1 Kings 12:17 MEANING

1 Kings 12:17
(17) The children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah.--The expression is doubly significant. (a) Historically the tribe of Judah had its semi-dependent tribes--Simeon, already absorbed into Judah; Dan, in great part transferred to the extreme north; and Benjamin, closely united to Judah by the position of Jerusalem. All these, it would seem, are here included--so that the territory of the southern kingdom would be really the Jud?a of later times. In addition to these, we find from 2 Chronicles 11:13-16, that, at any rate after the idolatry of Jeroboam, priests and Levites and other Israelites made their way into the cities of Judah. (b) But, besides this, there may be a significance in the phrase "children of Israel." Although the northern kingdom henceforth inherited the proud title of the kingdom of Israel, the phrase, as here used, is perhaps intended to remind the reader that in Judah also dwelt "children of Israel"--true descendants of the "Prince of God," and inheritors of the promise.

Verse 17. - But as for the children of Israel which dwelt In the cities of Judah [i.e., "the Israelites proper or members of other tribes, who happened to be settled within the limits of the land of Judah" (cf. ver. 23). A number of Simeonites were (Rawlinson) certainly among them (Joshua 19:1-9). The term "children of Israel" is henceforward to be understood in its restricted sense (see on ver. 1). It cannot include the men of Judah], Rehoboam reigned over them.

12:16-24 The people speak unbecomingly of David. How soon are good men, and their good services to the public, forgotten ! These considerations should reconcile us to our losses and troubles, that God is the Author of them, and our brethren the instruments: let us not meditate revenge. Rehoboam and his people hearkened to the word of the Lord. When we know God's mind, we must submit, how much soever it crosses our own mind. If we secure the favour of God, not all the universe can hurt us.But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah,.... Either such Israelites of the ten tribes that had before dwelt, or now upon this removed, for the sake of worship, to dwell in the tribe of Judah; or else that part of Israel, the tribe of Judah, which dwelt in the cities belonging to it:

Rehoboam reigned over them; they owned him to be their king, and submitted to his government.

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