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1Ki 13:1-22. JEROBOAM'S HAND WITHERS.
1. there came a man of God out of Judah--Who this prophet was cannot
be ascertained, He came by divine authority. It could not be either
Iddo or Ahijah, for both were alive after the events here related.
2-9. he cried against the altar--which is put for the whole system of
worship organized in Israel.
11. Now there dwelt an old prophet in Beth-el--If this were a true prophet, he was a bad man.
18. an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord--This circuitous mode of speaking, instead of simply saying, "the LORD spake to me," was adopted to hide an equivocation, to conceal a double meaning--an inferior sense given to the word "angel"--to offer a seemingly superior authority to persuade the prophet, while really the authority was secretly known to the speaker to be inferior. The "angel," that is, "messenger," was his own sons, who were worshippers, perhaps priests, at Beth-el. As this man was governed by self-interest, and wished to curry favor with the king (whose purpose to adhere to his religious polity, he feared, might be shaken by the portents that had occurred), his hastening after the prophet of Judah, the deception he practised, and the urgent invitation by which, on the ground of a falsehood, he prevailed on the too facile man of God to accompany him back to his house in Beth-el, were to create an impression in the king's mind that he was an impostor, who acted in opposition to his own statement.
21. he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah--rather, "it cried," that is, the word of the Lord.
1Ki 13:23-32. THE DISOBEDIENT PROPHET SLAIN BY A LION.
24. a lion met him by the way, and slew him--There was a wood near Beth-el infested with lions (2Ki 2:24). This sad catastrophe was a severe but necessary judgment of God, to attest the truth of the message with which the prophet had been charged. All the circumstances of this tragic occurrence (the undevoured carcass, the untouched ass, the passengers unmolested by the lion, though standing there) were calculated to produce an irresistible impression that the hand of God was in it.
31. bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried--His motive in making this request was either that his remains might not be disturbed when the predicted events took place (see 2Ki 23:18), or he had some superstitious hope of being benefited at the resurrection by being in the same cave with a man of God.