[Copyright by W. R. HARPER, 1887.]
PREPARED BY PROFESSORS W. R. HARPER (Yale University), W. G. BALLANTINE (Oberlin Theol. Sem.), WILLIS J. BEECHER (Auburn Theol. Sem.), and G. S. BURROUGHS (Amherst College).
Seventeenth Study.—Israel and Judah during the Dynasties of Jeroboam and Baasha.
[The material of this " study " is furnished by Professors Beecher and Harper. It is edited by Professor Harper.]
I. PRELIMINARY NOTES.
1. A slightly different arrangement of material, together with a new department, "Textual Topics," will be found in this and the following "studies." It is believed that this change will be found helpful.
2. The student will allow his attention to be called once more to the fact that he is under no necessity of doing all the work outlined. There may, it is true, be a feeling of dissatisfaction in leaving a portion untouched; but we must remember that there are limitations which must be regarded.
3. The period already covered, viz., that which includes the great characters, Samuel, Saul, David and Solomon, is presumably much more familiar to most students than that upon which we are now entering; close attention, therefore, to details will be needed.
4. For the ground covered in this "study," the following literature is suggested:
II. BIBLICAL LESSON.
Prepare for recitation the contents of 1 Kgs. 12-16:20 and 2 Chron. 10-16:6 according to the following topics.
1. The Disruption.
2. Jeroboam's Policy.
3. Rehoboam's Policy.
4. Judah's Apostasy; Shishak's Invasion; Rehoboam's Death.
5. Abijam's Reign.
6. Asa's Reign Begun, 1 Kgs. 15:9-12; 2 Chron. 14:1-8; Jeroboam's Death, 1 Kgs. 14:19,20; 2 Chron. 13:20; Nadab's Reign, 15:25-27,31.
7. Baasha's Reign. 1 Kgs. 15:27-16:7; 15:16-22; 2 Chron. 16:1-6.
8. Asa's Reformation; his War with Baasha. 1 Kgs. 15:11-25; 2 Chron. 15.2
9. Overthrow of Baasha's Dynasty. 1 Kgs. 16:8-20.
III. TEXTUAL TOPICS.
[In each of the passages cited there is a word or expression which either (1) is obscure, or (2) contains an historical allusion, or (3) refers to some ancient custom or institution, or (4) is for some particular reason worthy of special notice. These passages are worthy of careful study.]
1. 1 Kgs. 12:1. Why was "Shechem" the place of assembly? Why did Rehoboam go to them and not they come to him?
2. 12:4. What was the nature of the "grievous yoke" laid by Solomon upon Israel?
3. 12:11. "Whips" and "scorpions"?
4. 12:31. Why of non-Levites rather than of Levites?
5. 12:32. Compare the Feast of Tabernacles.
6. 13:1. "A man of God."
7. 13:7. In what spirit is the prophet invited to go home with Jeroboam?
8. 13:9,10. What was the purpose of these charges?
9. 13:18,21. Was the old prophet acting from a good or a bad motive? Did he really receive a divine message in the second case?
10. 13:27-32. How is this transaction to be understood?
11. 14:11. "The dogs shall eat."
12. 14:15. "As a reed is shaken in the water." (cf. Matt. 11:7); what were the "Asherim"?
13. 14:21. Why does the writer regularly mention the name of the queen-mother? 14: 22, provoking God to anger.
14. 14:23. What were the "pillars" or "obelisks"? "under every green tree."
15. 14:24. "Sodomites" (cf. Deut. 23:17); " abominations of the nations."
16. 14:31, Cf. v. 21. What does this repetition indicate?
17. 15:3,5. In what sense was David's heart "perfect"? Was the sin in connection with Uriah the only great sin committed by David?
18. 15:6. What meaning does this verse have in this connection?
19. 15:10. cf. with 15:2, and explain.
20. 15:13. What other interesting events occurred at the brook Kidron?
21. 15:18. What other Ben-hadads in Scripture?
22. 15:23,24. Cf. 2 Chron. 16:12-14, note additions, and explain the burning of spices, etc.
IV. SPECIAL TOPICS.
1. Kings of Israel and Judah.
2. Septuagint Additions. Cf. the Sept. of 12:24 seq. with the biblical statements and those of Josephus.
3. Omissions in the Narrative. After comparing the boundaries of Solomon's kingdom with those of the kingdoms of Jeroboam and Rehoboam, and noting the next mention made in the Bible of the Syrian, Ammonite, Moabite and Edomite peoples, discover certain important events which have taken place, but have not been mentioned in our narratives.
4. The Disruption.
5. The Assembly which resulted in the Disruption.
6. The Prophet Shemaiah.
7. Jeroboam's Religious Institutions.
8. The Man of God from Judah.
9. Ahijah's Prophecy.
10. Shishak's Invasion.
11. Abijam's Reign.
12. Asa's Reformation and Character.
V. GEOGRAPHICAL TOPICS.
1. Indicate on the map the principal places mentioned in this lesson.
2. Indicate the boundaries of Solomon's empire, and of that part of it occupied mainly by the twelve tribes.
3. Indicate the boundaries of Judah, Benjamin, and Simeon.
4. Remembering that the kings of the northern kingdom remained in control of the country east of the Jordan, including Moab (2 Kgs. 3:4, e. g.), is it incredible that Simeon was one of the ten tribes that went with Jeroboam?
5. Locate, as nearly as you can, the places fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chron. 11:512). What do these indicate as to the question whether Judah was separated by a frontier from Simeon, as well as from Dan and Ephraim?
6. Did the frontier exactly follow the old tribal boundaries, or may it have varied somewhat from these? (See Josh. chs. 13-19.)
7. What, probably, was the position taken by the tribe of Benjamin, just at the time of the disruption? and how may we explain the " one tribe "? 1 Kgs. 11: 13,32,36; 12:20, compared with 2 Chron. 11:12,10,3,1; 1 Kgs. 12:21,23, etc.
1) The question of Rehoboam's age at his accession, is a matter of dispute. In 1 Kgs. 14:21, and 2 Chron. 12:13, Rehoboam is said to have been forty-one years old when he began to reign. Josephus testifies to the same thing. But this is strangely in contrast with the representations that he was very young and inexperienced at the time, I Kgs. 12:1-20; 2 Chron. 10 and 13:7, etc., and also with the representation that Solomon was a "little child ' when he came to the throne. It is not satisfactory to explain this by saying that Rehoboam was always babyish, for his equals in age are represented to have been as young as he. Tue attempt is made to explain it by correcting the forty-one to twenty-one; but the correction is against the evidence, and would reduce to absurdity many statements made concerning Abijam, Asa, and Jehoshaphat. The Septuagint addition to 1 Kgs. 12:24 gives his age as sixteen years; but the assumption that Rehoboam was but sixteen years old when Rehoboam and Jeroboam began their respective reigns is, yet more than the idea that his age was twenty-one, at variance with the statements concerning his successors. If there was an interval of a number of years between the death of Solomon and the final accession of Rehoboam, that affords an explanation both of this difficulty, and of other questions presented by the history as it stands. Very likely Rehoboam had two accessions, one immediately after Solomon's death, and the other at the close of the period of discord attending the disruption.—W. J. B.
2) If we suppose that the thirty-five and thirty-six, 2 Chron. 15:19; 16:1, are counted from the beginning of the kingdom of Asa, that is, from the first year of Rehoboam, instead of from the beginning of Asa's personal reign, it involves the supposition that we have here a very unusual, but not impossible, use of language; this interpretation of the numerals makes them fit accurately all other statements of Kings and Chronicles concerning Asa and Baasha.—W. J. B.