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1 Kings 12-14, Bible Highlights: Week Starting July 20

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Highlights From Bible Reading: 1 Kings 12-13-14. Information for personal study.

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Research for Highlights of : 1 Kings 12-14


(1 KINGS 12:1)

“Re•ho•boʹam went to Sheʹchem, for all Israel had come to Sheʹchem to make him king.”

*** it-1 p. 947 Divided Kingdom ***
Shechem 1Ki 12:1, 25

(1 KINGS 12:5)

“At this he said to them: “Go away for three days; then return to me.” So the people went away.”

*** it-1 p. 593 Day ***
There are times when the Hebrews used ‘day and night’ to mean only a portion of a solar day of 24 hours. For example, 1 Kings 12:5, 12 tells of Rehoboam’s asking Jeroboam and the Israelites to “go away for three days” and then return to him. That he did not mean three full 24-hour days but, rather, a portion of each of three days is seen by the fact that the people came back to him “on the third day.”

(1 KINGS 12:10)

“The young men who had grown up with him said to him: “This is what you should say to this people who have said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you should make it lighter for us’; this is what you should tell them, ‘My little finger will be thicker than my father’s hips.”

*** it-1 p. 832 Finger ***
When a delegation asked King Rehoboam for a lighter load of service than his father Solomon had laid upon them, the king was advised by his young attendants to respond that ‘his little finger would be thicker than his father’s hips’; this metaphor meant that he would put a much heavier burden on them. (1Ki 12:4, 10, 11) The Hebrew word used here for “little finger” comes from a root meaning “be small, little, least.”

(1 KINGS 12:11)

“My father imposed a heavy yoke on you, but I will add to your yoke. My father punished you with whips, but I will punish you with scourges.’””

*** it-1 p. 273 Beating ***
Figurative Usage. King Rehoboam compared his intended way of ruling with the rule of his father Solomon by metaphorically referring to the more serious punishment of the scourge as contrasted with whips. (In the Hebrew, the word for “scourges” [ʽaq•rab•bimʹ] literally means “scorpions” and apparently was a type of whip with knots, or with barbed ends like a scorpion’s stinger, or perhaps with knotted or thorny twigs.)—1Ki 12:11-14, ftn.

*** it-2 p. 876 Scorpion ***
At 1 Kings 12:11, 14 and 2 Chronicles 10:11, 14, the Hebrew term ʽaq•rab•bimʹ, which is rendered “scourges,” literally means “scorpions.” The instrument of punishment alluded to may have been a scourge equipped with sharp points.

(1 KINGS 12:12)

“Jer•o•boʹam and all the people came to Re•ho•boʹam on the third day, just as the king had said: “Return to me on the third day.””

*** it-1 p. 593 Day ***
There are times when the Hebrews used ‘day and night’ to mean only a portion of a solar day of 24 hours. For example, 1 Kings 12:5, 12 tells of Rehoboam’s asking Jeroboam and the Israelites to “go away for three days” and then return to him. That he did not mean three full 24-hour days but, rather, a portion of each of three days is seen by the fact that the people came back to him “on the third day.”

(1 KINGS 12:14)

“He spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying: “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father punished you with whips, but I will punish you with scourges.””

*** it-1 p. 273 Beating ***
Figurative Usage. King Rehoboam compared his intended way of ruling with the rule of his father Solomon by metaphorically referring to the more serious punishment of the scourge as contrasted with whips. (In the Hebrew, the word for “scourges” [ʽaq•rab•bimʹ] literally means “scorpions” and apparently was a type of whip with knots, or with barbed ends like a scorpion’s stinger, or perhaps with knotted or thorny twigs.)—1Ki 12:11-14, ftn.

*** it-2 p. 876 Scorpion ***
At 1 Kings 12:11, 14 and 2 Chronicles 10:11, 14, the Hebrew term ʽaq•rab•bimʹ, which is rendered “scourges,” literally means “scorpions.” The instrument of punishment alluded to may have been a scourge equipped with sharp points.

(1 KINGS 12:25)

“Jer•o•boʹam then built up Sheʹchem in the mountainous region of Eʹphra•im and lived there. From there he went out and built up Pe•nuʹel.”

*** it-1 p. 947 Divided Kingdom ***
Shechem 1Ki 12:1, 25

(1 KINGS 12:28)

“After consultation, the king made two golden calves and said to the people: “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here is your God, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.””

*** it-1 p. 207 Astrologers ***
Molech and Astrology in Israel. There is evidence to show that astrology was closely allied with the worship of Molech, a god who was sometimes depicted with a bull’s head. The bull was worshiped by the Babylonians, Canaanites, Egyptians, and others as a symbol of their deities—Marduk, Molech, Baal, and so forth. The bull was one of the most important signs of the zodiac, Taurus. The sun-god was often represented by bulls, the horns signifying the rays, and the bull’s strong reproductive power, the sun’s power as “giver of life.” The female, the cow, was given equal honor as a symbol of Ishtar or Astarte, as she was variously called. So when Aaron and Jeroboam introduced in Israel such worship of the bull (calf worship) it was indeed a great sin in Jehovah’s eyes.—Ex 32:4, 8; De 9:16; 1Ki 12:28-30; 2Ki 10:29.
The apostate ten-tribe kingdom of Israel was denounced for joining this astrology cult, for “they kept leaving all the commandments of Jehovah their God and proceeded to make for themselves molten statues, two calves, and to make a sacred pole, and they began to bow down to all the army of the heavens and to serve Baal; and they continued to make their sons and their daughters pass through the fire and to practice divination and to look for omens.”—2Ki 17:16, 17.

*** it-1 p. 393 Calf ***
The first king of the ten-tribe kingdom, Jeroboam, fearing that his subjects would revolt and go back to the house of David if they continued going up to Jerusalem for worship, had two golden calves made. (1Ki 12:26-28) The Bible record does not reveal to what extent Jeroboam’s choice of a calf to represent Jehovah was influenced by earlier calf worship in Israel, by what he had observed while in Egypt (1Ki 12:2), or by the religion of the Canaanites and others, who often represented their gods as standing upon an animal, such as a bull.

*** it-1 p. 947 Divided Kingdom ***
Bethel 1Ki 12:28, 29

(1 KINGS 12:29)

“Then he placed one in Bethʹel, and the other he put in Dan.”

*** it-1 p. 947 Divided Kingdom ***
Bethel 1Ki 12:28, 29

(1 KINGS 12:30)

“And this caused them to sin, and the people went as far as Dan to worship the one there.”

*** it-1 p. 207 Astrologers ***
Molech and Astrology in Israel. There is evidence to show that astrology was closely allied with the worship of Molech, a god who was sometimes depicted with a bull’s head. The bull was worshiped by the Babylonians, Canaanites, Egyptians, and others as a symbol of their deities—Marduk, Molech, Baal, and so forth. The bull was one of the most important signs of the zodiac, Taurus. The sun-god was often represented by bulls, the horns signifying the rays, and the bull’s strong reproductive power, the sun’s power as “giver of life.” The female, the cow, was given equal honor as a symbol of Ishtar or Astarte, as she was variously called. So when Aaron and Jeroboam introduced in Israel such worship of the bull (calf worship) it was indeed a great sin in Jehovah’s eyes.—Ex 32:4, 8; De 9:16; 1Ki 12:28-30; 2Ki 10:29.
The apostate ten-tribe kingdom of Israel was denounced for joining this astrology cult, for “they kept leaving all the commandments of Jehovah their God and proceeded to make for themselves molten statues, two calves, and to make a sacred pole, and they began to bow down to all the army of the heavens and to serve Baal; and they continued to make their sons and their daughters pass through the fire and to practice divination and to look for omens.”—2Ki 17:16, 17.

(1 KINGS 12:32)

“Jer•o•boʹam also established a festival in the eighth month, on the 15th day of the month, like the festival in Judah. On the altar that he made at Bethʹel, he sacrificed to the calves he had made, and at Bethʹel he assigned priests for the high places that he had made.”

*** it-1 p. 374 Bul ***
Following the Exodus from Egypt, Bul became the eighth month in the sacred calendar, and it was during this month that Solomon completed the construction of the temple at Jerusalem. (1Ki 6:38) Jeroboam, the founder of the separatist northern kingdom of Israel, arbitrarily made this month a festival month, as part of his plan to divert the people’s attention from Jerusalem and its feasts.—1Ki 12:26, 31-33.

*** it-1 pp. 823-824 Festival of Booths ***
An interesting sidelight is that Jeroboam, who broke away from Solomon’s son Rehoboam and became king over the ten northern tribes, carried on (in the eighth month, not the seventh) an imitation of the Festival of Booths, apparently to hold the tribes away from Jerusalem. But, of course, the sacrifices were made to the golden calves that he had set up contrary to Jehovah’s command.—1Ki 12:31-33.

(1 KINGS 12:33)

“And he began to make offerings on the altar that he had made at Bethʹel on the 15th day in the eighth month, in the month that he had devised on his own; and he established a festival for the people of Israel, and he ascended the altar to make offerings and sacrificial smoke.”

*** it-1 pp. 823-824 Festival of Booths ***
An interesting sidelight is that Jeroboam, who broke away from Solomon’s son Rehoboam and became king over the ten northern tribes, carried on (in the eighth month, not the seventh) an imitation of the Festival of Booths, apparently to hold the tribes away from Jerusalem. But, of course, the sacrifices were made to the golden calves that he had set up contrary to Jehovah’s command.—1Ki 12:31-33.

(1 KINGS 13:1)

“By the word of Jehovah, a man of God came from Judah to Bethʹel while Jer•o•boʹam was standing by the altar to make sacrificial smoke.”

*** it-1 p. 1108 High Places ***
About 100 years after this, faithful King Josiah of Judah pulled down the altar and the high place at Bethel and desecrated the altar by burning human bones upon it. He also removed all the houses of the high places in the cities of Samaria, sacrificed (killed) all the priests of the high places, and burned human bones upon the altars. (2Ki 23:15-20) This fulfilled a prophecy uttered over 300 years earlier by an unnamed “man of God.”—1Ki 13:1, 2.

(1 KINGS 13:2)

“Then he called out against the altar by the word of Jehovah and said: “O altar, altar! This is what Jehovah says: ‘Look! A son named Jo•siʹah will be born to the house of David! He will sacrifice on you the priests of the high places, those making sacrificial smoke on you, and he will burn human bones on you.’””

*** w14 5/1 p. 5 Can Anyone See the Future? ***
HUMAN BONES WILL BURN: Who would be so daring as to announce—300 years in advance—the exact name and specific ancestry of a man who would burn human bones on an altar, as well as the name of the town where the altar would be located? If such an unusual prediction came true, it would surely make the forecaster famous. God’s spokesman announced: “A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David . . . , and he will burn human bones” on an altar in the town of Bethel. (1 Kings 13:1, 2) About three centuries later, a king named Josiah—not a common Biblical name—came from the family lineage of David. Exactly as foretold, Josiah had “bones taken from the graves and burned them on the altar” located in Bethel. (2 Kings 23:14-16) How could anyone foretell such specific details unless guided by a superhuman source?

*** it-1 p. 297 Bethel ***
Josiah destroyed the site of idolatrous worship in Bethel, first burning the bones from nearby tombs on the altar, thereby desecrating it in fulfillment of the prophecy given by “the man of the true God” over three centuries earlier. The only grave spared was that of “the man of the true God,” in that way sparing also the bones of the old prophet occupying the same grave.—2Ki 22:3; 23:15-18; 1Ki 13:2, 29-32.

*** it-1 p. 856 Foreknowledge, Foreordination ***
Jehovah’s prophecy concerning Josiah called for some descendant of David to be so named, and it foretold his acting against false worship in the city of Bethel. (1Ki 13:1, 2) Over three centuries later a king so named fulfilled this prophecy. (2Ki 22:1; 23:15, 16) On the other hand, he failed to heed “the words of Necho from the mouth of God,” and this led to his being killed. (2Ch 35:20-24) Hence, while foreknown by God and foreordained to do a particular work, Josiah was still a free moral agent able to choose to heed or disregard advice.

*** it-1 p. 1108 High Places ***
About 100 years after this, faithful King Josiah of Judah pulled down the altar and the high place at Bethel and desecrated the altar by burning human bones upon it. He also removed all the houses of the high places in the cities of Samaria, sacrificed (killed) all the priests of the high places, and burned human bones upon the altars. (2Ki 23:15-20) This fulfilled a prophecy uttered over 300 years earlier by an unnamed “man of God.”—1Ki 13:1, 2.

(1 KINGS 13:7)

“The king then said to the man of the true God: “Come home with me and take some food, and let me give you a gift.””

*** w08 8/15 pp. 8-9 pars. 4-7 Maintain Loyalty With a Unified Heart ***
4 Then Jeroboam says to the man of the true God: “Do come with me to the house and take sustenance, and let me give you a gift.” (1 Ki. 13:7) What is the prophet to do now? Should he accept the king’s hospitality after delivering a message of condemnation to him? (Ps. 119:113) Or should he reject the king’s invitation, even though the king appears to be remorseful? Jeroboam certainly has the means to lavish expensive gifts on his friends. If God’s prophet has harbored any secret desire for material things, the king’s offer is likely to be a huge temptation. However, Jehovah has commanded the prophet: “You must not eat bread or drink water, and you must not return by the way that you went.” So the prophet unequivocally replies: “If you gave me half of your house I would not come with you and eat bread or drink water in this place.” And the prophet leaves Bethel by another way. (1 Ki. 13:8-10) What lesson does the prophet’s decision teach us about heartfelt loyalty?—Rom. 15:4.
“Be Content”
5 Materialism may not seem to be an issue of loyalty, but it is. Do we trust in Jehovah’s promise to provide what we really need? (Matt. 6:33; Heb. 13:5) Rather than striving to obtain at any cost some of the “better” things in life that are presently beyond our reach, can we do without them? (Read Philippians 4:11-13.) Are we tempted to forgo theocratic privileges in order to get what we want now? Does loyal service to Jehovah have first place in our life? Our answers will largely depend on whether we are wholehearted in our service to God or not. “It is a means of great gain,” wrote the apostle Paul, “this godly devotion along with self-sufficiency. For we have brought nothing into the world, and neither can we carry anything out. So, having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.”—1 Tim. 6:6-8.
6 For example, our employer may offer us a promotion with better pay and other benefits. Or perhaps we realize that we can obtain greater financial rewards if we move to another country or region to find employment. At first, such opportunities might seem to be a blessing from Jehovah. But before we act on them, should we not examine our motives? Our primary concern should be, “How will my decision affect my relationship with Jehovah?”
7 Satan’s system relentlessly promotes materialism. (Read 1 John 2:15, 16.) The Devil’s objective is to corrupt our hearts. Therefore, we need to be vigilant to identify and root out materialistic desires in our heart. (Rev. 3:15-17) Jesus had no difficulty rejecting Satan’s offer of all the kingdoms of the world. (Matt. 4:8-10) He warned: “Keep your eyes open and guard against every sort of covetousness, because even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15) Loyalty will help us to rely on Jehovah instead of ourselves.

(1 KINGS 13:18)

“At this he said to him: “I too am a prophet like you, and an angel told me by the word of Jehovah, ‘Have him come back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (He deceived him.)”

*** w08 8/15 p. 9 Maintain Loyalty With a Unified Heart ***
An Old Prophet “Deceived Him”
8 Things would have gone well with God’s prophet if he had continued on his journey back home. Almost immediately, however, he faced another test. “A certain old prophet was dwelling in Bethel,” states the Bible, “and his sons now came in and related to him” all that had taken place earlier that day. Upon hearing the report, the old man asks them to saddle an ass for him so that he might catch up with God’s prophet. Not long thereafter, he finds the prophet resting under a big tree and says: “Go with me to the house and eat bread.” When the man of the true God declines the invitation, the old man replies: “I too am a prophet like you, and an angel himself spoke to me by the word of Jehovah, saying, ‘Have him come back with you to your house that he may eat bread and drink water.’” But the Scriptures say: “He deceived him.”—1 Ki. 13:11-18.
9 Whatever might have been the old prophet’s motive, he lied. Perhaps the old man had at one time been a faithful prophet of Jehovah. At this point, however, he was acting deceptively. The Scriptures strongly denounce such conduct. (Read Proverbs 3:32.) Deceitful ones not only hurt themselves spiritually but often harm others.
“He Went Back With” the Old Man
10 The prophet from Judah should have been able to see through the ruse of the old prophet. He could have asked himself, ‘Why would Jehovah send an angel to someone else with new instructions for me?’ The prophet could have asked Jehovah to clarify the direction, but the Scriptures do not indicate that he did so.

(1 KINGS 13:32)

“The word that he called out by the word of Jehovah against the altar in Bethʹel and against all the houses of worship on the high places in the cities of Sa•marʹi•a is sure to take place.””

*** it-2 p. 847 Samaria ***
2. The territory of the ten-tribe northern kingdom of Israel. The name of its capital city, Samaria, was sometimes applied to this entire area. For example, when Ahab was called “the king of Samaria,” it was not with the restricted meaning of being king of the city only, but in the broader sense as king of the ten tribes. (1Ki 21:1) So, too, “the cities of Samaria” referred to those scattered throughout the ten tribes, not to towns clustered around the capital. (2Ki 23:19; this same expression recorded at 1Ki 13:32 as if used before the city Samaria was built, if not prophetic, may have been introduced by the compiler of the Kings account.) The famine “in Samaria” in the days of Ahab was extensive throughout the whole kingdom of Samaria and, in fact, even took in Phoenicia, extending at least from the torrent valley of Cherith, E of the Jordan, to Zarephath on the Mediterranean. (1Ki 17:1-12; 18:2, 5, 6) Similarly, the restoration promise regarding “the mountains of Samaria” must have embraced the whole of the realm of Samaria.—Jer 31:5.

(1 KINGS 14:11)

“Anyone belonging to Jer•o•boʹam who dies in the city, the dogs will eat; and anyone who dies in the field, the birds of the heavens will eat, for Jehovah has spoken it.”’”

*** it-1 p. 644 Dog ***
Dogs (Canis familiaris), like carrion birds, were scavengers, particularly in the cities. The Law directed throwing to the dogs flesh that had been torn by a wild beast. (Ex 22:31) At times Jehovah’s judgment against his enemies was that their dead bodies would be eaten or their blood licked up by scavenger dogs. Because of the course of gross unfaithfulness followed by Kings Jeroboam, Baasha, and Ahab, any who belonged to their respective households and who died in the city were to be devoured by dogs. (1Ki 14:11; 16:4; 21:24)

(1 KINGS 14:13)

“All Israel will mourn him and bury him, for he alone of Jer•o•boʹam’s family will be laid in a grave, because he is the only one of the house of Jer•o•boʹam in whom Jehovah the God of Israel has found something good.”

*** cl chap. 24 p. 244 par. 11 Nothing Can “Separate Us From God’s Love” ***
11 Third, as Jehovah searches through us, he carefully sifts, looking for the good. For instance, when Jehovah decreed that the entire apostate dynasty of King Jeroboam was to be executed, He ordered that one of the king’s sons, Abijah, be given a decent burial. Why? “Something good toward Jehovah the God of Israel has been found in him.” (1 Kings 14:1, 10-13) Jehovah, in effect, sifted through the heart of that young man and found “something good” there. However small or insignificant that bit of good may have been, Jehovah found it worth noting in his Word. He even rewarded it, showing an appropriate degree of mercy to that one member of an apostate household.

*** w10 7/1 p. 29 He Looks for the Good ***
1 KINGS 14:13
“ALL hearts Jehovah is searching, and every inclination of the thoughts he is discerning.” (1 Chronicles 28:9) Those inspired words were meant to fill us with appreciation for the depth of Jehovah’s interest in us. Jehovah looks for the good in our hearts even though we are far from perfect. This is clearly evident in his words regarding Abijah, found at 1 Kings 14:13.
Abijah lived in a wicked household. His father, Jeroboam, was the head of an apostate dynasty. Jehovah purposed to make a clean sweep of Jeroboam’s house, “just as one clears away the dung.” (1 Kings 14:10) But God ordered that only one member of Jeroboam’s household, Abijah—who was gravely ill—be given an honorable burial. Why? God explained: “Something good toward Jehovah the God of Israel has been found in him in the house of Jeroboam.” (1 Kings 14:1, 12, 13) What do these words tell us about Abijah?
The Bible does not say that Abijah was a faithful worshipper of God. Still, there was a measure of goodness in him. This goodness was “toward Jehovah,” perhaps involving His worship. Rabbinic writers suggest that Abijah made a pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem or that he removed the guards that his father had posted to prevent the Israelites from going to Jerusalem.
Whatever its exact nature, Abijah’s goodness was noteworthy. First, it was genuine. This goodness was “in him”—that is, in his heart. Second, it was exceptional. Abijah exhibited this goodness even though he was “in the house of Jeroboam.” One scholar says: “It is a great commendation for men to retain their goodness whilest they live in bad places and families.” Another says that Abijah’s goodness was “conspicuous . . . , just as the stars are brightest when the sky is dark, and the cedars are most beautiful when surrounding trees are leafless.”
Most important, the words of 1 Kings 14:13 teach us something beautiful about Jehovah and what he looks for in us. Recall that something good was “found in” Abijah. Jehovah evidently searched through Abijah’s heart until He found a trace of goodness. Compared to his family, Abijah was, as one scholar put it, the lone pearl “in a heap of pebbles.” Jehovah cherished this goodness and rewarded it, granting a measure of mercy to this one member of a wicked family.
Is it not reassuring to know that Jehovah looks for and values the good in us despite our imperfections? (Psalm 130:3) Knowing this should move us to draw closer to Jehovah, the God who sifts through our heart in search of even the smallest trace of goodness.
[Footnotes]
Jeroboam had set up idolatrous calf worship in the northern ten-tribe kingdom of Israel to keep the people from going to Jerusalem to worship Jehovah at the temple there.
In Bible times, to be denied a decent burial was seen as an expression of divine displeasure.—Jeremiah 25:32, 33.

*** w05 7/1 p. 31 par. 4 Highlights From the Book of First Kings ***
14:13. Jehovah searches through us to look for the good in us. Regardless of how insignificant that good may be, he can make it grow as we do our best to serve him.

*** w95 4/1 p. 12 par. 11 You Are Precious in God’s Eyes! ***
11 For instance, when Jehovah decreed that the entire apostate dynasty of King Jeroboam was to be executed, cleared away like “dung,” He ordered that just one of the king’s sons, Abijah, be given a decent burial. Why? “Something good toward Jehovah the God of Israel has been found in him.” (1 Kings 14:10, 13) Did this mean that Abijah was a faithful worshiper of Jehovah? Not necessarily, since he died, as did the rest of his wicked household. (Deuteronomy 24:16) Still, Jehovah valued the “something good” that he saw in Abijah’s heart and acted accordingly. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible notes: “Where there is but some good thing of that kind, it will be found: God that seeks it, sees it, be it ever so little, and is pleased with it.” And do not forget that if God finds even a small measure of some good quality in you, he can make it grow as long as you endeavor to serve him faithfully.

(1 KINGS 14:14)

“Jehovah will raise up for himself a king over Israel who will do away with the house of Jer•o•boʹam from that day forward, yes, even now.”

*** ip-1 chap. 11 pp. 133-134 pars. 1-3 Woe to the Rebels! ***
WHEN Jehovah’s covenant people were divided into two kingdoms, the northern ten-tribe kingdom came under the rulership of Jeroboam. The new king was an able, energetic ruler. But he lacked real faith in Jehovah. Because of this he made a terrible error that blighted the whole history of the northern kingdom. Under the Mosaic Law, the Israelites were commanded to travel three times a year up to the temple in Jerusalem, which was now in the southern kingdom of Judah. (Deuteronomy 16:16) Afraid that such regular journeys would make his subjects think about reunification with their southern brothers, Jeroboam “made two golden calves and said to the people: ‘It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here is your God, O Israel, that brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’ Then he placed the one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.”—1 Kings 12:28, 29.
2 In the short term, Jeroboam’s plan seemed to work. The people gradually left off going to Jerusalem and took up worshiping before the two calves. (1 Kings 12:30) However, this apostate religious practice corrupted the ten-tribe kingdom. In later years, even Jehu, who had shown such commendable zeal in clearing Baal worship out of Israel, continued to bow down to the golden calves. (2 Kings 10:28, 29) What else resulted from Jeroboam’s tragically wrong decision? Political instability and suffering for the people.
3 Because Jeroboam had become apostate, Jehovah said that his seed would not reign over the land, and in the end the northern kingdom would suffer a terrible disaster. (1 Kings 14:14, 15) Jehovah’s word proved true. Seven of Israel’s kings ruled for two years or less—some for only a few days. One king committed suicide, and six were assassinated by ambitious men who usurped the throne. Especially after the reign of Jeroboam II, which ended about 804 B.C.E. while Uzziah was reigning in Judah, Israel was plagued with unrest, violence, and assassinations.

(1 KINGS 14:15)

“Jehovah will strike Israel down like a reed that sways in the water, and he will uproot Israel off this good land that he gave to their forefathers, and he will scatter them beyond the River, because they made their sacred poles, offending Jehovah.”

*** ip-1 chap. 11 pp. 133-134 pars. 1-3 Woe to the Rebels! ***
WHEN Jehovah’s covenant people were divided into two kingdoms, the northern ten-tribe kingdom came under the rulership of Jeroboam. The new king was an able, energetic ruler. But he lacked real faith in Jehovah. Because of this he made a terrible error that blighted the whole history of the northern kingdom. Under the Mosaic Law, the Israelites were commanded to travel three times a year up to the temple in Jerusalem, which was now in the southern kingdom of Judah. (Deuteronomy 16:16) Afraid that such regular journeys would make his subjects think about reunification with their southern brothers, Jeroboam “made two golden calves and said to the people: ‘It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here is your God, O Israel, that brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’ Then he placed the one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.”—1 Kings 12:28, 29.
2 In the short term, Jeroboam’s plan seemed to work. The people gradually left off going to Jerusalem and took up worshiping before the two calves. (1 Kings 12:30) However, this apostate religious practice corrupted the ten-tribe kingdom. In later years, even Jehu, who had shown such commendable zeal in clearing Baal worship out of Israel, continued to bow down to the golden calves. (2 Kings 10:28, 29) What else resulted from Jeroboam’s tragically wrong decision? Political instability and suffering for the people.
3 Because Jeroboam had become apostate, Jehovah said that his seed would not reign over the land, and in the end the northern kingdom would suffer a terrible disaster. (1 Kings 14:14, 15) Jehovah’s word proved true. Seven of Israel’s kings ruled for two years or less—some for only a few days. One king committed suicide, and six were assassinated by ambitious men who usurped the throne. Especially after the reign of Jeroboam II, which ended about 804 B.C.E. while Uzziah was reigning in Judah, Israel was plagued with unrest, violence, and assassinations.

(1 KINGS 14:21)

“Meanwhile, Re•ho•boʹam the son of Solʹo•mon had become king in Judah. Re•ho•boʹam was 41 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 17 years in Jerusalem, the city that Jehovah had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel as the place to put his name. The name of Re•ho•boʹam’s mother was Naʹa•mah the Amʹmon•it•ess.”

*** w11 12/15 p. 10 par. 11 Is He a Good Example for You or a Warning? ***
11 Solomon reigned for 40 years. (2 Chron. 9:30) Hence, what can you conclude from 1 Kings 14:21? (Read.) According to that verse, upon Solomon’s death his son Rehoboam became king at age 41, his mother being “Naamah the Ammonitess.” This means that before Solomon became king, he married a foreigner from an enemy nation that served idol gods. (Judg. 10:6; 2 Sam. 10:6) Did she worship them? Even if she did at one time, she may have turned away from idols and may have become a true worshipper, as did Rahab and Ruth. (Ruth 1:16; 4:13-17; Matt. 1:5, 6) Still, Solomon likely came to have Ammonite in-laws and relatives who did not serve Jehovah.

(1 KINGS 14:23)

“They too kept building for themselves high places, sacred pillars, and sacred poles on every high hill and under every luxuriant tree.”

*** it-2 p. 835 Sacred Pole ***
Both Israel and Judah disregarded God’s express command not to set up sacred pillars and sacred poles; they placed them upon “every high hill and under every luxuriant tree” alongside the altars used for sacrifice. It has been suggested that the poles represented the female principle, whereas the pillars represented the male principle. These appendages of idolatry, likely phallic symbols, were associated with grossly immoral sex orgies, as is indicated by the reference to male prostitutes being in the land as early as Rehoboam’s reign. (1Ki 14:22-24; 2Ki 17:10) Only seldom did kings such as Hezekiah (and Josiah) come along, who “removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars to pieces and cut down the sacred pole.”—2Ki 18:4; 2Ch 34:7.

(1 KINGS 14:25)

“In the fifth year of King Re•ho•boʹam, King Shiʹshak of Egypt came up against Jerusalem.”

*** si p. 295 Study Number 3—Measuring Events in the Stream of Time ***
993 B.C.E. Shishak invades Judah and
takes treasures from temple 1 Ki. 14:25, 26

*** it-1 pp. 149-150 Archaeology ***
At Karnak (ancient Thebes), on the Nile River, a vast Egyptian temple contains an inscription on its S wall confirming the campaign of Egyptian King Shishak (Sheshonk I) in Palestine, described at 1 Kings 14:25, 26 and 2 Chronicles 12:1-9. The giant relief depicting his victories shows 156 manacled Palestinian prisoners, each representing a city or village, the name of which is given in hieroglyphics. Among the names identifiable are those of Rabbith (Jos 19:20), Taanach, Beth-shean and Megiddo (where a portion of a stele or inscribed pillar of Shishak has been excavated) (Jos 17:11), Shunem (Jos 19:18), Rehob (Jos 19:28), Hapharaim (Jos 19:19), Gibeon (Jos 18:25), Beth-horon (Jos 21:22), Aijalon (Jos 21:24), Socoh (Jos 15:35), and Arad (Jos 12:14). He even lists the “Field of Abram” as one of his captures, the earliest reference to Abraham in Egyptian records.

*** it-1 p. 697 Egypt, Egyptian ***
Shishak (known as Sheshonk I from Egyptian records) had founded a Libyan dynasty of Pharaohs (the “Twenty-second Dynasty”), with its capital at Bubastis in the eastern Delta region. In the fifth year of the reign of Solomon’s son Rehoboam (993 B.C.E.), Shishak invaded Judah with a powerful force of chariots, cavalry, and foot soldiers including Libyans and Ethiopians; he captured many cities and even threatened Jerusalem. Because of Jehovah’s mercy, Jerusalem was not devastated, but its great wealth was handed over to Shishak. (1Ki 14:25, 26; 2Ch 12:2-9) A relief on a temple wall at Karnak depicts Shishak’s campaign and lists numerous cities in Israel and Judah as having been captured.

*** it-1 p. 951 Enemy Nations That Attacked Israel ***
Egypt 1Ki 14:25, 26; 2Ch 36:2-4

*** it-1 p. 952 Enemy Nations That Attacked Israel ***
[Picture on page 952]
Egyptian inscription boasting over the conquest of Judean cities by Pharaoh Shishak

(1 KINGS 14:29)

“And the rest of the history of Re•ho•boʹam, all that he did, is it not written in the book of the history of the times of the kings of Judah?”

*** w09 3/15 p. 32 Questions From Readers ***
On the other hand, certain references may be to books that have names similar to books of the Bible but that are not actually part of the Bible. We might illustrate this with four ancient books: “the book of the affairs of the times of the kings of Judah,” “the Book of the Kings of Judah and of Israel,” “the Book of the Kings of Israel,” and “the Book of the Kings of Israel and of Judah.” While those names may sound similar to the names of the Bible books we know as 1 Kings and 2 Kings, the four books were not inspired, nor do those books find a place in the Bible canon. (1 Ki. 14:29; 2 Chron. 16:11; 20:34; 27:7) They were likely just historical writings available back in the period when the prophet Jeremiah and Ezra wrote the accounts that we have in the Bible.

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