Brothers Against Brothers – 2 Chronicles 13

Now that Abijah was king of Judah, there came to be a war between him and Jeroboam, the king of Israel. The text give some hint that Jeroboam may have instigated the was, seeking to re-unite the divided kingdom (under his ruler-ship of course. Abijah had troops with him of 400,000 in number, while Jeroboam had 800,000 “mighty warriors.” Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim and addressed the Israelites.

Map showing the Kingdoms of Israel (blue) and ...

Map showing the Kingdoms of Israel (blue) and Judah (orange), ancient levant borders and ancient cities such as Urmomium and Jerash. The map shows the region in the 9th century BCE. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He reminded them of God’s promise to David, which meant that Jeroboam must not be their king. He also pointed to the golden calves, and the fact that the priest, Levites, and sons of Aaron had been driven out, and that they had unlawfully made priests of people who were not eligible. Their kingdom, their king, and even their service to God was all a lie, and they knew in their hearts it was so.

But while he spoke, Jeroboam sent troops to ambush Abijah and his men from the rear. Verses 16-20 state clearly that God defeated Jeroboam and his troops, and gave them into the hands of Abijah and his men, who took cities from Jeroboam’s kingdom. Verse 17 says that a half million Israelite were killed in this battle. A true blood bath, and Jeroboam never recovered his power against Abijah.  And according to verse 21, Abijah grew mighty.

Abijah’s speech in this chapter was impressive and seemed to foreshadow a great time of Godly leadership for the kingdom of Judah. But alas, we will see that such did not prove to be the case after this victory.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Please check out my Books and my Facebook Author’s Page. You will find the links at this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books“.

 

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Rehoboam Secures His Kingdom – 1 Chronicles 11

Rehoboam - Abijah ( )

Rehoboam – Abijah ( ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rehoboam went to Jerusalem to gather warriors (180,000) to attack Israel and restore it to his kingdom. But God sent His prophet, Shemaiah, to stop him, saying that God does not want them to attack their brothers. So Rehoboam went home. But then, he began to secure the kingdom that he had.

As Jeroboam installed his own non-Levitical priests to assist in worship to the golden calves he had created and the idols in the high places, the priests made their way to Judah, and those who had “set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel” followed them there. The chronicler tells us that for 3 years hence they helped make Judah strong by walking in the way of David and Solomon.

Meanwhile, Rehoboam made the cities everywhere strongholds of defense. These fortified cities were well armed, and they would be able to resist attack from outside. Rehobaom knew that doing so would be a deterrent against the kingdom of Israel, as well as any other kingdoms that might threaten them,

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.

Rehoboam Takes Bad Advice – 2 Chronicles 10

Jeroboam and “all Israel” came to Rehoboam to speak their grievances. They told him how hard life had been under his father, King Solomon — how he had made their “yoke” heavy. So they plead with him to lighten their burdens and not let their lives continue to be so hard, and they would be grateful and serve him.

Rehoboam, a fragment of the Council Chamber murals

Rehoboam, a fragment of the Council Chamber murals (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rehoboam was not sure how he should answer them, so he sent them away, telling them to come back in three days. He used the time to seek the counsel of others. He went first to the older men, asking for their advice. they told him that he should be good and kind to them, and he will have loyal servants throughout his reign a king. But instead of taking their advice, he went to seek counsel from his contemporaries — the younger men.

These younger men did not simply tell him that he should not lighten their load. Instead they told him that he should speak harshly and intimidate them by a show of strength and ruthlessness, saying “My little finger is thicker than my father’s thighs. And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.”

The people then realized that things would not get better in their lifetimes, and they would not serve this king.  So they all went to their homes — their tents. Rehoboam sent his taskmaster, Hadoram, to try to get them in line. But they stoned him to death, Rehoboam fled to Jerusalem at this – the beginning of their rebellion.

Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

Rehoboam Takes Over – 2 Chronicles 9-10

The United Kingdom of Solomon breaks up, with ...

The United Kingdom of Solomon breaks up, with Jeroboam ruling over the Northern Kingdom of Israel (in green on the map). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the end of chapter 9, when writing about Solomon’s death, the chronicler tells the reader that many of Solomon’s “acts” were written about “in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat.” These are evidently a few of many works of history that had been written about – most of which were lost by the time of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, if not sooner.

Nathan the prophet, we know about well, as he served David as well as Solomon. But who were these others? Ahijah the Shilonite was the prophet who met Jeroboam on the road and tore the garment into 12 pieces to signify the tearing of “the kingdom from the hand of Solomon” (1 Kings 11:29). Iddo the seer was another prophet who is also mentioned in 2 Chronicles 12:15, and 2 Chronicles 13:22.

Now that Solomon has passed away, his son Rehoboam takes over as King. He travels to Shechem, where the people have gathered to make him king. Meanwhile, Jeroboam, who had fled from Solomon into Egypt (1 Kings 11:40) hears about Solomon’s passing, and his son becoming king. So he now returns from Egypt.

Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

1 Kings 12 – The Kingdom Divided

Solomon’s son Rehoboam becomes king, but makes huge mistakes.  The life under Solomon had become hard labor – so much so that it seemed not much different from the slavery to Pharoah.  So the people come to Rehoboam asking him to lighten their load.  He foolishly listens to the counsel of the young men who had grown up with him, and ends up telling the people who had complained that he would make things harder for them (verses 13-14).  This also reminds of Pharoah’s response to Moses and Aaron in Exodus 5:1-21.

The United Kingdom of Solomon breaks up, with ...

The United Kingdom of Solomon breaks up, with Jeroboam ruling over the Northern Kingdom of Israel (in green on the map). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This leads to the division of the kingdom (verse 16).  Rehoboam tries to recover using his taskmaster, Adoram, but he is stoned to death and Rehoboam flees to Jerusalem.  Rehoboam assembles Judah and the tribe of Benjamin to try to regain the rest of the kingdom, but God sends word through Shemaiah for all the people not to fight against their relatives because “this thing is from me.”  So war is averted, and the people return to their homes.

But Jeroboam was fearful because the temple was in Jerusalem that people would return there to worship, and their hearts would be swayed to serve the house of David – Rehoboam.  So he fashioned golden calves and worship places at Dan and Bethel, telling the people (just as Aaron did in Exodus 32:4) “Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt” (verse 28).  He also appointed priests who were not Levites.  This idol worship would be their downfall, and lead to their later exile, as the their minds had already begun to confuse the one true God with the rites of idol worship.  Many perversely saw themselves as worshiping Jehovah through these idols!  He even instituted his own feast in verse 33.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

1 Kings 11 – Solomon Turns From the Lord

English: Judgement of Solomon

English: Judgement of Solomon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Lord’s warning in 1 Kings 9:6-9 seems pretty straightforward, and one would think that Solomon would have heed it.  But chapter 11 makes it clear that he did not.  God’s warnings concerning the king in Deuteronomy 17:14-17 were ignored, as well as what God said in Deuteronomy 7:3-5.  Solomon took 700 wives and 300 concubines (verse 3), and seemed to have married princesses from every Canaanite nation.  And just as warned over and over, they turned his heart to serving other “gods” (verse 5-8).  He even built places of worship to these idols, including Molech, whom the Bible writers associated with child sacrifice in, as we are told in Leviticus 18:21 and other passages.

The Lord’s anger with Solomon was great, and he told him that he would tear the kingdom away from him and give it to his servant (we meet him – Jeroboam – in verse 26) and he will indeed be the next king of Israel.  But God will not do this until Solomon dies, and he will leave one tribe with Solomon’s son for the sake of David (verse 13).  So God raises up adversaries against Solomon – Rezon rises up from the north, and Hadad rises up from the south.  Solomon now finds enemies on all sides. In verse 40, we find Solomon’s reaction to the promise of Jeroboam’s rise to king – he seeks to kill him, just as Saul did with David!  How far he has fallen.  Solomon dies in verse 43.  Verse 42 says that he reigned as king for 40 years.  Some believe that he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes in his later years

 

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Exodus 32 – The Golden Calf

English: Worshiping the golden calf, as in Exo...

Image via Wikipedia

It is hard to believe that these are the people who in Exodus 20:18-19 were so fearful and in awe of the Lord; and that in Exodus 20:23 were explicitly warned not to make idols.  Could it be any coincidence that the disaster of Jeroboam I making the two idols was done with him using almost the exact words of verse 4, when he said in 1 Kings 12:28 “Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt”?  The golden calf was probably the Egyptian bull “deity” Apis.  Sadly, Aaron’s confession to Moses about what they had done is so lame in verses 22-24 – He just threw their gold into the fire, and out comes this calf!  Does any of that remind you of Adam in Genesis 3:12, as it does me?

Joshua had been waiting for Moses at his post on the mountain when he remarked to Moses that the noise from the people below sounded like war.  Notice that Moses, having been informed by the Lord, asks in verse 26 “Who is on the Lord’s side?”  When the sons of Levi come to his side, he orders them to put to death a number of those who did not come at that time – an easy detail to miss with so much happening.  In verse 29, he blesses them, saying that they have been ordained for the Lord.

But the Lord is rightfully hot with anger at this “stiff-necked people” and He wants nothing more to do with them.  Stephen refers to those who had rejected Jesus in the same way in Acts 7:51, before he is stoned.

(Side note: more information about the Egyptian idol that the calf may have been fashioned after can be found in this Wikipedia article)

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.