Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 12:18

Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Adoniram;   Canaan;   Citizens;   Government;   Jeroboam;   King;   Rebellion;   Rehoboam;   Revolt;   Tax;   Treason;   Thompson Chain Reference - Chariots;   Nation, the;   Punishments;   Stoning;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Chariots;   Kings;   Tribes of Israel, the;   Tribute;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Rehoboam;   Shechem;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jeroboam;   Jerusalem;   King;   Rehoboam;   Solomon;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Kings, First and Second, Theology of;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Adoniram;   Israel, Kingdom of;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Adoniram;   Hadoram;   Taxes;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Adoniram;   Crimes and Punishments;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Taskmaster;   Transportation and Travel;   Tribes of Israel, the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Adoniram, Adoram;   Hadoram;   Israel;   Rehoboam,;   Solomon;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Adoniram ;   Rehoboam ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Adoram;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Adoni'ram;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Government of the Hebrews;   Jeroboam;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Revolt;   Kingdom of Israel;   Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Adoniram;   Hadoram;   Jeroboam;   Solomon;   Text of the Old Testament;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Adoniram;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Kings, Books of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

King Rehoboam sent Adoram - As this was the person who was superintendent over the tribute, he was probably sent to collect the ordinary taxes; but the people, indignant at the master who had given them such a brutish answer, stoned the servant to death. The sending of Adoram to collect the taxes, when the public mind was in such a state of fermentation, was another proof of Rehoboam's folly and incapacity to govern.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:18". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Adoram has been identified with Adoniram (marginal references), and even with the Adoram of 2 Samuel 20:24. But it is highly improbable that the same person was chief superintendent of the forced labors during the whole of Solomon‘s long reign, and also during a part of David‘s and Rehoboam‘s. We may therefore conclude that the three names mark three distinct persons, perhaps of the same family, who were respectively contemporary with the three kings. Adoram was chosen, as best acquainted with the hardships whereof the rebels complained, to arrange some alleviation of their burthens.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:18". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-12.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

REHOBOAM SENT ADORAM TO CORRECT THE PEOPLE

"Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the men subject to taskwork; and all Israel stoned him to death with stones. And king Rehoboam made speed, to get him up to his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day. And it came to pass when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was returned, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only."

"Adoram" (1 Kings 12:18). "This was probably the same officer as the Adoniram of 1 Kings 4:6"[11] Some believe that he might have been either a son or grandson of David's Adoniram.

"Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram" (the slave-driver) (1 Kings 12:18). Rehoboam was still following the advice of his crazy young advisors, or he could never have made another mistake of this magnitude. All Israel had one big belly full of slave drivers with their whips and rods; and there was absolutely nothing that Rehoboam could have done that was any more calculated to bring the rebellion to a climax than his sending this hated emissary to be his representative with the people. They promptly stoned him to death and would doubtless have done the same thing for Rehoboam, if he had not managed to escape to his chariot and beat a hasty retreat to Jerusalem.

"Unto this day" (1 Kings 12:19). "These words show that the author of Kings was using in his history the exact words of an ancient document written prior to the fall of Smaria in 722 B.C."[12]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:18". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-kings-12.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute,.... There was one of this name in this office in the time of David, 2 Samuel 20:24, this is the same with Adoniram, as Jarchi thinks, see 1 Kings 4:6, him he sent either to collect the tribute of the Ephraimites, to show his authority; or rather to call the people back to have some further discourse with them, and endeavour to soften things, and bring them to a compliance, so JosephusF12Antiqu. l. 8. c. 8. sect. 3. ; but it was too late, and he employed a very improper person; the heavy taxes were their complaint, and a tax gatherer, and especially one that was at the head of the tribute, must be of all men the most disagreeable to them; this is another instance of the folly and false steps of Rehoboam:

and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died; the populace fell upon him at once, and stoned him to death; and which, though contrary to law and justice, was approved of and applauded by their principal men and all the people; so irritated and provoked were they by Rehoboam's answer to them. HottingerF13Praefat. ad Cipp. Hebr. p. 4. Vid. Walton. in Bibl. Polyglott. Prolegom. 3. sect. 35. p. 22. says, this man was buried in Shechem, which is very probable; but it is not expressed here, as he suggests it is; however, a grave stone, found A. D. 1480, in Spain, with this inscription, is not genuine,

"this is the grave of Adoniram, a servant of King Solomon, who came to collect tribute, and died such a day:'

therefore King Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem; from Shechem, fearing they would treat him in the same manner in their rage and fury; his courage was now cooled, and his haughty and hectoring spirit was now brought down, and he was glad to make use of his chariot for flight; this is the first time we read of a king of Israel riding in a chariot; though before of Sisera, a Canaanitish captain, and that only in a chariot of war.

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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 12:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-12.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.

Sent Adoram — Probably to pursue the counsel which he had resolved upon, to execute his office, and exact their tribute with rigour and violence, if need were.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:18". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-kings-12.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 12:18 Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who [was] over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.

Ver. 18. Sent Adoram, who was over the tribute.] But the sight of such an officer, he might well think, would enrage them rather. Herein therefore Rehoboam was also ill-advised: he should have considered that the rebellious multitude more regard commotioners than commissioners, and are more guided by rage than by right: flocking together, as clouds cluster against a storm, whilst violence and obstinacy, like two untamed horses, draw their desires in a blindfold career.

To flee to Jerusalem.] Whither he returned lighter now by a crown than when he went forth: yet in better condition than was once our Henry VI, when deposed by Edward IV he was not only bereft of all, but also sent again prisoner to the Tower the same day that he had a year before been carried through the city of London, as it were, in triumph, and had heard the shouts of the commons in every street crying, God save King Henry. (a)

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:18". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-12.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Kings 12:18. Rehoboam sent Adoram, &c.— He sent Adoram to treat with them, which was an act of great imprudence when they were so highly exasperated. But to send so disagreeable a man, one who was the collector of the very tribute of which they complained, was downright infatuation; for, nothing is so natural as to hate those who are in any sort the instruments of our oppression. We read in this verse, for the first time, of a king of Israel's riding in a chariot; Saul, David, and Solomon did not ride in any. But use was frequently made of them, both by the kings of Judah and Israel, after this unhappy division of the kingdom.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:18". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-kings-12.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He sent Adoram, either,

1. To pacify the people, and promise them relief, now when it was too late. But then he would not have sent a person so ungrateful to the people, as that sort of men use to be. Or rather,

2. To pursue the counsel which he had resolved upon, and to execute his office, and exact their tribute with rigour and violence, if need were.

To flee to Jerusalem, from Shechem, where it seems he yet staid, and his guards and friends with him; that being there in the midst of his kingdom, and among the seditious tribes, he might overawe them by his presence, and repress any tumults in their first rise.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:18". 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

18.Rehoboam sent Adoram — This officer, called also Adoniram, (see note on 1 Kings 4:6,) had accompanied the king to Shechem, and now was sent out, perhaps with instructions from Rehoboam to assure the seditious populace that the duties of his office should not be executed oppressively. But it was then too late to appease the indignant throng, and even the king was obliged to fly.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:18". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-12.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Kings 12:18. Then Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute — To pursue the counsel which he had resolved upon, say some; to execute his office, and exact their tribute with rigour, and, if need were, with violence. But it is much more probable that he sent him to treat with them; which was a new piece of imprudence when they were so highly exasperated. And to send the person for this purpose, that was over the tribute, with promises, perhaps, of easing them, when it was too late, was certainly the height of folly; for people generally hate those that are any way employed in collecting the tributes and taxes imposed upon them. And all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died — He was so odious among them that the very sight of him made them outrageous, and in a general tumult; they committed this barbarous act, and thereby violated the law of all nations, which prohibits any injury to be offered to the person of a king’s ambassador. Therefore King Rehoboam made speed to flee to Jerusalem From Shechem, where he yet was with his friends and guards about him. For, it seems, he had continued there in the midst of his kingdom, and among the seditious tribes, that he might overawe them by his presence, and repress any tumults in their first rise: but from thence, as soon as he saw himself in danger, he fled away in his chariot, with all speed, in the most cowardly manner, notwithstanding the haughtiness he had lately manifested, and the big words he had spoken. This seems to have been a still further degree of imprudence; for he should, if possible, have maintained his ground, and kept footing, as we speak, in the country of Israel, from whence it might not have been easy for them to expel him: but fear is a bad adviser. This is the first time that we find a king riding in a chariot; for we never read of Saul, or David, or Solomon riding in one. But after the division of the kingdom there is frequent mention of the use of chariots, both by the kings of Judah and Israel.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:18". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-12.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Aduram. One of the same name had occupied this post under David, 2 Kings xx. 24. (Calmet) --- Some suppose that this is the same with Adoniram, chap. iv. 6. Roboam impudently sent him to appease the people, (Salien) or haughtily to demand the usual tribute; unless the king abandoned him to the fury of the populace, as an object of their horror. The people have often been appeased by the death of rapacious ministers. --- Haste. Hebrew, "he strengthened himself," or obstinately persisted in his resolution of reducing the people by force; and thus those, who might now have been easily reclaimed, were driven to choose another king, and the evil became irremediable. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:18". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

stoned him. One of the nine stonings recorded See note on Leviticus 24:14.

made speed. Hebrew strengthened himself.

to Jerusalem: from Shechem.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:18". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-kings-12.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(18) Adoram, who was over the tribute (or levy).—In 2 Samuel 20:24, 1 Kings 4:6; 1 Kings 5:14, we find Adoram (or Adoniram, which is a longer form of the same name) described as holding this office in the later days of David and the reign of Solomon. The Adoram here mentioned must be identical with the officer of Solomon; but, though it is possible, it is not likely that he could have held office in David’s time. Probably the name and office were hereditary ׳. The mission of Adoram shows that, too late, Renoboam desired to deal through him with the grievance of forced labour. But the sight of the man, who had been the taskmaster of their oppression, naturally stirred the multitude to a fresh burst of fury, venting itself in his murder, and perhaps threatening his master also, had he not fled hastily at once to Jerusalem.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:18". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.
Adoram
4:6; 5:14
Adoniram
2 Samuel 20:24; 2 Chronicles 10:18
Hadoram
all Israel.
Exodus 17:4; Numbers 14:10; 2 Chronicles 24:21; Acts 5:26; 7:57,58
made speed
Heb. strengthened himself. flee to Jerusalem.
20:18-20; Proverbs 28:1,2; Amos 2:16
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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-12.html.