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Bible Commentaries

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

2 Chronicles 12

Verse 1

REHOBOAM'S APOSTASY;

THE INVASION OF SHISHAK;

THE DEATH OF REHOBOAM;

GOD'S PUNISHMENT OF ISRAEL BY SHISHAK

"And it came to pass when the kingdom of Rehoboam was established, and he was strong, that he forsook the law of Jehovah, and all Israel with him. And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had trespassed against Jehovah, with twelve hundred chariots and threescore thousand horsemen. And the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt: the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Ethiopians. And he took the fortified cities that pertained to Judah, and came unto Jerusalem. Now Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith Jehovah, Ye have forsaken me, therefore have I also left you in the hands of Shishak. Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, Jehovah is righteous. And when Jehovah saw that they humbled themselves, the word of Jehovah came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; I will not destroy them; but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless they shall be his servants, that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries."

"Because they had trespassed against Jehovah" (2 Chronicles 12:2). The aggressive war of Shishak against Jerusalem is here stated to have been brought about by God Himself because of Israel's rebellion against God's law. It is the conviction of this writer that God still rules in the kingdoms of men, and that no nation that turns its back upon God's teachings can escape the eventual and certain judgment against them by Almighty God.

We live in a generation that appears no longer to believe this, despite the fact that all of the great leaders of America's past believed it, as attested by George Washington's kneeling in the snows at Valley Forge, a fact beautifully memorialized by Ward's famous bronze plaque attached to the old Sub Treasury building of the United States across from the New York Stock Exchange building. Nevertheless, it still stands in the Eternal Word, "God rules in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever he will" (Daniel 4:25). In the words of Rudyard Kipling,

"LORD GOD OF HOSTS; BE WITH US YET,

LEST WE FORGET; LEST WE FORGET."

"That they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries" (2 Chronicles 12:8). This meant that Israel might find out the difference between serving God and serving Shishak! These verses are not parallel to Kings, but Shishak's invasion is mentioned in 1 Kings 14:25-26.

Verse 9

SHISHAK ROBS THE SACRED TREASURES OF ISRAEL

"So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of Jehovah, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all away; he took away also the shields of gold that Solomon had made. And king Rehoboam made in their stead shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the captain of the guard, that kept the door of the king's house. And it was so, that as off as the king entered into the house of Jehovah, the guard came and bare them, and brought them back into the guard-chamber. And when he humbled himself the wrath of Jehovah turned from him, so as not to destroy him altogether: moreover there was in Judah good things found."

Much of 1 Kings 14 is parallel with what we have here. Oddly enough, neither in Kings nor in Chronicles is it stated that Shishak captured Jerusalem; but either he actually did this, or Rehoboam was able to buy him off with all the treasures both of the temple and of the king's house.

"And king Rehoboam made in their stead shields of brass" (2 Chronicles 12:10). (See our somewhat extensive comment on this in 1Kings pp, 185-186.)

Verse 13

CONCLUSION OF REHOBOAM'S EVIL REIGN

"So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which Jehovah had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there: and his mother's name was Naamah the Ammonitess. And he did that which was evil, because he set not his heart to seek Jehovah.

"Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the histories of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, after the manner of genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead."

"And he did that which was evil" (2 Chronicles 12:14). The Chronicler did not dwell unnecessarily upon the details of Rehoboam's wickedness, but it was very great indeed. His wickedness exceeded anything that his fathers had done before him. The sodomites were brought into the land; the high places were built; and Israel even sinned beyond that of the ancient Canaanites who preceded Israel in Palestine. A fuller account of all this is in 1 Kings 14:21-24.

God had forbidden the Israelites to intermarry with foreigners; but Rehoboam's mother was an Ammonitess.

Copyright Statement
Coffman's Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 12". "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bcc/2-chronicles-12.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.