The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible1 Kings 12:11
And now, whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke,
&c.] Which was putting words into his mouth, owning the charge and
accusation brought against his father, as he did, (1 Kings 12:14) , which was
very unbecoming, if true; unless this is said according to the sense of
I will add to your yoke;
make it heavier, lay more taxes on them:
my father hath chastised you with whips;
which was putting a lie into
his mouth, and which he uttered, (1 Kings 12:14) for no instance of severity
exercised on the people in general can be given during the whole reign
but I will chastise you with scorpions;
treat them more roughly, and
with greater rigour: whips may mean smaller ones, these horse whips, as
in the Targum; which gave an acute pain, like the sting of scorpions,
or made a wound like one. Ben Gersom says, these were rods with thorns
on them, which pierced and gave much pain. Weemse F8 thinks these are
alluded to by thorns in the sides, (Numbers 33:55) (Judges 2:3) , for whipping with
them was about the sides, and not along the back. Abarbinel calls them
iron thorns, rods that had iron prongs or rowels to them, which tore
the flesh extremely. Isidore F9 says, a rod that is smooth is called a
rod, but, if knotty and prickled, it is rightly called a scorpion,
because it makes a wound in the body arched or crooked. Pliny F11
ascribes the invention of this sort of scorpions to the Cretians.
F8 Christian Synagogue, paragraph 6. diatrib. 2. p. 190.
F9 Origin. l. 5. c. 27. p. 39.
F11 Nat. Hist. l. 7. c. 56.