1. 1 Kings 16:34 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Were Abiram and Segub the only children?

1 Kings 16:34 (ESV)

34 In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.

We infer from the literary context, the redemptive-historical context, and the “process” character of our text that Hiel lost all his sons. From the literary context, both Jeroboam (1 Kings 15:29) and Baasha (1 Kings 16:7) had their whole households destroyed, as a covenant curse for these kings’ disobedience. From the redemptive-historical context, Achan and his whole family were burned and stoned (Joshua 6:25) for Achan’s sin of taking some of the devoted things of Jericho (Joshua 6:1). So in1 Kings 16:34, which also speaks of multiple family members dying for the sins of the one, and which uses specific language (“firstborn” son and “youngest” son), it is safe to conclude that there were more sons, and that they too were wiped out.

Hiel was bound and determined to stifle God’s Word! He carried on with the building process, he refused to repent, even though with every death in the family the LORD was calling him to stop!