Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 13:33

After this event Jeroboam did not return from his evil way, but again he made priests of the high places from among all the people; any who would, he ordained, to be priests of the high places.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jeroboam;   Priest;   Rulers;   Sin;   Scofield Reference Index - Miracles;   Thompson Chain Reference - Young Men;   Young People;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - High Places;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Kings, First and Second, Theology of;   Leadership;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Hand;   Jeroboam;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Jadon;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Hand;   Jeroboam;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Consecrate;   High Place;   Jeroboam;   Way;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Anointing;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Jeroboam returned not from his evil way - There is something exceedingly obstinate and perverse, as well as blinding and infatuating, in idolatry. The prediction lately delivered at Beth-el, and the miracles wrought in confirmation of it, were surely sufficient to have affected and alarmed any heart, not wholly and incorrigibly hardened; and yet they had no effect on Jeroboam!

Made - the lowest of the people priests - So hardy was this bad man in his idolatry that he did not even attempt to form any thing according to the model of God's true worship: he would have nothing like God and truth. In his calves, or rather oxen, he copied the manner of Egypt; and in the formation of his priesthood, he seems to have gone aside from all models. Amongst the worst of heathens, the priesthood was filled with respectable men; but Jeroboam took of the lowest of the people, and put them in that office.

Whosoever would, he consecrated him - He made no discrimination: any vagabond that offered was accepted even of those who had no character, who were too idle to work, and too stupid to learn.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:33". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Whosoever would, he consecrated him - i. e., he exercised no discretion, but allowed anyone to become a priest, without regard to birth, character, or social position. We may suspect from this that the office was not greatly sought, since no civil governor who cared to set up a priesthood would wish to degrade it in public estimation. Jeroboam did impose one limitation, which would have excluded the very poorest class. The candidate for consecration was obliged to make an offering consisting of one young bullock and seven rams 2 Chronicles 13:9.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:33". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-13.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

JEROBOAM CONTINUED HEADSTRONG IN HIS EVIL WAY

"After this thing, Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again from among all the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, that there might be priests of the high places. And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth."

Scholars like Montgomery and Dentan write this episode off as some kind of legend erroneously accepted into the Bible, but this writer rejects that notion altogether. Due to the extreme wickedness of Jeroboam, which we have summarized in a paragraph below, it was incumbent upon God Himself to provide incontrovertible evidence to all Israel of the Divine displeasure that fell upon the terrible apostasy taking place under Jeroboam. God's love of the seed of the Chosen People could not have allowed him to do less.

A SUMMARY OF JEROBOAM'S WICKEDNESS

(a) He made paganism the official religion of Israel. (b) He consecrated priests of tribes other than that of Levi. (c) He erected pagan idols in Dan, Bethel, and Samaria. (d) He arrogantly intruded himself into the sacrifices. (e) He organized and promoted a corrupt Feast of Tabernacles, contrary to God's law. (f) He persuaded the people to disobey God by not going to Jerusalem to worship. (g) He established and organized high places all over northern Israel.

With Jeroboam at the head of northern Israel, the nation was doomed to eventual destruction.

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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 13:33". "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

After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way,.... From the idolatrous practices he had started, and was establishing; though he had seen his altar rent, and the ashes poured out as the man of God predicted, his own hand withered, and that restored again upon the prayer of the prophet; and though he had heard of the death he died for his disobedience to the command of God, and the several marvellous things that attended it; these were so far from reforming him, that he seemed to be the more hardened thereby:

but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: and officiated there, and indeed those of the tribe of Levi would not serve there, and therefore were expelled their cities; see 2 Chronicles 11:14.

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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 13:33". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-13.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

After this thing Jeroboam u returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became [one] of the priests of the high places.

(u) So the wicked do not profit by God's threatenings, but go backward and become worse and worse, (2 Timothy 3:13).
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:33". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-kings-13.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.

After this — That is, after all these things: the singular number put for the plural; after so many, and evident, and successive miracles.

Made again — He abated not so much as a circumstance in his idolatrous worship.

Whosoever — Without any respect to tribe or family, or integrity of body, or mind, or life; all which were to be regarded in the priesthood.

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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 13:33". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-kings-13.html. 1765.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

JEROBOAM’S SIN

‘After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way.’

1 Kings 13:33

‘After this thing,’ viz., such a succession of miracles and prophecies as we can hardly find elsewhere in the Bible.

Jeroboam saw four or five miracles together, and yet turned not from his evil way.

I. He had two warnings—the rent altar, and the withered hand. We have had many more—nay, many more than two all of us have neglected. We have been ill and vowed to do better on recovery. But with the danger, all the good resolutions have vanished.

But Jeroboam had not only a warning in his withered hand, he had another in the destruction of his altar. And we, too, have had warnings enough in others as well as in ourselves.

II. But notice again, all the warnings Jeroboam had were not in anger.—One was in mercy. His withered hand was made whole at the prayer of the prophet. And he had some good feelings still, for he offered hospitality and a reward to the man of God from Judah. If Jeroboam had only obeyed the words of the prophet, that would have been his true reward—the crown and glory of his journey.

III. See what Jeroboam’s sin was, and what the message was.—His sin was in diverting his people from worshipping at Jerusalem, to worship the golden calves at Dan and Beth-el. Worldly men would have called it a clever device. The Holy Spirit called it a sin. Eighteen times we read these fearful words: ‘who made Israel to sin.’

IV. His sin, even so far as this world was concerned, was a miserable failure.—He lost the next world, and he did not even gain this. So it is very often with those who break God’s commandments. It very often happens that from those who do not seek God’s kingdom first, the very things which they do seek first, and for which they give that up, are taken away. And in the old prophet’s death that evening Jeroboam had a more fearful warning still. That was the worst sign of all. How suddenly Jeroboam was destroyed! Like Pharaoh and Balaam. To have so many chances, and yet to miss them all! Think, then, when you are tempted to take counsel how you may please yourselves even at the risk or certainty of breaking God’s law—think and fear, lest your own end should be like that of Jeroboam, ‘who made Israel to sin.’

Dr. J. Mason Neale.

Illustrations

(1) ‘Experience should have taught Jeroboam. He had the warning of Solomon’s example. Prophecy and promise ought to have held him to a right course. He had the distinct utterance of Ahijah to guide him. His own observation should have told him that every promise of God is conditional. But all was in vain. Jeroboam descends to history with the infamous character of being emphatically the man “that made Israel to sin.”’

(2) ‘The cause of Jeroboam’s conduct was not weakness of character, but rather, on the contrary, the obstinacy with which he pursued what his soul desired, and which was the mainspring of all his actions, i.e. the resolve to keep himself on the throne at any cost and under all circumstances, and not to come under the dominion of the hated house of David and Judah again. The petition to have his hand restored was only the effect of momentary fright; when this passed, instead of listening to the man of God, he tried to bribe him and win him over, and the whole transaction left no trace behind it. He is a type of those usurpers who have no other aim in life than to gratify their ambition and love of power, and whose apparently good and noble actions are only the fruit of this passion.’

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:33". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/1-kings-13.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 13:33 After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became [one] of the priests of the high places.

Ver. 33. After this thing Jeroboam returned not.] All these wonderful accidents, as God’s hammers, did but beat upon cold iron. Wicked men grow worse and worse, till they have filled up the measure of their sins, and so wrath come upon them to the utmost. See Popelings. [Revelation 9:21; Revelation 16:9; Revelation 16:11]

Whosoever would, he consecrated him.] Heb., He filled his hand; that is, Jeroboam’s hand, as some sense it, they filled with money, to be made priests. Omnia Romae venalia. But it seemeth rather to allude to the custom of censecrating the Levitical priests, by filling their hands with sacrifices and gifts. [Exodus 29:9-10] Faciunt et vespae favos; simiae imitantur homines: wasps also have their honeycombs; and apes, that scorn of nature, do imitate men.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:33". 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

After this thing, i.e. after all these things; the singular number put for the plural; after so many, and evident, and successive miracles; which is noted to aggravate his infidelity and apostacy.

Made again of the lowest of the people priests; he abated not so much as a circumstance in his idolatrous worship.

Whosoever would; without any respect to tribe or family, or integrity of body, or mind, or life; all which were to be regarded in the priesthood.

He consecrated him, Heb. he filled his hand; of which phrase see Exodus 28:41 29:9,33.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:33". 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

33.Made again — See note on 1 Kings 12:31.

Whosoever would — The mere desire of the one who offered himself for the priesthood was the sufficient call to the holy service.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:33". "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 13:33. After this — That is, after all these things; the singular number being put for the plural; after so many evident and successive miracles; Jeroboam returned not from his evil ways — He was not at all changed in his principles or practice, but continued in his idolatry. Made again of the lowest of the people, &c. — He abated not so much as a circumstance in his idolatrous worship. Whosoever would he consecrated him, &c. — Without any respect to tribe, or family, or integrity of body, or mind, or life; all which things were to be regarded in the priesthood.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:33". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-13.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

CHAPTER XIII.

Way. Every thing promotes the salvation of the just, while the wicked pervert the most gracious designs of Providence to their own ruin. The king concluded that the prediction deserved no regard, ver. 18. (Calmet) --- Meanest. Chap. xii. 31. Thus he wished to eradicate all sense of religion. (Haydock) --- His, suam, "own." Any person who brought the oil and the necessary victims, might assume the office of priest. See Exodus xxviii. 41. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:33". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

became one of the priests. Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulg, reads "became priest".

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:33". "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

After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.

Jeroboam ... made again of the lowest of the people priests - (see the notes at 1 Kings 12:31.)

Whosoever would, he consecrated, [ y

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:33". "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

(33) Whosoever would.—See 1 Kings 12:32. The emphatic tone of the words, “whosoever would, he consecrated him,” possibly indicates that, in spite of all that Jeroboam and his prophet could do, there was some difficulty in securing candidates for his unauthorised priesthood.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:33". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.
A. M. 3030-3050. B.C. 974-954. Jeroboam
12:31-33; 2 Chronicles 11:15; 13:9; Amos 6:11
made again
Heb. returned and made.
Psalms 78:34; Jeremiah 18:4; *marg:; 2 Timothy 3:13
whosoever
Numbers 1:51; 3:10; 17:5,12,13
consecrated him
Heb. filled his hand.
Exodus 28:41; *marg:; Judges 17:12
Reciprocal: Judges 17:5 - consecrated;  1 Kings 14:1 - that time;  1 Kings 14:9 - hast done;  1 Kings 15:26 - walked;  1 Kings 15:34 - walked;  1 Kings 16:2 - thou hast walked;  1 Kings 16:26 - he walked;  2 Kings 3:3 - he departed;  2 Kings 10:29 - the sins;  2 Kings 17:32 - made unto themselves;  2 Chronicles 11:14 - Jeroboam;  2 Chronicles 17:4 - not after;  Amos 7:10 - the priest;  Micah 1:13 - she

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 13:33". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-13.html.