King Rehoboam Acts Foolishly

12 (A)Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, because all Israel had come to (B)Shechem to make him king. Now (C)when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard about this, [a]he was living in Egypt (for he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon). Then they sent word and summoned him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, (D)Your father made our yoke hard; but now, lighten the hard labor imposed by your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” Then he said to them, “(E)Depart [b]for three days, then return to me.” So the people departed.

And King Rehoboam (F)consulted with the elders who had [c]served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” Then they spoke to him, saying, “(G)If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and [d]grant them their request, and speak pleasant words to them, then they will be your servants always.” But he ignored the advice of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who had grown up with him [e]and served him. He said to them, “What advice do you give, so that we may answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?” 10 And the young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, “This is what you should say to this people who spoke to you, saying: ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us!’ You should speak this way to them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! 11 Now then, my father loaded you with a heavy yoke; yet I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with [f]scorpions!’”

12 Then Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had [g]directed, saying, “(H)Return to me on the third day.” 13 And the king answered the people harshly, for he ignored the advice of the elders which they had [h]given him, 14 and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “(I)My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with [i]scorpions!” 15 So the king did not listen to the people; (J)because it was [j]a turn of events from the Lord, (K)in order to establish His word which the Lord spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

The Kingdom Divided; Jeroboam Rules Israel

16 When all Israel saw that the king had not listened to them, the people replied to the king, saying,

“What share do we have in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse;
(L)To your tents, Israel!
Now look after your own house, David!”

So Israel went away to their tents. 17 But (M)as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent (N)Adoram, who was in charge of the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him [k]to death. And King Rehoboam hurried to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19 (O)So Israel has broken with the house of David to this day.

20 And 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. (P)None except the tribe of Judah alone followed the house of David.

21 (Q)Now when Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 chosen warriors, to fight against the house of Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 22 But the word of God came to (R)Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 23 “Tell Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and the (S)rest of the people, saying, 24 ‘This is what the Lord says: “You shall not go up nor fight against your relatives the sons of Israel; return, every man to his house, (T)for this thing has come from Me.”’” So they listened to the word of the Lord, and returned to go their way in accordance with the word of the Lord.

Jeroboam’s Idolatry

25 Then (U)Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived [l]there. And he went out from there and built (V)Penuel. 26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. 27 (W)If this people go up to [m]offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28 So the king [n]consulted, and he (X)made two golden (Y)calves; and he said to [o]the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; (Z)behold your gods, Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt.” 29 And he set up (AA)one in (AB)Bethel, and the other he put in (AC)Dan. 30 Now (AD)this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. 31 And (AE)he made houses on high places, and [p](AF)appointed priests from [q]all the people who were not of the sons of Levi. 32 Jeroboam also [r]instituted a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, (AG)like the feast that is in Judah, and he [s]went up to the altar. So he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel (AH)the priests of the high places which he had made. 33 Then he [t]went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, the month that he had [u](AI)devised [v]in his own heart; and he [w]instituted a feast for the sons of Israel and [x]went up to the altar (AJ)to burn [y]incense.


  1. 1 Kings 12:2 Lit Jeroboam
  2. 1 Kings 12:5 Lit three more
  3. 1 Kings 12:6 Lit stood before
  4. 1 Kings 12:7 Lit answer them
  5. 1 Kings 12:8 Lit who stood before
  6. 1 Kings 12:11 Prob. a brutal type of whip
  7. 1 Kings 12:12 Lit spoken
  8. 1 Kings 12:13 Lit advised
  9. 1 Kings 12:14 See note v 11
  10. 1 Kings 12:15 Or the providence of the Lord
  11. 1 Kings 12:18 Lit with stones that he died
  12. 1 Kings 12:25 Lit in it
  13. 1 Kings 12:27 Lit do
  14. 1 Kings 12:28 Lit took counsel
  15. 1 Kings 12:28 Lit them
  16. 1 Kings 12:31 Lit made
  17. 1 Kings 12:31 Lit the extremities of the
  18. 1 Kings 12:32 Lit made
  19. 1 Kings 12:32 Or offered upon
  20. 1 Kings 12:33 Or offered upon
  21. 1 Kings 12:33 Lit made
  22. 1 Kings 12:33 Lit from
  23. 1 Kings 12:33 Lit made
  24. 1 Kings 12:33 Or offered upon
  25. 1 Kings 12:33 Or sacrifices

Jeroboam Warned, Stricken

13 Now behold, (A)a man of God came from Judah to Bethel by the word of the Lord, while Jeroboam was standing at the altar (B)to burn incense. And (C)he cried out against the altar by the word of the Lord and said, “Altar, altar, this is what the Lord says: ‘Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, (D)Josiah by name; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and human bones shall burn on you.’” Then he gave a [a]sign on the same day, saying, “(E)This is the [b]sign which the Lord has spoken: ‘Behold, the altar shall be torn to pieces and the [c]ashes which are on it shall be poured out.’” Now when the king heard the statement of the man of God which he cried out against the altar in Bethel, Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Seize him!” But his hand which he had stretched out toward him dried up, and he could not draw it back to himself. The altar also was torn to pieces and the [d]ashes were poured out from the altar, in accordance with the [e]sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord. And the king responded and said to the man of God, “Please [f](F)appease the Lord your God and pray for me, so that my hand may be restored to me.” So (G)the man of God [g]appeased the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored to him, and it became as it was before. Then the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me and refresh yourself, and (H)I will give you a gift.” But the man of God said to the king, “(I)If you were to give me half your house, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water in this place. For so [h]it was commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘You shall not eat bread nor drink water, nor return by the way that you came.’” 10 So he went another way and did not return by the way that he had come to Bethel.

The Disobedient Prophet

11 Now (J)an old prophet was living in Bethel; and his [i]sons came and told him all the deeds which the man of God had done that day in Bethel; the words which he had spoken to the king, these also they reported to their father. 12 And their father said to them, “[j]Which way did he go?” Now his sons [k]had seen the way that the man of God who came from Judah had gone. 13 Then he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled the donkey for him and he rode away on it. 14 So he went after the man of God and found him sitting under [l]an oak; 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 But he said, “(K)I cannot return with you, nor come with you, nor will I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. 17 For a [m]command came to me (L)by the word of the Lord: ‘You shall not eat bread, nor drink water there; do not return by going the way that you came.’” 18 Then he said to him, “(M)I too am a prophet like you, and (N)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 (O)he lied to him. 19 So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house and drank water.

20 Now it came about, as they were sitting down 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 came from Judah, saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because you have [n]disobeyed the [o]command of the Lord, and have not kept the commandment which the Lord your God commanded you, 22 but have returned and eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which He said to you, “You are not to eat bread nor drink water”; your dead body will not come to the grave of your fathers.’” 23 It came about after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that he saddled the donkey for him, for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 Now when he had gone, (P)a lion met him on the way and killed him, and his body was thrown on the road, with the donkey standing beside it; the lion also was standing beside the body. 25 And behold, men passed by and saw the body thrown on the road, and the lion standing beside the body; so they came and told about it in the city where (Q)the old prophet had lived.

26 Now when the prophet who had brought him back from the way heard about it, he said, “It is the man of God, who [p]disobeyed the [q]command 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 Then he spoke to his sons, saying, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And they saddled it. 28 Then he went and found his body thrown on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside the body; the lion had not eaten the body nor [r]harmed the donkey. 29 So the prophet picked up the body of the man of God and laid it on the donkey and brought it back; and he came to the city of the old prophet to mourn and to bury him. 30 He laid his body in his own grave, and they mourned over him, saying, “(R)Oh, my brother!” 31 And after he had buried him, he talked to his sons, saying, “When I die, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried; (S)lay my bones beside his bones. 32 (T)For the thing will certainly come to pass which he cried out by the word of the Lord against the altar that is in Bethel, and (U)against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of (V)Samaria.”

33 After this event, Jeroboam did not [s]abandon his evil way, but he (W)again [t]appointed priests of the high places from [u]all the people; (X)anyone who wanted, he ordained, and he became [v]one of the priests of the high places. 34 [w](Y)This event also became a sin of the house of Jeroboam, (Z)even to wipe it out and eliminate it from the face of the earth.


  1. 1 Kings 13:3 Or wonder
  2. 1 Kings 13:3 Or wonder
  3. 1 Kings 13:3 Lit ashes of fat
  4. 1 Kings 13:5 Lit ashes of fat
  5. 1 Kings 13:5 Or wonder
  6. 1 Kings 13:6 Lit soften the face of
  7. 1 Kings 13:6 Lit softened the face of
  8. 1 Kings 13:9 Lit He commanded me
  9. 1 Kings 13:11 Lit son
  10. 1 Kings 13:12 Lit Where is this, the way he went
  11. 1 Kings 13:12 Some ancient versions showed him
  12. 1 Kings 13:14 Or a terebinth
  13. 1 Kings 13:17 Lit word
  14. 1 Kings 13:21 Lit rebelled against
  15. 1 Kings 13:21 Lit mouth
  16. 1 Kings 13:26 Lit rebelled against
  17. 1 Kings 13:26 Lit mouth
  18. 1 Kings 13:28 Lit broken
  19. 1 Kings 13:33 Lit turn away from
  20. 1 Kings 13:33 Lit made
  21. 1 Kings 13:33 Lit the extremities of the
  22. 1 Kings 13:33 Ancient versions a priest of
  23. 1 Kings 13:34 As in LXX and Targum; MT By this event also it became

Ahijah Prophesies against the King

14 At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam became sick. And Jeroboam said to his wife, “Now arise and (A)disguise yourself so that they will not know that you are the wife of Jeroboam, and go to (B)Shiloh. Behold, Ahijah the prophet is there, who (C)said regarding me that I would be king over this people. (D)Take ten loaves with you, some pastries, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy.”

And Jeroboam’s wife did so, and set out and went to (E)Shiloh, and came to the house of (F)Ahijah. Now Ahijah could not see (G)because his eyes were [a]glossy from his old age. Now the Lord had said to Ahijah, “Behold, the wife of Jeroboam is coming to [b]inquire of you about her son, because he is sick. You shall say such and such to her, for it will be when she arrives, that (H)she is going to make herself unrecognizable.”

So when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet coming in the doorway, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam; why do you make yourself unrecognizable? Nevertheless, I am sent to you with a harsh message. Go, say to Jeroboam, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: “(I)Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over My people Israel, and (J)tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you—(K)yet you have not been like My servant David, who kept My commandments and followed Me with all his heart, (L)to do only that which was right in My sight; you also have done more evil than all who were before you, and (M)you have gone and made for yourself other gods and (N)cast metal images to provoke Me to anger, and have (O)thrown Me behind your back— 10 therefore behold, I am bringing disaster on the house of Jeroboam, and (P)I will eliminate from Jeroboam [c]every male person, (Q)both [d]bond and free in Israel, and I (R)will make a clean sweep of the house of Jeroboam, just as one sweeps away dung until it is all gone. 11 (S)Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city, the dogs will eat. And anyone who dies in the field, the birds of the sky will eat; for the Lord has spoken it.”’ 12 Now you, arise, go to your house. (T)When your feet enter the city the child will die. 13 Then all Israel will mourn for him and bury him, for [e]he alone of Jeroboam’s family will come to the grave, because in him (U)something good was found toward the Lord God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam. 14 Moreover, (V)the Lord will raise up for Himself a king over Israel who will eliminate the house of Jeroboam this day [f]and from now on.

15 “For the Lord will strike Israel, just as a reed sways in the water; and (W)He will uproot Israel from (X)this good land which He gave to their fathers, and (Y)will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, (Z)because they have made their [g]Asherim, provoking the Lord to anger. 16 He will give up Israel (AA)because of the sins of Jeroboam, which he [h]committed and with which he misled Israel into sin.”

17 Then Jeroboam’s wife arose and departed, and came to (AB)Tirzah. (AC)As she was entering the threshold of the house, the child died. 18 (AD)Then all Israel buried him and mourned for him, in accordance with the word of the Lord which He had spoken through His servant Ahijah the prophet.

19 Now as for the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, (AE)how he made war and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. 20 And the time that Jeroboam reigned was twenty-two years; and he [i]lay down with his fathers, and his son Nadab reigned in his place.

Rehoboam Misleads Judah

21 (AF)Now Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned for seventeen years in Jerusalem, (AG)the city which the Lord had chosen from all the tribes of Israel to put His name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 22 And the people of (AH)Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they (AI)provoked Him to jealousy with their sins which they [j]committed, more than all that their fathers had done. 23 For they, too, built for themselves (AJ)high places, (AK)memorial stones, and [k](AL)Asherim on every high hill and (AM)under every luxuriant tree. 24 There were also (AN)male cult prostitutes in the land. They committed [l]all the same abominations of the nations which the Lord dispossessed before the sons of Israel.

25 (AO)Now it happened in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, that Shishak the king of Egypt marched against Jerusalem. 26 And he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house, and (AP)he took everything; (AQ)he even took all the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 27 So King Rehoboam made shields of bronze in their place, and (AR)entrusted them to the [m]care of the commanders of the [n]guard who guarded the doorway of the king’s house. 28 And it happened as often as the king entered the house of the Lord, that the [o]guards would carry them and would bring them back into the [p]guards’ room.

29 (AS)Now as for the rest of the acts of Rehoboam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 30 (AT)And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 31 And Rehoboam [q]lay down with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David; and (AU)his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. And his son Abijam became king in his place.


  1. 1 Kings 14:4 Lit set
  2. 1 Kings 14:5 Lit seek a word from
  3. 1 Kings 14:10 Lit him who urinates against the wall
  4. 1 Kings 14:10 Or children and adults in
  5. 1 Kings 14:13 Lit this one
  6. 1 Kings 14:14 Lit and what even now?
  7. 1 Kings 14:15 I.e., wooden symbols of a female deity (Asherah)
  8. 1 Kings 14:16 Lit sinned
  9. 1 Kings 14:20 I.e., died
  10. 1 Kings 14:22 Lit sinned
  11. 1 Kings 14:23 I.e., wooden symbols of a female deity (Asherah)
  12. 1 Kings 14:24 Lit according to all
  13. 1 Kings 14:27 Lit hand
  14. 1 Kings 14:27 Lit runners
  15. 1 Kings 14:28 Lit runners
  16. 1 Kings 14:28 Lit runners
  17. 1 Kings 14:31 I.e., died

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