1 Kings 13International Children’s Bible (ICB)
The Man of God Speaks Against Bethel
13 The Lord commanded a man of God from Judah to go to Bethel. When he arrived, Jeroboam was standing by the altar to offer a sacrifice. 2 The Lord had commanded the man of God to speak against the altar. The man said, “Altar, the Lord says to you: ‘David’s family will have a son named Josiah. He will kill the priests of the places of worship. They now make their sacrifices on you. But Josiah will sacrifice those priests on you. Human bones will be burned on you.’” 3 The man of God gave proof that these things would happen. He said, “This is God’s sign that this will happen. This altar will break apart. And the ashes on it will fall onto the ground.”
4 King Jeroboam heard what the man of God said about the altar in Bethel. So Jeroboam raised his hand from the altar and pointed at the man. “Capture him!” he said. But when the king said this, his arm became paralyzed. He could not move it. 5 Also, the altar broke into pieces. All its ashes fell onto the ground. This was the sign the Lord had told the man of God to give.
6 Then the king said to the man of God, “Please pray to the Lord your God for me. Ask him to heal my arm.”
So the man of God prayed to the Lord. And the king’s arm was healed. It became as it was before.
7 Then the king said to the man of God, “Please come home and eat with me. I will give you a gift.”
8 But the man of God answered the king, “I will not go home with you! Even if you gave me half of your kingdom, I would not go! I will not eat or drink anything in this place. 9 The Lord commanded me not to eat or drink anything. He also commanded me not to return on the same road by which I came.” 10 So he traveled on a different road. He did not return on the same road by which he had come to Bethel.
11 Now there was an old prophet living in Bethel. His sons came and told him what the man of God had done there that day. They told their father what he had said to King Jeroboam. 12 The father asked, “Which road did he use when he left?” So his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken. 13 The prophet told his sons to put a saddle on his donkey. So they saddled the donkey, and he left.
14 He went after the man of God. He found the man sitting under an oak tree. The prophet asked, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”
The man answered, “Yes, I am.”
15 So the prophet said, “Please come home and eat with me.”
16 But the man of God answered, “I can’t go home with you. I can’t eat or drink with you in this place. 17 The Lord said to me, ‘You must not eat or drink anything there. And you must not return on the same road by which you came.’”
18 Then the old prophet said, “But I also am a prophet like you.” Then he told a lie. He said, “An angel from the Lord came to me. He told me to bring you to my home. He said you should eat and drink with me.” 19 So the man of God went to the old prophet’s house. And he ate and drank with him there.
20 While they were sitting at the table, the Lord spoke his word to the old prophet. 21 The old prophet cried out to the man of God from Judah. He said, “The Lord said you did not obey him! He said you did not do what the Lord your God commanded you. 22 The Lord commanded you not to eat or drink anything in this place. But you came back and ate and drank. So your body will not be buried in your family grave.”
23 The man of God finished eating. Then the prophet put a saddle on his donkey for him. And the man left. 24 As he was traveling on the road home, a lion attacked and killed him. His body lay on the road. The donkey and the lion stood near it. 25 Some men were traveling on that road. They saw the body and the lion standing near it. So they went to the city where the old prophet lived. And they told what they had seen.
26 The old prophet who had brought the man of God back heard about what had happened. He said, “It is the man of God who did not obey the Lord’s command. So the Lord sent a lion to kill him. The Lord said he would do this.”
27 Then the prophet said to his sons, “Put a saddle on my donkey.” So they did. 28 The old prophet went out and found the body lying on the road. The donkey and the lion were still standing near it. The lion had not eaten the body. And it had not hurt the donkey. 29 So the prophet put the body on his donkey. And he carried it back to the city. There he would have a time of sadness for him and bury him. 30 The prophet buried the body in his own family grave. And he was sad for the man of God. He said, “Oh, my brother.”
31 So the prophet buried the body. Then he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in this same grave. Put my bones next to his. 32 Through him the Lord spoke against the altar at Bethel. And he spoke against the places of worship in the towns of Samaria. And what the Lord spoke through him will certainly come true.”
33 But King Jeroboam did not stop doing evil things. He continued to choose priests for the places of worship from all the people. Anyone who wanted to be a priest for the places of worship was allowed. 34 In this way the kingdom of Jeroboam sinned. And that sin caused its ruin and destruction from the earth.
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