the note on 1 Kings 10:17 (note).
The guard bare them - The guard probably were just three hundred, answering to the number of the shields.
Naamah an Ammonitess - He was born of a heathen mother, and begotten of an apostate father. From such an impure fountain could sweet water possibly spring?
Abijam his son reigned in his stead - Though righteousness cannot be propagated, because it is supernatural, yet unrighteousness may, for that is a genuine offspring of nature. Abijam was the wicked son of an apostate father and heathenish mother. Grace may be grafted on a crab stock; but let none do evil that good may come of it. A bad stock will produce bad fruit.
Dr. Kennicott observes that the name of this king of Judah is now expressed three ways: here and in four other places it is Abijam or Abim; in two others it is Abihu, but in eleven other places it is Abiah, as it is expressed by St. Matthew, Matthew 1:7, Ῥοβοαμ εγεννησε τον ΑΒΙΑ ; and this is the reading of thirteen of Kennicott‘s and De Rossi‘s MSS., and of thirteen respectable editions of the Hebrew Bible. The Syriac is the same. The Septuagint in the London Polyglot has αβιου , Abihu; but in the Complutensian and Antwerp Polyglots, it is αβια , Abiah. Though the common printed Vulgate has Abiam, yet the Editio Princeps of the Vulgate, some MSS., and the text in the Complutensian and Antwerp Polyglots, have Abia; which without doubt is the reading that should in all cases be followed.
The rabbins say, and particularly Rab. Sol. Jarchi, that the Shishak mentioned in this chapter is Pharaoh Necho, and that he invaded Israel in order to get the ivory throne of his son-in-law Solomon, which he had always coveted; and this throne he carried away. It appears however that he spoiled the temple, the king‘s palace, etc., and in short took every thing away without resistance which he chose to carry off. It is very likely that this had a good effect on Rehoboam; it probably caused him to frequent the temple, 1 Kings 14:28, which it is likely he had before neglected. This history is more particularly told in 2 Chron. 12, to which the reader will do well to refer; and as to Rehoboam, though so much positive iniquity is not laid to his charge as to his father, yet little can be said for his piety; the idolatry introduced by Solomon does not appear to have been lessened in the days of Rehoboam.