Reading 97/341, 1 Kings 11-13.6

...1 Kings...

Now king Solomon loved many foreign women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites; of the nations concerning which the Lord said to the children of Israel, You shall not go among them, nor shall they come among you; for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods, Solomon joined to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned away his heart. For it happened, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not go fully after the Lord, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the mountain that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the children of Ammon. So did he for all his foreign wives, who burnt incense and sacrificed to their gods. The Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods, but he did not keep what the Lord commanded. Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, Because this is done of you, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. Notwithstanding in your days I will not do it, for David your father's sake, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However I will not tear away all the kingdom; but I will give one tribe to your son, for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen. The Lord raised up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite, he was of the king's seed in Edom. For it happened, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the army was gone up to bury the slain, and had struck every male in Edom (for Joab and all Israel remained there six months, until he had cut off every male in Edom); that Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father's servants with him, to go into Egypt, Hadad being yet a little child. They arose out of Midian, and came to Paran, and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house, and appointed him food, and gave him land. Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him as wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen. The sister of Tahpenes bore him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house, and Genubath was in Pharaoh's house among the sons of Pharaoh. When Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to my own country. Then Pharaoh said to him, But what have you lacked with me, that behold, you seek to go to your own country? He answered, Nothing, however only let me depart. God raised up another adversary to him, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah. He gathered men to him, and became captain over a troop, when David killed them of Zobah, and they went to Damascus, and lived therein, and reigned in Damascus. He was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, besides the mischief that Hadad did, and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria. Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, a servant of Solomon, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow, he also lifted up his hand against the king. This was the reason why he lifted up his hand against the king, Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breach of the city of David his father. The man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor, and Solomon saw the young man that he was industrious, and he gave him charge over all the labor of the house of Joseph. It happened at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; now Ahijah had clad himself with a new garment, and they two were alone in the field. Ahijah laid hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it in twelve pieces. He said to Jeroboam, Take ten pieces; for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to you (but he shall have one tribe, for my servant David's sake and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel); because that they have forsaken me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and they have not walked in my ways, to do what is right in my eyes, and to keep my statutes and my ordinances, as did David his father. However I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand; but I will make him prince all the days of his life, for David my servant's sake whom I chose, who kept my commandments and my statutes; but I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it to you, ten tribes. To his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a lamp always before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there. I will take you, and you shall reign according to all that your soul desires, and shall be king over Israel. It shall be, if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in my ways, and do what is right in my eyes, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with you, and will build you a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you. I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not forever. Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam; but Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon. Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are not they written in the book of the acts of Solomon? The time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father, and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place. Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. It happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was yet in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam lived in Egypt, and they sent and called him), that Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came, and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, Your father made our yoke grievous, now therefore make you the grievous service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, lighter, and we will serve you. He said to them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. The people departed. King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give you me to return answer to this people? They spoke to him, saying, If you will be a servant to this people this day, and will serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever. But he forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him. He said to them, What counsel do you give, that we may return answer to this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke that your father did put on us lighter? The young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, Thus shall you tell this people who spoke to you, saying, Your father made our yoke heavy, but make you it lighter to us; thus shall you speak to them, My little finger is thicker than my father's waist. Now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke, my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come to me again the third day. The king answered the people roughly, and forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him, and spoke to them after 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. So the king did not listen to the people; for it was a thing brought about of the Lord, that he might establish his word, which the Lord spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? nor have we inheritance in the son of Jesse, to your tents, Israel, now see to your own house, David. So Israel departed to their tents. But as for the children of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the men subject to forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death with stones. King Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel rebelled against the house of David to this day. It happened, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was returned, that they sent and called him to the congregation, and made him king over all Israel, there was none who followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only. When Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, and the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand chosen men, who were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, saying, Thus says the Lord, You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers the children of Israel, return every man to his house; for this thing is of me. So they listened to the word of the Lord, and returned and went their way, according to the word of the Lord. Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived therein, and he went out from there, and built Penuel. Jeroboam said in his heart, Now will the kingdom return to the house of David, if this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then will the heart of this people turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me, and return to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and he said to them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem, see your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt. He set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. This thing became a sin; for the people went to worship before the one, to Dan. He made houses of high places, and made priests from among all the people, who were not of the sons of Levi. Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast that is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; so did he 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. 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 children of Israel, and went up to the altar, to burn incense. Behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord to Beth El, and Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense. He cried against the altar by the word of the Lord, and said, altar, altar, thus says the Lord, Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, and on you shall he sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men's bones shall they burn on you. He gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the Lord has spoken, Behold, the altar shall be torn, and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out. It happened, when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar in Bethel, that Jeroboam put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. His hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back again to him. The altar also was torn, 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. The king answered the man of God, Entreat now the favor of the Lord your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. The man of God entreated the Lord, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.

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