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What was this "lamp in Jerusalem"? (1 Kings 15:4)

1 Kings 15 New International Version (NIV)
Abijah King of Judah
15 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam son of Nebat, Abijah became king of Judah, 2 and he reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother’s name was Maakah daughter of Abishalom.

3 He committed all the sins his father had done before him; his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his forefather had been. 4 Nevertheless, for David’s sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and by making Jerusalem strong. 5 For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.

1 Kings 15:4

ESV - 4 Nevertheless, for David's sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 05 2019 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The "lamp" being referred to in the verse cited in the question is a metaphorical reference to God maintaining a line of royal succession from David's descendants in fulfillment of His promise to David in 2 Samuel 7:8-16.

Although the kings of Judah who were descended from David did not all live up to David's degree of devotion to God (which had resulted in David being described as "a man after His [God's] own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14)), and although some of those kings (such as Abijah (also called Abijam), as noted in the question) were even described as doing evil, God's love for David was so great that He still kept His promise to him by maintaining (in the midst of the spiritual darkness that otherwise characterized Jerusalem and Judah) the "lamp" referred to in the passage, in the form of having one of David's descendants remain on the throne by giving Abijah a son who could succeed him as king, and thus perpetuate David's line.

And, in fact, even though God later allowed Judah to be punished for its sin by being taken into captivity in Babylon, that same lineage was preserved down to both the mother and earthly father of Jesus (who was the ultimate fulfillment of God's promise to David), as noted in the genealogies contained in Luke 3:23-38 and Matthew 1:1-17.

July 05 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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