“Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”
King James Version (KJV)
12:28 Calves - In imitation of Aaron's golden calf, and of theEgyptians, from whom he was lately come. And this he the ratherpresumed to do, because he knew the people of Israel were generallyprone to idolatry: and that Solomon's example had exceedinglystrengthened those inclinations; and therefore they were prepared forsuch an attempt; especially, when his proposition tended to their ownease, and safety, and profit, which he knew was much dearer to them, as wellas to himself, than their religion. Too much - Too great a trouble andcharge, and neither necessary, nor safe for them, as things now stood.Behold thy gods - Not as if he thought to persuade the people, that thesecalves were that very God of Israel, who brought them out of Egypt:which was so monstrously absurd and ridiculous, that no Israelite in hisright wits could believe it, and had been so far from satisfying his people,that this would have made him both hateful, and contemptible to them; buthis meaning was, that these Images were visible representations, by which hedesigned to worship the true God of Israel, as appears, partly from thatparallel place, #Exod 32:4|, partly, because the priests and worshippersof the calves, are said to worship Jehovah; and upon that account, aredistinguished from those belonging to Baal, #1Kings 18:21|, 22:6,7,and partly, from Jeroboam's design in this work, which was to quiet thepeoples minds, and remove their scruples about going to Jerusalem toworship their God in that place, as they were commanded: which he doth, bysignifying to them, that he did not intend any alteration in the substanceof their religion; nor to draw them from the worship of the true God, to theworship of any of those Baals, which were set up by Solomon; but toworship that self - same God whom they worshipped in Jerusalem, even thetrue God, who brought them out of Egypt; only to vary a circumstance:and that as they worshipped God at Jerusalem, before one visible sign,even the ark, and the sacred cherubim there; so his subjects should worshipGod by another visible sign, even that of the calves, in other places; andas for the change of the place, he might suggest to them, that God waspresent in all places, where men with honest minds called upon him; thatbefore the temple was built, the best of kings, and prophets, and people,did pray, and sacrifice to God in divers high places, without any scruple.And that God would dispense with them also in that matter; because going toJerusalem was dangerous to them at this time; and God would have mercy,rather than sacrifice.