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Adam Clarke Commentary

2 Chronicles 12

Introduction

Rehoboam and his subjects, forsaking the Lord, are delivered into the hands of Shishak, king of Egypt, 2 Chronicles 12:1 -4. Shemaiah the prophet remonstrates with them, and they humble themselves, and Jerusalem is not destroyed; but Shishak takes away all the treasures, and the golden shields, instead of which Rehoboam makes shields of brass, 2 Chronicles 12:5 -12. He reigns badly seventeen years, dies, and is succeeded by his son Abijah, 2 Chronicles 12:13 -16.

Verse 1

He forsook the law of the Lord - This was after the three years mentioned 2 Chronicles 11:17 .

Verse 2

Shishak king of Egypt - Concerning this man, and the motive which led him to attack the Jews, see the note on 1 Kings 14:31 .Transgressed against the Lord - "Against the Word of the Lord." - Targum.

Verse 3

The Lubims - Supposed to be a people of Libya, adjoining to Egypt; sometimes called Phut in Scripture, as the people are called Lehabim and Ludim.The Sukkiims - The Troglodytes, a people of Egypt on the coast of the Red Sea. They were called Troglodytes, Τρωγλοδυται, οἱ τας τρωγλας οικουντες, "because they dwelt in caves." - Hesych. This agrees with what Pliny says of them, Troglodytae specus excavant, haec illis domus; "The Troglodytes dig themselves caves; and these serve them for houses." This is not very different from the import of the original name סכיים Sukkiyim, from סכה sachah, to cover or overspread; (hence סוך such, a tabernacle); the people who were covered (emphatically) under the earth. The Septuagint translate by the word Τρωγλοδυται, Troglodytes.The Ethiopians - כושים Cushim. Various people were called by this name, particularly a people bordering on the northern coast of the Red Sea; but these are supposed to have come from a country of that name on the south of Egypt.

Verse 6

Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves - This is not mentioned in the parallel place, 1 Kings 14:25 -29 : this was the sole reason why Jerusalem was not at this time totally destroyed, and the house of David entirely cut off; for they were totally incapable of defending themselves against this innumerable host.

Verse 8

They shall be his servants - They shall be preserved, and serve their enemies, that they may see the difference between the service of God and that of man. While they were pious, they found the service of the Lord to be perfect freedom; when they forsook the Lord, they found the fruit to be perfect bondage. A sinful life is both expensive and painful.

Verse 9

Took away the treasures - Such a booty as never had before, nor has since, come into the hand of man.The shields of gold - These shields were the mark of the king's body-guard: it was in imitation of this Eastern magnificence that Alexander constituted his Argyraspides, adorned with the spoils taken from Darius. See Quintus Curtius, lib. viii., c. 5, et alibi.

Verse 13

Was one and forty years old - Houbigant thinks he was but sixteen years old when he began to reign; and brings many and forcible arguments to prove that the number forty-one must be a mistake. That he was young when he came to the throne, is evident from his consulting the young men that were brought up with him, 2 Chronicles 10:8 , 2 Chronicles 10:10 . They were young men then; and if he was brought up with them, he must have been young then also. Besides, Abijah, in his speech to Jeroboam, 2 Chronicles 13:7 , says that at the time Rehoboam came to the throne he was tender-hearted, and therefore could not withstand the children of Belial raised up against him by Jeroboam: but surely at that time no man could be reputed young and tender-hearted - quite devoid of experience, who was above forty years of age. Besides, if this reading were allowed, it would prove that he was born before his father Solomon began to reign, for Solomon reigned only forty years, and Rehoboam immediately succeeded him.

Verse 15

Concerning genealogies - "In the book of the genealogy of the family of David." - Targum.

Verse 16

Abijah his son - Concerning the many varieties in this king's name, see the note on 1 Kings 14:31 .

2 Chronicles 12


  1 And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him.
  2 And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD,
  3 With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen: and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt; the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians.
  4 And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem.
  5 Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak.
  6 Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous.
  7 And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.
  8 Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.
  9 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made.
  10 Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the entrance of the king's house.
  11 And when the king entered into the house of the LORD, the guard came and fetched them, and brought them again into the guard chamber.
  12 And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, that he would not destroy him altogether: and also in Judah things went well.
  13 So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess.
  14 And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.
  15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually.
  16 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.

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