Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 12:30

Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Beth-El;   Calf;   Church and State;   Jeroboam;   Religion;   Rulers;   Statecraft;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Calves of Jeroboam;   Idolatry;   Offence;   Rebellion against God;   Sins, National;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Rehoboam;   Shechem;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   Dan;   Israel;   Jeroboam;   Jerusalem;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Ethics;   King, Kingship;   Kings, First and Second, Theology of;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Aholah;   Old Testament;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   Golden Calf;   High Place;   Idol;   Jeroboam;   Transportation and Travel;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Aaron;   Calf, Golden;   Israel;   Rehoboam,;   Solomon;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Bethel ;   Calf, Golden;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Beth-aven;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Calf;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Idolatry,;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jeroboam;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Altar;   Apostasy;   Calf, Golden;   Jeroboam;   Temple;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Bethel;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

This thing became a sin - i. e., this act of Jeroboam‘s became an occasion of sin to the people. The author perhaps wrote the following words thus: “The people went to worship before the one to Bethel and before the other to Dan.”

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:30". "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 this thing became a sin,.... The cause and occasion of the sin of idolatry; it led them by degrees to leave off the worship of God, and to worship these calves as gods:

for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan; which was the furthest off, such was their great zeal for idolatrous worship; or they went thither before that at Bethel was set up; and even they at Bethel would go as far as Dan to worship, such was their veneration for both the calves. Abarbinel is of opinion that these calves were not made by Jeroboam for idolatrous uses, only the altar later mentioned; and that he never worshipped before them, nor sacrificed to them, nor even built the altar before them; but that these were set up as signs, and in memory of his kingdom, like the pillars in Solomon's temple; that he chose the calf or ox as emblems of his family, the family of Joseph, Deuteronomy 33:17 two to represent Ephraim and Manasseh; golden ones, to denote the majesty and perpetuity of his kingdom; and he set these, the one at Bethel, at the entrance of it, and the other at Dan, at the further borders of it; and that he did not call those gods, but the only true God, as he that brought Israel out of Egypt; only signified by that expression, that he was everywhere, there as well as at Jerusalem; but that the Israelites, who were taken with sensible objects, on visiting these out of curiosity, it became a snare to them, and they fell into the worship of them; just as Gideon's ephod, and Moses' brasen serpent, were unto them.

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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 12:30". "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 this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.

A sin — That is, an occasion of great wickedness, not only of idolatry, which is called sin by way of eminency; nor only of the worship of the calves, wherein they pretended to worship the true God; but also of the worship of Baal, and of the utter desertion of the true God; and of all sorts of impiety.

To Dan — Which is not here mentioned exclusively, for they went also to Beth-el, verse32,33, but for other reasons, either because that of Dan was first made, the people in those parts having been long leavened with idolatry, Judges 18:30, or to shew the peoples readiness and zeal for idols; that those who lived in, or near Beth-el, had not patience to stay 'till that calf was finished, but all of them were forward to go as far as Dan, which was in the utmost borders of the land, to worship an idol there; when it was thought too much for them to go to Jerusalem to worship God.

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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 12:30". "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 12:30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went [to worship] before the one, [even] unto Dan.

Ver. 30. For the people went to worship.] At both places. Jeroboam’s calves were no sooner up, than Israel is down on their knees. It is no marvel, saith one, if his subjects are brutish who hath made a calf his god.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:30". 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

A sin, i.e. a cause or occasion of great wickedness among that people; not only of idolatry, which is called sin by way of eminency; nor only of the worship of the calves, wherein they pretended to worship the true God; but also of the worship of Baal, and of the utter desertion of the true God, and of all sorts of impiety and abominable sins, as is manifest from the history of that kingdom; in which there was not one good king, and very few of the people who were not guilty of heinous crimes, as the prophets witness.

The people went to worship: the king’s counsel and example seduced them, though it did not excuse their sin; and they willingly walked after this his wicked commandment, Hosea 5:11.

Unto Dan; which is not here mentioned exclusively, for that they went also to Beth-el is evident from 1 Kings 12:32,33, but for other reasons; either because that of Dan was first made, or best frequented, the people in those parts having been long leavened with idolatry; see Jude 18:30; or to show the people’s readiness to comply with the king’s command, and their zeal for idols; that those who lived in or near Beth-el had not patience to stay till that calf was finished, but all of them were forward to go as far as Dan, which was in the utmost borders of the land, to worship an idol there, when it was thought too much for them to go to Jerusalem to worship God.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:30". 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

30.This thing became a sin — It was not designed to be idolatry, but it speedily ran into it. How could it result otherwise, for it was a direct violation of the second commandment, and a likening of the glory of the invisible God to an ox that eateth grass? Jeroboam must have known the hazards of his course; but his case is only one example out of many which show how the natural heart of man will turn away from those parts of God’s word which conflict with his self-interests and desires. He probably, as we have indicated above, (note on 1 Kings 12:26,) quieted his conscience by explaining away and distorting the obvious lessons of sacred history.

For the people — Rather, and the people went before the one, unto Dan. The meaning is obscure, and perhaps some words have fallen out of the text. Keil takes the one to mean the calf at Beth-el, and understands that the people even unto Dan, that is, the greater part of the people, went to the sanctuary at Beth-el. Others take the one in the sense of one of the two, and explain: The people throughout the whole kingdom, even unto Dan, resorted to one or the other of these shrines, the one, of course, which was most convenient. In this sense, unto Dan would be a shortened form of the common expression from Beersheba unto Dan, Beersheba not being named, because, perhaps, of its adherence to the tribe of Judah. 1 Kings 19:3.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:30". "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 12:30. This thing became a sin — An occasion of great wickedness, not only of idolatry, which is called sin by way of eminence; nor only of the worship of the calves, wherein they pretended to worship the true God; but also of the worship of Baal, and of the utter desertion of the true God, and of all sorts of impiety. The people went to worship before the one even unto Dan — Which is not here mentioned exclusively, for they went also to Beth-el, (1 Kings 12:32-33;) but for other reasons, either because that of Dan was first made, the people in those parts having been long leavened with idolatry, or to show the people’s readiness and zeal for idols; that those who lived in or near Beth-el, had not patience to stay till that calf was finished, but all of them were forward to go as far as Dan, which was in the utmost borders of the land, to worship an idol there; when it was thought too much for them to go to Jerusalem to worship God in the manner he had prescribed. The reader will easily observe here, as we have already intimated, that the sin of Jeroboam and the people did not consist in worshipping strange and false gods, but in setting up images, or representations of the true God, and worshipping him under the similitude of a corporeal form, which he had himself expressly forbidden, (Exodus 20:4,) and had severely punished in the case of Aaron; so that the people did not offend through ignorance, because their sacred records informed them of the terrible punishment which God had inflicted before for the like offence, whereby he made it evident how displeasing it was to him.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:30". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-12.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Sin, almost irreparable, which brought on the ruin of the ten tribes. Though the calves were taken away along with them into captivity, the people did not return to the service of the Lord: but the greatest part imitated the conduct of the pagans, with whom they mixed; while some few returned with the tribe of Juda, and made a part of that kingdom. The Samaritans, who were sent to inhabit their country, were not of the race of Jacob. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:30". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

became a sin. See App-44. Hence the repeated stigma who "made Israel to sin". Compare 1 Kings 13:34; 1 Kings 14:16; 1 Kings 15:26, 1 Kings 15:30, 1 Kings 15:34; 1 Kings 16:2, 1 Kings 16:19, 1 Kings 16:26, &c.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:30". "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

(30) Even unto Dan.—It has been thought that there is here a corruption of the text, and that words referring to Bethel have fallen out. But there is no sign of such variation in the LXX. (which only adds, in some MSS., “and deserted the house of the Lord”) or other versions. The reason of the mention of Dan only is probably that there the old sanctuary remained, and the priesthood was ready: hence, in this case, “the people went to worship” at once. The verses which follow describe the erection of a temple and the creation of a priesthood at Bethel, necessary before the inauguration of the new worship at what naturally became the more prominent and magnificent sanctuary. This temple is called a “house of high places,” partly perhaps from its actual position, partly to connect it with the use of “the high places” condemned in the Law. Indeed, as we have no notice of any time spent in building it, it is possible that some old “high place” was restored for the purpose.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:30". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
became a sin
13:34; 2 Kings 10:31; 17:21
Reciprocal: Judges 18:29 - Dan;  1 Kings 14:16 - who did sin;  2 Chronicles 17:4 - not after;  Acts 4:19 - to hearken

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12:30". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-12.html.