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1 Kings 14:6-16

Context
14:6 When Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps as she came through the door, he said, “Come on in, wife of Jeroboam! Why are you pretending to be someone else? I have been commissioned to give you bad news. 1  14:7 Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘This is what the Lord God of Israel says: “I raised you up 2  from among the people and made you ruler over my people Israel. 14:8 I tore the kingdom away from the Davidic dynasty and gave it to you. But you are not like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me wholeheartedly by doing only what I approve. 3  14:9 You have sinned more than all who came before you. You went and angered me by making other gods, formed out of metal; you have completely disregarded me. 4  14:10 So I am ready to bring disaster 5  on the dynasty 6  of Jeroboam. I will cut off every last male belonging to Jeroboam in Israel, including even the weak and incapacitated. 7  I will burn up the dynasty of Jeroboam, just as one burns manure until it is completely consumed. 8  14:11 Dogs will eat the members of your family 9  who die in the city, and the birds of the sky will eat the ones who die in the country.”’ Indeed, the Lord has announced it!

14:12 “As for you, get up and go home. When you set foot in the city, the boy will die. 14:13 All Israel will mourn him and bury him. He is the only one in Jeroboam’s family 10  who will receive a decent burial, for he is the only one in whom the Lord God of Israel found anything good. 14:14 The Lord will raise up a king over Israel who will cut off Jeroboam’s dynasty. 11  It is ready to happen! 12  14:15 The Lord will attack Israel, making it like a reed that sways in the water. 13  He will remove Israel from this good land he gave to their ancestors 14  and scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, 15  because they angered the Lord by making Asherah poles. 16  14:16 He will hand Israel over to their enemies 17  because of the sins which Jeroboam committed and which he made Israel commit.”

1 tn Heb “I am sent to you [with] a hard [message].”

2 tn The Hebrew text has “because” at the beginning of the sentence. In the Hebrew text vv. 7-11 are one long sentence comprised of a causal clause giving the reason for divine punishment (vv. 7-9) and the main clause announcing the punishment (vv. 10-11). The translation divides this lengthy sentence for stylistic reasons.

3 tn Heb “what was right in my eyes.”

4 tn Heb “you went and you made for yourself other gods, metal [ones], angering me, and you threw me behind your back.”

5 sn Disaster. There is a wordplay in the Hebrew text. The word translated “disaster” (רָעָה, raah) is from the same root as the expression “you have sinned” in v. 9 (וַתָּרַע [vattara’], from רָעַע, [raa’]). Jeroboam’s sins would receive an appropriate punishment.

6 tn Heb “house.”

7 tn Heb “and I will cut off from Jeroboam those who urinate against a wall (including both those who are) restrained and let free (or “abandoned”) in Israel.” The precise meaning of the idiomatic phrase עָצוּר וְעָזוּב (’atsur vÿazuv) is uncertain. For various options see HALOT 871 s.v. עצר 6 and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 107. The two terms are usually taken as polar opposites (“slaves and freemen” or “minors and adults”), but Cogan and Tadmor, on the basis of contextual considerations (note the usage with אֶפֶס [’efes], “nothing but”) in Deut 32:36 and 2 Kgs 14:26, argue convincingly that the terms are synonyms, meaning “restrained and abandoned,” and refer to incapable or incapacitated individuals.

8 tn The traditional view understands the verb בָּעַר (baar) to mean “burn.” Manure was sometimes used as fuel (see Ezek 4:12, 15). However, an alternate view takes בָּעַר as a homonym meaning “sweep away” (HALOT 146 s.v. II בער). In this case one might translate, “I will sweep away the dynasty of Jeroboam, just as one sweeps away manure it is gone” (cf. ASV, NASB, TEV). Either metaphor emphasizes the thorough and destructive nature of the coming judgment.

9 tn The Hebrew text has “belonging to Jeroboam” here.

10 tn Heb “house.”

11 tn Heb “house.”

12 tn Heb “This is the day. What also now?” The precise meaning of the second half of the statement is uncertain.

13 tn The elliptical Hebrew text reads literally “and the Lord will strike Israel as a reed sways in the water.”

14 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 22, 31).

15 tn Heb “the River.” In biblical Hebrew this is a typical reference to the Euphrates River. The name “Euphrates” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

16 tn Heb “because they made their Asherah poles that anger the Lord”; or “their images of Asherah”; ASV, NASB “their Asherim”; NCV “they set up idols to worship Asherah.”

sn Asherah was a leading deity of the Canaanite pantheon, wife/sister of El and goddess of fertility. She was commonly worshiped at shrines in or near groves of evergreen trees, or, failing that, at places marked by wooden poles. These were to be burned or cut down (Deut 12:3; 16:21; Judg 6:25, 28, 30; 2 Kgs 18:4).

17 tn Heb “and he will give [up] Israel.”



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