1 Kings 14:11 MEANING

1 Kings 14:11
(11) Him that dieth.--The same judgment is repeated in 1 Kings 16:4; 1 Kings 21:24. (Comp. also Jeremiah 36:30.) The "dogs" are the half-wild' dogs, the scavengers of every Eastern city; the "fowls of the air" the vultures and other birds of prey. In ancient times the natural horror of insult to the remains of the dead was often intensified by the idea, that in some way the denial of the rites of burial would inflict suffering or privation on the departed soul. Whether such ideas may have lingered in the minds of the Israelites we have no means of knowing. But certainly their whole system of law and ritual was calculated to give due honour to the body in life, as consecrated to God; and this would naturally tend to teach them that the body was a part of the true man, and therefore to deepen the repugnance, with which all reverent feeling regards outrage on the dead.

Verse 11. - Him that dieth of Jeroboam [Heb. to Jeroboam, i.e., belonging to, of the house cf. "Of Jeroboam," conveys the idea of his seed. It is possible that his wife shared in the general doom], in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air [Heb. heavens, as in Genesis 1:26; Genesis 2:19; Genesis 7:23, etc.] eat [This was a terrible threat to a Jew - that the dead body should fall a prey to dogs and wild beasts. Cf. Psalm 79:2; Jeremiah 7:33; Jeremiah 16:4; Jeremiah 34:20; Ezekiel 29:5, etc. For him it had a factitious horror, because of the threatening of Deuteronomy 28:26; cf. Revelation 19:17, 18. It was, therefore, the climax of disgrace and misfortune; the greatest dishonour that could be offered to the dust and to the memory. Hence the threat of David (1 Samuel 17:46; cf. ver. 44); hence the devotion of Rizpah (2 Samuel 21:10), and the complaint of the Psalmist (Psalm 79:2). Cf. Homer, Iliad 1:4, 5.

"Whose limbs, unburied on the naked shore,
Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore."
Dogs, it is well known, are the scavengers of Eastern cities. They exist there in great numbers, and in a semi-savage state, and the carcases of animals and carrion of all sorts are left for them to consume, which they do most effectually, roaming the streets all night (Psalm 59:6, 14) in search of garbage. Vultures and other birds of prey perform a similar office in the open country (Job 39:29, 30; Matthew 24:28)]: for the Lord hath spoken it.

14:7-20 Whether we keep an account of God's mercies to us or not, he does; and he will set them in order before us, if we are ungrateful, to our greater confusion. Ahijah foretells the speedy death of the child then sick, in mercy to him. He only in the house of Jeroboam had affection for the true worship of God, and disliked the worship of the calves. To show the power and sovereignty of his grace, God saves some out of the worst families, in whom there is some good thing towards the Lord God of Israel. The righteous are removed from the evil to come in this world, to the good to come in a better world. It is often a bad sign for a family, when the best in it are buried out of it. Yet their death never can be a loss to themselves. It was a present affliction to the family and kingdom, by which both ought to have been instructed. God also tells the judgments which should come upon the people of Israel, for conforming to the worship Jeroboam established. After they left the house of David, the government never continued long in one family, but one undermined and destroyed another. Families and kingdoms are ruined by sin. If great men do wickedly, they draw many others, both into the guilt and punishment. The condemnation of those will be severest, who must answer, not only for their own sins, but for sins others have been drawn into, and kept in, by them.Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat, and him that dieth in the fields shall the fowls of the air eat,.... The meaning is, that they should have no burial:

for the Lord hath spoken it; and therefore shall be fulfilled, for what he hath said he will do, Numbers 23:19.

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