Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 12:20

It came about when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, that they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. None but the tribe of Judah followed the house of David.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Canaan;   Government;   Jeroboam;   Judah;   Rebellion;   Rehoboam;   Revolt;   Thompson Chain Reference - Coronations;   Jeroboam;   Nation, the;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Holy Land;   Jews, the;   Kings;   Tribes of Israel, the;   Tribute;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Benjamin;   Rehoboam;   Shechem;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ephraim;   Israel;   Jeroboam;   Jerusalem;   Judah, tribe and kingdom;   King;   Rehoboam;   Solomon;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Kings, First and Second, Theology of;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Benjamin;   Congregation;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Benjamin;   Israel;   Jeroboam;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Kings, 1 and 2;   Tribes of Israel, the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Benjamin;   Israel;   Rehoboam,;   Solomon;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Rehoboam ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Israel kingdom of;   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 - Benjamin;   Calf, Golden;   Congregation;   Jeroboam;   Moab;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Benjamin;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Kings, Books of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Made him king over all Israel - What is called Israel here, was ten-twelfths of the whole nation; and had they a right to call another person to the throne? They had not, - they had neither legal nor constitutional right. Jeroboam was not of the blood royal; he had no affinity to the kingdom. Nothing could justify this act, but the just judgment of God. God thus punished a disobedient and gainsaying people; and especially Solomon's family, whose sins against the Lord were of no ordinary magnitude.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:20". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The first act of the Israelites, on learning what had occurred at Shechem, was to bring together the great “congregation” of the people (compare Judges 20:1), in order that, regularly and in solemn form, the crown might be declared vacant, and a king elected in the room of the monarch whose authority had been thrown off. The congregation selected Jeroboam. The rank, the talent, and the known energy of the late exile, his natural hostility to the house of Solomon, his Ephraimitic descent, his acquaintance with the art of fortification, and the friendly relations subsisting between him and the great Egyptian king, pointed him out as the most suitable man for the vacant post. If, according to the Septuagint, Shishak had not only protected him against Solomon, but also given him an Egyptian princess, sister to his own queen, in marriage, his position must have been such that no other Israelite could have borne comparison with him. Again, the prophecy of Ahijah would have been remembered by the more religious part of the nation, and would have secured to Jeroboam their adhesion; so that every motive, whether of policy or of religion, would have united to recommend the son of Nebat to the suffrages of his countrymen.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:20". "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 it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again,.... Out of Egypt; the chief men knew of it before, for he had headed them in their approach and address to Rehoboam; but the people in common had not, and especially those of the various tribes besides that of Ephraim:

that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel; they sent for him from his tent or house, which probably was in Shechem, and gave him an invitation to come to their assembly, met together to deliberate about a king; when they unanimously chose him to be king over Israel, that is, over the ten tribes, and inaugurated him into his office:

there was none that followed the house of David but the tribe of Judah only; in which Benjamin was included, as appears from the following verse; that being joined to it, and mixed with it, and both having a part in Jerusalem, and so ever after the kingdom was denominated the kingdom of Judah.

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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 12:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-12.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, 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.

Was come — From Egypt; which was known to them before who met at Shechem, and now by all the people.

Was none — That is, no entire tribe.

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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 12:20". "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 12:20 And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, 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.

Ver. 20. And made him king.] See Hosea 8:4. {See Trapp on "Hosea 8:4"}

But the tribe of Judah only.] See on 1 Kings 12:17. This tribe only followed the house of David ex animo, heartily and of free choice; the other ex occasione, occasionally, for religion’s sake, or otherwise.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:20". 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

That Jeroboam was come again, to wit, from Egypt, which was known before to the chief of the tribes, and to them who met at Shechem, and now was more universally known by all the people. They

sent to his tent or habitation, to which he had retired himself, as others also generally did: see above, 1 Kings 12:16.

Called him unto the congregation; which was summoned by the elders of the several tribes, to take advice how to settle their affairs, which they easily agreed to do, by conferring the crown upon Jeroboam, according to God’s promise made to him.

There was none, i.e. no entire tribe. See Poole "1 Kings 11:13,31,32".

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:20". 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

JEROBOAM IS MADE KING OF ISRAEL; REHOBOAM VAINLY ATTEMPTS TO SUBDUE THE REBELLION, 1 Kings 12:20-24.

20.All Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again — The representatives of the people, when they were about to assemble at Shechem to demand of Rehoboam a lightening of their burdens, had sent and called Jeroboam from Egypt, and he was at the head of the assembly at Shechem when they made their demands; (compare 1 Kings 12:2-3; 1 Kings 12:12;) but it was not till after the congregation at Shechem was broken up, and the people had departed to their tents, (1 Kings 12:16,) that all Israel, in the wider sense, (that is, the masses who went not to Shechem but were only represented there by their elders or delegates,) heard of Jeroboam’s return.

Sent and called him unto the congregation — The congregation that had assembled to anoint him king. Here we have an instance of the rapidity with which the sacred writer passes over the minor details of his history. The call for this assembly — the time, and place, and manner, of its coming together — and the ceremonies of the election and crowning of their new king, are all passed over in silence.

Judah only — Though Benjamin seems to have adhered to Rehoboam, (1 Kings 12:21,) and also many Israelites of other tribes that dwelt in the cities of Judah, (1 Kings 12:17,) yet they are all looked upon thenceforth as absorbed in the tribe of Judah. See on 1 Kings 19:3.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:20". "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 12:20. When all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come — From Egypt; which was known to the great men, and to such as met at Shechem before, and was now spread over the country; they sent — To his tent, or habitation, to which he had retired from Shechem, as the others, who had met there had generally done. And called him unto the congregation — Which had been summoned by the elders of the several tribes, to consider how to settle their affairs, which they easily agreed to do, by conferring the crown on Jeroboam, according to God’s promise made to him. None followed the house of David — No entire tribe; but the tribe of Judah — Which comprehended Benjamin also, being one with it, as was observed before, 1 Kings 11:32. And it was by the singular providence of God that they did not also desert such a haughty prince as Rehoboam was. There were, however, many families and individuals of some of the other tribes, especially of Levi and Simeon, which dwelling in the cities of Judah, continued to be subject to Rehoboam, see 1 Kings 12:17.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:20". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-12.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Again, from Egypt, ver. 2. (Haydock) --- He had not been present, it seems, at the second assembly; or, at least, he had retired as soon as Roboam had given his decision. But the people having stoned Aduram, and thus rendered a reconciliation very difficult, Jeroboam was invited to accept the crown. (Calmet) --- As this was conformable to his utmost desires and the prophet's declaration, he made no demur, chap. xi. 37. (Haydock) Only. Benjamin was a small tribe, and so intermixed with the tribe of Juda, (the very city of Jerusalem being partly in Juda, partly in Benjamin) that hey are here counted but as one tribe. (Challoner) --- Perhaps Benjamin at first hesitated; but, considering the greater danger to which it would be exposed, embraced the party of Roboam, ver. 21. (Salien)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:20". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Judah only. See note on "one tribe" (1 Kings 11:32).

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:20". "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 it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, 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.

When all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again. This verse closes the parenthetical narrative begun at 1 Kings 12:2, and 1 Kings 12:21-24 resume the history from 1 Kings 12:1.

They sent and called him unto the congregation, [ 'el (Hebrew #413) haa`eedaah (Hebrew #5712)] - the assembly of representatives.

And made him king over all Israel. There was no consultation of Yahweh in this national emergency, and Jeroboam was a stranger to the character or qualities of a ruler "raised up" by the Divine Head and King of Israel. The people, denationalized by the vitiating influences of Solomon's court alienated by the centralizing policy which had drawn the chief wealth and produce into the capital, and reduced themselves to the condition of serfs, or feudal villains, who were compelled to labour for the pleasure and aggrandizement of one man, were open to the agitation of a designing demagogue, like Jeroboam, who addressed their passions, and, comparing their actual condition to that of the servile caste in Egypt, from which he had newly arrived, stirred them up to secret discontent in the king's lifetime, and to open revolt at his death. Had he possessed the spirit of a true Israelite, he would have seen that the sure way of preserving the Hebrews from sinking into the oppressed and degraded state of the helots in Egypt, was to keep them from the ignorance and superstitions of that country.

But Jeroboam did not know the importance of restoring among the people a more devoted allegiance to their covenant God; and, looking upon religion merely as an engine of state, as a powerful instrument which could be used in the furtherance of his contemplated policy, he gave no promise of being a constitutional king under the theocracy. The elevation of this man to the throne, with the disruption of the tribal unity which was involved in it, was permitted in the divine anger to take, place as a judicial punishment of the nation's complicity in the innovations and the sins of Solomon; and yet, under the overruling providence of God, it was effected by the natural operation of human passions and human agency. "All Israel" must henceforth be understood in a restricted sense, as the title arrogantly assumed by the northern kingdom. It was often called 'Ephraim,' from its principal tribe, whose ambition was the moving cause of the secession, and whose great population and wealth, together with its central position, naturally placed it at the head of the associated tribes.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:20". "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

(20) Jeroboam was come again.—The assembly at Shechem probably broke up in disorder, carrying everywhere the news of the rebellion. It would be quite in harmony with Jeroboam’s astuteness, if, after setting the revolution on foot, he himself stood aloof from leadership, and waited till “the congregation,” the duly summoned assembly, sent for him and offered him the crown. The title “king over all Israel” certainly indicates a claim on the part of the ten tribes to be the true Israel, relying perhaps on the prophetic choice and blessing of Jeroboam, and professing to have risen in the name of the Lord against the idolatry of Solomon and his house. Perhaps it also indicated a desire for the subjugation of Judah, which Jeroboam, with the aid of Shishak, certainly seems to have subsequently attempted.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:20". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, 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.
and made him
1 Samuel 10:24; Hosea 8:4
none that followed
17; 11:13,32; Hosea 11:12
Reciprocal: Judges 9:1 - communed;  Judges 9:6 - plain;  2 Samuel 19:20 - Joseph;  1 Kings 4:1 - over all Israel;  1 Kings 11:11 - I will surely;  1 Kings 11:26 - Jeroboam;  1 Kings 11:35 - will give;  2 Kings 10:3 - Look even;  2 Kings 17:18 - the tribe;  2 Kings 17:21 - they made;  2 Kings 21:24 - made Josiah;  2 Chronicles 10:19 - Israel;  2 Chronicles 13:6 - rebelled;  Proverbs 12:24 - hand;  Proverbs 26:21 - GeneralEzekiel 23:4 - the elder;  Hosea 13:10 - thy judges

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-12.html.