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1 Kings 12:16–14:20

16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king:

“What sharex do we have in David,

what part in Jesse’s son?

To your tents, Israel!y

Look after your own house, David!”

So the Israelites went home.z 17 But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah,a Rehoboam still ruled over them.

18 King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram,b b who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death.c King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of Davidd to this day.

20 When all the Israelites heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David.e

21 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered all Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—a hundred and eighty thousand able young men—to go to warf against Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam son of Solomon.

22 But this word of God came to Shemaiahg the man of God:h 23 “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah, to all Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, 24 ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.’ ” So they obeyed the word of the Lord and went home again, as the Lord had ordered.

Golden Calves at Bethel and Dan

25 Then Jeroboam fortified Shechemi in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. From there he went out and built up Peniel.c j

26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. 27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem,k they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.”

28 After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves.l He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”m 29 One he set up in Bethel,n and the other in Dan.o 30 And this thing became a sin;p the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other.d

31 Jeroboam built shrinesq on high places and appointed priestsr from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites. 32 He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighths month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel,t sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made. 33 On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel.u So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make offerings.

The Man of God From Judah

13 By the word of the Lord a man of Godv came from Judah to Bethel,w as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering. By the word of the Lord he cried out against the altar: “Altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: ‘A son named Josiahx will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high placesy who make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.’ ” That same day the man of God gave a sign:z “This is the sign the Lord has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out.”

When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back. Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the Lord.

Then the king said to the man of God, “Intercedea with the Lord your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God interceded with the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before.

The king said to the man of God, “Come home with me for a meal, and I will give you a gift.”b

But the man of God answered the king, “Even if you were to give me half your possessions,c I would not go with you, nor would I eat breadd or drink water here. For I was commanded by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.’ ” 10 So he took another road and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel.

11 Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king. 12 Their father asked them, “Which way did he go?” And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken. 13 So he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And when they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it 14 and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”

“I am,” he replied.

15 So the prophet said to him, “Come home with me and eat.”

16 The man of God said, “I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat breade or drink water with you in this place. 17 I have been told by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.’ ”

18 The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the Lord:f ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’ ” (But he was lyingg to him.) 19 So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.

20 While they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet who had brought him back. 21 He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have defiedh the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. 22 You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors.’ ”

23 When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him. 24 As he went on his way, a lioni met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it. 25 Some people who passed by saw the body lying there, with the lion standing beside the body, and they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived.

26 When the prophet who had brought him back from his journey heard of it, he said, “It is the man of God who defiedj the word of the Lord. The Lord has given him over to the lion, which has mauled him and killed him, as the word of the Lord had warned him.”

27 The prophet said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me,” and they did so. 28 Then he went out and found the body lying on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The lion had neither eaten the body nor mauled the donkey. 29 So the prophet picked up the body of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back to his own city to mourn for him and bury him. 30 Then he laid the body in his own tomb,k and they mourned over him and said, “Alas, my brother!”l

31 After burying him, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried; lay my bonesm beside his bones. 32 For the message he declared by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel and against all the shrines on the high placesn in the towns of Samariao will certainly come true.”p

33 Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways,q but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sortsr of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places. 34 This was the sins of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destructiont from the face of the earth.

Ahijah’s Prophecy Against Jeroboam

14 At that time Abijah son of Jeroboam became ill, and Jeroboam said to his wife, “Go, disguise yourself, so you won’t be recognized as the wife of Jeroboam. Then go to Shiloh. Ahijahu the prophet is there—the one who told me I would be king over this people. Take ten loaves of breadv with you, some cakes and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy.” So Jeroboam’s wife did what he said and went to Ahijah’s house in Shiloh.

Now Ahijah could not see; his sight was gone because of his age. But the Lord had told Ahijah, “Jeroboam’s wife is coming to ask you about her son, for he is ill, and you are to give her such and such an answer. When she arrives, she will pretend to be someone else.”

So when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why this pretense?w I have been sent to you with bad news. Go, tell Jeroboam that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says:x ‘I raised you up from among the people and appointed you rulery over my people Israel. I torez the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, but you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commands and followed me with all his heart, doing only what was righta in my eyes. You have done more evilb than all who lived before you.c You have made for yourself other gods, idolsd made of metal; you have arousede my anger and turned your back on me.f

10 “ ‘Because of this, I am going to bring disasterg on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel—slave or free.a h I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns dung, until it is all gone.i 11 Dogsj will eat those belonging to Jeroboam who die in the city, and the birdsk will feed on those who die in the country. The Lord has spoken!’

12 “As for you, go back home. When you set foot in your city, the boy will die. 13 All Israel will …

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