1 Kings 14 The Voice (VOICE)
14 About this same time, Abijah (Jeroboam’s son) became very ill.
Jeroboam (to his wife): 2 Get up quickly, and dress in a disguise so that no one will know you are my wife. Then travel as fast as you can to Shiloh, where the prophet Ahijah is dwelling. He is the one who prophesied that I would be king of these people. 3 Pack 10 loaves of bread, a few cakes, and a honey jar. Go find him quickly; he should be able to prophesy the boy’s fate.
4 Jeroboam’s wife did this urgent thing. She traveled quickly to Shiloh and found the dwelling place of Ahijah. Ahijah was blind in his old age and could not see a thing. 5 The Eternal One had already told Ahijah, “Jeroboam’s wife is on her way to ask you to prophesy the fate of her boy who is ill. This is what you are to say to her. But beware, when she comes to your house, she will pretend to be someone else.”
6 Ahijah heard her footsteps come into his house, and he called out to her.
Ahijah: Come inside. You are Jeroboam’s wife, but why do you wear a disguise? I have an urgent and severe message for you from the Eternal One.
7 Go back to Jeroboam right now, and tell him this is the message of the Eternal One, the God of Israel: “I appointed you from the community and granted you leadership over My people Israel. 8-9 I stripped the kingdom out from under the house of David, and I handed it over to you. But you have committed evil which exceeds those before you; and you have not been an honorable servant like David, for he honored My laws and gave his entire heart to Me. Unlike you, he sought to do My will. You have made yourself other gods and cast false idols in their honor. You have aroused My wrath by putting Me behind you. 10 Therefore, beware.
“I will bring destruction to Jeroboam’s house; and I will keep every Israelite man—both free and slave—away from him. I will wipe out Jeroboam’s house, just as one burns the dung from animals, so his house will be burned up and wiped out. There will be nothing left of his house. 11 All who remain devoted to Jeroboam, if they die in the city, will be devoured by dogs. If they die in the fields, they will be devoured by birds of the heavens.” The Eternal One has already said that is what will happen.
12 Get up quickly, and go back to your home. As soon as you set foot in the city, your son will die. 13 All of Israel will grieve for him and bury him. He is the only member of Jeroboam’s family who will have a proper burial, for he was the only one within Jeroboam’s house in whom the Eternal God of Israel found something good.
14 The Eternal will appoint for Himself a new king over Israel, and this new king will separate the kingdom from Jeroboam’s house from this day and beyond. 15 The Eternal One will strike Israel, and Israel will be rattled just as water rattles a reed. The Eternal One will tear out Israel from this promised land given to their ancestors, and He will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River. He will do this because they have crafted their sacred poles and aroused the fiery wrath of the Eternal One. 16 He will abandon Israel because of Jeroboam’s wickedness, which caused all of Israel to be wicked as well.
17 Jeroboam’s wife then got up and traveled to Tirzah. As soon as she stepped into the house, her son died. 18 All Israel buried him and grieved for him, just as the Eternal One said they would in the message He gave through the prophet Ahijah.
19 Is not the rest of Jeroboam’s story—how he caused war, as well as the general history of his actions and reign—documented in the book of the chronicles of Israel’s kings?
20 Jeroboam ruled over Israel for 22 years, then he left this world to sleep with his fathers. Jeroboam’s son, Nadab, then inherited the throne.
21 Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, ruled over Judah. He was granted kingship when he was 41 years old, and he ruled 17 years. He lived out his reign in Jerusalem, the city which the Eternal chose from all of Israel’s tribes as the dwelling place for His name. His mother was Naamah the Ammonitess, one of Solomon’s foreign wives.
22 Judah was also wicked in the Eternal’s eyes. Their wickedness aroused His jealousy more than the wickedness of all their ancestors combined. 23 They constructed high places and crafted holy pillars. They infected the pure earth with their sacred poles on every mountain and beneath every beautiful tree. 24 There were also temple prostitutes who worked throughout the land. They followed the examples of the nations and were wicked just as the nations were before the arrival of the Israelites.
25 During the fifth year of Rehoboam’s reign, Shishak, Egypt’s king, waged war against Jerusalem. 26 He stole all the treasures from the Eternal’s temple and from the palace. He stole everything, even the golden shields Solomon had crafted.
Paying tribute to the powerful Egyptian pharaoh, who is also known as Shoshenq I, may have saved Judah from destruction, but Jeroboam and Israel are not so safe. This record describes what happens to Israel, but Shishak records another perspective in a relief at the temple at Karnak. In the relief, Shishak’s god is shown pulling a rope with 120 slaves attached to it. Each slave carries the name of a town Shishak claims to have conquered. Even if the information in the relief is embellished, history does agree that Shishak has control of Judah and Israel in the eighth century.
27 King Rehoboam crafted bronze shields to replace the golden shields. He put the shields in the hands of the leaders of the guard who stood guard at the entrance of the palace. 28 On ceremonial occasions, such as when the king entered the Eternal’s temple, the guards carried the shields. They would then return the shields to their room.
29 Is not the rest of Rehoboam’s story documented in the book of the chronicles of Judah’s kings? 30 There were always wars taking place between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. 31 Rehoboam left this world to sleep with his fathers and was laid to rest with his ancestors in the city of David. His mother was called Naamah the Ammonitess. Then his son, Abijam, inherited the throne.
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