And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
by the word
And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee.
Josiah by name
And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.
And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.
The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.
And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.
Heb. face of the Lord.
And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.
I will give
As great men in the East make no presents to equals or inferiors when visited, Sir John Chardin thinks that the king intended by this to treat the prophet as his superior.
And the man of God said unto 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 in this place:
For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.
Eat no bread
Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father.
an old prophet
Heb. son. came.
And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon,
And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am.
And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:
For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.
Heb. a word was. by the word.
He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.
And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back:
the word of the Lord
"A great clamour," says Dr. Kennicott, "has been raised against this part of history, on account of God's denouncing sentence on the true prophet by the mouth of the false prophet; but if we examine with attention the original words here, they will be found to signify either he who brought him back, or, whom he had brought back; for the very same words, asher heshivo, occur again, ver. 23, where they are now translated, whom he had brought back; and where they cannot be translated otherwise. This being the case, we are at liberty to consider the words of the Lord as delivered to the true prophet, thus brought back; and then the sentence is pronounced by God himself, calling to him out of heaven, as in Ge 22:11. And that this doom was thus pronounced by God, not by the false prophet, we are assured in ver. 26. 'The Lord hath delivered him unto the lion, according to the word of the Lord, which He spake unto him.' Josephus [and also the Arabic] asserts, that the sentence was declared by God to the true prophet."
And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee,
thou hast disobeyed
But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.
And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase.
And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him.
Heb. broken. which he spake.
And he went and found his carcase cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcase: the lion had not eaten the carcase, nor torn the ass.
the lion had
All here was supernatural. The lion, though he had killed the man, yet, contrary to his nature, did not devour him, nor tear the ass, nor meddle with the travellers that passed by; while the ass stood quietly by, not fearing the lion, nor betaking himself to flight: both stood as guardians of the fallen prophet, till this extraordinary intelligence was carried into the city which rendered the miracle the more illustrious and plainly shewed that this event did not happen by chance. This concatenation of miracles marked the death of the man of God as a Divine rebuke for his disobedience in eating bread at idolatrous Beth-el; and here we see, as in various other cases, that "often judgment begins at the house of God." The true prophet, for suffering himself to be seduced by the old prophet, and for receiving that as a revelation from God which was opposed to the revelation which himself had received, and which was confirmed by so many miracles, is slain by a lion, and his body deprived of the burial of his fathers; while the wicked king and the fallen prophet are both permitted to live.
And he laid his carcase in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother!
And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones:
lay my bones
For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.
in the cities
After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.
A. M. 3030-3050. B.C. 974-954. Jeroboam
Heb. returned and made.
Heb. filled his hand.
And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth.