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1 Kings 13

The Book of 1 Kings
Chapter 13

Chapter Overview:

A prophet threatens Jeroboam's altar, and gives a sign, which immediately comes to pass, ver, 1 - 5.
He restores Jeroboam's withered hand, and leaves Bethel, ver. 6 - 10.
The old prophet deceives and entertains him, ver. 11 - 19.
He is threatened with death, ver. 20 - 23.
Slain by a lion and buried, ver. 24 - 32.
Jeroboam is hardened in his idolatry, ver. 33, 34.
13:1Man of God - An holy prophet. By the word, &c. - By Divine inspiration and command.
13:2The altar - And consequently, against all that worship.O altar - He directs his speech to the altar, because the following signswere wrought upon it. Josiah - Which being done above three hundredyears after this prophecy, plainly shews the absolute certainty of God'sprovidence; and fore - knowledge even in the most contingent things. For thiswas in itself uncertain, and wholly depended upon man's will, both as to thehaving of a child, and as to the giving it this name. Therefore God cancertainly and effectually over - rule man's will which way he pleaseth; orelse it was possible, that this prediction should have been false; which isblasphemous to imagine. The priests - The bones of the priests, 23:15 ,16, whereby the altar should be defiled. How bold wasthe man, that durst attack the king in his pride, and interrupt thesolemnity he was proud of? Whoever is sent on God's errand, must not fearthe faces of men. It was above three hundred and fifty years ere thisprophecy was fulfilled. Yet it is spoken of as sure and nigh at hand.For a thousand years are with God as one day.
13:3Gave a sign - That is, he then wrought a miracle, to assure them of the truth of his prophecy.
13:4Put forth, &c. - To point out the man whom he would have the people lay hands on. The altar - Where it was employed in offeringsomething upon it. Dried up - Or, withered, the muscles and sinews,the instruments of motion, shrunk up. This God did, to chastiseJeroboam for offering violence to the Lord's prophet: to secure theprophet against farther violence: and, that in this example God mightshew, how highly he resents the injuries done to his ministers, for thefaithful discharge of their office.
13:6Thy God - Who hath manifested himself to be thy God and friend, in a singular manner; and therefore will hear thy prayers for me, thoughhe will not regard mine, because I have forsaken him and his worship.Besought - To assure Jeroboam, that what he had said, was not fromill - will to him, and that he heartily desired his reformation, and not hisruin. Restored - Because he repented of that violence, which he intendedagainst that prophet, for which God inflicted it: and that this goodnessof God to him, might have led him to repentance; or, if he continuedimpenitent, leave him without excuse.
13:9For so, &c. - My refusal of thy favour, is not from any contempt, or hatred of thy person; but in obedience to the just command of my God,who hath forbidden me all father converse or communication with thee.Eat nor drink - In that place, or with that people. Whereby God declares,how detestable they were in God's eyes; because they were vile apostatesfrom the true God, and embraced this idol - worship, against the light oftheir own consciences, merely to comply with the king's humour and command.Nor turn - That by thy avoiding the way that led thee to Beth-el asexecrable, although thou wentest by my special command, thou mightest teachall others, how much they should abhor that way, and all thoughts of goingto that place, or to such people, upon any unnecessary occasion.
13:11A prophet - One to whom, and by whom God did sometimes impart his mind; as it is manifest from ver. 20 , 21, and one that had a respect tothe Lord's holy prophets, and gave credit to their predictions: but whetherhe was a good man, may be doubted, seeing we find him in a downright lie,ver. 18 . And altho' an holy prophet may possibly have continued in thekingdom of Israel, he would never have gone from his own habitation,to dwell at Beth-el, the chief seat of idolatry, unless with design topreach against it: which it is evident he did not; his sons seem to havebeen present at, and, and to have joined with others in that idolatrousworship.
13:21Cried - With a loud voice, the effect of his passion, both for his own guilt and shame, and for the prophet's approaching misery.
13:22Shall not, &c. - Thou shalt not die a natural, but a violent death; and that in this journey, before thou returnest to thy nativehabitation. But is it not strange that the lying prophet escapes, whilethe man of God is so severely punished? Certainly there must be a judgmentto come, when these things shall be called over again, and when those whosinned most and suffered least in this world, will receive according totheir works.
13:23Saddled for him - But, it is observable, he doth not accompany him; his guilty conscience making him fear to be involved in the samejudgment with him.
13:24Slew him - But why doth God punish a good man so severely for so small an offence? His sin was not small, for it was a gross disobedienceto a positive command. And it cannot seem strange if God should bring hisdeserved death upon him in this manner, for the accomplishment of his ownglorious designs, to vindicate his own justice from the imputation ofpartiality; to assure the truth of his predictions, and thereby provokeJeroboam and his idolatrous followers to repentance; and to justifyhimself in all his dreadful judgments which he intended to inflict uponJeroboam's house, and the whole kingdom of Israel.
13:28He found, &c. - Here was a concurrence of miracles: that the ass did not run away from the lion, according to his nature, but boldly stoodstill, as reserving himself to carry the prophet to his burial; that thelion did not devour its prey, nor yet go away when he had done his work,but stood still, partly to preserve the carcase of the prophet from otherwild beasts or fowls, partly, as an evidence that the prophet's death wasnot casual, nor the effect of a lion's ravenous disposition, but of God'ssingular and just judgment; and consequently, that his prediction wasdivine, and should be infallibly accomplished in its proper time; andpartly, as a token of God's favour to the deceased prophet, of whose verycarcase he took such special care: thereby signifying, that although forwise and just reasons he thought fit to take away his life, yet his remainswas precious to him.
13:30His grave - So that threatening, ver. 22 , was fulfilled; and withal, the memory of his prophecy was revived and preserved among them,and his very carcase resting there, might be a witness of their madnessand desperate wickedness, in continuing in their abominable idolatry, aftersuch an assurance of the dreadful effects of it. They - The old prophetand his sons, and others, whom common humanity taught to lament the untimelydeath of so worthy a person. Alas, &c. - Which was an usual form ofexpression in funeral - lamentations.
13:31When I am dead, &c - Tho' he was a lying prophet, yet he desired to die the death of a true prophet. Gather not my Soul with the sinners ofBeth-el, but with this man of God: Because what he cried againstthe altar of Beth-el, shall surely come to pass. Thus by the mouth oftwo witnesses was it established, if possible to convince Jeroboam.
13:32Samaria - That is, of the kingdom of Samaria; as it was called, though not when this fact was done, yet before these books werewritten. Samaria was properly this name of one city, chap. 21:1 ,but from hence the whole kingdom of Israel was so called.
13:33After this - That is, after all these things: the singular number put for the plural; after so many, and evident, and successive miracles.Made again - He abated not so much as a circumstance in his idolatrousworship. Whosoever - Without any respect to tribe or family, or integrityof body, or mind, or life; all which were to be regarded in the priesthood.
13:34Sin - Either, an occasion of sin, and means of hardening all his posterity in their idolatry: or, a punishment, for so the word sinis often used. This his obstinate continuance in his idolatry, after suchwarnings, was the utter ruin of all his family. They betray themselveseffectually, who endeavour to support themselves by any sin.