1 Kings 14:1 MEANING

1 Kings 14:1
(1) Abijah ("whose father is Jehovah").--The coincidence of names in the sons of Jeroboam and Rehoboam is curious. Possibly it may be more than coincidence, if (as seems likely) the births of both took place about the same time, when Jeroboam was in favour with Solomon.

Verse 1. - At that time [or about (כְּ) that time. The king is now settled at Tirzah (ver. 17). In 1 Kings 12:25 we left him residing at Shechem. The time referred to is that somewhat indefinite period mentioned in 1 Kings 13:33, 34. These opening words clearly connect the sickness with Jeroboam's impenitence. What led the king to move his Court to Tirzah, Shechem being, as we have already seen, not only the capital of Ephraim, but "the natural capital of Palestine," "its central situation, its accessibility, and its wonderfully fine water supply" giving it "advantages not enjoyed by any other city in the land" (Conder), we are not told; but it is interesting and instructive to find that it has one conspicuous disadvantage as a capital, viz., that it is "commanded by a hill on either side so close to the town, that the old geographer, Marino Sanuto, in the fourteenth century, considers the place to be untenable by any military force, because stones might be rolled clown upon the houses, from either Ebal or Gerizim" (Conder, p. 16. Cf. Judges 9:36). It is very probable that this consideration suggested the transfer, of which Ewald despaired of discovering the cause ("Hist. Israel," 4:23)] Abijah [Rawlinson sees in the name, which means "Jehovah is his father," an indication that Jeroboam "did not intend to desert the worship of Jehovah." But the name was probably bestowed long before the schism possibly in Egypt. It is more likely that it connects itself, if with anything, with the message of Jehovah to him (1 Kings 11:28). But the name was not uncommon - it was borne by a son of Rehoboam (ver. 31; compare Ahijah, below), and inferences from names must necessarily be precarious] the son of Jeroboam fell sick. [The historian undoubtedly means us to see the finger of God in this sickness. This was one of the penalties of disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:22, 58-61; Exodus 23:25].

14:1-6 At that time, when Jeroboam did evil, his child sickened. When sickness comes into our families, we should inquire whether there may not be some particular sin harboured in our houses, which the affliction is sent to convince us of, and reclaim us from. It had been more pious if he had desired to know wherefore God contended with him; had begged the prophet's prayers, and cast away his idols from him; but most people would rather be told their fortune, than their faults or their duty. He sent to Ahijah, because he had told him he should be king. Those who by sin disqualify themselves for comfort, yet expect that their ministers, because they are good men, should speak peace and comfort to them, greatly wrong themselves and their ministers. He sent his wife in disguise, that the prophet might only answer her question concerning her son. Thus some people would limit their ministers to smooth things, and care not for having the whole counsel of God declared to them, lest it should prophesy no good concerning them, but evil. But she shall know, at the first word, what she has to trust to. Tidings of a portion with hypocrites will be heavy tidings. God will judge men according to what they are, not by what they seem to be.At that time Abijah, the son of Jeroboam, fell sick. Being smitten of God with some disease, as a punishment of Jeroboam's sin; how long this was after the above things were done cannot be said.
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