Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 14:9

you also have done more evil than 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—
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abijah;   Government;   Jeroboam;   Judgments;   Prophecy;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Calves of Jeroboam;   Idolatry;   Reproof;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Abijah;   Ahijah;   Baasha;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ahijah;   Jeroboam;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Kings, First and Second, Theology of;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Jeroboam;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ahijah;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Abijah;   Ahijah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abijah;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Abijah ;   Ahijah ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Kings;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ahi'ah;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jeroboam;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Back;   Calf, Golden;   Gods;   Provocation;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Abijah;   Ahijah;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abijah;   Ahijah (the Prophet);  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Above all that were before thee - i. e., above all previous rulers of the people, whether Judges or kings. Hereto none of the rulers of Israel had set up the idolatrous worship of ephod, teraphim, and the like Judges 18:17, as a substitute for the true religion, or sought to impose an idolatrous system on the nation. Gideon‘s ephod “became a snare” contrary to his intention Judges 8:27. Solomon‘s high places were private - built for the use of his wives, and not designed to attract the people. Jeroboam was the first ruler who set himself to turn the Israelites away from the true worship, and established a poor counterfeit of it, which he strove to make, and succeeded in making, the religion of the great mass of his subjects.

And hast cast me behind thy back - A very strong and very rare expression, occurring again only in Ezekiel 23:35; where it is said of the Jews generally, shortly before the captivity. The expressions in the marginal references are similar but less fearful.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:9". "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

But hast done evil above all that were before thee,.... Not only above David, but above Saul, who never gave into idolatry, yea, even above Solomon, who, though he connived at idolatry, and might be guilty of it in some instances, yet did not attempt to draw his people into it; and if this was the latter end of Jeroboam's reign, which is probable, Rehoboam and Abijam might be both dead; and though they were blameworthy in some things, yet not so bad as Jeroboam; though perhaps this may respect only such who had been kings of Israel before him:

for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger; the two calves of gold; for however he might colour things over, and pretend he did not look upon these as gods, but as representations of God, and that he did not worship them, but God by them, yet the Lord considered it as idolatry, than which nothing is more provoking to him:

and hast cast me behind thy back; as unworthy of his regard; or my worship, as the Targum, which he neglected, and showed no concern for.

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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 14:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-14.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and i molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:

(i) That is, two calves.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-kings-14.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:

Above all — Above all the former kings of my people, as Saul, and Solomon, and Rehoboam.

Images — Namely the golden calves: not as if they thought them to be other gods in a proper sense; for it is apparent they still pretended to worship the God of their fathers, but because God rejected their whole worship, and, howsoever they accounted it, he reckoned it a manifest defection from him, and a betaking themselves to other gods, or devils, as they are called, 2 Chronicles 11:15, whom alone they served and worshipped therein, whatsoever pretences they had to the contrary.

To provoke — Whereby thou didst provoke me. For otherwise this was not Jeroboam's design in it, but only to establish himself in the throne.

Hast cast — Despised and forsaken me, and my commands, and my worship, as we do things which we cast behind our backs.

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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 14:9". "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 14:9 But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:

Ver. 9. But hast done evil above all that were before thee.] Not Saul and Solomon only, but the kings of the heathens also, - as Tostatus maketh the sense, - because they knew no better: but he fell with eyes open.

And hast cast me behind thy back.] Hast laid me aside and set light by me, quasi non satis essem ad ulciscendas iniurias, as if I were nobody with thee, nor had power to punish thee. Thou hast both despised and despited me. See on Psalms 50:17, Nehemiah 9:26.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-14.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Above all that were before thee; above all the former kings of my people, as Saul, and Solomon, and Rehoboam.

Other gods, and molten images, or other gods, to wit, (for so and oft signifies among the Hebrews, as hath been formerly noted,)

molten images, namely, the golden calves; which he calls others gods, not as if the Israelites esteemed the calves made of their own gold to be gods indeed, which it is incredible should find belief with any man in his wits, especially with the whole body of the Israelites, who knew that the ark and cherubims, though made by God’s special direction, were not gods, but only pledges of God’s presence, &c.; nor as if they thought them to be

other gods in a strict and proper sense; for it is apparent that they still pretended to worship the God of their fathers, as the Jews at Jerusalem did, though in a differing manner: but only because God rejected their whole worship; and howsoever they called or accounted it, he reckoned it a manifest defection from him, and a betaking of themselves to other gods, or devils, as they are called, 2 Chronicles 11:15, by whose instigation they were led to such idolatrous practices, and whom alone they served and worshipped therein, whatsoever pretences they had to the contrary.

To provoke me to anger, i.e. whereby thou didst provoke me; for otherwise this was not Jeroboam’s design in it, but only to establish himself in the throne.

Cast me behind thy back; despised, and disregarded, and forsaken me, and my commands, and my worship, as we do things which we cast behind our backs.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:9". 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

9.Cast me behind thy back — An expression the exact opposite of having God before one’s eyes, and denoting in the strongest manner the utter rejection of the counsels of Jehovah. Compare Ezekiel xxiii, 35.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-14.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Kings 14:9. But hast done evil above all that were before thee — Above all the judges and former kings of my people, none of whom set up images, and persuaded the people to worship them. For thou hast made thee other gods, and molten images — Namely, the golden calves: not as if they thought them to be other gods in a proper sense, but only representations of the true God; for it is apparent they still pretended to worship the God of their fathers; but because God rejected their whole worship, and, howsoever they accounted it, he reckoned it a manifest defection from him, and a betaking themselves to other gods, or devils, as they are called 2 Chronicles 11:15, whom alone they served and worshipped therein, whatsoever pretences they had to the contrary. To provoke — Whereby thou didst provoke me. For otherwise this was not Jeroboam’s design in it, but only to establish himself in the throne. And hast cast me behind thy back — Despised and forsaken me, and my commands, and my worship, as we do things which we cast behind our backs.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:9". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-14.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Strange gods; that is, foreign gods: which expression destroys the opinion of those who imagine that Jeroboam designed by his calves to worship the Lord God of Israel. (Challoner) --- Back. Literally, "body."

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-14.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

all Not merely kings, but all other rulers. No anachronism.

other gods. Jehovah does not recognize the calves as being what Jeroboam intended, mere political expedients. See note on 1 Kings 14:2.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:9". "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

But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:

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 14:9". "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

(9) But hast done evil above all that were before thee.—The language is strong, in the face of the many instances of the worship of false gods in the days of the Judges, and the recent apostasy of Solomon—to say nothing of the idolatry of the golden calf in the wilderness, and the setting up of the idolatrous sanctuaries in olden times at Ophrah and at Dan (Judges 8:27; Judges 18:30-31). The guilt, indeed, of Jeroboam’s act was enhanced by the presumptuous contempt of the special promise of God, given on the sole condition of obedience. In respect of this, perhaps, he is said below—in an expression seldom used elsewhere—to have “cast God Himself behind his back.” But probably the reference is mainly to the unprecedented effect of the sin, coming at a critical point in the history of Israel, and from that time onward poisoning the springs of national faith and worship. Other idolatries came and passed away: this continued, and at all times “made Israel to sin.”

Other gods and molten images.—See in 1 Kings 11:28 the repetition of the older declaration in the wilderness, “These be thy gods, O Israel.” Jeroboam would have justified the use of the calves as simply emblems of the true God; Ahijah rejects the plea, holding these molten images, expressly forbidden in the Law, to be really objects of worship—“other gods,”—as, indeed, all experience shows that such forbidden emblems eventually tend to become. Moreover, from 1 Kings 14:15 it appears that the foul worship of the Asherah (“groves”) associated itself with the idolatry of Jeroboam.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:
hast done
16; 12:28; 13:33,34; 15:34; 16:31
thou hast gone
Deuteronomy 32:16,17,21; Judges 5:8; 2 Chronicles 11:15; Psalms 106:19,20; 115:4-8; Isaiah 44:9-20; Jeremiah 10:14-16
to provoke
22; Deuteronomy 9:8-16,24; 2 Kings 21:3; 23:26; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Psalms 78:40,56; 106:29; Jeremiah 7:9,10; Ezekiel 8:3,17; 1 Corinthians 10:22
cast me
Nehemiah 9:26; Psalms 50:17; Ezekiel 23:35
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 14:15 - provoking;  1 Kings 15:29 - he left not;  1 Kings 15:30 - the sins;  1 Kings 16:25 - did worse;  1 Kings 16:30 - above;  1 Kings 22:52 - and in the way;  2 Chronicles 13:8 - with you golden;  2 Chronicles 21:11 - caused;  2 Chronicles 24:18 - And they left;  Jeremiah 32:18 - recompensest;  Ezekiel 23:5 - Aholah

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 14:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-14.html.