2 Chronicles 11

CHAPTER XI

Rehoboam raises an array, purposing to reduce the ten tribes;

but is prevented by Shemaiah the prophet, 1-4.

He builds several cities of defense, and fortifies others,

5-12.

The priests and Levites being turned out by Jeroboam, come to

Rehoboam, 13, 14.

Jeroboam's gross idolatry, 15.

The pious of the land join with Judah, and strengthen the

kingdom of Rehoboam, 16, 17.

His wives, concubines, and numerous issue, 18-21.

He places his own sons for governors in the different

provinces, 22, 23.

NOTES ON CHAP. XI

Verse 1. Gathered of the house of Judah] See this account

1Ki 12:21-24, and the notes there.

Verse 5. And built cities for defense in Judah.] He was obliged

to strengthen his frontiers against the encroachments of the men

of Israel; and Jeroboam did the same thing on his part to prevent

the inroads of Judah. See 1Ki 12:25.

Verse 11. Store of victual] In these places he laid up stores of

provisions, not only to enable them to endure a siege; but also

that they might be able, from their situation, to supply desolate

places.

Verse 14. The Levites left their suburbs] They and the priests

were expelled from their offices by Jeroboam, lest they should

turn the hearts of the people to the true God, and then they would

revolt to Judah, 1Ki 12:26; and therefore he established a new

worship, and made new gods.

Verse 15. And he ordained him priests-for the devils]

seirim, the hairy ones; probably goats: for as the golden

calves, or oxen, were in imitation of the Egyptian ox-god,

Apis; so they no doubt paid Divine honours to the goat, which we

know was an object of religious veneration in Egypt.

Verse 16. Such as set their hearts to seek the Lord] All the

truly pious joined him out of every tribe, and the whole tribe of

Levi, being deprived of their functions, joined him also. Thus he

had Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, and probably a part of Simeon;

for he had Etam, which was in that tribe, and the truly religious

out of all the other tribes, for they could not bear Jeroboam's

idolatry.

Verse 17. For three years they walked in the way of David]

During this time he prospered; but for fourteen years after this

he and the people were unfaithful to the Lord, except at such

intervals as the hand of God's judgments was upon them.

Verse 18. Took him Mahalath] By marrying thus in the family of

David, he strengthened his right to the Jewish throne.

Verse 20. Maachah the daughter of Absalom]

See Clarke on 1Ki 15:10. She is called

Michaiah, the daughter of Uriel, 2Ch 13:2. For this the

Targum gives the following reason: "Abijah reigned three years

in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Michaiah, daughter of

Uriel of Gibeatha. She is the same as Michah, the daughter of

Absalom; but, because she was an upright woman, her name was

changed into the more excellent name Michaiah, and her fathers

name into that of Uriel of Gibeatha, that the name of Absalom

might not be remembered."

Verse 21. Eighteen wives and threescore concubines] Bad enough,

but not so abandoned as his father. Of these marriages and

concubinage the issue was twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters;

eighty-eight children in the whole, to the education of the

whole of whom he could pay but little attention. Numerous families

are often neglected; and children by different women, must be yet

in a worse state.

Verse 22. Made Abijah-the chief] Abijah certainly was not the

first-born of Rehoboam; but as he loved Maachah more than any of

his wives, so he preferred her son, probably through his mother's

influence. In De 21:16, this sort of preference is forbidden; but

Rehoboam had a sort of precedent in the preference shown by David

to Solomon.

Verse 23. He dealt wisely] It was true policy to disperse his

own sons through the different provinces who were not likely to

form any league with Jeroboam against their father.

He desired many wives.] He was much addicted to women; yet we do

not find that he formed any heathenish alliances of this nature.

And as no particulars are given, we do not know how far he

indulged himself in this propensity. He probably strengthened his

political connections by these means.

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