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1 Kings 11:23-39

Context

11:23 God also brought against Solomon 1  another enemy, Rezon son of Eliada who had run away from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah. 11:24 He gathered some men and organized a raiding band. 2  When David tried to kill them, 3  they went to Damascus, where they settled down and gained control of the city. 11:25 He was Israel’s enemy throughout Solomon’s reign and, like Hadad, caused trouble. He loathed 4  Israel and ruled over Syria.

11:26 Jeroboam son of Nebat, one of Solomon’s servants, rebelled against 5  the king. He was an Ephraimite 6  from Zeredah whose mother was a widow named Zeruah. 11:27 This is what prompted him to rebel against the king: 7  Solomon built a terrace and he closed up a gap in the wall of the city of his father David. 8  11:28 Jeroboam was a talented man; 9  when Solomon saw that the young man was an accomplished worker, he made him the leader of the work crew from the tribe 10  of Joseph. 11:29 At that time, when Jeroboam had left Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the road; the two of them were alone in the open country. Ahijah 11  was wearing a brand new robe, 11:30 and he grabbed the robe 12  and tore it into twelve pieces. 11:31 Then he told Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces, for this is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘Look, I am about to tear the kingdom from Solomon’s hand and I will give ten tribes to you. 11:32 He will retain one tribe, for my servant David’s sake and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 11:33 I am taking the kingdom from him 13  because they have 14  abandoned me and worshiped the Sidonian goddess Astarte, the Moabite god Chemosh, and the Ammonite god Milcom. They have not followed my instructions 15  by doing what I approve and obeying my rules and regulations, like Solomon’s father David did. 16  11:34 I will not take the whole kingdom from his hand. I will allow him to be ruler for the rest of his life for the sake of my chosen servant David who kept my commandments and rules. 11:35 I will take the kingdom from the hand of his son and give ten tribes to you. 17  11:36 I will leave 18  his son one tribe so my servant David’s dynasty may continue to serve me 19  in Jerusalem, the city I have chosen as my home. 20  11:37 I will select 21  you; you will rule over all you desire to have and you will be king over Israel. 11:38 You must obey 22  all I command you to do, follow my instructions, 23  do what I approve, 24  and keep my rules and commandments, like my servant David did. Then I will be with you and establish for you a lasting dynasty, as I did for David; 25  I will give you Israel. 11:39 I will humiliate David’s descendants because of this, 26  but not forever.” 27 

1 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Solomon) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Heb “and he was the officer of a raiding band.”

3 tn The Hebrew text reads “when David killed them.” This phrase is traditionally joined with what precedes. The ancient Greek version does not reflect the phrase and some suggest that it has been misplaced from the end of v. 23.

4 tn The construction (Qal of קוּץ + בְּ [quts + bet] preposition) is rare, but not without parallel (see Lev 20:23).

5 tn Heb “raised a hand against.”

6 tn Heb “Ephrathite,” which here refers to an Ephraimite (see HALOT 81 s.v. אֶפְרַיִם).

7 tn Heb “this is the matter concerning which he raised a hand against the king.”

8 sn The city of his father David. The phrase refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7.

9 tn Heb “man of strength.”

10 tn Heb “house.”

11 tn The Hebrew text has simply “he,” making it a bit unclear whether Jeroboam or Ahijah is the subject, but in the Hebrew word order Ahijah is the nearer antecedent, and this is followed by the present translation.

12 tn Heb “and Ahijah grabbed the new robe that was on him.”

13 tn The words “I am taking the kingdom from him” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

14 tc This is the reading of the MT; the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate read “he has.”

15 tn Heb “walked in my ways.”

16 tn Heb “by doing what is right in my eyes, my rules and my regulations, like David his father.”

17 tn Heb “and I will give it to you, ten tribes.”

18 tn Heb “give.”

19 tn Heb “so there might be a lamp for David my servant all the days before me in Jerusalem.” The metaphorical “lamp” symbolizes the Davidic dynasty. Because this imagery is unfamiliar to the modern reader, the translation “so my servant David’s dynasty may continue to serve me” has been used.

20 tn Heb “so there might be a lamp for David my servant all the days before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for myself to put my name there.”

21 tn Heb “take.”

22 tn Heb “If you obey.” In the Hebrew text v. 38 is actually one long conditional sentence, which has been broken into two parts in the translation for stylistic purposes.

23 tn Heb “walk in my ways.”

24 tn Heb “do what is right in my eyes.”

25 tn Heb “I will build for you a permanent house, like I built for David.”

26 sn Because of this. Reference is made to the idolatry mentioned earlier.

27 tn Heb “but not all the days.”



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