The Agora
Bible Commentary
1 Kings

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1 Kings 13

1Ki 13:1

1Ki 13: "Jeroboam's policy was to widen the breach between the two kingdoms and sever the links that held them together -- the common interests, which it was the one great object of the Law to combine and interlace. To that end he sacrificed the most sacred and inviolable interests and obligations of the covenant people, by forbidding his subjects to resort to the temple of the One who set him in power, by elevating common people as priests, by himself acting as high priest to the imitation of Egyptian gods he had set up in the name of Yahweh (as did Aaron in the matter of the golden calf beforehand). He met a situation that could only be satisfactorily handled in faith, by his own earthly diplomacy -- and so failed. The great sin of Jeroboam was not merely idolatry (for Solomon and Rehoboam were both guilty of that) but compromise, a policy of expediency which perverted Truth by superimposing upon it pagan principles. The early Christian communities became guilty of the same sin. Jeroboam believed that the end justified the means. So the king was rebuked by the nameless prophet recorded in this chapter. [1] Dramatic interruption at the dedicatory service: vv 1-3. [2] The king's anger and dismay: vv 4-5. [3] He pleads the prophet's help: vv 6,7. [4] The king's invitation rejected: vv 8-10. [5] The prophet of Bethel: v 11. [6] The prophet of Bethel seeks the prophet of Judah: vv 12,13. [7] The invitation extended: vv 14,15. [8] The invitation refused: vv 16,17. [9] The prophet deceived: vv 18,19. [10] The prophet rebuked: vv 20-22. [11] The prophet punished: vv 23-24. [12] The prophet mourned: vv 26-32. [13] Jeroboam's obstinacy: vv 33,34" (GEM).

A "dedication" never completed. Yahweh intervenes to rob sin of its "solemnity".

1Ki 13:2

HE CRIED OUT...: A public, courageous pronouncement, in the very stronghold of sin!

NAMED JOSIAH: Poss an editorial parenthesis inserted for explanation's sake at the time 1Ki was being put together.. True enough: God could have named Josiah 150 or 200 years ahead of time, but did He? When Josiah did arise to fulfill this prophecy (2Ki 23:15,18), the record there makes no allusion to the fulfillment (WIsa 393).

1Ki 13:4

Jeroboam's joy turned to ashes (v 5)!

1Ki 13:6

In his idolatry (golden calves: 1Ki 12:28), Jeroboam emulated Egypt. And in the plagues and subsequent removal, there is the typical pattern again of Pharaoh and Moses in Egypt.

HAND WAS RESTORED: Cp Christ's miracle of withered hand restored: Mat 12:9-14; Mar 3:1-6; Luk 6:6-11.

1Ki 13:9

NOT EAT... OR DRINK...: A stranger and a pilgrim.

1Ki 13:11

Hiding his light under a bushel -- not instructing even his sons. Those sons had been present at (and evidently consenting to) Jeroboam's idolatrous dedication.

1Ki 13:15

Though not prepared to fight for the truth himself -- which seems evident from the earlier part of the narrative -- the "old prophet" was quite happy to spend (that is, waste!) the time of those who did!

1Ki 13:18

AN ANGEL SAID TO ME: Many years later the apostle Paul warned against just this sort of thing: succumbing to the allurements of those who merely CLAIM to have a revelation from God -- without "testing the spirits"! "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!" (Gal 1:8). Do not be turned aside by the words, 'I prayed, and/or had a revelation from God.'

EAT... DRINK: Peace and ease beckon seductively to us in many forms. But all are of sin: "But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin" (Rom 14:23).

1Ki 13:19

Such a sudden change!

1Ki 13:28

THE LION HAD NEITHER EATEN THE BODY NOR MAULED THE DONKEY: Suggesting that this was indeed a miraculous occurrence, because the lion -- contrary to his nature -- stopped short of tearing and eating the body or harming the donkey.

1Ki 13:33

The death of the disobedient prophet lessens the effect his withdrawal from Jeroboam might have had.

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