Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all the Israelites had gone there to make him king.
When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt.
So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him:
"Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you."
Rehoboam answered, "Go away for three days and then come back to me." So the people went away.
Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. "How would you advise me to answer these people?" he asked.
They replied, "If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants."
But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.
He asked them, "What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, 'Lighten the yoke your father put on us'?"
The young men who had grown up with him replied, "Tell these people who have said to you, 'Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter'--tell them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's waist.
My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.' "
Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, "Come back to me in three days."
The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders,
he followed the advice of the young men and said, "My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions."
So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the LORD, to fulfill the word the LORD had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.
When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king: "What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse's son? To your tents, O Israel! Look after your own house, O David!" So the Israelites went home.
But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.
King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem.
So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
When all the Israelites heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David.
When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered the whole house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin--a hundred and eighty thousand fighting men--to make war against the house of Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam son of Solomon.
But this word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God:
"Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah, to the whole house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people,
'This is what the LORD says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.' " So they obeyed the word of the LORD and went home again, as the LORD had ordered.
Then Jeroboam fortified Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. From there he went out and built up Peniel.
Jeroboam thought to himself, "The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David.
If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam."
After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt."
One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan.
And this thing became a sin; the people went even as far as Dan to worship the one there.
Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites.
He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made.
On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make offerings.
By the word of the LORD a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering.
He cried out against the altar by the word of the LORD: "O altar, altar! This is what the LORD says: 'A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who now make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.' "
That same day the man of God gave a sign: "This is the sign the LORD has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out."
When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, "Seize him!" But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back.
Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the LORD.
Then the king said to the man of God, "Intercede with the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored." So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king's hand was restored and became as it was before.
The king said to the man of God, "Come home with me and have something to eat, and I will give you a gift."
But the man of God answered the king, "Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here.
For I was commanded by the word of the LORD: 'You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.' "
So he took another road and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel.
Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king.
Their father asked them, "Which way did he go?" And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken.
So he said to his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me." And when they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it
and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, "Are you the man of God who came from Judah?" "I am," he replied.
So the prophet said to him, "Come home with me and eat."
The man of God said, "I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place.
I have been told by the word of the LORD: 'You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.' "
The old prophet answered, "I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said 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.' " (But he was lying to him.)
So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.
While they were sitting at the table, the word of the LORD came to the old prophet who had brought him back.
He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, "This is what the LORD says: 'You have defied the word of the LORD and have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you.
You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your fathers.' "
When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him.
As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was thrown down on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it.
Some people who passed by saw the body thrown down there, with the lion standing beside the body, and they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived.
When the prophet who had brought him back from his journey heard of it, he said, "It is the man of God who defied the word of the LORD. The LORD has given him over to the lion, which has mauled him and killed him, as the word of the LORD had warned him."
The prophet said to his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me," and they did so.
Then he went out and found the body thrown down on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The lion had neither eaten the body nor mauled the donkey.
So the prophet picked up the body of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back to his own city to mourn for him and bury him.
Then he laid the body in his own tomb, and they mourned over him and said, "Oh, my brother!"
After burying him, he said to his sons, "When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones.
For the message he declared by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the shrines on the high places in the towns of Samaria will certainly come true."
Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places.
This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth.
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching,
and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people.
Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.
And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.
They were delighted and agreed to give him money.
He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.
Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover."9
"Where do you want us to prepare for it?" they asked.
He replied, "As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters,11and say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?'12He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there."13
They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.
And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.16For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."17
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you.18For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."19
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."20
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.21But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.22The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him."23
They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.
Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.26But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.27For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.28You are those who have stood by me in my trials.29And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me,30so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.