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who, humanly speaking, had far more reason for rebelling against Saul, but who waited for that Divine leading the end of which was assured to him without arbitrary interference on his part (see Keil in loc.). Jeroboam, however, seems, even during the life of Solomon, to have stirred up the people against their king. He was obliged to flee to Egypt; but being recalled immediately after the death of Solomon, he placed himself, at the popular assembly convened at Shechem, at the head of those who spoke with Rehoboam on the part of the people. When their reasonable demands were perversely rejected by Rehoboam, ten tribes renounced their allegiance, and made Jeroboam their king. In vain did Rehoboam raise a considerable force from that part of the nation which remained faithful to him; a word from the prophet Shemaiah sufficed to disband his whole army (xii. 22 sqq.; 2 Chron. xi. 2 sqq.) (4). The ancient jealousy of the two powerful tribes of Ephraim and Judah, and the opposition of Judah to the rest of Israel, which had already resulted in a temporary division of the kingdom after Saul's death (§ 165), and again in the latter days of David, on the occasion related 2 Sam. xix. 41-44, xx. 1 sq., now resulted in the permanent separation of Israel into two kingdoms. The question how the ten tribes which composed the northern kingdom are to be computed, is so difficult to answer, that many have endeavoured, with Keil, to regard the number ten as merely symbolical ; which view the expression “we have ten parts in the king,” 2 Sam. xix. 44, may perhaps be considered to corroborate. The tribe of Levi not being reckoned (as already remarked, § 92) in the political division of the nation, and Benjamin belonging, according to 1 Kings xii. 21, 2 Chron. xi. 3, x. 23, xiv. 7, to the kingdom of Judah, it would seem that the number ten must refer to the remaining tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim making two. But the tribe of Simeon cannot possibly be set down to the northern kingdom, although 2 Chron. xv. 9 (xxxiv. 6) assumes that Simeonites belonged to it. The lot of this tribe lay, according to Josh. xix. 1-9, within the

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realm of Judah, in the south-west, towards Philistia and Idumea. It seems not to have formed a compact province, but to have consisted of several single towns and districts. The Simeonite town Beer-sheba is, in 1 Kings xix. 3, expressly said to have belonged to Judah. On the other hand, Bethel, Gilgal, and Jericho, chief places in the tribe of Benjamin, appear as towns of the northern kingdom; and the Benjamite town of Ramah, only nine miles north of Jerusalem, belonged, at least under Baasha, to the same, according to xv. 17, 21. The tribe of Benjamin, too, in virtue of ancient kinship, had always adhered to the house of Joseph, and during the march through the wilderness had been combined into a triad with Ephraim and

а Manasseh, Num. ii. 17 sqq., x. 21-24 (comp. $ 29 and note 5). In the former disruption of the kingdom, it had, as the tribe to which Saul belonged, been on the side of the tribes that separated from David ; nay, even subsequently, we find, from 2 Sam. xx. 1, a rebellion arising in Benjamin at the instigation of Sheba. So too, in Ps. lxxx., which refers to the carrying into captivity of the northern kingdom, we find Benjamin placed, ver. 3, between Ephraim and Manasseh. The actual state of things was that the tribe of Benjamin was shared by the two kingdoms, the greater part of the country belonging to the northern kingdom, while the certainly more populous part, in which the northern part of Jerusalem and its neighbourhood were situated, was united to the kingdom of Judah. Thus it was true both that the house of David, strictly speaking, possessed but one (entire) tribe, as it is expressed 1 Kings xi. 13, 32, 36, and that numerous members of the tribe of Benjamin belonged to Judah (5). That portion, too, of the tribe of Dan which dwelt in their original lot, Josh. xix. 40 sqq., between Benjamin, Judah, and Ephraim, belonged to Judah. A few Danite cities are mentioned, 2 Chron. xi. 10, xxviii. 18, as pertaining to the kingdom of Judah ; but since this tribe dwelt partly in the north, it may nevertheless be computed among the ten. Thus Rehoboam's army may correctly be spoken of, 1 Kings xii. 23, as


"all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and the rest of the people.” Among the children of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah, mentioned ver. 17 as Rehoboam's subjects, were probably included members of other tribes also. And when to these are added the numerous emigrations from the northern kingdom into that of Judah in succeeding centuries (comp. 2 Chron. xv. 9), it may well be said that among the Jews ('717?), which name now arose in the southern kingdom, all Israel was represented. The disruption of Israel was from this time irremediable; in a short time, not reckoning the reigns of Ahab and Jehoshaphat and their immediate successors, the separated kingdoms took up hostile positions with respect to each other(6), and at last mutually consumed their strength in sanguinary wars. The external glory of the kingdom was at an end; but prophecy never ceased to direct the expectation of the nation to the future reunion of the twelve tribes under one head of the house of David (7).

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(1) Ritter, in his Erdkunde, xiv. pp. 348–431, gives a detailed investigation of Solomon's trade to Ophir.

(2) See on this subject Ewald, id. p. 100; Delitzsch, id p. 713.

(3) The lasting stability of his house, i.e. of his family, was also promised to Jeroboam if he should continue faithful to the Divine law. This promise was accompanied, however, by a declaration, 1 Kings xi. 30, that the humiliation of David's house was but temporary. It was thus shown that the promise of perpetual kingship was to be realized in the dynasty not of Jeroboam but of David (see Keil in loc.).

(4) This circumstance shows in what respect the prophetic office was still held by the people, although its public agency had for a long period been intermitted.

(5) Comp. Hengstenberg in his commentary on Ps. Ixxx. Hupfeld's interpretation of the last quoted passage is very unnatural, when, treating of Ps. Ixxx., he seeks to understand by the one tribe Benjamin, which David's house was to retain besides Judah. There is no authority for making up the number of the ten tribes (as Delitzsch does in his Commentary on the Psalms, i. sec. 1, p. 611) by counting the tribe of Manasseh

as two.

(6) That the two kingdoms subsequently, perhaps under Uzziah, were upon more friendly terms, and even concluded a “ league of brotherhood,” is a notion invented in explanation of Zech. ix. 13, xi. 14 (see e.g. Bleek in the theol. Studien und Kritiken, 1852, pp. 268 and 292), and without foundation in the historical narratives.

(7) This subject will be more particularly treated hereafter. The restoration, however, of the tribes as such being predicted, their continuance is evidently presupposed.

This is also actually guaranteed even to the centuries next following ; comp. with respect to the tribes of the northern kingdom, 1 Chron. v. 26; Josephus, Ant. xi. 5. 2.



§ 171.

Preliminary Remarks.

The history of the northern kingdom, called, as the basis of the nation, the kingdom of Israel, or, after its chief tribe, that of Ephraim, comes chiefly under the consideration of biblical theology, as exhibiting, in the conflict waged against the apostate realın by the prophetic order, the powerful agency of the latter, and as manifesting, in the whole course of the events which befell it, the serious nature of Divine retribution. Nine dynasties, including nineteen kings (not reckoning Tibni, 1 Kings xvi. 22), succeeded each other in the two centuries and a half during which the kingdom existed (from 975 to 720 B.C.), and only two, those of Omri and Jehu, possessed the throne for any length of time. The history is full of conspiracies, regicides, and civil wars; it is a continuous testimony to the fact that, when once the divinely appointed path is forsaken, sin is ever producing fresh sin, and that the punishment of one crime is inflicted by another.

The history may be fitly divided into two distinct periods. The extirpation of Omri's dynasty by Jehu, after his elevation to the throne by Elisha, forms the chief turning point. Under Jehu's dynasty, the kingdom, which was hastening to its destruction, took a fresh flight, but only to succumb the more speedily to its final doom.




§ 172.

Jeroboam I. to Omri.

Jeroboam at first took up his abode at Shechem, the chief town of Ephraim (1). Subsequently, however, he dwelt at Tirzah, xiv. 17, which continued to be the capital under his immediate successors, xv. 21 (2). The first measure taken by Jeroboam was to make the political separation of the tribes a religious schism, by completing the breach with the theocratic institutions, the connection of his people with the worship at Jerusalem seeming to him politically dangerous. In his innovations, however, Jeroboam followed tradition. He erected two separate sanctuaries, one in the south at Bethel, a place consecrated by ancient memories. This was the “ king's chapel,” as it is called Amos vii. 13, a designation on which is very characteristically impressed the fact, that in the kingdom of the ten tribes the politico-ecclesiastical had taken the place of the theocratic principle. The other sanctuary was erected in the

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