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Rehoboam Subdued by Shishak
v. 1. And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, his encouragement of the right worship of Jehovah bringing him many people from the northern kingdom, 2 Chronicles 11:16-Esther :, and causing his undertakings to be attended by the blessings of God, he forsook the Law of the Lord, and all Israel with him, luxury, security, and ease led to religious decline, an experience which is not unusual, and the people in his own kingdom very readily followed him in his apostasy, thereby causing the designation "Israelites" to be applied to them, to their shame and disgrace.
v. 2. And it came to pass that in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, the very next year after his defection, Shishak, king of Egypt, stirred up probably by Jeroboam, with whom he was united in friendship, 1 Kings 11:40, came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the Lord, the punishment of Jehovah coming upon the apostate king and people very quickly in this case,
v. 3. with twelve hundred chariots and threescore thousand horsemen, his cavalry being the strongest part of his army; and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt, a vast horde: the Lubims, the Libyans of the country northwest of Egypt proper, the Sukkiims, probably the inhabitants of the mountains of Eastern Egypt, and the Ethiopians, the Abyssinians, all of these being allies of the Egyptian king.
v. 4. And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah, the fortresses built by Rehoboam proving too weak to withstand the onslaught of his immense forces, and came to Jerusalem.
v. 5. Then came Shemaiah, the prophet, the same man who had issued the warning against civil war, 2 Chronicles 11:3, to Rehoboam and to the princes of Judah that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, having sought the security of the capital before the advance of the Egyptian army, and said unto them, Thus saith the Lord, Ye have forsaken Me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak, the calamity which had befallen them was directly due to their apostasy, and therefore they might expect the subjection of their entire country if they continued in their evil way.
v. 6. Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves, they acknowledged their transgression in deep humility and contrition; and they said, The Lord is righteous, they admitted the justice of the punishment which He had sent upon them.
v. 7. And when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, that their repentance was of the right kind, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves, the Lord, who searches the heart, saw the sincerity of their sorrow; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance, let relief come to them to some extent; and My wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak, the capital would not be entirely destroyed at this time.
v. 8. Nevertheless, they shall be his servants, be tributary to him for awhile, that they may know My service, realize that true service of the Lord requires all the heart at all times, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries, finding out what the oppressive rule of a heathen sovereign meant.
v. 9. So Shishak, king of Egypt, came up against Jerusalem, the capital being obliged to open its gates to him, and took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house; he took all, many millions of dollars worth of precious metals. He carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made, 1 Kings 10:16-Esther :, whose value has been estimated at between $1,200,000 and $1,500,000.
v. 10. Instead of which King Rehoboam made shields of brass, of inferior metal, but brightly burnished, and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard that kept the entrance of the king's house, ready for use, especially on public and solemn occasions.
v. 11. And when the king entered into the house of the Lord, by a special gate leading there from his palace, the guard came and fetched them, and brought them again into the guard chamber.
v. 12. And when he humbled himself, proved that his repentance was of the right and lasting kind, the wrath of the Lord turned from him that He would not destroy him altogether, His promise thus being made true and the kingdom preserved in existence; and also in Judah things went well, literally, "and also in Judah there were good things," many of the people serving the Lord in all sincerity, with good works, such as pleased Him. The Lord is long-suffering and of tender mercies and glad to turn back to His children in kindness if they will but acknowledge their transgressions in true sorrow.
Rehoboam's Reign and Death
v. 13. So King Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, having repented of his sins, he could clear his land of the invaders in the course of time, and reigned; for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel to put His name there, which He had intended for the central Sanctuary for the entire people of Israel. And his mother's name was Naamah, an Ammonitess, who, by reason of the harem system, had more influence over him than would otherwise have been the case.
v. 14. And he did evil, that was the general impression of his reign, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord, he did not adhere with all strictness and with unvarying sincerity to the reformation which he had begun; he kept his tendency toward idolatry, due chiefly to the influence of his mother.
v. 15. Now, the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the Book of Shemaiah, the prophet, and of Iddo, the seer, concerning genealogies? These were the sources from which the sacred historian, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, got his information. And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually; although there were no battles or armed clashes, they were in a hostile frame of mind toward each other.
v. 16. And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried in the City of David; and Abijah, his son, selected by his father as his successor, reigned in his stead. Note: Apostasy from God has ever resulted in quarrels, wars. and misfortunes of every kind. Therefore we of these latter days should heed His warnings all the more carefully and serve our Lord with all sincerity of heart.
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Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 12". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25