1 Kings 13
New English Translation
13 1 Just then[a] a prophet[b] arrived from Judah with[c] the Lord’s message for Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing near the altar ready to offer a sacrifice. 2 He cried out against the altar with the Lord’s message, “O altar, altar! This is what the Lord has said, ‘Look, a son named Josiah will be born to the Davidic dynasty. He will sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who offer sacrifices on you. Human bones will be burned on you.’”[d] 3 That day he had also given a sign, saying, “This is the sign that the Lord has declared: The altar will split open and the ashes[e] on it will pour out.” 4 When the king heard the prophet’s message that he had cried out against the altar in Bethel, Jeroboam took his hand from the altar and pointed it[f] saying, “Seize him!” Then the hand that he had pointed at him stiffened up,[g] and he could not pull it back. 5 Meanwhile the altar split open, and the ashes[h] poured from the altar in fulfillment of the sign the prophet had given with the Lord’s message. 6 The king responded to[i] the prophet, “Seek the favor of[j] the Lord your God and pray for me, so that my hand may be restored.” So the prophet sought the Lord’s favor and the king’s hand was restored as it was at first. 7 The king then said to the prophet, “Come home with me and have something to eat, so that I may give you a gift.”[k] 8 But the prophet said to the king, “Even if you were to give me half your possessions,[l] I would not go with you. I am not allowed to eat food or drink water in this place. 9 For this is how I was commanded in the Lord’s message, ‘Eat no food. Drink no water. And do not return by the way you came.’” 10 So he started back on another road; he did not travel back on the same road he had taken to Bethel.
11 Now there was an old prophet living in Bethel. When his sons[m] came home, they told him everything the prophet[n] had done in Bethel that day. And they told their father all the words that he had spoken to the king.[o] 12 Their father asked them, “Which road did he take?” His sons showed him[p] the road the prophet from Judah had taken. 13 He then told his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” When they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it 14 and took off after the prophet, whom he found sitting under an oak tree. He asked him, “Are you the prophet from Judah?” He answered, “Yes, I am.” 15 He then said to him, “Come home with me and eat something.” 16 But he replied, “I can’t go back with you.[q] I am not allowed to eat food or to drink water with you in this place. 17 For an order came to me in the Lord’s message, ‘Eat no food. Drink no water there. And do not return by the way you came.’” 18 Then the old prophet[r] said, “I too am a prophet like you. And an angel has told me in a message from the Lord, ‘Bring him back with you to your house so he can eat food and drink water.’” But he had lied to him.[s] 19 So the prophet[t] went back with him. He ate food in his house and he drank water.
20 While they were sitting at the table, the Lord’s message came to the old prophet who had brought him back. 21 So he cried out to the prophet[u] who had come from Judah, “This is what the Lord has said, ‘You[v] have rebelled against the Lord’s instruction[w] and have not obeyed the command the Lord your God gave you. 22 You went back. You ate food. And you drank water in the place of which he had said to you, “Eat no food. Drink no water.” Therefore[x] your corpse will not be buried in your ancestral tomb.’”[y]
23 So this is what happened after he had eaten food and drunk water.[z] The old prophet[aa] saddled the donkey for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 So the prophet from Judah travelled on. Then a lion attacked him on the road and killed him.
There was his body lying on the road, with the donkey standing next to it, and the lion just standing there by the body. 25 Then some men came passing by and saw the body lying in the road with the lion standing next to the body. They went and reported what they had seen[ab] in the city where the old prophet lived. 26 When the old prophet who had invited him to his house heard the news,[ac] he said, “It is the prophet[ad] who rebelled against the Lord.[ae] The Lord delivered him over to the lion and it tore him up[af] and killed him, in keeping with the Lord’s message that he had spoken to him.” 27 He told his sons, “Saddle my donkey.” So they saddled it. 28 He went and found the body lying in the road with the donkey and the lion standing beside it;[ag] the lion had neither eaten the body nor attacked the donkey. 29 The old prophet[ah] picked up the prophet’s[ai] body, put it on the donkey, and brought it back. The old prophet then entered the city to mourn him and to bury him. 30 He put the body into his own tomb, and they[aj] mourned over him, saying, “Ah, my brother!” 31 After he buried him, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the tomb where the prophet[ak] is buried; put my bones right beside his bones, 32 because the message that he announced as the Lord’s message against the altar in Bethel and against all the temples on the high places in the cities of the north[al] will certainly be fulfilled.”
A Prophet Announces the End of Jeroboam’s Dynasty
33 After this happened, Jeroboam still did not change his evil ways;[am] he continued to appoint common people[an] as priests at the high places. Anyone who wanted the job he consecrated as a priest.[ao] 34 This sin caused Jeroboam’s dynasty[ap] to come to an end and to be destroyed from the face of the earth.
- 1 Kings 13:1 tn Heb The Hebrew particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) is a rhetorical device by which the author invites the reader to visualize the scene for dramatic effect.
- 1 Kings 13:1 tn Heb “the man of God.” Also in vv. 4-8.
- 1 Kings 13:1 tn Or “in keeping with” (also at vv. 2, 5, 9, 17, 18, 32).
- 1 Kings 13:2 sn “Look…you.” For the fulfillment of this prophecy see 2 Kgs 23:15-20.
- 1 Kings 13:3 tn Heb “the fat,” i.e., fat mixed with ashes from the altar (HALOT 234 s.v. דשׁן).
- 1 Kings 13:4 tn Heb “extended his hand from the altar.”
- 1 Kings 13:4 tn Heb The verb יָבֵשׁ (yavesh) usually describes water sources as dry or plants as dry and withered. Applied to a hand or an arm (Zech 11:17), it probably means to be(come) stiff, feeble, or both. TEV and NLT interpret this as “became paralyzed.”
- 1 Kings 13:5 tn The fat mixed with ashes. See note v. 3.
- 1 Kings 13:6 tn Heb “answered and said to.”
- 1 Kings 13:6 tn Heb “appease” or “soften the face of,” twice in this verse.
- 1 Kings 13:7 tn Or “reward.”
- 1 Kings 13:8 tn Heb “house,” representing one’s estate or possessions.
- 1 Kings 13:11 tc The MT has the singular but the LXX, Syriac, some Latin manuscripts and two medieval Hebrew manuscripts have the plural, which consistent with the end of the verse and vv. 12-13.
- 1 Kings 13:11 tn Heb “the man of God.” Also in vv. 12, 14.
- 1 Kings 13:11 tn Heb “the words which he had spoken to the king, and they told them to their father.”
- 1 Kings 13:12 tc The MT reads וַיִּרְאוּ (vayyirʾu, “they saw”) the Qal preterite of רָאָה (raʾah, “to see”). Some translations render this as pluperfect “they had seen” (KJV, NASB), but then the verb should have been preceded by a different construction. Other translations (NIV, ESV, NRSV) follow some ancient versions and emend the verbal form to a Hiphil with pronominal suffix וַיַּרְאֻהוּ (vayyarʾuhu, “and they showed him”).
- 1 Kings 13:16 tn Heb “I am unable to return with you or to go with you.”
- 1 Kings 13:18 tn Heb “he.”
- 1 Kings 13:18 sn He had lied to him. The motives and actions of the old prophet are difficult to understand. The old man’s response to the prophet’s death (see vv. 26-32) suggests he did not trick him with malicious intent. Perhaps the old prophet wanted the honor of entertaining such a celebrity, or perhaps simply desired some social interaction with a fellow prophet.
- 1 Kings 13:19 tn Heb “he.”
- 1 Kings 13:21 tn Heb “man of God.”
- 1 Kings 13:21 tn The Hebrew text has “because” at the beginning of the sentence. In the Hebrew text vv. 21-22 are one long sentence comprised of a causal clause giving the reason for divine punishment (vv. 21-22a) and the main clause announcing the punishment (v. 22b). The translation divides this lengthy sentence for stylistic reasons.
- 1 Kings 13:21 tn Heb “mouth.”
- 1 Kings 13:22 tn “Therefore” is added for stylistic reasons. See the note at 1 Kgs 13:21 pertaining to the grammatical structure of vv. 21-22.
- 1 Kings 13:22 tn Heb “will not come to the tomb of your fathers.”
- 1 Kings 13:23 tn The MT does not include “water” though it is implied and included in the LXX and Syriac versions.
- 1 Kings 13:23 tn Heb “he.”
- 1 Kings 13:25 tn The words “what they had seen” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
- 1 Kings 13:26 tn Heb “and the prophet who had brought him back from the road heard.”
- 1 Kings 13:26 tn Heb “the man of God.”
- 1 Kings 13:26 tn Heb “the mouth of the Lord.”
- 1 Kings 13:26 tn Heb “destroyed him,” or “maimed him.”
- 1 Kings 13:28 tn Heb “the body.”
- 1 Kings 13:29 tn Heb “the prophet.” The word “old” has been supplied in the translation to distinguish this individual from the other prophet.
- 1 Kings 13:29 tn Heb “the man of God.”
- 1 Kings 13:30 tn “They” is the reading of the Hebrew text here; perhaps this is meant to include not only the old prophet but his sons (cf. v. 31).
- 1 Kings 13:31 tn Heb “the man of God.”
- 1 Kings 13:32 tn Heb “Samaria.” The name of Israel’s capital city here stands for the northern kingdom as a whole. Actually Samaria was not built and named until several years after this (see 1 Kgs 16:24), so it is likely that the author of Kings, writing at a later time, is here adapting the old prophet’s original statement.
- 1 Kings 13:33 tn Heb “did not turn from his evil way.”
- 1 Kings 13:33 sn The expression common people refers to people who were not Levites. See 1 Kgs 12:31.
- 1 Kings 13:33 tn Heb “and one who had the desire he was filling his hand so that he became [one of] the priests of the high places.”
- 1 Kings 13:34 tn Heb “house.”