The final decision of King Rehoboam (2 Chr 10:12-10:15)

“So Jeroboam and all the people came to King Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had said. ‘Come to me again the third day.’ The king answered them harshly. King Rehoboam disregarded the advice of the older men. He spoke to them in accordance with the advice of the young men. ‘My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.’ So the king did not listen to the people. This was a turn of affairs brought about by God so that Yahweh might fulfill his word, which he had spoken by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat.”

Once again, this is based almost word for word on 1 Kings, chapter 12. On the third day, they all came back together. King Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and stuck with the advice of the young men. Thus he repeated their advice. King Rehoboam was going to make it tougher than his father King Solomon. In fact, he would use scorpions or iron instruments rather than whips. According to the both biblical writers, this simply fulfilled the plan of Yahweh as outlined by the prophet Ahijah to Jeroboam. Although not explicitly mentioned here in this book, but outlined in 1 Kings, chapter 11, Jeroboam son of Nebat was a very able man who helped to build the Millo or fortress around the city of David. He was in charge of the forced labor for the house of Joseph. One day when he was leaving Jerusalem, he met Ahijah, the prophet from Shiloh. The prophet Ahijah told Jeroboam that his mission was to be the king of the Israel, except for one tribe Judah and Benjamin with the city of Jerusalem. King Solomon had worshiped false gods. Judah and Jerusalem would be saved for the Davidic line because of the goodness of King David. King Solomon would not lose his kingdom while he lived, but his son would. Thus the punishment of King Solomon would come after his death with Jeroboam the new leader of Israel. Jeroboam did not hesitate to flee into Egypt, which seems to be the place to go when you are having trouble with King Solomon. He stayed in Egypt until the death of King Solomon, which is where this story picks up, as it left out his problems with King Solomon.

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The death of King Solomon (2 Chr 9:29-9:31)

“Now the rest of the acts of King Solomon, from first to last, are they not written in the history of the prophet Nathan, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat? King Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. King Solomon slept with his ancestors. He was buried in the city of his father King David. His son King Rehoboam succeeded him.”

Once again, this is closely based on 1 Kings, chapter 11. Here there is no mention of the “The Book of the Acts of Solomon” which might be part of the state documents kept by the official recorder of Solomon. There is no mention of the Book of 1 Kings, which he obviously relied on.   Perhaps, he called that book, the history of the prophet Nathan. Nathan was the friendly prophet of David. He may have been the tutor of Solomon also. There are indications of 2 other books, the prophecies and visions of Ahijah and Iddo. Ahijah was the prophet who told Jeroboam to split the kingdom in 2 because Yahweh wanted it done that way. Iddo, on the other hand, was a prophet to Rehoboam in Jerusalem. As these are references to books that no longer exist, it is hard to pinpoint what they were or where they came from. Probably they existed at the time of this biblical writing, after the Exile. Once again there is the obligatory 40 year reign of King Solomon, just like King David. There is no indication of his age but some would put it around 80. There is a whole controversy around the mythical stories of King Solomon’s wealth. There are few archeological finds that indicate that this tremendous rich empire existed in the 10th century BCE. Nevertheless, these stories are still wonderful. There is no indication of a power struggle after Solomon’s death since the writer simply says Rehoboam, who was the son of the Ammonite princess Naamah, became king. You would have thought that with 700 wives, some of those children might have complained. He might have been the oldest, but the oldest wife was the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh. So the end of the King Solomon reign comes to an end without any dramatic ending or a historic speech.

The Levites in charge of the treasury of the temple (1 Chr 26:20-26:24)

“Of the Levites, Ahijah had charge of the treasuries of the house of God and the treasuries of the dedicated gifts. The sons of Ladan, the sons of the Gershonites who belonged to Ladan, the heads of the families belonging to Ladan the Gershonite were in charge. The sons of Jehieli, Zetham and his brother Joel were in charge of the treasuries of the house of Yahweh. Among the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites, Shebuel the son of Gershom, son of Moses, was chief officer in charge of the treasuries.”

There seems to be a lot of Levites in charge of the treasuries of the house of Yahweh, the Temple. In fact, some commentators think that the Hebrew text is confusing. First, this biblical writer said that Ahijah was in charge of the treasury and the gifts. Ahijah was a common name that appeared with 6 different people. Perhaps this is a mistake for something like the brethren of Levites. Then the biblical author said that the sons of Ladan and the sons of Gershom were in charge of the treasury, in particular the sons of Jehieli, Zetham and his brother Joel. This is the only time that the names of Jehieli and Zetham ever appear in the biblical literature. Joel is, of course, a more common name, since 14 people have that name with the most famous being the prophet Joel. The Gershonites seem to be in charge. However, then there is a mention of the Kohathites and their 4 branches, the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites, with Shebuel, the grandson of Moses, in charge

 

The listing of David’s warriors (1 Chr 11:26-11:47)

“The warriors of the armies were: Asahel the brother of Joab; Elhanan son of Dodo of Bethlehem; Shammah of Harod; Helez the Pelonite; Ira son of Ikkesh of Tekoa; Abiezer of Anathoth; Sibbecai the Hushathite; Ilai the Ahohite; Maharai of Netophah; Heled son of Baanah of Netophah; Ittai son of Ribai of Gibeah of the Benjaminites; Benaiah of Pirathon; Hurai of the Wadi of Gaash; Abiel the Arbathite; Azmaveth of Bahurim; Eliahba of Shaalbon; Hashem the Gizonite; Jonathan son of Shagee the Hararite; Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite; Eliphal son of Ur; Hepher the Mecherathite; Ahijah the Pelonite; Hezro of Carmel; Naarai son of Ezbai; Joel the brother of Nathan; Mibhar son of Hagri; Zelek the Ammonite; Naharai of Beeroth, the armor-bearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah; Ira the Ithrite; Gareb the Ithrite; Uriah the Hittite; Zabad the son of Ahlai; Adina son of Shiza the Reubenite, a leader of the Reubenites, and thirty with him; Hanan the son of Maacah; Joshaphat the Mithnite; Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jeiel sons of Hotham the Aroerite; Jediael son of Shimri; Joha his brother, the Tizite; Eliel the Mahavite; Jeribai and Joshaviah sons of Elnaam; Ithmah the Moabite; Eliel; Obed; and Jaasiel the Mezobaite.”

This list is much like the list in 2 Samuel, chapter 23. However there are 7 omissions and 22 additions as well as 8 name changes. For more information about these men see the notes in 2 Samuel. Of those 7 mentioned in 2 Samuel, that appeared there but did not make this list, they include: Elika of Harod, Eliphelet son of Ahasbai of Maacah, Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, Paarai the Arbite, Igal son of Nathan of Zobah, and Bani the Gadite. The following 22 names were added and not in 2 Samuel: Eliphal the son of Ur, Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite, Naarai the son of Ezbai, Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Hagri, Zabad the son of Ahlai, Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, Hanan the son of Maacah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite, Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jeiel sons of Hotham the Aroerite, Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother the Tizite, Eliel the Mahavite, Jeribai and Joshaviah sons of Elnaam, Ithmah the Moabite, Eliel, Obed, and Jaasiel the Mezobaite. The following 8 names have been changed. Helez the Paltite has become Helez the Pelonite. Mebunnai the Hushathite has become Sibbecai the Hushathite. Zalmon the Ahohite has become Ilai the Ahohite. Heleb son of Baanah of Netophah, had become Heled. Abi-albon the Arbathite has become Abiel. Hiddai of Gaash has become Hurai. Jashen has become Hashem the Gizonite. Jonathan the son of Shammah has become the son of Shagee.

The sons of Ehud (1 Chr 8:6-8:7)

“These are the sons of Ehud. They were the heads of the ancestral houses of the inhabitants of Geba. They were carried into exile to Manahath. They were Naaman, Ahijah, and Gera, that is, Heglam, who was the father of Uzza and Ahihud.”

This Ehud, son of Gera, may be the judge in Judges, chapter 3. Apparently, this family or clan settled in Geba, which was a Levite city in Benjamin, about 6 miles north of Jerusalem. They were taken into exile in the 6th century BCE to Manahath, which actually seems like a place in Judah. One of the leaders of this clan was (1) Naaman, mentioned in Numbers, chapter 26, or maybe a brother of Gera. There were 7 different biblical people with the name of (2) Ahijah. The most famous Ahijah was a prophet of Shiloh in the days of King Rehoboam in 1 Kings, chapters 11 and 14. (3) Gera is somehow Heglam, but this is the only mention of Heglam. There are 3 other people with the name of Uzza, but there is also one other Ahihud.

The assassination of King Nadab by Baasha (1 Kings 15:27-15:30)

“Baasha son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against King Nadab. Baasha struck him down at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines. Nadab and all Israel were laying siege to Gibbethon. So Baasha killed him in the third year of King Asa of Judah. Baasha succeeded him. As soon as he was king, he killed all the house of Jeroboam. He left to the house of Jeroboam not one that breathed. He destroyed it, according to the word of Yahweh that he spoke by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite. This was because of the sins of Jeroboam that he committed and those that he made Israel commit. This provoked the anger of Yahweh, the God of Israel.”

The reason that King Nadab had such a short reign was due to Baasha who killed him and took over his kingdom. This is the first of what might be many assassinations. Whenever anyone has a short reign, we might look for an assassination. This killing is put in terms of a religious revolution against Jeroboam and his family. They had provoked the anger of Yahweh. Yahweh is always called the God of Israel, and not the God of Judah. Is this Baasha the son of the prophet Ahijah who had spoken to Jeroboam and his wife in chapters 11 and 14? Certainly Baasha was fulfilling the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, but is he the same Ahijah from Issachar also? It is hard to be sure. Besides there are at least 9 people in the biblical literature with this same name.

Jeroboam’s son dies (1 Kings 14:17-14:18)

Then Jeroboam’s wife got up and went away. She came to Tirzah. As she came to the threshold of the house, the child died. All Israel buried him and mourned for him, according to the word of Yahweh, which he spoke by his servant Ahijah the prophet.”

Everything happened the way that Ahijah had said. As soon as Jeroboam’s wife stepped on the threshold of her house, the child died. All Israel mourned and buried him. Tirzah had been an ancient Canaanite city that was among the long list that Joshua conquered in Joshua, chapter 12. Somehow the power shifted from Shechem, where the great meeting took place in chapter 12, to Tirzah where Jeroboam lived.