And there are gathered unto him vain men
Void of the fear of God, and all that is good:
the children of Belial:
men unprofitable, good for nothing, or that had cast off the yoke of the law of God, were lawless and abandoned persons:
And have strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon:
rejected his government of them; went into a strong opposition to him, and set up another king over them:
when Rehoboam was young and tender hearted, and could not withstand
not that he was young in years, for he was forty one years of age when he began to reign; though Joshua is called a young man when he is supposed to be between fifty and sixty years of age ( Exodus 33:11 ) , and though "adolescentia" and "juventus" are both used in Latin writers for "youth", yet Varro F17 distinguishes them, and makes the former to begin at the year fifteen, and continue to the year thirty, and the latter to begin at thirty, and end at forty five; so that, according to this, Rehoboam was then in his stage of youth; but perhaps the meaning here is, that he was young in the kingdom, scarcely settled on his throne, and the advantage of that was taken; not was he cowardly and fearful; and if Abijah meant that by "tender heartedness", he not only reproached but belied his father; for he would have fought with Israel in order to have reduced them to obedience, but was forbidden by the Lord; if by "tender hearted", he means that he had a tender regard to the command of God, it is true; but that seems not to be his sense, but the former.
F17 Apud Stockim in voce (ren) , p. 688.