1 Kings 12; 1 Kings 13; 1 Kings 14

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1 Kings 12

1 Rehoboam went to Shechem. All of the people of Israel had gone there to make him king.
2 Jeroboam heard about it. He was the son of Nebat. Jeroboam was still in Egypt at that time. He had gone there for safety. He wanted to get away from King Solomon. But now he returned from Egypt.
3 So the people sent for Jeroboam. He and the whole community of Israel went to Rehoboam. They said to him,
4 "Your father put a heavy load on our shoulders. But now make our hard work easier. Make the heavy load on us lighter. Then we'll serve you."
5 Rehoboam answered, "Go away for three days. Then come back to me." So the people went away.
6 King Rehoboam asked the elders for advice. They had served his father Solomon while he was still living. Rehoboam asked them, "What advice can you give me? How should I answer these people?"
7 They replied, "Serve them today. Give them what they are asking for. Then they'll always serve you."
8 But Rehoboam didn't accept the advice the elders gave him. Instead, he asked for advice from the young men who had grown up with him and were now serving him.
9 He asked them, "What's your advice? How should I answer these people? They say to me, 'Make the load your father put on our shoulders lighter.' "
10 The young men who had grown up with him gave their answer. They replied, "These people say to you, 'Your father put a heavy load on our shoulders. Make it lighter.' Tell them, 'My little finger is stronger than my father's legs.
11 My father put a heavy load on your shoulders. But I'll make it even heavier. My father beat you with whips. But I'll beat you with bigger whips.' "
12 Three days later Jeroboam and all of the people returned to Rehoboam. That's because the king had said, "Come back to me in three days."
13 The king answered the people in a mean way. He didn't accept the advice the elders had given him.
14 Instead, he followed the advice of the young men. He said, "My father put a heavy load on your shoulders. But I'll make it even heavier. My father beat you with whips. But I'll beat you with bigger whips."
15 So the king didn't listen to the people. That's because the LORD had planned it that way. What he had said through Ahijah came true. Ahijah had spoken the LORD's message to Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. Ahijah was from Shiloh.
16 All of the people of Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them. So they answered the king. They said, "We don't have any share in David's royal family. We don't have any share in Jesse's son. People of Israel, let's go back to our homes. David's royal family, take care of your own kingdom!" So the people of Israel went home.
17 But Rehoboam still ruled over the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah.
18 Adoniram was in charge of those who were forced to work hard for King Rehoboam. The king sent him out among all of the Israelites. But they killed him by throwing stones at him. King Rehoboam was able to get away in his chariot. He escaped to Jerusalem.
19 Israel has refused to follow the royal family of David to this very day.
20 All of the people of Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned. They sent for him. They wanted him to meet with the whole community. Then they made him king over the entire nation of Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained true to David's royal family.
21 Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem. He brought together 180,000 fighting men from the royal house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin. He had decided to make war against the royal house of Israel. Solomon's son Rehoboam wanted his fighting men to get the kingdom of Israel back for him.
22 But a message from God came to Shemaiah. He was a man of God. God said to him,
23 "Speak to Solomon's son Rehoboam, the king of Judah. Speak to the royal house of Judah and Benjamin. Also speak to the rest of the people. Tell all of them,
24 'The LORD says, "Do not go up to fight against the Israelites. They are your relatives. I want every one of you to go back home. Things have happened exactly the way I planned them." ' " So the fighting men obeyed the LORD's message. They went home again, just as he had ordered.
25 Jeroboam built up the walls of Shechem. It was in the hill country of Ephraim. Jeroboam made Shechem his home. From there he went out and built up Peniel.
26 Jeroboam thought, "My kingdom still isn't secure. It could very easily go back to the royal family of David.
27 Suppose the people of Israel go up to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the LORD's temple. If they do, they will again decide to follow Rehoboam as their master. Then they'll kill me. They'll return to King Rehoboam. He is king of Judah."
28 So King Jeroboam asked for advice. Then he made two golden statues that looked like calves. He said to the people, "It's too hard for you to go up to Jerusalem. Israel, here are your gods who brought you up out of Egypt."
29 He set up one statue in Bethel. He set up the other one in Dan.
30 What Jeroboam did was sinful. And it caused Israel to sin. The people even went all the way to Dan to worship the statue that was there.
31 Jeroboam built temples for worshiping gods on high places. He appointed all kinds of people as priests. They didn't even have to be Levites.
32 He established a feast. It was on the 15th day of the eighth month. He wanted to make it like the Feast of Booths that was held in Judah. Jeroboam built an altar at Bethel. He offered sacrifices on it. He sacrificed to the calves he had made. He also put priests in Bethel. He did it at the high places he had made.
33 He offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. It was on the 15th day of the eighth month. That's the month he had chosen for it. So he established the feast for the people of Israel. And he went up to the altar to sacrifice offerings.

1 Kings 13

1 A man of God went from Judah to Bethel. He had received a message from the Lord. He arrived in Bethel just as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to offer a sacrifice.
2 The man cried out. He shouted a message from the LORD against the altar. He said, "Altar! Altar! The LORD says, 'A son named Josiah will be born into the royal family of David. Altar, listen to me! Josiah will sacrifice the priests of the high places on you. They will be the children of the priests who are offering sacrifices here now. So human bones will be burned on you.' "
3 That same day the man of God spoke about a miraculous sign. He said, "Here is the sign the LORD has announced. This altar will be broken to pieces. The ashes on it will be spilled out."
4 The man of God announced that message against the altar at Bethel. When King Jeroboam heard it, he reached out his hand from the altar. He said, "Grab him!" But as he reached out his hand toward the man, it dried up. He couldn't even pull it back.
5 Also, the altar broke into pieces. Its ashes spilled out. That happened in keeping with the miraculous sign the man of God had announced. He had received a message from the Lord.
6 King Jeroboam spoke to the man of God. He said, "Pray to the LORD your God for me. Pray that my hand will be as good as new again." So the man of God prayed to the LORD for the king. And the king's hand became as good as new. It was just as healthy as it had been before.
7 The king said to the man of God, "Come home with me. Have something to eat. I'll give you a gift."
8 But the man of God replied to the king. He said, "What if you were to give me half of what you own? Even then I wouldn't go with you. I wouldn't eat bread or drink water here.
9 The LORD gave me a command. He said, 'Do not eat bread or drink water there. Do not return the same way you came.' "
10 So he took another road. He didn't go back on the same road he had taken when he came to Bethel.
11 An old prophet was living in Bethel. His sons came and spoke to him. They told him everything the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what the man had said to the king.
12 Their father asked them, "Which way did he go?" His sons showed him the road the man of God from Judah had taken.
13 So he said to his sons, "Put a saddle on the donkey for me." When they had done it, he got on the donkey.
14 He traveled on the same road the man of God had taken. He found the man sitting under an oak tree. He asked him, "Are you the man of God who came from Judah?" "I am," he replied.
15 So the prophet said to him, "Come home with me. I'll give you something to eat."
16 The man of God said, "I can't go back to Bethel with you. I can't eat bread or drink water with you there.
17 I've received a message from the Lord. He told me, 'Do not eat bread or drink water there. Do not return the same way you came.' "
18 The old prophet answered, "I'm also a prophet, just like you. An angel gave me a message from the Lord. The message said, 'Bring the man of God back with you to your house. Then he can eat bread and drink water with you.' " But the old prophet was telling him a lie.
19 The man of God returned with him. He ate and drank in his house.
20 They were sitting at the table. The LORD gave a message to the old prophet who had brought the man of God back.
21 He cried out to the man who had come from Judah. He told him, "The LORD says, 'You have not done what I told you to do. You have not obeyed the command I gave you. I am the LORD your God.
22 You came back here and ate bread and drank water. You did it in the place where I told you not to. So your body will not be buried in your family tomb.' "
23 The man of God finished eating and drinking. Then the old prophet who had brought him back put a saddle on the man's donkey for him.
24 And the man went on his way. A lion attacked him on the road and killed him. His body was left lying on the road. The donkey and the lion were standing beside it.
25 Some people passed by. They saw the body lying on the road. They saw the lion standing beside the body. Then they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived.
26 The prophet who had brought the man back from his journey heard about what had happened. He said, "It's the man of God. He didn't do what the LORD told him to do. So the LORD has given him over to the lion. The lion has attacked him and killed him. Everything has happened just as the LORD's message had warned him it would."
27 The old prophet said to his sons, "Put a saddle on the donkey for me." So they did.
28 Then he went out. He found the body of the man of God lying on the road. The donkey and the lion were standing beside it. The lion hadn't eaten the body. It hadn't attacked the donkey either.
29 So the prophet picked up the man's body. He put it on the donkey. He brought it back to his own city. He wanted to sob over him and bury him.
30 Then he placed the body in his own tomb. People sobbed over him. They said, "My friend! My dear friend!"
31 After the old prophet had buried the body of the man of God, he spoke to his sons. He said, "When I die, bury my body in the grave where the man of God is buried. Put my bones next to his bones.
32 I want you to do that because he announced a message from the Lord. He spoke against the altar in Bethel. He also spoke against all of the temples that were on the high places. They are in the towns of Samaria. What the man of God said will certainly come true."
33 Even after all of that happened, Jeroboam still didn't change his evil ways. Once more he appointed priests for the high places. He made priests out of all kinds of people. In fact, he let anyone become a priest who wanted to. He set them apart to serve at the high places.
34 All of that was the great sin the royal family of Jeroboam committed. It led to their fall from power. Because of it, they were destroyed from the face of the earth.

1 Kings 14

1 At that time Abijah became sick. He was the son of Jeroboam.
2 Jeroboam said to his wife, "Go. Put on some different clothes. Then no one will recognize you as my wife. Go to Shiloh. That's where the prophet Ahijah is. He told me I would be king over the people of Israel.
3 Take ten loaves of bread with you. Take some cakes and a jar of honey. Go to him. He'll tell you what will happen to our son."
4 So Jeroboam's wife did what he said. She went to Ahijah's house in Shiloh. Ahijah couldn't see. He was blind because he was so old.
5 But the LORD had told Ahijah, "Jeroboam's wife is coming. Her son is sick. She'll ask you about him. Give her the answer I give you. When she arrives, she'll pretend to be someone else."
6 Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps at the door. He said, "Come in. I know that you are Jeroboam's wife. Why are you pretending to be someone else? I have some bad news for you.
7 "Go. Tell Jeroboam that the LORD has a message for him. The LORD is the God of Israel. He says, 'I chose you from among the people. I made you the leader of my people Israel.
8 I tore the kingdom away from the royal house of David. I gave it to you. But you have not been like my servant David. He obeyed my commands. He followed me with all his heart. He did only what was right in my eyes.
9 You have done more evil things than all those who lived before you. You have made other gods for yourself. You have made statues of gods out of metal. You have made me very angry. You have turned your back on me.
10 " 'Because of that, I am going to bring horrible trouble on your royal house. I will cut off from you every male in Israel. It does not matter whether they are slaves or free. I will burn up your royal house, just as someone burns up trash. I will burn it until it is all gone.
11 Some of the people who belong to you will die in the city. Dogs will eat them up. Others will die in the country. The birds of the air will eat them. I have spoken!'
12 "Now go back home. When you enter your city, your son will die.
13 All of the people of Israel will sob over him. Then his body will be buried. He is the only one who belongs to Jeroboam who will be buried. That is because he is the only one in Jeroboam's royal house in whom I have found anything good. I am the Lord, the God of Israel.
14 "I will choose for myself a king over Israel. He will cut off the family of Jeroboam. This very day your son will die. Can that really be true? Yes. Even now, that is what I am telling you.
15 "I will strike Israel down. Israel will be like tall grass swaying in the water. I will pull Israel up from this good land by the roots. I gave it to their people who lived long ago. I will scatter Israel to the east side of the Euphrates River. That is because they made me very angry. They made poles that were used to worship the goddess Asherah.
16 "I will give Israel up because of the sins Jeroboam has committed. He has also caused Israel to commit those same sins."
17 Then Jeroboam's wife got up and left. She went to the city of Tirzah. As soon as she stepped through the doorway of the house, her son died.
18 His body was buried. All of the people of Israel sobbed over him. That's what the LORD had said would happen. He had said it through his servant, the prophet Ahijah.
19 The other events of Jeroboam's rule are written down. His wars and how he ruled are written down. They are written in the official records of the kings of Israel.
20 Jeroboam ruled for 22 years. Then he joined the members of his family who had already died. Jeroboam's son Nadab became the next king after him.
21 Rehoboam was king in Judah. He was the son of Solomon. Rehoboam was 41 years old when he became king. He ruled for 17 years in Jerusalem. It was the city the LORD had chosen out of all of the cities in the tribes of Israel. He wanted to put his Name there. Rehoboam's mother was Naamah from Ammon.
22 The people of Judah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. The sins they had committed stirred up his jealous anger. They did more to make him angry than their people who lived before them had done.
23 Judah also set up for themselves high places for worship. They set up sacred stones. They set up poles that were used to worship the goddess Asherah. They did it on every high hill and under every green tree.
24 There were even male prostitutes at the temples in the land. The people took part in all of the practices of other nations. The LORD hated those practices. He had driven those nations out to make room for the people of Israel.
25 Shishak attacked Jerusalem. It was in the fifth year that Rehoboam was king. Shishak was king of Egypt.
26 He carried away the treasures of the LORD's temple. He also carried the treasures of the royal palace away. He took everything. That included all of the gold shields Solomon had made.
27 So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to take their place. He gave them to the commanders of the guards who were on duty at the entrance to the royal palace.
28 Every time the king went to the LORD's temple, the guards carried the shields. Later, they took them back to the room where they were kept.
29 The other events of Rehoboam's rule are written down. Everything he did is written down. All of those things are written in the official records of the kings of Judah.
30 Rehoboam and Jeroboam were always at war with each other.
31 Rehoboam joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in his family tomb in the City of David. His mother was Naamah from Ammon. His son Abijah became the next king after him.