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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



3 KINGS 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

Ver. 1.  A man.  Some suppose his name was Addo.  2 Par. ix. 29.  But this is quite uncertain. --- Incense, or victims.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Altar, in which the prodigy was to take place, for the instruction of all.  M. --- Name: 340 (C.) or 350 years after.  Salien. --- This prediction proves the truth of the religion; for, though the author of this book might have seen it verified, yet he would undoubtedly insert the very words of the prophet, which were known to all the people.  4 Kings xxiii. 15.  In this passage we do not read that Josias destroyed the priests.  But v. 19. and 20, it is clearly insinuated.  C. --- Who now.  He will reduce their bones to ashes upon this altar; or, those who shall imitate these priests, shall be there burnt alive.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Sign.  This would take place immediately, to convince the king that what he had said would be accomplished.  So Moses and Achaz were treated.  Ex. iii. 2. 12.  Isai. vii. 14. 16.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Thy God.  He does not say my, being conscious that he had abandoned his service.  M. --- Before.  We may be surprised that God thus heals a man, whose heart was not changed, v. 33.  E. --- But miracles do not always work a conversion.  Pharao, Saul, and Achaz beheld the in vain: only one of the ten lepers returned to give thanks.  Lu. xvii. 17.  This miracle rendered Jeroboam still more inexcusable.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  With thee.  He considers the king as one excommunicated, the he must thus be induced to repent.  Salien.

 

Ver. 10.  Bethel, which was defiled.  1 K. xxi. 5.  God would thus caution us to keep at the greatest distance (T.) possible from evil company, (H.) and from whatever may lead to sin.  M. --- Besides the literal sense, Sanchez believes that the prophet was thus admonished to comply exactly with his injunctions, and to leave nothing unfinished; as God says, by the way that he came, he shall return, (Isai. xxxvii. 34.) to denote that Sennacherib's attempts should be frustrated.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Bethel, originally (H.) from Samaria.  4 K. xxiii. 18.  M. --- Josias would have burnt his bones, like those of the false prophets, if they had not be blended with those of the man of God.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  An angel spoke to me, &c.  This old man of Bethel was indeed a prophet, but he sinned in thus deceiving the man of God; the more, because he pretended a revelation for what he did; (Ch.  W.) though he did it with a good intention, and supposed that the prophet had only been forbidden to eat with Jeroboam and his followers.  Theod. q. 42. --- This lie might cause him to be styled, "a false prophet," by Josephus.  Abulensis thinks he was a wicked man, like Balaam; and many suppose that he was the chief instrument in deluding the king.  Josep.  S. Greg. &c. --- After the man of God had been torn to pieces, he might easily persuade the people that he was only an impostor, and that the pretended miracles were merely the effects of natural causes.  It is not certain that this man was inspired by God, v. 20. --- Deceived.  Heb. "he lied unto him, (C.) and thus caused him to transgress.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Table.  After this the Masorets place a piska, or circle, to denote some omission, which the Syriac version alone supplies; "and did eat."  Kenn. --- Back.  Some translate, "whom he had brought back."  Junius, Syr. &c. --- This would destroy the principal proof of those who esteem the man of Bethel to have been a true prophet.  C. --- Prot. agree with us; and the context seems to assert, that God addressed his servant by another's mouth.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Fathers.  This was a great punishment for the Hebrews.  Gen. xlix. 29.

 

Ver. 23.  For.  Some Latin MSS. read propheta, as if the prophet saddled his own ass.  But he probably came on foot, and the man of Bethel lent him one.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Killed him.  Thus the Lord often punishes his servants here, that he may spare them hereafter.  For the generality of divines[theologians] are of opinion, that the sin of this prophet, considered with all its circumstances, was not mortal.  Ch. --- He had received a positive order, and ought to have tried spirits, whether they were from God.  1 Jo. iv. 1.  Gal. vi. 18.  Every prophecy which contradicts the word of God, comes from an evil principle.  C. --- The prophet might suppose, however, that some cause had intervened, which authorized him to eat with this his brother, (v. 30.) whom he probably revered as a true prophet.  Many of God's commands are conditional.  H. --- Serenus observes, that God often inflicts death for the smallest faults.  Cassian vii. 26.  S. Greg. Dial. iv. 24. --- St. Augustine (cura, c. 7.) doubts not of the prophet's salvation. --- Body, without even hurting the ass, ver. 28.  H. --- God protected the relics of his servant, by stationing the  lion for a guard.  Procop.  M. --- How impenetrable are the counsels of God!  He suffers Jeroboam, and the prophet who had seduced his servant, to live; while he punishes the latter for a fault which he had committed undesignedly.  But he thus purified him from guilt, (C.) while he reserved Jeroboam for more lasting torments in another world.  H. --- Nothing could prove more forcibly the existence of future rewards and punishments.  C. --- Not only the deceiver, but he also who is deceived, so as to transgress God's orders, must be punished.  W.

 

Ver. 30.  Brother.  Such titles were customary.  Jer. xxii. 18.  M.

 

Ver. 31.  Bones.  Sept. add, "that my bones may be saved along with his."  The conduct and faith of this man would lead us to conclude that he had done wrong, without any malicious design, v. 18.  H.

 

Ver. 32.  Samaria.  The city was built by Amri, fifty years after the death of Jeroboam.  C. xvi. 24.  But the sacred writer speaks of places by the names which they bore in his time.  C. --- If this man was a prophet, he might easily mention Samaria, which would give its name to the kingdom of Israel.  There was also probably a village of this name long before, on the mountain Samir, where one of the judges was buried.  Judg. x. 2.  H.

 

Ver. 33.  Way.  Every thing promotes the salvation of the just, while the wicked pervert the most gracious designs of Providence to their own ruin.  The king concluded that the prediction deserved no regard, v. 18.  C. --- Meanest.  C. xii. 31.  Thus he wished to eradicate all sense of religion.  H. --- His, suam, "own."  Any person who brought the oil and the necessary victims, might assume the office of priest.  See Ex. xxviii. 41.  H.

 

Ver. 34.  Earth.  Heb. "to destroy it from the face of the earth."  The Vulg. insinuates that it had taken place before the author wrote.  In the third year of Asa, 22 years after this revolt, Bansa slew the whole family.  C. xv. 29.

 

 








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