Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 13:32

For the thing shall surely come to pass which he cried by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Beth-El;   Calf;   Conscience;   Minister, Christian;   Scofield Reference Index - Miracles;   Thompson Chain Reference - High Places;   Places;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Samaria, Ancient;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - High Places;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Josiah;   Easton Bible Dictionary - High Place;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Samaria;   Shechem (1);   Holman Bible Dictionary - High Place;   Samaria, Samaritans;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Jadon;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Bethel ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - High places;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Sama'ria, Country of;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Samaria;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - High Place;   Kings, Books of;   Old Prophet, the;   Samaria, Country of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

In the cities of Samaria - It is most certain that Samaria, or as it is called in Hebrew Shomeron, was not built at this time. We are expressly told that Omri, king of Israel, founded this city on the hill which he bought for two talents of silver, from a person of the name of Shemer, after whom he called the city Samaria or Shomeron; (see 1 Kings 16:24;); and this was fifty years after the death of Jeroboam. How then could the old prophet speak of Samaria, not then in existence, unless he did it by the spirit of prophecy, calling things that are not as though they were; as the man of God called Josiah by name three hundred years before he was born? Some suppose that the historian adds these words because Samaria existed in his time, and he well knew that it did not exist in the time of the old prophet; for himself, in the sixteenth chapter, gives us the account of its foundation by Omri. After all, it is possible that God might have given this revelation to the old prophet; and thus by anticipation which is the language of prophecy, spoke of Samaria as then existing. This is the solution of Houbigant, and is thought sound by many good critics.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:32". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Against all the houses of the high places - i. e., more than the two high places at Dan and Bethel. There were many lesser high places in the land, several of which would be likely to be in Israel 1 Kings 3:4.

In the cities of Samaria - The word Samaria cannot have been employed by the old prophet, in whose days Samaria did not exist 1 Kings 16:24. The writer of Kings has substituted for the term used by him that whereby the country was known in his own day.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:32". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-13.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For the saying which he cried by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel,.... That the priests should be offered on it, and men's bones be burnt upon it; for as for its being rent, and the ashes of it poured out, that had been done already:

and against all the houses of the high places which are in Samaria, shall surely come to pass: by which it appears that there were temples, and high places, and altars built in other parts of the kingdom besides Dan and Bethel, of the destruction of which the man of God prophesied, though not before mentioned; all which the old prophet gave credit to, and firmly believed would be accomplished. The kingdom of Israel, in later times, had the name of Samaria, from the chief city of it, Isaiah 7:9, here spoken of by anticipation, for as yet it was not in being, see 1 Kings 16:24 and either it has its name here by way of prophecy, or else given by the writer of this book, as what it went by in his time.

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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 13:32". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-13.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.

Samaria — That is, of the kingdom of Samaria; as it was called, though not when this fact was done, yet before these books were written. Samaria was properly this name of one city, chap21:1, but from hence the whole kingdom of Israel was so called.

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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 13:32". "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 13:32 For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which [are] in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.

Ver. 32. Which are in the cities of Samaria.] So called here by anticipation. It seemeth of old to be called and belong to Shimronmeron. [Joshua 11:1; Joshua 11:3; Joshua 12:20]

Shall surely come to pass.] Heb., Being, shall be. Jehovah, the great essentiator, shall give being to his word assuredly. "Every morning doth he bring his judgments to light, he faileth not." [Zephaniah 3:5]

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:32". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-13.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Kings 13:32. In the cities of Samaria How can they be called the cities of Samaria, when Samaria itself was not now built; nor had the separate kingdom of Jeroboam yet obtained that name? It is plain from hence, that the author or compiler of these books of kings lived after the time of Jeroboam, and writes of things and places as they were in his own day. He knew full well that Samaria was built by Omri, fifty years after Jeroboam, since he has himself given the account of its foundation; but he was willing to speak in the phrase then current, and to make himself intelligible to those who read him. And for this reason it is, no doubt, that in 2 Kings 23:18 the false prophet of Bethel is said to have come from Samaria, though at that time there was no city of that name. Though this solution, which is Calmet's, may be thought very satisfactory; yet, as the prophet evidently speaks with foreknowledge of future events, why may we not suppose, that by the same foreknowledge he anticipates the name of Samaria, as well as the events which were to happen there? Houbigant remarks, it ought not to seem any thing strange, that the prophet names Samaria before it is built; as the man of God has named Josiah, 1 Kings 13:2, who reigned a long time after it was built. Instead of high places which are in the cities of Samaria, he reads, which shall be, &c. Upon a review of this narrative, who can fail to admire the unsearchable secrets of the divine justice? Jeroboam revolts from his lawful sovereign, forsakes the worship of the true God, engages the people in gross idolatry, and is himself hardened by the menaces and miracles of the prophet who was sent to him: a false prophet deceives an innocent man with a lie, and draws him into an act of disobedience contrary to his inclination; yet this wicked Jeroboam, and this seducing prophet, escape immediate punishment, while the other, who might mean no ill perhaps in turning back, is slain by a lion, and his body deprived of the sepulture of his fathers. We must acknowledge indeed, that the depths of the judgments of God are an abyss which our understandings cannot fathom; but nothing certainly can be a more sensible proof of the truth of another life, and of the eternal recompences or punishments that attend it, than to see the righteous so rigorously treated here for slight offences; while, sentence not being speedily executed against evil men, we have an assurance from thence that God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil. Ecclesiastes 12:14.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:32". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-kings-13.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Of Samaria, i.e. of the kingdom of Samaria, as it was called, though not when this fact was done, yet before these books were written. Samaria was properly the name of one city, 1 Kings 20:1; but from hence the whole kingdom of Israel was so called, Jeremiah 31:5 Hosea 7:1 Hosea 8:5 Amos 3:9; and the king of Israel is called the king of Samaria, 2 Kings 1:3 Hosea 10:7; and (as here) we read of the cities of Samaria, Ezra 4:10.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:32". 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

32.And against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria — This passage is probably an interpolation, taken from 2 Kings 23:19, for Samaria was not built till the time of Omri, (1 Kings 16:24,) and from that capital city the surrounding country took its name. Omri named his capital after the owner of the hill on which he built the city, from which it appears that only the hill, and not the surrounding province, bore up to that time the name Samaria, or Shomeron. Hence it would have been a singular anachronism for a person of Jeroboam’s time to speak of the cities of Samaria. It is possible, indeed, that a prophet divinely illuminated might have been enabled thus to speak of things that were not as though they were, but the peculiar manner of his doing it here is unlike any other instance of revelation on record.

Shall surely come to pass — By this positive word of the old prophet, as well as by all the memorable circumstances of his brother-prophet’s disobedience and death, Jehovah’s oracles against the altar at Beth-el received additional weight and fearfulness.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:32". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-13.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

For the saying which he cried by the word of YHWH against the altar in Beth-el, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, will surely come about.”.

And he confirmed that now he knew that the man of God was a genuine prophet of YHWH and that his word spoken against the altar would surely come about. The death of the man of God had underlined his message even more than what had happened previously, and had brought home its genuineness. Indeed that man of God continues to preach to us today, for that is why you are reading these lines. Through his death he bore a message which will speak to men of the need for obedience to God while mankind goes on existing. His death had not been in vain.

The phrase ‘the cities of Samaria’ is presumably an updating so as to identify the area in mind by using a geographical term recognisable to the author’s readers. The actual identifying phrase used by the old prophet may well by that time have been considered to be geographically obscure (we do not, of course, know what it was). ‘Samaria’ as applied to the whole of Israel arose much later. We should note, on the other hand, that the name Samaria was not a totally new name, for it was known in the area before the city of Samaria was built, presumably signifying ‘belonging to, or connected with, the family of Shemer’, a powerful family in the area (1 Kings 16:24). Its use here, however, appears to be synonymous with ‘Israel’, but we do not know by what name the area that would be called ‘Israel’ and ‘Samaria’ was previously known. Nor possibly did the prophetic author’s readers.

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Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:32". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/1-kings-13.html. 2013.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Samaria. The city was built by Amri, fifty years after the death of Jeroboam, chap. xvi. 24. But the sacred writer speaks of places by the names which they bore in his time. (Calmet) --- If this man was a prophet, he might easily mention Samaria, which would give its name to the kingdom of Israel. There was also probably a village of this name long before, on the mountain Samir, where one of the judges was buried, Judges x. 2. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:32". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

he cried. Compare 1 Kings 13:2.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:32". "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

For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:32". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-kings-13.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.
the saying
2; 2 Kings 23:16-19
the houses
12:29,31; Leviticus 26:30
in the cities
16:24; 2 Chronicles 25:13; Ezra 4:10; John 4:4,5
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 13:1 - by the word;  1 Kings 21:18 - which is in Samaria;  2 Kings 10:1 - in Samaria;  2 Kings 23:19 - the houses;  Micah 1:5 - is it

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:32". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-13.html.