Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 12:11

Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.'"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Counsel;   Government;   Jeroboam;   Petition;   Rashness;   Rehoboam;   Revolt;   Rulers;   Scorpion;   Scourging;   Whip;   Young Men;   Thompson Chain Reference - Whips;   Young Men;   Young People;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Kings;   Scorpion, the;   Tribute;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Rehoboam;   Scorpion;   Shechem;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jeroboam;   Jerusalem;   Rehoboam;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Counselor;   Kings, First and Second, Theology of;   Wages;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Israel, Kingdom of;   Scorpions;   Scourging;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Kings, the Books of;   Scorpion;   Yoke;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Counselor;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Israel;   Rehoboam,;   Scorpion;   Solomon;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Locust ;   Scorpion ;   Scorpion (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Rehoboam ;   Scorpion,;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Scorpion;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Yoke;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Scorpion;   Whip;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Government of the Hebrews;   Jeroboam;   Scorpion;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Revolt;   Kingdom of Israel;   Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Chastening;   Punishments;   Scorpion;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Cruelty;   Kings, Books of;   Scorpion;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Chastise you with scorpions - Should you rebel, or become disaffected, my father's whip shall be a scorpion in my hand. His was chastisement, mine shall be punishment. St. Isidore, and after him Calmet and others, assert that the scorpion was a sort of severe whip, the lashes of which were armed with iron points, that sunk into and tore the flesh. We know that the scorpion was a military engine among the Romans for shooting arrows, which, being poisoned, were likened to the scorpion's sting, and the wound it inflicted.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Scorpions - By this word some understand whips having leaden balls at the ends of their lashes with hooks projecting from them; others the thorny stem of the eggplant, or “the scorpion plant.” But it seems best to regard the expression as a figure of speech.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-12.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And now, whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke,.... Which was putting words into his mouth, owning the charge and accusation brought against his father, as he did, 1 Kings 12:14, which was very unbecoming, if true; unless this is said according to the sense of the people:

I will add to your yoke; make it heavier, lay more taxes on them:

my father hath chastised you with whips; which was putting a lie into his mouth, and which he uttered, 1 Kings 12:14 for no instance of severity exercised on the people in general can be given during the whole reign of Solomon:

but I will chastise you with scorpions; treat them more roughly, and with greater rigour: whips may mean smaller ones, these horse whips, as in the Targum; which gave an acute pain, like the sting of scorpions, or made a wound like one. Ben Gersom says, these were rods with thorns on them, which pierced and gave much pain. WeemseF8Christian Synagogue, paragraph 6. diatrib. 2. p. 190. thinks these are alluded to by thorns in the sides, Numbers 33:55, for whipping with them was about the sides, and not along the back. Abarbinel calls them iron thorns, rods that had iron prongs or rowels to them, which tore the flesh extremely. IsidoreF9Origin. l. 5. c. 27. p. 39. says, a rod that is smooth is called a rod, but, if knotty and prickled, it is rightly called a scorpion, because it makes a wound in the body arched or crooked. PlinyF11Nat. Hist. l. 7. c. 56. ascribes the invention of this sort of scorpions to the Cretians.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-12.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

whips … scorpions — The latter [instruments], as contrasted with the former, are supposed to mean thongs thickly set with sharp iron points, used in the castigation of slaves.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-kings-12.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 12:11 And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

Ver. 11. I will chastise you with scorpions] (a) That is, With briers and thorns; as Gideon taught the men of Penuel: or, With torturing whips that sting like a scorpion; such as the Spaniards brought great store of, as it is said, in 1588; not sparing to sing of Queen Elizabeth and her England,

Tu quae suevisti Romanas temnere leges,

Hispano disces subdere colla iugo. ”

{a} Flagris aculeatis. - Vatab.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-12.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

I will add to your yoke, i.e. make it heavier and stronger, both to punish your petulancy, and to curb and restrain you from seditious attempts.

With scorpions, i.e. with such whips as will sting you like scorpions: if you proceed in these courses, I will most severely punish you for it.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-kings-12.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11.Whips’ scorpions — As the scorpion — an instrument of torture with many lashes, like the legs of the animal of this name, and each lash armed with sharp points to lacerate the flesh — is a more terrible scourge than the common whip, so will my severity exceed my father’s.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-12.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Scorpions. Chaldean, "thorns." Hebrew has both significations. Like a tyrant, Roboam threatens to beat the people with sharp thorns. (Menochius)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

whips. The badge of the taskmaster on the Egyptian monuments. Compare Exodus 1:10, Exodus 1:14; Exodus 5:13, Exodus 5:14 ("beaten").

scorpions. A knotted whip, so called; as we call another kind of whip the "cat".

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-kings-12.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

Whips ... scorpions. The latter, as contrasted with the former, are supposed to mean thongs thickly set with hard knots and sharp iron points, used in the castigation of slaves; sometimes in after-times inflicted on Christian martyrs [Septuagint, skorpiois]. Scourging was performed by prostrating the victim on the ground at full length; while his limbs were kept down by force, a person with a whip lashed him on the bare back. The whip having several lashes, accords with the account of the Jews, that theirs had 3 thongs, 13 strokes of which gave 39 lashes. It is thought by some that this was what was meant by "scorpions," inflicted usually on slaves: and if so, the taunt of Rehoboam implied that he would be a despot, and treat his subjects as serfs.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-kings-12.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) The scorpion is probably (like the Roman fiagellum) a whip, the lash of which is loaded with weights and sharp points.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
I will add
Exodus 1:13,14; 5:5-9,18; 1 Samuel 8:18; 2 Chronicles 16:10; Isaiah 58:6; Jeremiah 27:11; Jeremiah 28:13,14
but I will chastise
Should you rebel or become disaffected, my father's whip shall be a scorpion in my hand. His was chastisement, mine shall be punishment. Celsius and Hiller conjecture that âkrabbim denotes a thorny kind of shrub, whose prickles are of a venomous nature, called by the Arabs scorpion thorns, from the exquisite pain which they inflict. But the Chaldee renders it margenin, and the Syriac moragyai, i.e., [maragnai] scourges; and in the parallel place of Chronicles the Arabic has saut, a scourge. Isidore, and after him Calmet and others, assert that the scorpion was a sort of severe whip, the lashes of which were armed with knots or points that sunk into and tore the flesh.
scorpions
14; Ezekiel 2:6; Revelation 9:3-10
Reciprocal: 2 Chronicles 10:10 - My little finger;  Proverbs 13:10 - Only

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-12.html.