Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 13:1

Now behold, there came a man of God from Judah to Bethel by the word of the Lord , while Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Beth-El;   Calf;   Intercession;   Jeroboam;   Josiah;   Judgments;   Reproof;   Rulers;   Thompson Chain Reference - Beth-El;   Jeroboam;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Calves of Jeroboam;   Prophets;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   Iddo;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   Jeroboam;   Josiah;   Prophecy, prophet;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   Jeroboam;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   False Prophet;   High Place;   Iddo;   Jeroboam;   King, Kingship;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Jadon;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Bethel ;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Law of Moses;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jeroboam;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Josiah;   Old Prophet, the;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Bethel;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

There came a man of God - Who this was we know not. The Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic call him a prophet. The Vulgate and Septuagint follow the Hebrew, אלהים איש ish elohim means a Divine person, one wholly devoted to God's service. Some have thought it was Shemaiah, others Joel, and others Iddo. It could not have been the latter, for he wrote the acts of Jeroboam, 2 Chronicles 9:29, and the prophet was killed before he returned home; but conjecture is idle on such a subject.

Jeroboam stood by the altar - Like gods, like priest; he made himself high priest, and he took of the lowest of the people, and made them priests of the high places; they proved themselves to be fools by worshipping calves.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Rather, “in the word of the Lord.” The meaning seems to be, not merely that the prophet was bid to come, but that he came in the strength and power of God‘s word, a divinely inspired messenger. (Compare 1 Kings 13:2, 1Kings 13:5,1 Kings 13:32.)

By the altar - “On the altar;” i, e. on the ledge, or platform, halfway up the altar, whereupon the officiating priest always stood to sacrifice. Compare 1 Kings 12:32 note.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-13.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

GOD DEMONSTRATED DISAPPROVAL OF JEROBOAM'S IDOLATRY;

GOD'S PROPHET SPEAKS AGAINST BETHEL

"And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of Jehovah unto Bethel: and Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar by the word of Jehovah, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith Jehovah: Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and on thee shall he sacrifice the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall they burn upon thee. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which Jehovah hath spoken: Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. And it came to pass when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar in Bethel, that Jeroboam put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand which he put forth against him dried up, so that he could not draw it back again to him. The altar was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of Jehovah. And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Entreat now the favor of Jehovah thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God entreated Jehovah, and the king's hand was restored him again, and it became as it was before. And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. And the man of God said to the king, If thou wilt give me half thy house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread, nor drink water in this place; for so was it charged me by the word of Jehovah, saying, Thou shalt eat no bread, nor drink water, neither return by the way that thou camest. So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel."

If there had been any doubt whether or not Jeroboam had sinned against God in his erection of pagan altars in Israel, the event recorded here would have removed it. This cursing of the altar in Bethel by a man of God was backed up and revealed as valid by the most startling signs coming from God Himself.

"There came a man of God out of Judah" (1 Kings 13:1). "Josephus said his name was Jadon; Tertullian supposed he was Shemaiah; and some have thought he might have been Iddo the seer (2 Chronicles 13:22). But these are all untenable guesses."[1] We do not know his name.

The close connection of this narrative with the preceding chapter, "Shows that it is the fifteenth day of the eighth month that is here described,"[2] namely, the very first day of that false Feast of Tabernacles ordained by Jeroboam.

What a magnificent and comprehensive prophecy this was! "A future son of the house of David (which Jeroboam hated) would stand in exactly the same place where Jeroboam was standing, with all of Jeroboam's successors either extinct or powerless to prevent it, and he would cover this pagan cultus with the shame and contempt which it deserved."[3]

"Josiah by name" (1 Kings 13:2). This writer deplores the current tendency of so-called Christian commentators to delete, compromise, or in some other manner deny the validity of predictive prophecy, especially anything as definite as this is. Our view is that the prophecy is valid, just as it was in the case of Isaiah's naming of Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28; 45:2). "The definite nature of this prophecy would not necessarily render it impossible any more than the mention of Cyrus, nearly two centuries before his birth (Isaiah 44:26)."[4]

"If thou wilt give me half thy house, I will not go in with thee" (1 Kings 13:8). "The refusal of hospitality was an extreme action in the east and represented God's complete rejection of Jeroboam and Bethel."[5]

The purpose of the author of Kings in recording this event, "Was to show that Jeroboam received adequate warning, and that Judeans should avoid all relations with northerners."[6]

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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 13:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-kings-13.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah,.... Whom JosephusF24Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 8. c. 8. sect. 3.) calls Jadon, perhaps the same with Iddo, who is by the Jewish writersF25Seder Olam Rabba, c. 20. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 11. 1. Jarch & Kimchi in loc. generally thought to be this man of God, and which may seem to be countenanced by 2 Chronicles 9:29 but cannot be, because this man was quickly slain, whereas Iddo lived after Rehoboam, and wrote his acts, first and last, nay, after Ahijah his son, 2 Chronicles 13:22 and for the same reason Shemaiah cannot be the man of God, 1 Kings 12:22, though TertullianF26De Jejuniis, c. 16. calls him Sameas, and designs Shemaiah: but, whoever he was, he came

by the word of the Lord to Bethel: that is, by his command:

and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense; at the time he came, 1 Kings 12:33.

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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 13:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-13.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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

(a) That is, a prophet.

(b) Not that that was called Luz in Benjamin, but another of that name.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-kings-13.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

1 Kings 13:1-22. Jeroboam‘s hand withers.

there came a man of God out of Judah — Who this prophet was cannot be ascertained, He came by divine authority. It could not be either Iddo or Ahijah, for 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 splendor of a new and gorgeously decorated temple. But the prophet foretold its utter destruction [1 Kings 13:3 ].

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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 13:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-kings-13.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

A prophet cometh to Beth-el. Jeroboam, in opposing him, hath his hand withered; which at the prayer of the man of God is restored, The prophet himself for his disobedience is afterwards slain by a lion. Jeroboam still continueth hardened.

1 Kings 13:1

(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.

It should seem that Jeroboam the king was in the very act of prophanation and idolatry when this man of God came in the Lord's name with this solemn commission.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/1-kings-13.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Man of God — An holy prophet.

By the word, … — By Divine inspiration and command.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-kings-13.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 13:1 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.

Ver. 1. And, behold, there came a man of God.] A prophet, [1 Kings 13:18] but whether Shemaiah, as Tertullian saith, or Joel, or Theodoret, or Iddo, as Josephus, or some other, it is not known.

Out of Judah.] Who "yet ruled with God, and was faithful with the saints," [Hosea 11:12] though shortly after the faithful city became a harlot, a very Poneropolis. [Isaiah 1:21]

By the word of the Lord.] Or, With the word of the Lord.

Unto Bethel.] Now become Bethaven: where at that mock feast of tabernacles [1 Kings 12:33] was a great assembly, and so the fitter opportunity for a prophet to warn this backslidden people: but they were revolted and gone. [Jeremiah 5:23] Once they quarrelled the erecting of but a new altar by the Reubenites, and were ready to kill and slay, [Joshua 22:10-34] but now it was far otherwise. Oh, where is our ancient fervour and forwardness? and why is our "silver become dross, our wine mixed with water" [Isaiah 1:22]

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-13.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

1 KINGS CHAPTER 13

A prophet of Judah prophesieth against the altar at Beth-el: Jeroboam offering him violence, his hand withereth; and, at the prayer of the prophet, is restored, 1 Kings 13:1-6. He refusing the king’s entertainment, departeth from Beth-el, 1 Kings 13:7-10. An old prophet seducing him, bringeth him back, 1 Kings 13:11-19. He is for it reproved of God by the old prophet; and is slain by a lion; and buried by the old prophet; who confirmeth his prophecy, 1 Kings 13:20-32. Jeroboam’s obstinacy, 1 Kings 13:33,34.

A man of God; a holy prophet. By the word of the Lord; by Divine inspiration and command.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-kings-13.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1.A man of God — A truly accredited prophet, but his name is unknown. Josephus calls him Jadon, Epiphanius Joas, and Tertullian Sameas; but these names, together with the supposition that he was identical with Iddo the seer, or Shemaiah, have grown out of mere conjecture.

By the word of the Lord — Or, in the word of the Lord. The word of the Lord was the spiritual element in which he went upon his mission.

To burn incense — This seems to show that Jeroboam performed with his own hand the holy service of the priests. See note on 1 Kings 12:32 and 1 Kings 13:4.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-13.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Kings 13:1. Behold, there came a man of God — A holy prophet; for none are called men of God in the Old Testament, but prophets. By the word of the Lord — By divine inspiration and command. “There is no foundation for so much as conjecture who this prophet was. His prophecy, however, is one of the most remarkable which we have in sacred writ. It foretels an action that exactly came to pass above three hundred and forty years afterward. It describes the circumstances of the action; and specifies the very name of the person who was to do it; and therefore every considerate Jew, who lived in the time of its accomplishment, must have been convinced of the divine authority of a religion founded on such prophecies as this; since none but God could foresee, and consequently none but God could fore-tel events at such a distance.” — Le Clerc, Calmet, and Dodd. Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense — Upon the feast day which he had instituted.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-13.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

A man. Some suppose his name was Addo, 2 Paralipomenon ix. 29. But this is quite uncertain. --- Incense, or victims. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

a man of God. Compare Deuteronomy 33:1, and see App-49.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-kings-13.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

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

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) A man of God out of Judah.—Josephus calls him Jadon (Iddo); but from 2 Chronicles 13:22 it appears that Iddo was the chronicler of the reign of Abijah, and must, therefore, have lived till near the close of Jeroboam’s reign. Probably the tradition came from a mistaken interpretation of the “visions of Iddo against Jeroboam.”

By the word of the Lord.—A weak rendering of the original, “in the word of the Lord.” The constantly recurring prophetic phrases are, “the word of the Lord came to me,” and “the Spirit of the Lord was upon me,” enabling, or forcing, to declare it. The original phrase here implies both. The prophet came clothed in the inspiration of the word put into his mouth.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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
12:22; 2 Kings 23:17; 2 Chronicles 9:29
by the word
5,9,26,32; 20:35; Jeremiah 25:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:15
Jeroboam
12:32,33; 2 Chronicles 26:18
burn
or, offer.
Numbers 16:40; Jeremiah 11:12; 32:29; Malachi 1:11; Revelation 8:3
Reciprocal: Leviticus 10:1 - put incense;  Deuteronomy 33:1 - the man;  Joshua 14:6 - the man;  1 Samuel 2:27 - a man;  1 Samuel 9:6 - city;  2 Samuel 12:1 - the Lord;  1 Kings 11:26 - Jeroboam;  1 Kings 13:14 - Art thou;  1 Kings 13:17 - by the word;  1 Kings 17:18 - O thou man;  1 Kings 20:28 - there came;  2 Kings 2:2 - Bethel;  2 Kings 4:9 - man of God;  2 Kings 8:7 - General2 Kings 16:12 - approached;  2 Kings 17:11 - burnt;  2 Kings 23:16 - burned;  2 Kings 23:18 - the bones of the prophet;  2 Chronicles 8:14 - so had David the man of God commanded;  2 Chronicles 25:7 - a man of God;  2 Chronicles 26:16 - to burn;  Psalm 90:1 - the man;  Jeremiah 35:4 - a man;  Hosea 12:10 - have also;  Amos 7:13 - for;  1 Timothy 6:11 - O man;  2 Peter 1:21 - in old time

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-13.html.