1 Kings 12-13 Amplified Bible (AMP)
King Rehoboam Acts Foolishly
12 Rehoboam went to [a]Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2 Now when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard about it, he was living in Egypt (for he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon). 3 So they sent word and called for him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4 “Your father made our yoke (burden) heavy; so now lighten the hard labor and the heavy yoke your father imposed on us, and we will serve you.” 5 Rehoboam replied to them, “Leave for three days, then come back to me [for my decision].” So the people left.
6 King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served and advised his father Solomon while he was still alive and said, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” 7 They spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant their request, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8 But he [b]ignored the advice which the elders gave him and consulted the young men who grew up with him and served him. 9 He said to them, “What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke (burden) which your father put on us’?” 10 The young men who had grown up with him answered, “This is what you should say to this people who told you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but as for you, make our yoke lighter’—say this to them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins [and my reign will be even more severe]. 11 And now, whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with [c]scorpions.’”
12 Jeroboam and all the people came back to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had instructed, saying, “Return to me on the third day.” 13 The king answered the people harshly and [d]ignored the advice which the elders had given him, 14 and spoke to them in accordance with the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but as for me, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people; for the situation was from the Lord, so that He might fulfill His word which He spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
The Kingdom Divided; Jeroboam Rules Israel
16 So when all [the ten northern tribes of] Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people replied to the king, saying,
“What portion do we have in David?
Then Israel went back to their tents. 17 But as for the sons (descendants) of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah [including Benjamin], Rehoboam reigned over them. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent [f]Adoram, who was in charge of the forced labor [to represent him], and all Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam quickly mounted his chariot to escape to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel (the ten northern tribes) has rebelled against the house (royal line) of David to this day (the date of this writing).
20 It came about when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, that they sent word and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. None followed the house of David except the tribe of Judah [including Benjamin].
21 Now when Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he assembled all the [fighting men from the] house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 chosen warriors, to fight against the house of Israel to bring the kingdom back to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 22 But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 23 “Tell Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and all the house (fighting men) of Judah and Benjamin and the rest of the people, 24 ‘Thus says the Lord, “You shall not go up and fight against your brothers, the sons of Israel. Let every man return to his house, for this thing has come about from Me.”’” So they listened to the word of the Lord and returned to go home, in accordance with the word of the Lord.
25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem [as his royal city] in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. He went out from there and rebuilt Penuel [as a stronghold]. 26 Jeroboam [doubted God’s promise to him and] said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. 27 If these people go up to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem to offer sacrifices, then their heart will turn to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28 So the king took counsel [and followed bad advice] and made two [g]calves of gold. And he said to the people, “It is too much for you to go [all the way] up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” 29 He set the one [golden calf] in Bethel, and the other he put in [h]Dan. 30 Now this thing became a sin [for Israel]; because the people went to worship before the one [or the other of them] as far as Dan. 31 And Jeroboam also made houses on high places, and he made priests from [i]all people who were not of the sons (descendants) of Levi. 32 Jeroboam held a feast on the fifteenth day of the [j]eighth month, like the feast which is kept in Judah, and he went up to the altar; he did this in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 33 So he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised in his own heart [in defiance of God’s commandments]; and he held a feast for the Israelites and he went up to the altar to burn [k]incense [in defiance of God’s law.]
Jeroboam Warned, Stricken
13 Now behold, there came a man of God from Judah to Bethel by the word (command) of the Lord, while Jeroboam was standing by the altar [which he had built] to burn incense. 2 The man cried out against the [idolatrous] altar by the word of the Lord, “O altar, altar, thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, [l]Josiah by name; and on you shall he sacrifice [the bodies of] the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.’” 3 And he gave a sign the same day, saying, “This is the sign which the Lord has spoken: ‘Behold, the altar shall be split apart and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out.’” 4 When the king heard the words which the man of God cried out against the altar in Bethel, Jeroboam put out his hand from the altar, saying, “Seize him!” And his hand which he had put out against him withered, so that he was unable to pull it back to himself. 5 The altar also was split apart and the ashes were poured out from the altar in accordance with the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord. 6 The king answered and said to the man of God, “Please entreat [the favor of] the Lord your God and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me.” So the man of God entreated the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored to him and became as it was before. 7 And the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.” 8 But the man of God said to the king, “Even if you were to give me half your house (wealth), I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water in this place. 9 For I was commanded by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall not eat bread or drink water, nor shall you return by the way you came.’” 10 So he went another way and did not return by the way that he came to Bethel.
The Disobedient Prophet
11 Now there was an old prophet living in Bethel; and his sons came and told him everything that the man of God had done that day in Bethel; they also told their father the words which he had spoken to the king. 12 Their father asked them, “Which way did he go?” For his sons had seen which way the man of God who came from Judah had gone. 13 He said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled the donkey for him and he rode away on it, 14 and he went after the man of God. And he found him sitting under an oak (terebinth) tree, and he said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” And he said, “I am.” 15 Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.” 16 He said, “I cannot return with you nor go in with you, nor will I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. 17 For I was told by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor shall you return by going the way that you came.’” 18 He answered him, “I too am a prophet, as you are; and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” But he lied to him. 19 So the man of God went back with him, and ate bread in his house and drank water.
20 Now it happened as they were sitting at the table, that the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had brought him back. 21 And he cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have disobeyed the word of the Lord and have not kept the commandment which the Lord your God commanded you, 22 but have come back and have eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which the Lord said to you, “You shall not eat bread nor drink water”; your body shall not come to the tomb of your fathers (ancestors).’” 23 After the prophet of the house had eaten bread and after he had drunk, he saddled the donkey for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 Now when he had gone, a lion met him by the road and killed him, and his body was thrown in the road, with the donkey standing beside it; the lion was also standing beside the body. 25 And there were men passing by, and they saw the body thrown in the road, and the lion standing beside the body. So they came and told about it in the city [of Bethel] where the old prophet lived.
26 When the prophet who had brought him back from the road heard about it, he said, “It is the man of God who was disobedient to the word of the Lord; therefore the Lord has given him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, in accordance with the word of the Lord which He spoke to him.” 27 And he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And they saddled it. 28 And he went and found the body thrown on the road, and the donkey and the lion standing beside the body; the lion [miraculously] had not eaten the body or attacked the donkey. 29 Then the prophet picked up the body of the man of God and laid it on the donkey and brought it back, and he came into the city (Bethel) of the old prophet to mourn and to bury him. 30 And he laid the body in his own grave, and they mourned over him, saying, “Alas, my brother!” 31 Then after he had buried him, he said to his sons, “When I am dead, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. 32 For the words which he cried out by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria shall certainly come to pass.”
33 After this event, Jeroboam [still] did not turn from his evil way, but again made priests for the high places from among all the people. He ordained anyone who was willing, so that there would be priests for the high places. 34 And this thing (idol worship) became the sin of the house of Jeroboam to blot it out and eliminate it from the face of the earth.
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