1 Kings 13:10
So the man of God went another way and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel.
The Pretensions of Error Deepen its ShameJ. Urquhart 1 Kings 13:1-10
The Man of GodJ.A. Macdonald 1 Kings 13:7-10

We may view "Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin," as the "man of sin" of his time, and a forerunner of the Antichrist of more modern times (2 Thessalonians 2:3). In contrast to him we have to consider the "man of God," in which character this prophet who confronted Jeroboam at Bethel, is described. The instructions under which he acted teach us how a saint should behave amongst workers of iniquity.


1. He must not eat and drink with them.

(1) For this was anciently a profession of fellowship. Hence the Hebrews in Egypt would not eat with the Egyptians (Genesis 43:32). The Jews would not eat with the Samaritans (John 4:9); and they were shocked to see Jesus eating with publicans and sinners (Matthew 9:11). For the same reason Christians were forbidden to eat with ungodly persons (1 Corinthians 5:11; see also Romans 16:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14; 2 Timothy 3:5; James 4:4; 2 John 1:10).

(2) The law of distinction between clean and unclean meats set forth not only the duty of avoiding fellowship with moral uncleanness, but also with those who are morally unclean; for the unclean animals represented "sinners of the Gentiles" while the clean stood for the "holy people" of Israel (Acts 10:14, 84, 85).

(3) The eating of the forbidden fruit in Eden at the instigation of the serpent, who also seems to have eaten of it first, expressed fellowship with Satan! As the trees of Eden were sacramental, it may have expressed a covenant with the Evil One! Those who ate together were understood to stand to each other in a covenant relationship (Genesis 31:43-46).

(4) In this light the Christian Eucharist sets forth the covenant fellowship, that we have, first, with Christ, and secondly, with those who are in such fellowship with Him (see, in this light, John 6:53-56).

2. He must refuse their presents.

(1) Some think Jeroboam's offer to "reward" the man of God was to give him a bribe. This is not evident. Yet good men are liable to be tempted with bribes, but should stoutly refuse them (1 Samuel 12:3; Job 15:34).

(2) The king's intention was to do honour to the man of God, according to a constant custom in the East (see 1 Samuel 9:7; 2 Kings 5:15). The word מתת here translated "reward," would have been better rendered "gift," as in many other places it is. But such a gift or present, if accepted, would express friendship, and therefore, coming from the hand of an arch idolator and schismatic, it must be declined,

(3) Good men must be careful how they accept favours from the wicked, lest in doing so they may compromise to them their independence, or come unduly under their influence (see Genesis 14:28; 23:13-16; 2 Kings 5:16).


1. While serving God he is safe.

(1) His very testimony for God commits him to a course of conduct consistent with it. This element of moral strength is lost to those who hide their light under a bushel.

(2) He has a right to claim God's help (Matthew 10:19, 20; Matthew 28:20).

2. But it is perilous longer to remain.

(1) The very disposition to remain amidst circumstances with which we should have no sympathy argues weakness which should alarm.

(2) He lays himself open to temptation. He may find the "king" disposed to honour him. Some are foolishly susceptible to flattery from the great ones of this world. The man of God should be proof against this (ver. 8).

(3) He may be taken at a disadvantage. Being away from the influence of godly friends. Having now no claim to special help from God.

3. But why must he return by another way?

(1) Not only did the man of God give a sign, but he was also himself a sign (see Ezekiel 12:11; Ezekiel 24:24; Zechariah 3:8, margin). As Jeroboam was the sign of the man of sin, this prophet was, at least in his instructions, a typical "man of God."

(2) In coming from Judah, where God was purely worshipped in His temple, to Ephraim, where "altars were made unto sin," he would personate that moral lapse into which Ephraim had fallen.

(3) In his speedy return from Ephraim to Judah, after deprecating the sin of the place, he would represent to the Ephrathites what God expected from them, viz., repentance and reformation.

(4) But the way hack to God is not precisely the reversal of the way from Him. Adam fell by sin of his own and was turned out of Eden, but must return by the righteousness of another (Genesis 3:24). Our way hack to God is the "new and living way opened in the blood of Jesus." - J.A.M.

If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day... then they will be thy servants for ever.
These words are of deep-reaching import, and contain a principle of universal application. They especially apply to starts in life. When the son leaves the parental home for his new calling, for foreign land, to make his way in the world, our text contains a sentence which the father may, at the last moment of departure, whisper in his ear as an expression of the deepest thoughts in his heart for the guidance of the young beginner. To fulfil these words beautifies life, to have fulfilled them softens death. They contain a prescription which one can never repent of following.

I. THE FOLLY OF REHOBOAM. In the ancient, town of Shechem, a town that recalls to the Israelite memories of patriarchal limes, a king is about to be crowned. Solomon the Great has gone the way of all his fathers, and by right of succession the crown falls to Rehoboam his son. All Israel assembled at Shechem to make him king. For ages that old city had retained traces of its ancient dignity, just as Rheims, the old capital of France, continued to be the scene of coronations long after it had ceased to be the national capital. There was a time when Amsterdam was threatened to be deprived of its right of Royal Coronation, but since the severance of Belgium and Holland, the New Church here holds that honour undisputed. Shechem was full of representatives from all parts of the country. The king came down in royal state from Jerusalem. No opposition was offered to Rehoboam's succession. He was the only son of Solomon, and the people were prepared. to receive him as such. They had, however, many grievances which they wished to have redressed. Solomon had not been everything that a king should be.

II. THE PREROGATIVE OF SERVICE. A wise king would have at once acceded to such a request. But Rehoboam, although the son of a wise father, had not the common sense to do so. Wisdom is not inherited. "Who knoweth whether his son will be a wise man or a fool?" He was the king. The people had no rights but what he chose to give them. They were his servants, not he their servant. His will was their law. He knew nothing and would hear nothing of the rights of the individual. According to the mind of Jesus, he is the greatest who renders the greatest service to others. "They assert that the strength of a monarch's throne is service for and sympathy with his people." A throne built on such a foundation will last unshaken for ever. Oh, happy king to have such counsellors! Oh, foolish man to turn aside from them! The consequence of this incredibly foolish reply was such as might have been expected. "The work of two generations was undone in a moment." Under the leadership of Jeroboam, who promised them the reforms they wanted, the Ten Tribes revolted.

III. SELFISH AUTOCRACY. It is the old story of the consequence of selfish and inconsiderate autocracy. It is a lesson which makes but slow progress in the minds of men. The old heathen idea of forcible dominion is still largely the governing one of politics — that to be great is to receive much service, not to render it. Politics has too often been a game of ambition rather than a sphere of service.

(W. Thomson, M. A. , B. D.)

Christian Commonwealth.
The honour of service is emphasised by Solomon in the title he gives to his father. He speaks of him by a more honourable name than that of king — "Thy servant David." Solomon recognised that he owed his exalted .position entirely to God. The most universal function in nature is that of service. Nothing in creation is serving itself, but every element is intended to serve some other. The flowers bloom in beauty, but soon serve us by transformation into seed. The winds purify the earth. The clouds carry moisture across all regions. The sun is regal in majestic splendour, but this monarch of the planets is, in reality, far more their servant, as their light and heat bearer. Above all, the idea of service is ennobled by Jesus, who as minister to His disciples was "servant of all." So are we to seek to serve God and man.

(Christian Commonwealth.)

David, Jeroboam, Josiah
Bethel, Samaria
Bethel, Beth-el, Didn't, Return, Returned
1. Jeroboam's hand withers
6. and at the prayer of the prophet is restored
7. The prophet departs from Bethel
11. An old prophet brings him back
20. He is reproved by God
23. slain by a lion
26. buried by the old prophet
31. who confirms the prophecy
33. Jeroboam's obstinacy

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 13:6-22

     4293   water

1 Kings 13:7-22

     4418   bread

Whether Christ Took Flesh of the Seed of David?
Objection 1: It would seem that Christ did not take flesh of the seed of David. For Matthew, in tracing the genealogy of Christ, brings it down to Joseph. But Joseph was not Christ's father, as shown above ([4138]Q[28], A[1], ad 1,2). Therefore it seems that Christ was not descended from David. Objection 2: Further, Aaron was of the tribe of Levi, as related Ex. 6. Now Mary the Mother of Christ is called the cousin of Elizabeth, who was a daughter of Aaron, as is clear from Lk. 1:5,36. Therefore,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Interpretation of Prophecy.
1. The scriptural idea of prophecy is widely removed from that of human foresight and presentiment. It is that of a revelation made by the Holy Spirit respecting the future, always in the interest of God's kingdom. It is no part of the plan of prophecy to gratify vain curiosity respecting "the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power." Acts 1:7. "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God"--this is its key-note. In its form it is carefully adapted to this great end.
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

And Yet, by Reason of that Affection of the Human Heart...
9. And yet, by reason of that affection of the human heart, whereby "no man ever hateth his own flesh," [2731] if men have reason to know that after their death their bodies will lack any thing which in each man's nation or country the wonted order of sepulture demandeth, it makes them sorrowful as men; and that which after death reacheth not unto them, they do before death fear for their bodies: so that we find in the Books of Kings, God by one prophet threatening another prophet who had transgressed
St. Augustine—On Care to Be Had for the Dead.

The Prophet Hosea.
GENERAL PRELIMINARY REMARKS. That the kingdom of Israel was the object of the prophet's ministry is so evident, that upon this point all are, and cannot but be, agreed. But there is a difference of opinion as to whether the prophet was a fellow-countryman of those to whom he preached, or was called by God out of the kingdom of Judah. The latter has been asserted with great confidence by Maurer, among others, in his Observ. in Hos., in the Commentat. Theol. ii. i. p. 293. But the arguments
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Paul's Departure and Crown;
OR, AN EXPOSITION UPON 2 TIM. IV. 6-8 ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR How great and glorious is the Christian's ultimate destiny--a kingdom and a crown! Surely it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive what ear never heard, nor mortal eye ever saw? the mansions of the blest--the realms of glory--'a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.' For whom can so precious an inheritance be intended? How are those treated in this world who are entitled to so glorious, so exalted, so eternal,
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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