The following commentary covers Chapters 14, 15, and 16.
neglect of God's warning: its results on himself and his
In spite of this testimony,
Jeroboam perseveres in his sin. The only one of his sons
in whom any piety is seen dies; and the judgment of God
is pronounced upon his house.
after Solomon's death: constant war between the two
Judah having walked in all
sorts of iniquity also, during the reign of Rehoboam,
Jerusalem is taken, and all the riches which Solomon had
amassed became the prey of the Egyptians. Abijam, his son,
follows no better course. There was constant war between
the two kingdomsthe sad story, so often renewed, of
man placed in the enjoyment of God's blessing, and the
effect of his fall. In what a condition do we see the
kingdom of God's people, and the house of David itself,
recently so glorious!
against Jehovah and hastening doom
Asa, pious himself and
faithful to Jehovah, pressed by the power of Baasha, king
of Israel, who had dethroned the house of Jeroboam, seeks
that help from the Syrians which he did not know how to
find in God. The family of Baasha falls, as that of
Jeroboam had done, and the chief captains contend
together for the throne, which remains at last in the
hands of Ahab's father. Ahab added to the sin of his
predecessors the worship of Baal, the god of his
idolatrous wife; and, in the enormity of his
transgressions against Jehovah, he went beyond all the
kings of Israel that were before him.
But in the midst of all
this moral ruin, the word of God reaches those who
violate it; and Joshua's prophetic judgment upon
whosoever should rebuild Jericho is fulfilled in the
family of Hiel, the Bethelite. Not only are the ways and
government of God manifested in full vigour, however
great His patience with a rebellious people, but the
energy of the king's iniquity, in the presence of God's
long-suffering, gives occasion for a testimony remarkable
in proportion to the evil which made it necessary.
The reign of Ahab was the
occasion of the testimony of the prophet Elijah. Israel,
at that time, was hastening to its doom. But, whatever
their iniquity may be, God does not smite a people who
have forsaken His ways, until He has sent them a
testimony. He may chastise them previously, but will not
definitively execute His judgment upon them.
The testimony of
the prophets in Judah unaccompanied by miracles
The character of the
testimony deserves particular attention here.
In Judah the prophets, who
bore testimony in the midst of an order of things which
God Himself had established, performed no miracles. They
dwell upon the people's sin, and put them in mind of the
law of Jehovah, His ordinances, and the obedience due to
Him. They proclaim the advent of the Messiah, and the
future blessing of Israel; but, the system in the midst
of which they give this testimony being still owned of
God, they perform no miracles.