Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 14:3

Take ten loaves with you, some cakes and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abijah;   Bread;   Cracknel;   Cruse;   Jeroboam;   Prophets;   Thompson Chain Reference - Cruses;   Giving;   Liberality-Parsimony;   Presents;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Honey;   Presents;   Prophets;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Abijah;   Ahijah;   Cracknels;   Gifts;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ahijah;   Jeroboam;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Heal, Health;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Bottle;   Cake;   Cruse;   Jeroboam;   Mouldy;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Cracknels;   Cruse;   Kings, the Books of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Abijah;   Ahijah;   Cracknel;   Flask;   Honey;   Vessels and Utensils;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abijah;   Bottle;   Bread;   Honey;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Abijah ;   Ahijah ;   Cracknel;   Cruse;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Cracknels;   Cruse;   Obsolete or obscure words in the english av bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ahi'ah;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jeroboam;   Prophets;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Bread;   Cracknel;   Cruse;   Honey;   Potter;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Abijah;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Ahijah (the Prophet);   Bottle;   Didascalia;   Drinking-Vessels;   Gifts;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Ten loaves - Probably common or household bread.

Cracknels - נקדים nikkuddim, spotted, or perforated bread; thin cakes, pierced through with many holes, the same as is called Jews' bread to the present day, and used by them at the passover. It was customary to give presents to all great personages; and no person consulted a prophet without bringing something in his hand.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-14.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

See the marginal reference The presents here were selected for the purpose of deception, being such as a poor country person would have been likely to bring. Jeroboam counted also on Ahijah‘s blindness 1 Kings 14:4 as favoring his plan of deception (compare Genesis 27:1, Genesis 27:22).

Cracknels - See the margin. The Hebrew word is thought to mean a kind of cake which crumbled easily.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-14.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him,.... It being usual to carry a present to a prophet when he was inquired of on any account, see 1 Samuel 9:7 and this being a plain present, and of such things as the country afforded, she might be taken for a plain countrywoman, and not for such a personage as she was: the ten loaves could not be large for a woman to carry, most probably made of wheat; the cracknels, according to the Greek version in Drusius, were for the prophet's children; they very likely were spiced, or were sweetened with honey, and might be somewhat like our simnels; they seem to have their name in Hebrew from having points and pricks in them for the sake of ornament; such as PlautusF8Prolog. Poenulo, ver. 43. calls "scribilitae", because as TurnebusF9Adversar. l. 23. c. 10. says, they were marked and pricked, and seemed as if they were written:

he shall tell thee what shall become of the child; whether it should live or die, for that was all he wanted to know; he did not desire to know what should be done to the child for its recovery, nor to request the prophet's prayers for it.

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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 14:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-14.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And take with b thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.

(b) According to the custom when they went to ask counsel of prophets, (1 Samuel 9:7).
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-kings-14.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.

And take — A present, after the manner, but mean, as became an ordinary country woman, which she personated. It had been more pious to enquire, why God contended with him.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-kings-14.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 14:3 And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.

Ver. 3. And take with thee ten loaves.] A poor country present, that she might seem none other than a plain country woman, yet willing to show her thankfulness.

And cracknels.] Or, Plain cakes; Heb., Punctata, tenues placentulas punctis respersas.

And a cruse of honey.] Or, Bottle, a narrow mouthed vessel, that when it is emptied soundeth bakbuk, that is the Hebrew word here used. See the like in Job 39:30, where the vultures are said to glut glut blood, by an onomatopoeia.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-14.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Kings 14:3. Take with thee ten loaves, &c.— What the presents were which were made to the ancient prophets, we are not always told; but all the particulars of that made to Ahijah, by Jeroboam's queen, are here given us. I very much question, however, whether that was any part of the disguise that she assumed, as Bishop Patrick supposes, who imagines that she presented him with such things as might make the prophet think her to be a country woman, rather than a courtier. It undoubtedly was not a present which proclaimed royalty; that would have been contrary to Jeroboam's intention of her being unknown. But it does not appear to have been in the estimation of the East a present only fit for a countrywoman to have made; for D'Arvieux tells us, that when he waited upon an Arab emir, his mother and sister, to gratify whose curiosity that visit was made, sent him early in the morning, after his arrival in the camp, a present of pastry, honey, fresh butter, with a bason of sweetmeats of Damascus. Now this present differs but little from that of Jeroboam's wife, who carried loaves, cracknels, or other cakes enriched with seeds, (a species of bread then and still very common in the East,), and a cruse of honey, and was made by princesses, that avowed their quality. See Observations, p. 236 where the reader will find more respecting the custom of making presents in the East; and p. 133, where the author endeavours at large to confirm the meaning which he gives to the word נקדים nikkuddim, cracknels.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-kings-14.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

A cruse of honey; a present, after the manner, Jude 13:17 1 Samuel 9:7,8 2 Kings 5:15 8:8; but mean, as became an ordinary country woman, which she personated.

And go to him, to inquire the event of this sickness, as the following words imply.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-kings-14.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.Cracknels נקדים, seems to denote a small sprinkled or punctured cake, baked hard for the purpose of keeping well during a long journey. Such small hard-baked biscuit are still used by the common people in the East. Compare Joshua 9:5, where the word is erroneously rendered mouldy. The bread, the cracknels, and the honey were to be used as honorary presents for the prophet, according to the customs of the times. See note on 1 Samuel 9:7.

What shall become of the child — Henry well calls attention to the “notion of fatality” evinced in this inquiry of Jeroboam, and also in that of Ahaziah, (2 Kings 1:2,) and that of Ben-hadad. 2 Kings 8:8. They inquire simply what the end will be, not what means they should use for recovery.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-14.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And take with you ten loaves, and cakes, and a cruse of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will become of the child.”

He also told his wife to take with her a good supply of provisions for the prophet. This was not a bribe, but normal practise. The size of the gift was limited lest Ahijah guess who it was from. We should note in this regard that prophets were regularly consulted on health matters, and other matters of local concern, and it was seemingly considered right to take them food. Compare Samuel in 1 Samuel 9:6-7. Worldly people, however, probably thought that the more generous the gift that they sent, the more generous would be the reply, for that was how they behaved in their own lives. And his hope was that the prophet would give him good news about his young son, and might even heal him.

1 Kings 14:4

And Jeroboam’s wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. Now Ahijah could not see, for his eyes were set by reason of his age.’

Jeroboam’s wife obediently did what she was told, and rose up and went to Shiloh, to the house of Ahijah the prophet. Ahijah was blind through old age and could not see clearly. Shiloh had by this time been partly restored after its mauling by the Philistines.

1 Kings 14:5

And YHWH said to Ahijah, “See, the wife of Jeroboam comes to enquire of you concerning her son, for he is sick. Thus and thus shall you say to her, for it will be, when she comes in, that she will pretend that she is another woman.” ’

But while Ahijah was at least partially blind physically, he was not spiritually blind, and YHWH still spoke to him. YHWH forewarned him who was coming to see him, and the reason for her visit, and that she would be in disguise. And He also told Ahijah what he was to say to her from YHWH, once she had arrived.

1 Kings 14:6

And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, “Come in, you wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend that you are another? For I am sent to you with heavy tidings”

When the woman entered, no doubt hoping that her disguise would not be penetrated by the blind old prophet, she must have been greatly disconcerted when he welcomed her as the wife of Jeroboam, and asked her why she was pretending to be someone else. (Although he hardly needed to be a prophet to know in fact the reason for the subterfuge). The point behind his question was that she should have known that nothing was hidden from YHWH, the all-seeing. He then informed her that he had heavy tidings for her.

1 Kings 14:7-9

Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus says YHWH, the God of Israel, ‘Forasmuch as I exalted you from among the people, and made you prince over my people Israel, and tore the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it to you, and yet you have not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do only what was right in my eyes, but have done evil above all who were before you, and have gone and made for yourself other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and have cast me behind your back,”

The heavy tidings concerned the covenant that YHWH had made with Jeroboam through Ahijah. As the God of Israel YHWH had exalted Jeroboam over Israel, and had made him prince (nagid, YHWH’s war-leader) over them, and had torn a large proportion of David’s kingdom from his house and had given it to Jeroboam. But Jeroboam had not responded in kind. He had not behaved like David, who had kept His commandments and followed Him with all his heart, doing only what was right in His eyes, but had rather done evil more than all who had come before him. He had made for himself ‘other gods’ and molten images in order to provoke YHWH to anger, and as a result he had cast YHWH behind his back. The molten images were, of course, the golden calves. The ‘other gods’ were the result of the syncretism that his actions had brought into Israel’s worship with the result that they were worshipping Baal and Asherah as well, at the same time as they worshipped YHWH, and even probably sometimes worshipped Baal under the name of YHWH. (It was easy to mix up YHWH with Baal nominally, because Baal meant ‘lord’ and YHWH could be addressed as ‘baali’ - ‘my Lord’ - Hosea 3:16-17). But the underlying attributes of the god that they were worshipping were those of Baal, with plenty of ritual sex and no morals. They had cast YHWH and His pure covenant behind their backs.

“Have done evil above all who were before you.” There was a long history in Israel of leaders who had failed YHWH’s people, commencing with Aaron who had made the golden calf, but Jeroboam had out-sinned them all. It should be noted that there is nothing particularly ‘Deuteronomic’ about these words. The ideas are simply generally Mosaic.

“And have cast me behind your back.” Compare Ezekiel 23:35. It indicates total rejection (compare Jesus’ words to Peter, “get you behind me Satan” - Matthew 16:23).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/1-kings-14.html. 2013.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Kings 14:3. Take with thee ten loaves, &c. — It was usual for those that went to inquire of a prophet to make him some present as a token of their respect for him, 1 Samuel 9:7. The present which she was here directed to take, was of such things as suited the disguise in which she was to go, and were calculated to make Ahijah think her a country woman rather than a queen. And go to him — To inquire the event of this sickness, as the following words imply. It would have been more pious to have inquired why God contended with him; to have desired the prophet to pray for him, and to have cast away his idols; then the child might have been restored to him, as his hand was: “but most people,” says Henry, “would rather be told their fortune, than told their faults, or their duty.”

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-14.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Cracknels. Hebrew nikkudim, "cakes full of holes," &c., Josue ix. 12. (Calmet) --- Septuagint give a double translation, "cakes and raisins." Arabic, "fruits." Syriac adds "dried." It was customary to make presents to the prophets, 1 Kings ix. 7. (Calmet) --- But these were mean, that the woman might not be known. (Du Hamel) --- It is not said that Ahias deigned to receive them. (St. Jerome in Mic. iii.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-14.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

cruse = flask, or bottle.

he. Some codices, with Septuagint, read "and he".

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-kings-14.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.

Ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey. This was a present in unison with the peasant character she assumed. Cracknels [ niqudiym (Hebrew #5350)] are a kind of sweet seed-cake or biscuit, which crumbled easily (cf. Joshua 9:5; Joshua 9:12). [Septuagint, kulluria, a cruse of honey: baqbuq (Hebrew #1228), a bottle; from a root signifying to pour out, and expressive of the gurgling sound made in emptying; Septuagint, stamnon, a pitcher or jar. The Septuagint also, along with the Syriac version, adds, stafidas, dried grapes.] Harmer is of opinion, founded on an account by D'Arvieux of a present made to him by the mother and sister of an Arab emir consisting of viands very similar to the present described in this passage, that it was not so mean a donation as we are apt to suppose. The prophet was blind; but having received divine premonition of the pretended country woman's coming, he addressed her the moment she appeared, as the queen, apprised her of the calamities which, in consequence of the ingratitude of Jeroboam, his apostasy, and outrageous misgovernment of Israel, impended over their house, as well as over the nation which too readily followed his idolatrous innovations.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-kings-14.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) And take.—The presentation of this offering, designedly simple and rustic in character, accords with the custom (1 Samuel 9:7-8) of approaching the prophet at all times with some present, however trifling. In itself an act simply of homage, it would easily degenerate into the treatment of the prophetic function as a mere matter of merchandise. (See above, 1 Kings 13:7.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.
And take
13:7; 1 Samuel 9:7,8; 2 Kings 4:42; 5:5,15; 8:7-9
with thee
Heb. in thine hand. cracknels. or, cakes. Nikkoodim, spotted, or perforated cakes; either, as some suppose, thin cakes pierced through with holes, the same as is called Jews' bread to the present day, and used by them at the passover; or, as Mr. Harmer imagines, cakes spotted with seeds, as with sesamum, Roman coriander, etc., such as he proves from Rauwolff, Russell, and Hanway, are still used in the East. This was certainly not a present that proclaimed royalty; but it does not appear to have been, in the estimation of the East, a present only fit for a country woman to have made, as Bp. Patrick supposes: for D'Arvieux informs us, that when he waited on an Arab emir, his mother and sisters sent him a present of pastry, honey, and fresh butter, with a bason of sweetmeats of Damascus.
cruse
or, bottle. he shall tell.
2 Kings 1:2; 8:8; Luke 7:2,3; John 4:47,48; 11:3
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 28:8 - disguised;  1 Kings 14:12 - when thy feet;  Jeremiah 21:2 - Inquire;  Daniel 4:18 - but

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-14.html.