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Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

1 Kings 14

Verses 1-3

The Son of Jeroboam Becomes Sick

Jeroboam persists in his sin. In the previous chapter we read that the main sin has to do with the service to God (1 Kings 13:33). He appoints whoever wants to be a priest. He completely disregards the law of God; He puts God aside.

God cannot tolerate this. He disciplines Jeroboam by making his son sick. He will be his favorite son, because Jeroboam is very concerned about the outcome of the sickness. It may be the heir to the throne. God knows how to address people once again (Job 33:29-Amos :). “For He does not afflict willingly Or grieve the sons of men” (Lamentations 3:33), but “You have seen [it], for You have beheld mischief and vexation to take it into Your hand” (Psalms 10:14).

Jeroboam, however, does not put it in God’s hand, but expects it from a man, Ahijah. He does, however, resort to a true prophet of the LORD and not to one of his idols. He knows that they can’t help him. However, he does not address the prophet in faith, but in superstition. This prophet had such a great message for him by telling him that he would become king. Wouldn’t the prophet have a good message for him now?

Jeroboam sends his wife not to ask the prophet for intercession, but to consult him as a medium, to know what will happen to the boy. But she has to disguise herself. This also shows that Jeroboam does not really seek and know God. Who thinks he can fool God by disguise, by pretending differently than he really is? As if God does not look further than the outside. God’s concern is the inside! Not that the outside, the appearance, is unimportant. God wants the appearance to be an honest representation of the inner being and not a farce. It is worth checking the Bible to see what dress-up parties or disguises are there and what they mean.

Jeroboam’s wife takes a gift with her (cf. 1 Samuel 9:7-Ruth :). It is the gift that a simple citizen woman could bring. It seems that with this Jeroboam wants to elicit a favorable prophecy from the prophet. She goes to Silo, which also lies in the ten tribes realm. So Ahijah also lives in that kingdom, but not as the old prophet in Bethel, but far away from it. Silo is also the place where the LORD used to live, where the tabernacle stood. God wants and can use this prophet again.

Verses 4-6

Jeroboam’s Wife Meets Ahijah

The prophet Ahijah is blind. Humanly there is a double disadvantage: a blind prophet and a disguised woman. But the blind prophet is in communication with the God of Whom is true: “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13). He receives from God the words he must speak. He immediately addresses the woman with her true name. That must have been a shock to her. She has been discovered!

Verses 7-16

The Word From the LORD

Then comes the harsh word from God. She must go back to Jeroboam and announce to him God’s judgment on his sins. A very heavy message for your own husband! Jeroboam receives this answer because he made other gods and rejected God (Ezekiel 14:3; Ezekiel 23:35). The testimony that God gives of David concerns the overall picture of his life.

God does not say a word about the mistakes in his life. He knows that David’s heart was on Him. This is evident from his repentance and confession. On this basis God has forgiven his sins, covered them, and no imputes them (Psalms 32:1-Deuteronomy :). On the other hand, there is the behavior of Jeroboam who serves God in his own way, with homemade gods. He is an idolater, and has introduced Israel into idolatry and led away from God.

The woman also hears what she has actually come for, how her son will end up: when she enters the city, he will die. She soon must travel a very difficult way back, a way where every step brings her closer to the death of her son. She is a mother with care for her child. Perhaps she was also a woman who told her son about the LORD, by which “in him something good was found toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam”. Perhaps she also gave him his name, Abiah. Abiah means ‘my father is the LORD’.

It is therefore impressive how God still has an encouragement in the midst of the judgment He must pronounce. The son of Jeroboam has something that no one else in the family has: he has “something good … toward the LORD God of Israel”. What it is, is not mentioned, but we may assume that it is a boy who wants to listen to the LORD and believes in Him. God wants him to be with Himself and not to leave him on the stage over which His judgment will come (Isaiah 57:1-Exodus :).

First, Ahijah points to the judgment that will be executed by Baasha. “From now on” means that the king who will cut off the house of Jeroboam has already been begotten by God and that more will follow. Ahijah then prophesies about that. He foretells the exile of Israel. This is the first time that this has been prophesied. Already so early in history this is mentioned to underline the seriousness of the deviation of Jeroboam, a deviation from the LORD by having made their Asherim.

The striking by the LORD will often happen, because one power-hungry man eliminates and follows another. It is a situation of complete steerlessness and instability. It is like a reed in the water that is driven back and forth by a storm without any grip to protect itself from the storm. This will continue until God finally allows the people to be scattered beyond the Euphrates. This judgment comes because of their idolatry. Being moved back and forth like a reed shaken in the water is always the result when the Word of God is not the basis of action. Only holding on to the truth in love preserves for that (Ephesians 4:14-Ezra :).

Verses 17-18

The Son of Jeroboam Dies

Jeroboam’s wife returns home after these harsh words. When she crosses the threshold of the house, the boy dies. When he died, it turns out that he was loved by all the people. He must have been noticed by his behavior. We can compare him to a Jonathan at the court of Saul.

Verses 19-20

Death of Jeroboam

The rest of Jeroboam’s history is written “in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel”. This does not mean the book of the Chronicles that we have in the Bible, but the chronicles that are kept in the national archives of Israel. What is described in these chronicles is related to his warfare and his government. First warfare is called and then government. Maybe this means that he was more concerned with warfare than reigning. A man who lives without God is often more concerned with defending and maintaining his own position than with the welfare of others.

Verses 21-31

Rehoboam King Over Judah

Although in this book we mainly have the history of the ten tribes, here and there we also find something about the two tribes. Rehoboam reigns in Jerusalem, the city of God. He is forty-one years old when he becomes king. Solomon has ruled for forty years and has become less than sixty years old. Rehoboam must have been one year old at the accession of Solomon to the throne.

In the two tribes realm of Judah things are not much better under Rehoboam than in the ten tribes realm of Israel. Judah does what is evil in the eyes of the LORD. Then there is no power to keep the enemy at a distance. The name of his mother is mentioned. She is an Ammonitess. Her influence as a queen-mother on him as a king will have been great. Twice it is mentioned that his mother is an Ammonitess (1 Kings 14:21; 1 Kings 14:31). Isn’t that significant?

Shishak the king of Egypt comes and takes away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the king’s house. It is the first attack of a foreign power on Judah after the days of Saul. Rehoboam is not driven out to God by it. He imitates what he has lost. That is also a form of disguise. It is not real. Externally he continues to go faithfully to the temple, but his heart has not changed.

The rest of Rehoboam’s history is written “in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah” (1 Kings 14:29). These are chronicles kept in the national archives of Judah (cf. 1 Kings 14:19).

The ordained chronicler also mentions that Rehoboam was at war with Jeroboam during his entire reign (1 Kings 14:30). This will not mean that there is a constant warfare to subdue the other, for Rehoboam was forbidden to go to war against Israel, which he did not do (1 Kings 12:24). It may mean that there are regular border conflicts. In any case, they have always taken a hostile attitude towards each other.

It is clear that neither kings has accepted the tearing as a judgment of God about their unfaithfulness. Both of them wanted to maintain their position and saw the other as a threat to it. It reflects the sad development of the relationships in God’s people. This also happens now in God’s people when the Lord Jesus is no longer central and the Word of God no longer has authority.

Then the death of Rehoboam and the place of his burial are mentioned (cf. 1 Kings 11:43). His successor is his son Abijam who becomes king in his place.

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Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op 1 Kings 14". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/1-kings-14.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniƫl', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.