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1 Kings 11:26-14:20 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

26 Now Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam son of Nebat, was an Ephraimite from Zeredah. His widowed mother’s name was Zeruah. Jeroboam rebelled against Solomon, 27 and this is the reason he rebelled against the king: Solomon had built the supporting terraces and repaired the opening in the wall of the city of his father David. 28 Now the man Jeroboam was capable, and Solomon noticed the young man because he was getting things done. So he appointed him over the entire labor force of the house of Joseph.

29 During that time, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met Jeroboam on the road as Jeroboam came out of Jerusalem. Now Ahijah had wrapped himself with a new cloak, and the two of them were alone in the open field. 30 Then Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he had on, tore it into 12 pieces, 31 and said to Jeroboam, “Take 10 pieces for yourself, for this is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I am about to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand. I will give you 10 tribes, 32 but one tribe will remain his because of my servant David and because of Jerusalem, the city I chose out of all the tribes of Israel. 33 For they have abandoned Me; they have bowed the knee to Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, to Chemosh, the god of Moab, and to Milcom, the god of the Ammonites. They have not walked in My ways to do what is right in My eyes and to carry out My statutes and My judgments as his father David did.

34 “‘However, I will not take the whole kingdom from his hand but will let him be ruler all the days of his life because of My servant David, whom I chose and who kept My commands and My statutes. 35 I will take 10 tribes of the kingdom from his son’s hand and give them to you. 36 I will give one tribe to his son, so that My servant David will always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city I chose for Myself to put My name there. 37 I will appoint you, and you will reign as king over all you want, and you will be king over Israel.

38 “‘After that, if you obey all I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight in order to keep My statutes and My commands as My servant David did, I will be with you. I will build you a lasting dynasty just as I built for David, and I will give you Israel. 39 I will humble David’s descendants, because of their unfaithfulness, but not forever.’”[a]

40 Therefore, Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but he fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, where he remained until Solomon’s death.

Solomon’s Death

41 The rest of the events of Solomon’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and his wisdom, are written in the Book of Solomon’s Events. 42 The length of Solomon’s reign in Jerusalem over all Israel totaled 40 years. 43 Solomon rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of his father David. His son Rehoboam became king in his place.

The Kingdom Divided

12 Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard about it, for he was still in Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon’s presence, Jeroboam stayed in Egypt.[b] They summoned him, and Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam: “Your father made our yoke difficult. You, therefore, lighten your father’s harsh service and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”

Rehoboam replied, “Go home for three days and then return to me.” So the people left. Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon when he was alive, asking, “How do you advise me to respond to these people?”

They replied, “Today if you will be a servant to these people and serve them, and if you respond to them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever.”

But he rejected the advice of the elders who had advised him and consulted with the young men who had grown up with him and served him. He asked them, “What message do you advise that we send back to these people who said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”

10 Then the young men who had grown up with him told him, “This is what you should say to these people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you, make it lighter on us!’ This is what you should tell them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! 11 Although my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with barbed whips.’”[c]

12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had ordered: “Return to me on the third day.” 13 Then the king answered the people harshly. He rejected the advice the elders had given him 14 and spoke to them according to the young men’s advice: “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 barbed whips.”[d]

15 The king did not listen to the people, because this turn of events came from the Lord to carry out His word, which the Lord had spoken through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat. 16 When all Israel saw that the king had not listened to them, the people answered him:

What portion do we have in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
Israel, return to your tents;
David, now look after your own house!

So Israel went to their tents, 17 but Rehoboam reigned over the Israelites living in the cities of Judah.

18 Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram,[e] who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam managed to get into the chariot and flee to Jerusalem. 19 Israel is in rebellion against the house of David until today.

Rehoboam in Jerusalem

20 When all Israel heard that Jeroboam had come back, they summoned him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. No one followed the house of David except the tribe of Judah alone. 21 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mobilized 180,000 choice warriors from the entire house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin to fight against the house of Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam son of Solomon. 22 But a revelation from God came to Shemaiah, the man of God: 23 “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, to the whole house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, 24 ‘This is what the Lord says: You are not to march up and fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Each of you must return home, for I have done this.’”

So they listened to what the Lord said and went back as He had told them.

Jeroboam’s Idolatry

25 Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. From there he went out and built Penuel. 26 Jeroboam said to himself, “The way things are going now, the kingdom might return to the house of David. 27 If these people regularly go to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem, the heart of these people will return to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will murder me and go back to the king of Judah.” 28 So the king sought advice.

Then he made two golden calves, and he said to the people, “Going to Jerusalem is too difficult for you. Israel, here is your God[f] who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” 29 He set up one in Bethel, and put the other in Dan. 30 This led to sin; the people walked in procession before one of the calves all the way to Dan.[g]

31 Jeroboam also built shrines on the high places and set up priests from every class of people who were not Levites. 32 Jeroboam made a festival in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the festival in Judah. He offered sacrifices on the altar; he made this offering in Bethel to sacrifice to the calves he had set up. He also stationed the priests in Bethel for the high places he had set up. 33 He offered sacrifices on[h] the altar he had set up in Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month. He chose this month on his own. He made a festival for the Israelites, offered sacrifices on the altar, and burned incense.

Judgment on Jeroboam

13 A man of God came from Judah to Bethel by a revelation from the Lord while Jeroboam was standing beside the altar to burn incense. The man of God cried out against the altar by a revelation from the Lord: “Altar, altar, this is what the Lord says, ‘A son will be born to the house of David, named Josiah, and he will sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who are burning incense on you. Human bones will be burned on you.’” He gave a sign that day. He said, “This is the sign that the Lord has spoken: ‘The altar will now be ripped apart, and the ashes that are on it will be poured out.’”

When the king heard the word that the man of God had cried out against the altar at Bethel, Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Arrest him!” But the hand he stretched out against him withered, and he could not pull it back to himself. The altar was ripped apart, and the ashes poured from the altar, according to the sign that the man of God had given by the word of the Lord.

Then the king responded to the man of God, “Plead for the favor of the Lord your God and pray for me so that my hand may be restored to me.” So the man of God pleaded for the favor of the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored to him and became as it had been at first.

Then the king declared to the man of God, “Come home with me, refresh yourself, and I’ll give you a reward.”

But the man of God replied, “If you were to give me half your house, I still wouldn’t go with you, and I wouldn’t eat bread or drink water in this place, for this is what I was commanded by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or go back the way you came.’” 10 So he went another way; he did not go back by the way he had come to Bethel.

The Old Prophet and the Man of God

11 Now a certain old prophet was living in Bethel. His son[i] came and told him all the deeds that the man of God had done that day in Bethel. His sons also told their father the words that he had spoken to the king. 12 Then their father said to them, “Which way did he go?” His sons had seen[j] the way taken by the man of God who had come from Judah. 13 Then he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled the donkey for him, and he got on it. 14 He followed the man of God and found him sitting under an oak tree. He asked him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”

“I am,” he said.

15 Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.”

16 But he answered, “I cannot go back with you, eat bread, or drink water with you in this place, 17 for a message came to me by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or go back by the way you came.’”

18 He said to him, “I am also a prophet like you. An angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” The old prophet deceived him, 19 and the man of God went back with him, ate bread in his house, and drank water.

20 While they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had brought him back, 21 and the prophet cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because you rebelled against the command of the Lord and did not keep the command that the Lord your God commanded you— 22 but you went back and ate bread and drank water in the place that He said to you, “Do not eat bread and do not drink water”— your corpse will never reach the grave of your fathers.’”

23 So after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, the old prophet saddled the donkey for the prophet he had brought back. 24 When he left,[k] a lion attacked[l] him along the way and killed him. His corpse was thrown on the road, and the donkey was standing beside it; the lion was standing beside the corpse too.

25 There were men passing by who saw the corpse thrown on the road and the lion standing beside it, and they went and spoke about it in the city where the old prophet lived. 26 When the prophet who had brought him back from his way heard about it, he said, “He is the man of God who disobeyed the command of the Lord. The Lord has given him to the lion, and it has mauled and killed him, according to the word of the Lord that He spoke to him.”

27 Then the old prophet instructed his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” They saddled it, 28 and he went and found the corpse of the man of God thrown on the road with the donkey and the lion standing beside the corpse. The lion had not eaten the corpse or mauled the donkey. 29 So the prophet lifted the corpse of the man of God and laid it on the donkey and brought it back. The old prophet came into the city to mourn and bury him. 30 Then he laid the corpse in his own grave, and they mourned over him: “Oh, my brother!”

31 After he had buried him, he said to his sons, “When I die, you must bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones, 32 for the word that he cried out by a revelation from the Lord against the altar in Bethel and against all the shrines of the high places in the cities of Samaria is certain to happen.”

33 After all this Jeroboam did not repent of his evil way but again set up priests for the high places from every class of people. He ordained whoever so desired it, and they became priests of the high places. 34 This was the sin that caused the house of Jeroboam to be wiped out and annihilated from the face of the earth.

Disaster on the House of Jeroboam

14 At that time Abijah son of Jeroboam became sick. Jeroboam said to his wife, “Go disguise yourself, so they won’t know that you’re Jeroboam’s wife, and go to Shiloh. Ahijah the prophet is there; it was he who told about me becoming king over this people. Take with you 10 loaves of bread, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy.”

Jeroboam’s wife did that: she went to Shiloh and arrived at Ahijah’s house. Ahijah could not see; his gaze was fixed[m] due to his age. But the Lord had said to Ahijah, “Jeroboam’s wife is coming soon to ask you about her son, for he is sick. You are to say such and such to her. When she arrives, she will be disguised.”

When Ahijah heard the sound of her feet entering the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam! Why are you disguised? I have bad news for you. Go tell Jeroboam, ‘This is what the Lord God of Israel says: I raised you up from among the people, appointed you ruler over My people Israel, tore the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it to you. But you were not like My servant David, who kept My commands and followed Me with all of his heart, doing only what is right in My eyes. You behaved more wickedly than all who were before you. In order to provoke Me, you have proceeded to make for yourself other gods and cast images, but you have flung Me behind your back. 10 Because of all this, I am about to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam:

I will eliminate all of Jeroboam’s males,[n]
both slave and free,[o] in Israel;
I will sweep away the house of Jeroboam
as one sweeps away dung until it is all gone!
11 Anyone who belongs to Jeroboam and 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 said it!’

12 “As for you, get up and go to your house. When your feet enter the city, the boy will die. 13 All Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He alone out of Jeroboam’s house will be put in the family tomb, because out of the house of Jeroboam the Lord God of Israel found something good only in him. 14 The Lord will raise up for Himself a king over Israel, who will eliminate the house of Jeroboam. This is the day, yes,[p] even today! 15 For the Lord will strike Israel and the people will shake as a reed shakes in water. He will uproot Israel from this good soil that He gave to their ancestors. He will scatter them beyond the Euphrates because they made their Asherah poles, provoking the Lord. 16 He will give up Israel because of Jeroboam’s sins that he committed and caused Israel to commit.”

17 Then Jeroboam’s wife got up and left and went to Tirzah. As she was crossing the threshold of the house, the boy died. 18 He was buried, and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the Lord He had spoken through His servant Ahijah the prophet.

19 As for the rest of the events of Jeroboam’s reign, how he waged war and how he reigned, note that they are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings. 20 The length of Jeroboam’s reign was 22 years. He rested with his fathers, and his son Nadab became king in his place.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 11:39 LXX omits and I will give . . . but not forever
  2. 1 Kings 12:2 LXX, Vg read Jeroboam returned from Egypt; 2Ch 10:2
  3. 1 Kings 12:11 Lit with scorpions
  4. 1 Kings 12:14 Lit with scorpions
  5. 1 Kings 12:18 LXX reads Adoniram; 1Kg 4:6; 5:14
  6. 1 Kings 12:28 Or here are your gods
  7. 1 Kings 12:30 Some LXX mss read calves to Bethel and the other to Dan
  8. 1 Kings 12:33 Or He went up to
  9. 1 Kings 13:11 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Vg read sons
  10. 1 Kings 13:12 LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg read sons showed him
  11. 1 Kings 13:24 LXX reads donkey, and he turned 24 and left, and
  12. 1 Kings 13:24 Lit met
  13. 1 Kings 14:4 Lit see, for his eyes stood; 1Sm 4:15
  14. 1 Kings 14:10 Lit eliminate Jeroboam’s one who urinates against the wall
  15. 1 Kings 14:10 Hb obscure
  16. 1 Kings 14:14 Hb obscure

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