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.
By the word of the LORD he cried out against the altar: “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 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 for a meal, 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.