corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.12.08
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
1 Kings 13

 

 

Verse 1

And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.

There came a man of God out of Judah. Who this prophet was cannot be ascertained. He name by divine authority. It could not be either Iddo or Ahijah, because both were alive after the events here related.

Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. It was at one of the annual festivals. The king, to give interest to the new ritual, was himself the officiating priest. The altar and its accompaniments would of course exhibit all the splendour of a new and gorgeously decorated temple. But the prophet foretold its utter destruction.


Verse 2

And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee.

He cried against the altar - which is put for the whole system of worship organized in Israel.

Behold, a child shall be born ... Josiah by name - (see the notes at 2 Kings 23:15.) This is one of the most remarkable prophecies recorded in the Scriptures; and in its clearness, circumstantial minuteness, and exact prediction of an event that took place 360 years after it, stands in striking contrast to the obscure and ambiguous oracles of the pagan. Being publicly uttered, it must have been well known to the people; and every Jew who lived at the accomplishment of the event must have been convinced of the truth of a religion connected with such a prophecy as this. A present sign was given of the remote event predicted, in a visible fissure being miraculously made on the altar. Incensed at the man's license of speech Jeroboam stretched out his hand, and ordered his attendants to seize the bold intruder: that moment the kings arm became stiff and motionless, and the altar split asunder, so that the fire and ashes fell on the floor. Overawed by the effects of his impiety, Jeroboam besought the prophets prayer. His request was acceded to, and the hand was restored to its healthy state.


Verses 3-6

And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 7

And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.

The king said ... Come home with me, and refresh thyself. Jeroboam was artful, invited the prophet to the royal table, not to do him honour, or show his gratitude for the restoration of his hand, but to win, by his courtesy and liberal hospitality, a person whom he could not crush by his power. But the prophet informed him of a divine injunction, expressly prohibiting him from all social contact with any in the place, as well as from returning the same way. The prohibition not to eat or drink in Beth-el was because all the people had become apostates from the true religion; and had he done so, he could not have prophesied against the place, after having eaten with the people, without violating all the existing laws of hospitality (see the notes at Joshua 9:14). The reason of his not being allowed to return the same way was lest he should be recognized by any whom he had seen in going, and be detained by them to discuss the nature and results of his mission, or be ill-treated by any of the inhabitants for his denunciations against their altar.


Verses 8-10

And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place:

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 11

Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father.

Now there dwelt an old prophet in Beth-el. If this was a true prophet, he was a bad man, and in effecting the malevolent design he had in view, an emissary of Satan, Gods true prophets were holy men (2 Peter 1:21). But it appears that the prophetic gift, or at least occasional communications of that gift, were imparted to some who did not possess that character - of which Balaam presents a notable example. This seems to have been the case with this old prophet. He deceived the prophet of Judah with a lie, uttered in the name of God, He may have been employed to announce communications from heaven; but his heart was not perfect toward God. He was unfaithful: he dwelt in a city of idolaters, and did not testify against their sin. He could not therefore be enlisted by Yahweh in the solemn service of reproving Israel.


Verse 12-13

And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 14

And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am.

Went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak , [Septuagint: hupo drun; but the Syriac, Arabic, and Vulgate versions render, 'under a terebinth'].


Verses 15-17

Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 18

He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.

An angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord. This circuitous mode of speaking, instead of simply saying, 'the Lord spake to me,' was adopted to hide an equivocation, to conceal a double meaning-an inferior sense given to the word angel-to offer a seemingly superior authority to persuade the prophet, while really the authority was secretly, known to the speaker to be inferior. The "angel," i:e., the messenger, was his own sons, who were worshippers, perhaps priests at Beth-el; and as this man was governed by self-interest, and wished to curry favour with the king, whose purpose to adhere to his religious polity, he feared, might be shaken by the portents that had occurred, his hastening after the prophet of Judah, the deception he practiced, and the urgent invitation by which, on the ground of a falsehood, he prevailed on the too facile man of God to accompany him back to his house in Beth-el, were to create an impression in the king's mind that he was an impostor, who acted in opposition to his own statement.


Verse 19-20

So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 21

And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee,

He cried unto the man of God that came from Judah - rather, 'it cried;' i:e., the word of the Lord. What a sad contrast between his present and his former conduct! When first introduced to our notice, he presents a spectacle worthy of admiration. He appears in the schismatic chapel at Beth-el, a fearless messenger of God-a faithful and uncompromising bearer of terrible denunciations-yet he stood undaunted in the midst of a multitude, and the frowns nor the flatteries of a king, neither the pleasures of a luxurious table nor the prospect of comfortable lodging after the fatigues of a long journey, could tempt him to swerve from the path of commanded duty. But now we see him who had refused to be cajoled by a king readily yielding with weak credulity to the ill-disguised falsehood of an equal, and, in the enjoyment of congenial society, forgetting his character and his mission. What a sad fall!

Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord ...


Verse 22

But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the Lord did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.

Thy carcass shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. Here is an instance of his possessing the prophetic spirit, in that, addressing in the name of the Lord the man of God whom he brought back, he foretold the fate which was to follow as the punishment of his disobedience.


Verse 23

And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 24

And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. A lion met him by the way, and slew him. There was a wood near Beth-el infested with lions (2 Kings 2:24). This sad catastrophe was a severe but necessary judgment of God, to attest the truth of the message with which the prophet had been charged. The whole circumstances of this tragic occurrence-the undevoured carcass, the untouched donkey, the passengers unmolested by the lion though standing there-were calculated to produce an irresistible impression that the hand of God was in it.


Verses 25-30

And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 31

And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones:

Bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried. His motive in making this request was either that his remains might not be disturbed when the predicted events took place (see the notes at 2 Kings 23:18), or he had some superstitious hope of being benefited at the resurrection by being in the same grave with a man of God.


Verse 32

For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 33

After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.

Jeroboam ... made again of the lowest of the people priests - (see the notes at 1 Kings 12:31.)

Whosoever would, he consecrated , [ y

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-kings-13.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, December 8th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology