1 KINGS 13

1 And, behold, there came a man of Elohim out of Judah by the word of Yahweh unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.

Jeroboam's policy was to widen the breach between the two kingdoms, and sever the links that held them together -- the common interest which was the one great object of the Law to combine and interlace. To that end he sacrificed the most sacred and inviolable privileges and obligations of the covenant people, by forbidding his subjects to resort to the temple of He who set him in power, by elevating common people as priests, by himself acting as high priest to the imitation of Egyptian gods he had set up in the name of Yahweh (as did Aaron in the matter of the golden calf beforehand).

He met a situation that could only be satisfactorily handled in faith, by his own earthly diplomacy -- and so failed. The great sin of Jeroboam was not merely idolatry (for Solomon and Rehoboam were both guilty of that) but compromise, a policy of expediency which perverted Truth by superimposing upon it pagan principles.

...Jeroboam believed that the end justified the means. So the king's apostasy was publicly rejected by disfellowshipment, enacted by the nameless prophet recorded in this chapter.


2 And he cried against the altar in the word of Yahweh, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith Yahweh; 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 was the last good, and the last independent king of Judah. He came to the throne at eight years of age; at sixteen he began to seek God; at twenty he began to totally purge the land of all false worship; at twenty-six he repaired the Temple, the Law was found, and the Great Passover was held; at thirty-nine he died bravely in battle, defending God's land.

He was, in some senses, the best of the kings. Nothing adverse is recorded concerning him. He is presented as having followed a totally obedient, totally zealous course from his earliest youth. We cannot say he was as great as David, but the record we have of him is more pure than David's.

His reign is a fitting and striking ending to the Kingdom that had its true beginning in David. There was Saul before David, as there were four evil men-vassals of foreign powers-after Josiah. But the period from David to Josiah really comprehends the Kingdom.

There is much about Josiah's life and circumstances that is typical of Christ. And, like Christ, he alone of all the kings had his name and work foretold long before his birth (1 Kings 13:2).

He began his reign about 640 B.C. In the loving providence of God, a final period of peace and prosperity was given to Israel. Assyria, which had long dominated and oppreessed the whole area, was greatly weakened. Josiah was able to freely re-establish his rule over the whole land, right up to Naphtali, the most northern of the tribes (2 Chronicles 34:6), and he used the opportunity to totally cleanse the whole land of idolatry and corruption.

Bro Growcott - BYT 4. 9.

18 He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of Yahweh, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed - Gal 1: 8.

19 So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.

The man of God either did not suspect falsehood or gave in to a proposal that was agreeable to his fatigued feelings, contrary to the command that he himself had received. ... The old prophet would, of course, be anxious to keep up the false impression he had made on the mind of the man of God.

20 And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of Yahweh came unto the prophet that brought him back:

But while they sat at table together, the old prophet, under the impulse of the Spirit of God, broke through all the rules of hospitality, and "cried" to the man of God thus:

21 And he cried unto the man of Elohim that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith Yahweh, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of Yahweh, and hast not kept the commandment which Yahweh thy Elohim commanded thee,

22 But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which Yahweh did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.

23 And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back.

24 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.

The case is also important as showing how necessary it is that we should act on what we ourselves know to be the will of God, and not allow any second party to come between, even if he should say,

"I am a prophet as thou art."

The Christadelphian, June 1898