12 1 Rehobo'am went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2 And when Jerobo'am the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was still in Egypt, whither he had fled from King Solomon), then Jerobo'am returned from Egypt. 3 And they sent and called him; and Jerobo'am and all the assembly of Israel came and said to Rehobo'am, 4 "Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke upon us, and we will serve you." 5 He said to them, "Depart for three days, then come again to me." So the people went away. 6 Then King Rehobo'am took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, "How do you advise me to answer this people?" 7 And they said to him, "If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants for ever." 8 But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. 9 And he said to them, "What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, 'Lighten the yoke that your father put upon us'?" 10 And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, "Thus shall you speak to this people who said to you, 'Your father made our yoke heavy, but do you lighten it for us'; thus shall you say to them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's loins. 11 And now, whereas my father laid upon you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.'" 12 So Jerobo'am and all the people came to Rehobo'am the third day, as the king said, "Come to me again the third day." 13 And the king answered the people harshly, and forsaking the counsel which the old men had given him, 14 he spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions." 15 So the king did not hearken to the people; for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord that he might fulfil his word, which the Lord spoke by Ahi'jah the Shi'lonite to Jerobo'am the son of Nebat.
16 And when all Israel saw that the king did not hearken to them, the people answered the king, "What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David." So Israel departed to their tents. 17 But Rehobo'am reigned over the people of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah. 18 Then King Rehobo'am sent Ador'am, who was taskmaster over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death with stones. And King Rehobo'am made haste to mount his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day. 20 And when all Israel heard that Jerobo'am had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. There was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only. 21 When Rehobo'am came to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, and the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand chosen warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to restore the kingdom to Rehobo'am the son of Solomon. 22 But the word of God came to Shemai'ah the man of God: 23 "Say to Rehobo'am the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, 24 'Thus says the Lord, You shall not go up or fight against your kinsmen the people of Israel. Return every man to his home, for this thing is from me.'" So they hearkened to the word of the Lord, and went home again, according to the word of the Lord.
Jeroboam Leads Israel into Sin
25 Then Jerobo'am built Shechem in the hill country of E'phraim, and dwelt there; and he went out from there and built Penu'el. 26 And Jerobo'am said in his heart, "Now the kingdom will turn back to the house of David; 27 if this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehobo'am king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehobo'am king of Judah." 28 So the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, "You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt." 29 And he set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 And this thing became a sin, for the people went to the one at Bethel and to the other as far as Dan. 31 He also made houses on high places, and appointed priests from among all the people, who were not of the Levites. 32 And Jerobo'am appointed a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month like the feast that was in Judah, and he offered sacrifices upon the altar; so he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places that he had made. 33 He went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and he ordained a feast for the people of Israel, and went up to the altar to burn incense.
The Prophet of Judah Warns Jeroboam
13 1 And behold, a man of God came out of Judah by the word of the Lord to Bethel. Jerobo'am was standing by the altar to burn incense. 2 And the man cried against the altar by the word of the Lord, and said, "O altar, altar, thus says the Lord: 'Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josi'ah by name; and he shall sacrifice upon you the priests of the high places who burn incense upon you, and men's bones shall be burned upon you.'" 3 And he gave a sign the same day, saying, "This is the sign that the Lord has spoken: 'Behold, the altar shall be torn down, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.'" 4 And when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar at Bethel, Jerobo'am stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, "Lay hold of him." And his hand, which he stretched out against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back to himself. 5 The altar also was torn down, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord. 6 And the king said to the man of God, "Entreat now the favor of the Lord your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me." And the man of God entreated the Lord; and the king's hand was restored to him, and became as it was before. 7 And the king said to the man of God, "Come home with me, and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward." 8 And the man of God said to the king, "If you give me half your house, I will not go in with you. And I will not eat bread or drink water in this place; 9 for so was it commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, 'You shall neither eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the way that you came.'" 10 So he went another way, and did not return by the way that he came to Bethel.
11 Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel. And his sons came and told him all that the man of God had done that day in Bethel; the words also which he had spoken to the king, they told to their father. 12 And their father said to them, "Which way did he go?" And his sons showed him the way which the man of God who came from Judah had gone. 13 And he said to his sons, "Saddle the ass for me." So they saddled the ass for him and he mounted it. 14 And he went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak; 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 home with me and eat bread." 16 And he said, "I may not return with you, or go in with you; neither will I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place; 17 for it was said to me by the word of the Lord, 'You shall neither eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by the way that you came.'" 18 And he said to him, "I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, 'Bring him back with you into your house that he may eat bread and drink water.'" But he lied to him. 19 So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water. 20 And as they sat at the table, the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had brought him back; 21 and he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, "Thus says the Lord, 'Because you have disobeyed the word of the Lord, and have not kept the commandment which the Lord your God commanded you, 22 but have come back, and have eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which he said to you, "Eat no bread, and drink no water"; your body shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.'"
23 And after he had eaten bread and drunk, he saddled the ass for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 And as he went away a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his body was thrown in the road, and the ass stood beside it; the lion also stood beside the body. 25 And behold, men passed by, and saw the body thrown in the road, and the lion standing by the body. And they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt. 26 And when the prophet who had brought him back from the way heard of it, he said, "It is the man of God, who disobeyed the word of the Lord; therefore the Lord has given him to the lion, which has torn him and slain him, according to the word which the Lord spoke to him." 27 And he said to his sons, "Saddle the ass for me." And they saddled it. 28 And he went and found his body thrown in the road, and the ass and the lion standing beside the body. The lion had not eaten the body or torn the ass. 29 And the prophet took up the body of the man of God and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back to the city, to mourn and to bury him. 30 And he laid the body in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, "Alas, my brother!" 31 And after he had buried him, he said to his sons, "When I die, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. 32 For the saying which he cried by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Sama'ria, shall surely come to pass." 33 After this thing Jerobo'am did not turn from his evil way, but made priests for the high places again from among all the people; any who would, he consecrated to be priests of the high places. 34 And this thing became sin to the house of Jerobo'am, so as to cut it off and to destroy it from the face of the earth.
Ahijah's Prophecy against Jeroboam
14 1 At that time Abi'jah the son of Jerobo'am fell sick. 2 And Jerobo'am said to his wife, "Arise, and disguise yourself, that it be not known that you are the wife of Jerobo'am, and go to Shiloh; behold, Ahi'jah the prophet is there, who said of me that I should be king over this people. 3 Take with you ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him; he will tell you what shall happen to the child." 4 Jerobo'am's wife did so; she arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahi'jah. Now Ahi'jah could not see, for his eyes were dim because of his age. 5 And the Lord said to Ahi'jah, "Behold, the wife of Jerobo'am is coming to inquire of you concerning her son; for he is sick. Thus and thus shall you say to her." When she came, she pretended to be another woman. 6 But when Ahi'jah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, he said, "Come in, wife of Jerobo'am; why do you pretend to be another? For I am charged with heavy tidings for you.
7 Go, tell Jerobo'am, 'Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: "Because I exalted you from among the people, and made you leader over my people Israel, 8 and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you; and yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments, and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my eyes, 9 but you have done evil above all that were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods, and molten images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back; 10 therefore behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jerobo'am, and will cut off from Jerobo'am every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will utterly consume the house of Jerobo'am, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone. 11 Any one belonging to Jerobo'am who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and any one who dies in the open country the birds of the air shall eat; for the Lord has spoken it."' 12 Arise therefore, go to your house. When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. 13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him; for he only of Jerobo'am shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something pleasing to the Lord, the God of Israel, in the house of Jerobo'am. 14 Moreover the Lord will raise up for himself a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jerobo'am today. And henceforth 15 the Lord will smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and root up Israel out of this good land which he gave to their fathers, and scatter them beyond the Euphra'tes, because they have made their Ashe'rim, provoking the Lord to anger. 16 And he will give Israel up because of the sins of Jerobo'am, which he sinned and which he made Israel to sin." 17 Then Jerobo'am's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah. And as she came to the threshold of the house, the child died. 18 And all Israel buried him and mourned for him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Ahi'jah the prophet. 19 Now the rest of the acts of Jerobo'am, how he warred and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. 20 And the time that Jerobo'am reigned was twenty-two years; and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his stead.
The Reign of Rehoboam
21 Now Rehobo'am the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehobo'am was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. His mother's name was Na'amah the Ammonitess. 22 And Judah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. 23 For they also built for themselves high places, and pillars, and Ashe'rim on every high hill and under every green tree; 24 and there were also male cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. 25 In the fifth year of King Rehobo'am, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem; 26 he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house; he took away everything. He also took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made; 27 and King Rehobo'am made in their stead shields of bronze, and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king's house. 28 And as often as the king went into the house of the Lord, the guard bore them and brought them back to the guardroom. 29 Now the rest of the acts of Rehobo'am, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 30 And there was war between Rehobo'am and Jerobo'am continually. 31 And Rehobo'am slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. His mother's name was Na'amah the Ammonitess. And Abi'jam his son reigned in his stead.