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1 Kings 12; 1 Kings 13; 1 Kings 14

1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all the Israelites had gone to make him king. 2 Jeroboam son of Nebat was still in Egypt, where he had gone to escape from Solomon. When Jeroboam heard about Rehoboam being made king, he was living in Egypt. 3 After the people sent for him, he and the people went to Rehoboam and said to him, 4 "Your father forced us to work very hard. Now, make it easier for us, and don't make us work as hard as he did. Then we will serve you." 5 Rehoboam answered, "Go away for three days, and then come back to me." So the people left. 6 King Rehoboam asked the older leaders who had advised Solomon during his lifetime, "How do you think I should answer these people?" 7 They said, "You should be like a servant to them today. If you serve them and give them a kind answer, they will serve you always." 8 But Rehoboam rejected this advice. Instead, he asked the young men who had grown up with him and who served as his advisers. 9 Rehoboam asked them, "What is your advice? How should we answer these people who said, 'Don't make us work as hard as your father did'?" 10 The young men who had grown up with him answered, "Those people said to you, 'Your father forced us to work very hard. Now make our work easier.' You should tell them, 'My little finger is bigger than my father's legs. 11 He forced you to work hard, but I will make you work even harder. My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with whips that have sharp points.'" 12 Rehoboam had told the people, "Come back to me in three days." So after three days Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam. 13 King Rehoboam spoke cruel words to them, because he had rejected the advice the older leaders had given him. 14 He followed the advice of the young men and said to the people, "My father forced you to work hard, but I will make you work even harder. My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with whips that have sharp points." 15 So the king did not listen to the people. The Lord caused this to happen to keep the promise he had made to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah, a prophet from Shiloh. 16 When all the Israelites saw that the new king refused to listen to them, they said to the king, "We have no share in David! People of Israel, let's go to our own homes! So the Israelites went home. 17 But Rehoboam still ruled over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah. 18 Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. When Rehoboam sent him to the people of Israel, they threw stones at him until he died. But King Rehoboam ran to his chariot and escaped to Jerusalem. 19 Since then, Israel has been against the family of David. 20 When all the Israelites heard that Jeroboam had returned, they called him to a meeting and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah continued to follow the family of David. 21 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he gathered one hundred eighty thousand of the best soldiers from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. As son of Solomon, Rehoboam wanted to fight the people of Israel to take back his kingdom. 22 But God spoke his word to Shemaiah, a man of God, saying, 23 "Speak to Solomon's son Rehoboam, the king of Judah, and to all the people of Judah and Benjamin and the rest of the people. Say to them, 24 'The Lord says you must not go to war against your brothers, the Israelites. Every one of you should go home, because I made all these things happen.'" So they obeyed the Lord's command and went home as the Lord had commanded. 25 Then Jeroboam made Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim a very strong city, and he lived there. He also went to the city of Peniel and made it stronger. 26 Jeroboam said to himself, "The kingdom will probably go back to David's family. 27 If the people continue going to the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem to offer sacrifices, they will want to be ruled again by Rehoboam. Then they will kill me and follow Rehoboam king of Judah." 28 King Jeroboam asked for advice. Then he made two golden calves. "It is too long a journey for you to go to Jerusalem to worship," he said to the people. "Israel, here are your gods who brought you out of Egypt." 29 Jeroboam put one golden calf in the city of Bethel and the other in the city of Dan. 30 This became a very great sin, because the people traveled as far as Dan to worship the calf there. 31 Jeroboam built temples on the places of worship. He also chose priests from all the people, not just from the tribe of Levi. 32 And he started a new festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, just like the festival in Judah. During that time the king offered sacrifices on the altar, along with sacrifices to the calves in Bethel he had made. He also chose priests in Bethel to serve at the places of worship he had made. 33 So Jeroboam chose his own time for a festival for the Israelites -- the fifteenth day of the eighth month. During that time he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built in Bethel. He set up a festival for the Israelites and offered sacrifices on the altar.
1 The Lord commanded a man of God from Judah to go to Bethel. When he arrived, Jeroboam was standing by the altar to offer a sacrifice. 2 The Lord had commanded the man of God to speak against the altar. The man said, "Altar, altar, the Lord says to you: 'David's family will have a son named Josiah. The priests for the places of worship now make their sacrifices on you, but Josiah will sacrifice those priests on you. Human bones will be burned on you.'" 3 That same day the man of God gave proof that these things would happen. "This is the Lord's sign that this will happen," he said. "This altar will break apart, and the ashes on it will fall to the ground." 4 When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God said about the altar in Bethel, the king raised his hand from the altar and pointed at the man. "Take him!" he said. But when the king said this, his arm was paralyzed, and he could not move it. 5 The altar also broke into pieces, and its ashes fell to the ground. This was the sign the Lord had told the man of God to give. 6 Then the king said to the man of God, "Please pray to the Lord your God for me, and ask him to heal my arm." So the man of God prayed to the Lord, and the king's arm was healed, becoming as it was before. 7 Then the king said to the man of God, "Please come home and eat with me, and I will give you a gift." 8 But the man of God answered the king, "Even if you gave me half of your kingdom, I would not go with you. I will not eat or drink anything in this place. 9 The Lord commanded me not to eat or drink anything nor to return on the same road by which I came." 10 So he took a different road and did not return on the same road by which he had come to Bethel. 11 Now an old prophet was living in Bethel. His sons came and told him what the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to King Jeroboam. 12 The father asked, "Which road did he use when he left?" So his sons showed him the road the man of God from Judah had taken. 13 Then the prophet told his sons to put a saddle on his donkey. So they saddled the donkey, and he left. 14 He went after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak tree. The prophet asked, "Are you the man of God who came from Judah?" The man answered, "Yes, I am." 15 The prophet said, "Please come home and eat with me." 16 "I can't go home with you," the man of God answered. "I can't eat or drink with you in this place. 17 The Lord said to me, 'Don't eat or drink anything there or return on the same road by which you came.'" 18 Then the old prophet said, "But I also am a prophet like you." Then he told a lie. He said, "An angel from the Lord came to me and told me to bring you to my home. He said you should eat and drink with me." 19 So the man of God went to the old prophet's house, and he ate and drank with him there. 20 While they were sitting at the table, the Lord spoke his word to the old prophet. 21 The old prophet cried out to the man of God from Judah, "The Lord said you did not obey him! He said you did not do what the Lord your God commanded you. 22 The Lord commanded you not to eat or drink anything in this place, but you came back and ate and drank. So your body will not be buried in your family grave." 23 After the man of God finished eating and drinking, the prophet put a saddle on his donkey for him, and the man left. 24 As he was traveling home, a lion attacked and killed him. His body lay on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing nearby. 25 Some men who were traveling on that road saw the body and the lion standing nearby. So they went to the city where the old prophet lived and told what they had seen. 26 The old prophet who had brought back the man of God heard what had happened. "It is the man of God who did not obey the Lord's command," he said. "So the Lord sent a lion to kill him, just as he said he would." 27 Then the prophet said to his sons, "Put a saddle on my donkey," which they did. 28 The old prophet went out and found the body lying on the road, with the donkey and the lion still standing nearby. The lion had not eaten the body or hurt the donkey. 29 The prophet put the body on his donkey and carried it back to the city to have a time of sadness for him and to bury him. 30 The prophet buried the body in his own family grave, and they were sad for the man of God and said, "Oh, my brother." 31 After the prophet buried the body, he said to his sons, "When I die, bury me in this same grave. Put my bones next to his. 32 Through him the Lord spoke against the altar at Bethel and against the places of worship in the towns of Samaria. What the Lord spoke through him will certainly come true." 33 After this incident King Jeroboam did not stop doing evil. He continued to choose priests for the places of worship from among all the people. Anyone who wanted to be a priest for the places of worship was allowed to be one. 34 In this way the family of Jeroboam sinned, and this sin caused its ruin and destruction from the earth.
1 At that time Jeroboam's son Abijah became very sick. 2 So Jeroboam said to his wife, "Go to Shiloh to see the prophet Ahijah. He is the one who said I would become king of Israel. But dress yourself so people won't know you are my wife. 3 Take the prophet ten loaves of bread, some cakes, and a jar of honey. Then ask him what will happen to our son, and he will tell you." 4 So the king's wife did as he said and went to Ahijah's home in Shiloh. Now Ahijah was very old and blind. 5 The Lord said to him, "Jeroboam's son is sick, and Jeroboam's wife is coming to ask you about him. When she arrives, she will pretend to be someone else." Then the Lord told Ahijah what to say. 6 When Ahijah heard her walking to the door, he said, "Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why are you pretending to be someone else? I have bad news for you. 7 Go back and tell Jeroboam that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'Jeroboam, I chose you from among all the people and made you the leader of my people Israel. 8 I tore the kingdom away from David's family, and I gave it to you. But you are not like my servant David, who always obeyed my commands and followed me with all his heart. He did only what I said was right. 9 But you have done more evil than anyone who ruled before you. You have quit following me and have made other gods and idols of metal. This has made me very angry, 10 so I will soon bring disaster to your family. I will kill all the men in your family, both slaves and free men. I will destroy your family as completely as fire burns up manure. 11 Anyone from your family who dies in the city will be eaten by dogs, and those who die in the fields will be eaten by the birds. The Lord has spoken.'" 12 Then Ahijah said to Jeroboam's wife, "Go home now. As soon as you enter your city, your son will die, 13 and all Israel will be sad for him and bury him. He is the only one of Jeroboam's family who will be buried, because he is the only one in the king's family who pleased the Lord, the God of Israel. 14 "The Lord will put a new king over Israel, who will destroy Jeroboam's family, and this will happen soon. 15 Then the Lord will punish Israel, which will be like grass moving in the water. The Lord will pull up Israel from this good land, the land he gave their ancestors. He will scatter Israel beyond the Euphrates River, because he is angry with the people. They made the Lord angry when they set up idols to worship Asherah. 16 Jeroboam sinned, and then he made the people of Israel sin. So the Lord will let the people of Israel be defeated." 17 Then Jeroboam's wife left and returned to Tirzah. As soon as she entered her home, the boy died. 18 After they buried him, all Israel had a time of sadness for him, just as the Lord had said through his servant, the prophet Ahijah. 19 Everything else Jeroboam did is written in the book of the history of the kings of Israel. He fought wars and continued to rule the people, 20 serving as king for twenty-two years. Then he died, and his son Nadab became king in his place. 21 Solomon's son Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king of Judah. His mother was Naamah from Ammon. Rehoboam ruled in Jerusalem for seventeen years. (The Lord had chosen that city from all the land of Israel as the place where he would be worshiped.) 22 The people of Judah did what the Lord said was wrong. Their sins made the Lord very angry, even more angry than he had been at their ancestors. 23 The people built stone pillars and places to worship gods and Asherah idols on every high hill and under every green tree. 24 There were even male prostitutes in the land. They acted like the people who had lived in the land before the Israelites. They had done many evil things, and God had taken the land away from them. 25 During the fifth year Rehoboam was king, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. 26 He took the treasures from the Temple of the Lord and the king's palace. He took everything, even the gold shields Solomon had made. 27 So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to put in their place and gave them to the commanders of the guards for the palace gates. 28 Whenever the king went to the Temple of the Lord, the guards carried the shields. Later, they would put them back in the guardroom. 29 Everything else King Rehoboam did is written in the book of the history of the kings of Judah. 30 There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam the whole time. 31 Rehoboam, son of Naamah from Ammon, died and was buried with his ancestors in Jerusalem, and his son Abijah became king in his place.
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