Verse 31. "Naamah an Ammonitess." - He was born of a heathen mother, and begotten of an apostate father. From such an impure fountain could sweet water possibly spring? Abijam his son reigned in his stead.] Though righteousness cannot be propagated, because it is supernatural, yet unrighteousness may, for that is a genuine offspring of nature. Abijam was the wicked son of an apostate father and heathenish mother. Grace may be grafted on a crab stock; but let none do evil that good may come of it. A bad stock will produce bad fruit.
Dr. Kennicott observes that the name of this king of Judah is now expressed three ways: here and in four other places it is Abijam or Abim; in two others it is Abihu, but in eleven other places it is Abiah, as it is expressed by St. Matthew, Matt. i. 7, Æroboam egennhse ton abia; and this is the reading of thirteen of Kennicott's and Deuteronomy Rossi's MSS., and of thirteen respectable editions of the Hebrew Bible. The Syriac is the same. The Septuagint in the London Polyglot has abiou, Abihu; but in the Complutensian and Antwerp Polyglots, it is abia, Abiah. Though the common printed Vulgate has Abiam, yet the Editio Princeps of the Vulgate, some MSS., and the text in the Complutensian and Antwerp Polyglots, have Abia; which without doubt is the reading that should in all cases be followed.
The rabbins say, and particularly Rab. Sol. Jarchi, that the Shishak mentioned in this chapter is Pharaoh Necho, and that he invaded Israel in order to get the ivory throne of his son-in-law Solomon, which he had always coveted; and this throne he carried away. It appears however that he spoiled the temple, the king's palace, &c., and in short took every thing away without resistance which he chose to carry off. It is very likely that this had a good effect on Rehoboam; it probably caused him to frequent the temple, 1 Kings xiv. 28, which it is likely he had before neglected. This history is more particularly told in 2 Chron. 12, to which the reader will do well to refer; and as to Rehoboam, though so much positive iniquity is not laid to his charge as to his father, yet little can be said for his piety; the idolatry introduced by Solomon does not appear to have been lessened in the days of Rehoboam.