1 Kings 12-14 Bible in Basic English

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Israel's Revolt

12 1  And Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel had come together to make him king, 2  And, hearing of it, Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who was still in Egypt, where he had gone in flight from Solomon, and was living there, came back to his town Zeredah, in the hill-country of Ephraim; 3  And all the men of Israel came to Rehoboam and said, 4  Your father put a hard yoke on us: if you will make the conditions under which your father kept us down less cruel, and the weight of the yoke he put on us less hard, then we will be your servants. 5  And he said to them, Go away for three days and then come back to me again. So the people went away. 6  Then King Rehoboam took the opinion of the old men who had been with Solomon his father when he was living, and said, In your opinion, what answer am I to give to this people? 7  And they said to him, If you will be a servant to this people today, caring for them and giving them a gentle answer, then they will be your servants for ever. 8  But he gave no attention to the opinion of the old men, and went to the young men of his generation who were waiting before him: 9  And said to them, What is your opinion? What answer are we to give to this people who have said to me, Make less the weight of the yoke which your father put on us? 10  And the young men of his generation said to him, This is the answer to give to the people who came to you saying, Your father put a hard yoke on us; will you make it less? say to them, My little finger is thicker than my father's body; 11  If my father put a hard yoke on you, I will make it harder: my father gave you punishment with whips, but I will give you blows with snakes. 12  So all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had given orders, saying, Come back to me the third day. 13  And the king gave them a rough answer, giving no attention to the suggestion of the old men; 14  But giving them the answer put forward by the young men, saying, My father made your yoke hard, but I will make it harder; my father gave you punishment with whips, but I will give it with snakes. 15  So the king did not give ear to the people; and this came about by the purpose of the Lord, so that what he had said by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam, son of Nebat, might be effected.

16  And when all Israel saw that the king would give no attention to them, the people in answer said to the king, What part have we in David? what is our heritage in the son of Jesse? to your tents, O Israel; now see to your people, David. So Israel went away to their tents. 17  (But Rehoboam was still king over those of the children of Israel who were living in the towns of Judah.) 18  Then King Rehoboam sent Adoniram, the overseer of the forced work; and he was stoned to death by all Israel. And King Rehoboam went quickly and got into his carriage to go in flight to Jerusalem. 19  So Israel was turned away from the family of David to this day. 20  Now when all Israel had news that Jeroboam had come back, they sent for him to come before the meeting of the people, and made him king over Israel: not one of them was joined to the family of David but only the tribe of Judah. 21  When Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he got together all the men of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand of his best fighting-men, to make war against Israel and get the kingdom back for Rehoboam, the son of Solomon. 22  But the word of God came to Shemaiah, the man of God, saying, 23  Say to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the men of Judah and Benjamin and the rest of the people: 24  The Lord has said, You are not to go to war against your brothers, the children of Israel; go back, every man to his house, because this thing is my purpose. So they gave ear to the word of the Lord, and went back, as the Lord had said.

Jeroboam Leads Israel into Sin

25  Then Jeroboam made the town of Shechem in the hill-country of Ephraim a strong place, and was living there; and from there he went out and did the same to Penuel. 26  And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now the kingdom will go back to the family of David: 27  If the people go up to make offerings in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, their heart will be turned again to their lord, to Rehoboam, king of Judah; and they will put me to death and go back to Rehoboam, king of Judah. 28  So after taking thought the king made two oxen of gold; and he said to the people, You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough; see! these are your gods, O Israel, who took you out of the land of Egypt. 29  And he put one in Beth-el and the other in Dan. 30  And this became a sin in Israel; for the people went to give worship to the one at Beth-el, and to the other at Dan. 31  And he made places for worship at the high places, and made priests, who were not Levites, from among all the people. 32  And Jeroboam gave orders for a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast which is kept in Judah, and he went up to the altar. And in the same way, in Beth-el, he gave offerings to the oxen which he had made, placing in Beth-el the priests of the high places he had made. 33  He went up to the altar he had made in Beth-el on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, the month fixed by him at his pleasure; and he gave orders for a feast for the people of Israel, and went up to the altar, and there he made the smoke of his offerings go up.

The Prophet of Judah Warns Jeroboam

13 1  Then a man of God came from Judah by the order of the Lord to Beth-el, where Jeroboam was by the altar, burning offerings. 2  And by the order of the Lord he made an outcry against the altar, saying, O altar, altar, the Lord has said, From the seed of David will come a child, named Josiah, and on you he will put to death the priests of the high places, who are burning offerings on you, and men's bones will be burned on you. 3  The same day he gave them a sign, saying, This is the sign which the Lord has given: See, the altar will be broken and the burned waste on it overturned. 4  Then the king, hearing the man of God crying out against the altar at Beth-el, put out his hand from the altar, saying, Take him prisoner. And his hand, stretched out against him, became dead, and he had no power of pulling it back. 5  And the altar was broken and the burned waste on it overturned; this was the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord. 6  Then the king made answer and said to the man of God, Make a prayer now for the grace of the Lord your God, and for me, that my hand may be made well. And in answer to the prayer of the man of God, the king's hand was made well again, as it was before. 7  And the king said to the man of God, Come with me to my house for food and rest, and I will give you a reward. 8  But the man of God said to the king, Even if you gave me half of all you have, I would not go in with you, and I would not take food or a drink of water in this place; 9  For so I was ordered by the word of the Lord, who said, You are not to take food or a drink of water, and you are not to go back the way you came. 10  So he went another way, and not by the way he came to Beth-el.

11  Now there was an old prophet living in Beth-el; and one of his sons came and gave him word of all the man of God had done that day in Beth-el, and they gave their father an account of the words he had said to the king. 12  Then their father said to them, Which way did he go? Now his sons had seen which way the man of God who came from Judah had gone. 13  So the prophet said to his sons, Make ready an ass for me. So they made an ass ready, and he got on it, 14  And went after the man of God, and came up with him while he was seated under an oak-tree. And he said to him, Are you the man of God who came from Judah? And he said, I am. 15  Then he said to him, Come back to the house with me and have a meal. 16  But he said, I may not go back with you or go into your house; and I will not take food or a drink of water with you in this place; 17  For the Lord said to me, You are not to take food or water there, or go back again by the way you came. 18  Then he said to him, I am a prophet like you; and an angel said to me by the word of the Lord, Take him back with you and give him food and water. But he said false words to him. 19  So he went back with him, and had a meal in his house and a drink of water. 20  But while they were seated at the table, the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had taken him back; 21  And crying out to the man of God who came from Judah, he said, The Lord says, Because you have gone against the voice of the Lord, and have not done as you were ordered by the Lord, 22  But have come back, and have taken food and water in this place where he said you were to take no food or water; your dead body will not be put to rest with your fathers.

23  Now after the meal he made ready the ass for him, for the prophet whom he had taken back. 24  And he went on his way; but on the road a lion came rushing at him and put him to death; and his dead body was stretched in the road with the ass by its side, and the lion was there by the body. 25  And some men, going by, saw the body stretched out in the road with the lion by its side; and they came and gave news of it in the town where the old prophet was living. 26  Then the prophet who had made him come back, hearing it, said, It is the man of God, who went against the word of the Lord; that is why the Lord has given him to the lion to be wounded to death, as the Lord said. 27  And he said to his sons, Make ready the ass for me. And they did so. 28  And he went and saw the dead body stretched out in the road with the ass and the lion by its side: the lion had not taken the body for its food or done any damage to the ass. 29  Then the prophet took up the body of the man of God and put it on the ass and took it back; and he came to the town to put the body to rest with weeping. 30  And he put the body in the resting-place made ready for himself, weeping and sorrowing over it, saying, O my brother! 31  And when he had put it to rest, he said to his sons, When I am dead, then you are to put my body into the earth with the body of this man of God, and put me by his bones so that my bones may be kept safe with his bones. 32  For the outcry he made by the word of the Lord against the altar in Beth-el and against all the houses of the high places in the towns of Samaria, will certainly come about. 33  After this Jeroboam, not turning back from his evil ways, still made priests for his altars from among all the people; he made a priest of anyone desiring it, so that there might be priests of the high places. 34  And this became a sin in the family of Jeroboam, causing it to be cut off and sent to destruction from the face of the earth.

Ahijah's Prophecy against Jeroboam

14 1  At that time Abijah, the son of Jeroboam, became ill. 2  And Jeroboam said to his wife, Now come, put on different clothing so that you may not seem to be the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh; see, Ahijah is there, the prophet who said I would be king over this people. 3  And take with you ten cakes of bread and dry cakes and a pot of honey, and go to him: he will give you word of what is to become of the child. 4  So Jeroboam's wife did so, and got up and went to Shiloh and came to the house of Ahijah. Now Ahijah was unable to see, because he was very old. 5  And the Lord had said to Ahijah, The wife of Jeroboam is coming to get news from you about her son, who is ill; give her such and such an answer; for she will make herself seem to be another woman. 6  Then Ahijah, hearing the sound of her footsteps coming in at the door, said, Come in, O wife of Jeroboam; why do you make yourself seem like another? for I am sent to you with bitter news.

7  Go, say to Jeroboam, These are the words of the Lord, the God of Israel: Though I took you from among the people, lifting you up to be a ruler over my people Israel, 8  And took the kingdom away by force from the seed of David and gave it to you, you have not been like my servant David, who kept my orders, and was true to me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes. 9  But you have done evil more than any before you, and have made for yourself other gods, and images of metal, moving me to wrath, and turning your back on me. 10  So I will send evil on the line of Jeroboam, cutting off from his family every male child, those who are shut up and those who go free in Israel; the family of Jeroboam will be brushed away like a man brushing away waste till it is all gone. 11  Those of the family of Jeroboam who come to death in the town, will become food for the dogs; and those on whom death comes in the open country, will be food for the birds of the air; for the Lord has said it. 12  Up, then! go back to your house; and in the hour when your feet go into the town, the death of the child will take place. 13  And all Israel will put his body to rest, weeping over him, because he only of the family of Jeroboam will be put into his resting-place in the earth; for of all the family of Jeroboam, in him only has the Lord, the God of Israel, seen some good. 14  And the Lord will put up a king over Israel who will send destruction on the family of Jeroboam in that day; 15  And even now the hand of the Lord has come down on Israel, shaking it like a river-grass in the water; and, uprooting Israel from this good land, which he gave to their fathers, he will send them this way and that on the other side of the River; because they have made for themselves images, moving the Lord to wrath. 16  And he will give Israel up because of the sins which Jeroboam has done and made Israel do. 17  Then Jeroboam's wife got up and went away and came to Tirzah; and when she came to the doorway of the house, death came to the child. 18  And all Israel put his body to rest, weeping over him, as the Lord had said by his servant Ahijah the prophet. 19  Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he made war and how he became king, are recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel. 20  And Jeroboam was king for twenty-two years, and was put to rest with his fathers, and Nadab his son became king in his place.

The Reign of Rehoboam

21  And Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, was king in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king, and he was king for seventeen years in Jerusalem, the town which the Lord had made his out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there; his mother's name was Naamah, an Ammonite woman. 22  And Judah did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and made him more angry than their fathers had done by their sins. 23  For they made high places and upright stones and wood pillars on every high hill and under every green tree; 24  And more than this, there were those in the land who were used for sex purposes in the worship of the gods, doing the same disgusting crimes as the nations which the Lord had sent out before the children of Israel. 25  Now in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak, king of Egypt, came up against Jerusalem; 26  And took away all the stored wealth from the house of the Lord, and from the king's house, and all the gold body-covers which Solomon had made. 27  So in their place King Rehoboam had other body-covers made of brass, and gave them into the care of the captains of the armed men who were stationed at the door of the king's house. 28  And whenever the king went into the house of the Lord, the armed men went with him taking the body-covers, and then took them back to their room. 29  Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? 30  And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days. 31  And Rehoboam went to rest with his fathers, and was put into the earth with his fathers in the town of David; his mother's name was Naamah, an Ammonite woman. And Abijam his son became king in his place.

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