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26 Jeroboam thought to himself: “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. 27 If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, the hearts of this people will return to their master, Rehoboam, king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam, king of Judah.” 28 (A)The king took counsel, made two calves of gold, and said to the people: “You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” 29 (B)And he put one in Bethel, the other in Dan.[a] 30 This led to sin, because the people frequented these calves in Bethel and in Dan. 31 He also built temples on the high places and made priests from among the common people who were not Levites.

Divine Disapproval.[b]

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  1. 12:29 Bethel…Dan: at the southern and northern boundaries of the separate kingdom of Israel, where sanctuaries had existed in the past (Gn 12:8; 13:3–4; 28:10–22; 35:1–15; Jgs 18:1–31).
  2. 12:32–13:10 This unit of the Jeroboam story corresponds to 12:21–25. Before Jeroboam’s cultic innovations, a man of God from Judah proclaimed the Lord’s approval of the political separation of the kingdoms. After Jeroboam’s cultic innovations, a man of God from Judah proclaims the Lord’s disapproval of Israel’s religious separatism. The unit begins with a long, detailed introduction about the dedication festival Jeroboam holds at Bethel (12:32–33); then follows the scene of the ceremony disrupted by the oracle of the man of God (13:1–10).