1 Kings 13:8
But the man of God replied, "If you were to give me half your possessions, I still would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water in this place.
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.

He put forth his hand.
Outline from Sermons by a London Minister.
I. ALL HUMAN POWER AND SKILL ENGAGED AGAINST GOD WILL WITHER. The hand of man is the bodily mark of his superiority to the animal creation; it represents his power and skill. It is the bread winner of the body. By its skilful use he imitates the works of God in nature, and by its means he sends down his thoughts to posterity. Jeroboam's outstretched hand was the type of all human opposition to God's rule, especially the opposition of the rulers of the world. Its withering was the exposition of "No weapon formed against thee shall prosper" (Isaiah 54:17); "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh" (Psalm 2:4, etc.)

II. PHYSICAL BLESSING IS OF MORE IMPORTANCE TO THE UNGODLY MAN THAN MORALITY OF CHARACTER. Christ's teaching is, "If thy hand offend thee, cut it off " (Matthew 18:8), count no earthly loss worthy of a thought compared with an injury to the spiritual life.

(Outline from Sermons by a London Minister.)

As the man of God from Judah so nobly refuses Jeroboam's royal hospitality, I am reminded of Lord Napier. On one occasion his lordship was sent down to Scotland by the Queen on a royal errand of review and arbitration between a great duke and his poor crofters. The duke, the administration of whose estate was to be inquired into, was good enough to offer his lordship his ducal hospitality for as long as the royal session of review lasted. But Her Majesty's Deputy felt that neither his Royal Mistress nor himself could afford to be for one moment compromised, or even suspected, by her poorest subject; and therefore it was that his lordship excused himself from the duke's table, and took up his quarters in the little wayside inn. "At any rate, you will come to the manse," said the minister, who was on the crofter's side. "Thank you," said Napier. "But in your college days you must have read Plutarch about Caesar's wife. No, thank you." And his lordship lodged all his time in the little hotel, and went back to his Royal Mistress when his work was done, not only with clean hands, but without even a suspicion attaching to her or to him. "Come home with me and refresh thyself." But the man of God said to the king, "If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee." So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.

(A. Whyte, D. D.)

David, Jeroboam, Josiah
Bethel, Samaria
Bread, Drink, Eat, Half, Possessions, Wilt
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 13:8

     5318   fraud

1 Kings 13:6-22

     4293   water

1 Kings 13:7-8

     5501   reward, human

1 Kings 13:7-22

     4418   bread

1 Kings 13:8-9

     8430   fasting, nature of

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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