Solomon Moves the Ark into the Temple 1
Then Solomon convened in Jerusalem 2 Israel’s elders, all the leaders of the Israelite tribes and families, so they could witness the transferal of the ark of the Lord’s covenant from the city of David (that is, Zion). 3 8:2 All the men of Israel assembled before King Solomon during the festival 4 in the month Ethanim 5 (the seventh month). 8:3 When all Israel’s elders had arrived, the priests lifted the ark. 8:4 The priests and Levites carried the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, 6 and all the holy items in the tent. 7 8:5 Now King Solomon and all the Israelites who had assembled with him went on ahead of the ark and sacrificed more sheep and cattle than could be counted or numbered. 8
8:6 The priests brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its assigned 9 place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, in the most holy place, under the wings of the cherubs. 8:7 The cherubs’ wings extended over the place where the ark sat; the cherubs overshadowed the ark and its poles. 10 8:8 The poles were so long their ends were visible from the holy place in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from beyond that point. 11 They have remained there to this very day. 8:9 There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets Moses had placed there in Horeb. 12 It was there that 13 the Lord made an agreement with the Israelites after he brought them out of the land of Egypt. 8:10 Once the priests left the holy place, a cloud filled the Lord’s temple. 8:11 The priests could not carry out their duties 14 because of the cloud; the Lord’s glory filled his temple. 15
8:12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he lives in thick darkness. 8:13 O Lord, 16 truly I have built a lofty temple for you, a place where you can live permanently.” 8:14 Then the king turned around 17 and pronounced a blessing over the whole Israelite assembly as they stood there. 18 8:15 He said, “The Lord God of Israel is worthy of praise because he has fulfilled 19 what he promised 20 my father David. 8:16 He told David, 21 ‘Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from all the tribes of Israel to build a temple in which to live. 22 But I have chosen David to lead my people Israel.’ 8:17 Now my father David had a strong desire 23 to build a temple to honor the Lord God of Israel. 24 8:18 The Lord told my father David, ‘It is right for you to have a strong desire to build a temple to honor me. 25 8:19 But you will not build the temple; your very own son will build the temple for my honor.’ 26 8:20 The Lord has kept the promise he made. 27 I have taken my father David’s place and have occupied the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised. I have built this temple for the honor 28 of the Lord God of Israel 8:21 and set up in it a place for the ark containing the covenant the Lord made with our ancestors 29 when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”
Solomon Prays for Israel
8:22 Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward the sky. 30 8:23 He prayed: 31 “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven above or on earth below! You maintain covenantal loyalty 32 to your servants who obey you with sincerity. 33 8:24 You have kept your word to your servant, my father David; 34 this very day you have fulfilled what you promised. 35 8:25 Now, O Lord, God of Israel, keep the promise you made to your servant, my father David, when you said, ‘You will never fail to have a successor ruling before me on the throne of Israel, 36 provided that your descendants watch their step and serve me as you have done.’ 37 8:26 Now, O God of Israel, may the promise you made 38 to your servant, my father David, be realized. 39
8:27 “God does not really live on the earth! 40 Look, if the sky and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this temple I have built! 8:28 But respond favorably to 41 your servant’s prayer and his request for help, O Lord my God. Answer 42 the desperate prayer 43 your servant is presenting to you 44 today. 8:29 Night and day may you watch over this temple, the place where you promised you would live. 45 May you answer your servant’s prayer for this place. 46 8:30 Respond to the request of your servant and your people Israel for this place. 47 Hear from inside your heavenly dwelling place 48 and respond favorably. 49
8:31 “When someone is accused of sinning against his neighbor and the latter pronounces a curse on the alleged offender before your altar in this temple, be willing to forgive the accused if the accusation is false. 50 8:32 Listen from heaven and make a just decision about your servants’ claims. Condemn the guilty party, declare the other innocent, and give both of them what they deserve. 51
8:33 “The time will come when 52 your people Israel are defeated by an enemy 53 because they sinned against you. If they come back to you, renew their allegiance to you, 54 and pray for your help 55 in this temple, 8:34 then listen from heaven, forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.
8:35 “The time will come when 56 the skies are shut up tightly and no rain falls because your people 57 sinned against you. When they direct their prayers toward this place, renew their allegiance to you, 58 and turn away from their sin because you punish 59 them, 8:36 then listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Certainly 60 you will then teach them the right way to live 61 and send rain on your land that you have given your people to possess. 62
8:37 “The time will come when the land suffers from a famine, a plague, blight and disease, or a locust 63 invasion, or when their enemy lays siege to the cities of the land, 64 or when some other type of plague or epidemic occurs. 8:38 When all your people Israel pray and ask for help, 65 as they acknowledge their pain 66 and spread out their hands toward this temple, 8:39 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place, forgive their sin, 67 and act favorably toward each one based on your evaluation of his motives. 68 (Indeed you are the only one who can correctly evaluate the motives of all people.) 69 8:40 Then they will obey 70 you throughout their lifetimes as 71 they live on the land you gave to our ancestors.
8:41 “Foreigners, who do not belong to your people Israel, will come from a distant land because of your reputation. 72 8:42 When they hear about your great reputation 73 and your ability to accomplish mighty deeds, 74 they will come and direct their prayers toward this temple. 8:43 Then listen from your heavenly dwelling place and answer all the prayers of the foreigners. 75 Then all the nations of the earth will acknowledge your reputation, 76 obey 77 you like your people Israel do, and recognize that this temple I built belongs to you. 78
8:44 “When you direct your people to march out and fight their enemies, 79 and they direct their prayers to the Lord 80 toward his chosen city and this temple I built for your honor, 81 8:45 then listen from heaven to their prayers for help 82 and vindicate them. 83
8:46 “The time will come when your people 84 will sin against you (for there is no one who is sinless!) and you will be angry with them and deliver them over to their enemies, who will take them as prisoners to their own land, 85 whether far away or close by. 8:47 When your people 86 come to their senses 87 in the land where they are held prisoner, they will repent and beg for your mercy in the land of their imprisonment, admitting, ‘We have sinned and gone astray; 88 we have done evil.’ 8:48 When they return to you with all their heart and being 89 in the land where they are held prisoner, 90 and direct their prayers to you toward the land you gave to their ancestors, your chosen city, and the temple I built for your honor, 91 8:49 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place to their prayers for help 92 and vindicate them. 93 8:50 Forgive all the rebellious acts of your sinful people and cause their captors to have mercy on them. 94 8:51 After all, 95 they are your people and your special possession 96 whom you brought out of Egypt, from the middle of the iron-smelting furnace. 97
8:52 “May you be attentive 98 to your servant’s and your people Israel’s requests for help and may you respond to all their prayers to you. 99 8:53 After all, 100 you picked them out of all the nations of the earth to be your special possession, 101 just as you, O sovereign Lord, announced through your servant Moses when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt.”
8:54 When Solomon finished presenting all these prayers and requests to the Lord, he got up from before the altar of the Lord where he had kneeled and spread out his hands toward the sky. 102 8:55 When he stood up, he pronounced a blessing over the entire assembly of Israel, saying in a loud voice: 8:56 “The Lord is worthy of praise because he has made Israel his people secure 103 just as he promised! Not one of all the faithful promises he made through his servant Moses is left unfulfilled! 104 8:57 May the Lord our God be with us, as he was with our ancestors. May he not abandon us or leave us. 8:58 May he make us submissive, 105 so we can follow all his instructions 106 and obey 107 the commandments, rules, and regulations he commanded our ancestors. 8:59 May the Lord our God be constantly aware of these requests of mine I have presented to him, 108 so that he might vindicate 109 his servant and his people Israel as the need arises. 8:60 Then 110 all the nations of the earth will recognize that the Lord is the only genuine God. 111 8:61 May you demonstrate wholehearted devotion to the Lord our God 112 by following 113 his rules and obeying 114 his commandments, as you are presently doing.” 115
Solomon Dedicates the Temple
8:62 The king and all Israel with him were presenting sacrifices to the Lord. 8:63 Solomon offered as peace offerings 116 to the Lord 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. Then the king and all the Israelites dedicated the Lord’s temple. 8:64 That day the king consecrated the middle of the courtyard that is in front of the Lord’s temple. He offered there burnt sacrifices, grain offerings, and the fat from the peace offerings, because the bronze altar that stood before the Lord was too small to hold all these offerings. 117 8:65 At that time Solomon and all Israel with him celebrated a festival before the Lord our God for two entire weeks. This great assembly included people from all over the land, from Lebo Hamath in the north to the Brook of Egypt 118 in the south. 119 8:66 On the fifteenth day after the festival started, 120 he dismissed the people. They asked God to empower the king 121 and then went to their homes, happy and content 122 because of all the good the Lord had done for his servant David and his people Israel.
The Lord Gives Solomon a Promise and a Warning
9:1 After Solomon finished building the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and all the other construction projects he had planned, 123 9:2 the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, in the same way he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 124 9:3 The Lord said to him, “I have answered 125 your prayer and your request for help that you made to me. I have consecrated this temple you built by making it my permanent home; 126 I will be constantly present there. 127 9:4 You must serve me with integrity and sincerity, just as your father David did. Do everything I commanded and obey my rules and regulations. 128 9:5 Then I will allow your dynasty to rule over Israel permanently, 129 just as I promised your father David, ‘You will not fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ 130
9:6 “But if you or your sons ever turn away from me, fail to obey the regulations and rules I instructed you to keep, 131 and decide to serve and worship other gods, 132 9:7 then I will remove Israel from the land 133 I have given them, I will abandon this temple I have consecrated with my presence, 134 and Israel will be mocked and ridiculed 135 among all the nations. 9:8 This temple will become a heap of ruins; 136 everyone who passes by it will be shocked and will hiss out their scorn, 137 saying, ‘Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple?’ 9:9 Others will then answer, 138 ‘Because they abandoned the Lord their God, who led their ancestors 139 out of Egypt. They embraced other gods whom they worshiped and served. 140 That is why the Lord has brought all this disaster down on them.’”
Foreign Affairs and Building Projects
9:10 After twenty years, during which Solomon built the Lord’s temple and the royal palace, 141 9:11 King Solomon gave King Hiram of Tyre 142 twenty cities in the region of Galilee, because Hiram had supplied Solomon with cedars, evergreens, and all the gold he wanted. 9:12 When Hiram went out from Tyre to inspect the cities Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them. 143 9:13 Hiram asked, 144 “Why did you give me these cities, my friend 145 ?” He called that area the region of Cabul, a name which it has retained to this day. 146 9:14 Hiram had sent to the king one hundred twenty talents 147 of gold.
9:15 Here are the details concerning the work crews 148 King Solomon conscripted 149 to build the Lord’s temple, his palace, the terrace, the wall of Jerusalem, 150 and the cities of 151 Hazor, 152 Megiddo, 153 and Gezer. 9:16 (Pharaoh, king of Egypt, had attacked and captured Gezer. He burned it and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city. He gave it as a wedding present to his daughter, who had married Solomon.) 9:17 Solomon built up Gezer, lower Beth Horon, 9:18 Baalath, Tadmor in the wilderness, 154 9:19 all the storage cities that belonged to him, 155 and the cities where chariots and horses were kept. 156 He built whatever he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and throughout his entire kingdom. 157 9:20 Now several non-Israelite peoples were left in the land after the conquest of Joshua, including the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 158 9:21 Their descendants remained in the land (the Israelites were unable to wipe them out completely). Solomon conscripted them for his work crews, and they continue in that role to this very day. 159 9:22 Solomon did not assign Israelites to these work crews; 160 the Israelites served as his soldiers, attendants, officers, charioteers, and commanders of his chariot forces. 161 9:23 These men were also in charge of Solomon’s work projects; there were a total of 550 men who supervised the workers. 162 9:24 Solomon built the terrace as soon as Pharaoh’s daughter moved up from the city of David 163 to the palace Solomon built for her. 164
9:25 Three times a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings 165 on the altar he had built for the Lord, burning incense along with them before the Lord. He made the temple his official worship place. 166
9:26 King Solomon also built ships 167 in Ezion Geber, which is located near Elat in the land of Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea. 9:27 Hiram sent his fleet and some of his sailors, who were well acquainted with the sea, to serve with Solomon’s men. 168 9:28 They sailed 169 to Ophir, took from there four hundred twenty talents 170 of gold, and then brought them to King Solomon.
Solomon Entertains a Queen
10:1 When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon, 171 she came to challenge 172 him with difficult questions. 173 10:2 She arrived in Jerusalem 174 with a great display of pomp, 175 bringing with her camels carrying spices, 176 a very large quantity of gold, and precious gems. She visited Solomon and discussed with him everything that was on her mind. 10:3 Solomon answered all her questions; there was no question too complex for the king. 177 10:4 When the queen of Sheba saw for herself Solomon’s extensive wisdom, 178 the palace 179 he had built, 10:5 the food in his banquet hall, 180 his servants and attendants, 181 their robes, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings which he presented in the Lord’s temple, she was amazed. 182 10:6 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your wise sayings and insight 183 was true! 10:7 I did not believe these things until I came and saw them with my own eyes. Indeed, I didn’t hear even half the story! 184 Your wisdom and wealth 185 surpass what was reported to me. 10:8 Your attendants, who stand before you at all times and hear your wise sayings, are truly happy! 186 10:9 May the Lord your God be praised because he favored 187 you by placing you on the throne of Israel! Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he made you king so you could make just and right decisions.” 188 10:10 She gave the king 120 talents 189 of gold, a very large quantity of spices, and precious gems. The quantity of spices the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon has never been matched. 190 10:11 (Hiram’s fleet, which carried gold from Ophir, also brought from Ophir a very large quantity of fine timber and precious gems. 10:12 With the timber the king made supports 191 for the Lord’s temple and for the royal palace and stringed instruments 192 for the musicians. No one has seen so much of this fine timber to this very day. 193 ) 10:13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she requested, besides what he had freely offered her. 194 Then she left and returned 195 to her homeland with her attendants.
10:14 Solomon received 666 talents 196 of gold per year, 197 10:15 besides what he collected from the merchants, 198 traders, Arabian kings, and governors of the land. 10:16 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; 600 measures 199 of gold were used for each shield. 10:17 He also made three hundred small shields of hammered gold; three minas 200 of gold were used for each of these shields. The king placed them in the Palace of the Lebanon Forest. 201
10:18 The king made a large throne decorated with ivory and overlaid it with pure gold. 10:19 There were six steps leading up to the throne, and the back of it was rounded on top. The throne had two armrests with a statue of a lion standing on each side. 202 10:20 There were twelve statues of lions on the six steps, one lion at each end of each step. There was nothing like it in any other kingdom. 203
10:21 All of King Solomon’s cups were made of gold, and all the household items in the Palace of the Lebanon Forest were made of pure gold. There were no silver items, for silver was not considered very valuable in Solomon’s time. 204 10:22 Along with Hiram’s fleet, the king had a fleet of large merchant ships 205 that sailed the sea. Once every three years the fleet 206 came into port with cargoes of 207 gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. 208
10:23 King Solomon was wealthier and wiser than any of the kings of the earth. 209 10:24 Everyone 210 in the world wanted to visit Solomon to see him display his God-given wisdom. 211 10:25 Year after year visitors brought their gifts, which included items of silver, items of gold, clothes, perfume, spices, horses, and mules. 212
10:26 Solomon accumulated 213 chariots and horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He kept them in assigned cities and in Jerusalem. 214 10:27 The king made silver as plentiful 215 in Jerusalem as stones; cedar was 216 as plentiful as sycamore fig trees are in the lowlands. 217 10:28 Solomon acquired his horses from Egypt 218 and from Que; the king’s traders purchased them from Que. 10:29 They paid 600 silver pieces for each chariot from Egypt and 150 silver pieces for each horse. They also sold chariots and horses to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Syria. 219
The Lord Punishes Solomon for Idolatry
11:1 King Solomon fell in love with many foreign women (besides Pharaoh’s daughter), including Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. 11:2 They came from nations about which the Lord had warned the Israelites, “You must not establish friendly relations with them! 220 If you do, they will surely shift your allegiance to their gods.” 221 But Solomon was irresistibly attracted to them. 222
11:3 He had 700 royal wives 223 and 300 concubines; 224 his wives had a powerful influence over him. 225 11:4 When Solomon became old, his wives shifted his allegiance to 226 other gods; he was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his father David had been. 227 11:5 Solomon worshiped 228 the Sidonian goddess Astarte and the detestable Ammonite god Milcom. 229 11:6 Solomon did evil in the Lord’s sight; 230 he did not remain loyal to 231 the Lord, like his father David had. 11:7 Furthermore, 232 on the hill east of Jerusalem 233 Solomon built a high place 234 for the detestable Moabite god Chemosh 235 and for the detestable Ammonite god Milcom. 236 11:8 He built high places for all his foreign wives so they could burn incense and make sacrifices to their gods. 237
11:9 The Lord was angry with Solomon because he had shifted his allegiance 238 away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him on two occasions 239 11:10 and had warned him about this very thing, so that he would not follow other gods. 240 But he did not obey 241 the Lord’s command. 11:11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you insist on doing these things and have not kept the covenantal rules I gave you, 242 I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 11:12 However, for your father David’s sake I will not do this while you are alive. I will tear it away from your son’s hand instead. 11:13 But I will not tear away the entire kingdom; I will leave 243 your son one tribe for my servant David’s sake and for the sake of my chosen city Jerusalem.”
11:14 The Lord brought 244 against Solomon an enemy, Hadad the Edomite, a descendant of the Edomite king. 11:15 During David’s campaign against Edom, 245 Joab, the commander of the army, while on a mission to bury the dead, killed every male in Edom. 11:16 For six months Joab and the entire Israelite army 246 stayed there until they had exterminated every male in Edom. 247 11:17 Hadad, 248 who was only a small boy at the time, escaped with some of his father’s Edomite servants and headed for Egypt. 249 11:18 They went from Midian to Paran; they took some men from Paran and went to Egypt. Pharaoh, king of Egypt, supplied him with a house and food and even assigned him some land. 250 11:19 Pharaoh liked Hadad so well 251 he gave him his sister-in-law (Queen Tahpenes’ sister) as a wife. 252 11:20 Tahpenes’ sister gave birth to his son, 253 named Genubath. Tahpenes raised 254 him in Pharaoh’s palace; Genubath grew up in Pharaoh’s palace among Pharaoh’s sons. 11:21 While in Egypt Hadad heard that David had passed away 255 and that Joab, the commander of the army, was dead. So Hadad asked Pharaoh, “Give me permission to leave 256 so I can return to my homeland.” 11:22 Pharaoh said to him, “What do you lack here that makes you want to go to your homeland?” 257 Hadad replied, 258 “Nothing, but please give me permission to leave.” 259
11:23 God also brought against Solomon 260 another enemy, Rezon son of Eliada who had run away from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah. 11:24 He gathered some men and organized a raiding band. 261 When David tried to kill them, 262 they went to Damascus, where they settled down and gained control of the city. 11:25 He was Israel’s enemy throughout Solomon’s reign and, like Hadad, caused trouble. He loathed 263 Israel and ruled over Syria.
11:26 Jeroboam son of Nebat, one of Solomon’s servants, rebelled against 264 the king. He was an Ephraimite 265 from Zeredah whose mother was a widow named Zeruah. 11:27 This is what prompted him to rebel against the king: 266 Solomon built a terrace and he closed up a gap in the wall of the city of his father David. 267 11:28 Jeroboam was a talented man; 268 when Solomon saw that the young man was an accomplished worker, he made him the leader of the work crew from the tribe 269 of Joseph. 11:29 At that time, when Jeroboam had left Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the road; the two of them were alone in the open country. Ahijah 270 was wearing a brand new robe, 11:30 and he grabbed the robe 271 and tore it into twelve pieces. 11:31 Then he told Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces, for this is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘Look, I am about to tear the kingdom from Solomon’s hand and I will give ten tribes to you. 11:32 He will retain one tribe, for my servant David’s sake and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 11:33 I am taking the kingdom from him 272 because they have 273 abandoned me and worshiped the Sidonian goddess Astarte, the Moabite god Chemosh, and the Ammonite god Milcom. They have not followed my instructions 274 by doing what I approve and obeying my rules and regulations, like Solomon’s father David did. 275 11:34 I will not take the whole kingdom from his hand. I will allow him to be ruler for the rest of his life for the sake of my chosen servant David who kept my commandments and rules. 11:35 I will take the kingdom from the hand of his son and give ten tribes to you. 276 11:36 I will leave 277 his son one tribe so my servant David’s dynasty may continue to serve me 278 in Jerusalem, the city I have chosen as my home. 279 11:37 I will select 280 you; you will rule over all you desire to have and you will be king over Israel. 11:38 You must obey 281 all I command you to do, follow my instructions, 282 do what I approve, 283 and keep my rules and commandments, like my servant David did. Then I will be with you and establish for you a lasting dynasty, as I did for David; 284 I will give you Israel. 11:39 I will humiliate David’s descendants because of this, 285 but not forever.” 286 11:40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam escaped to Egypt and found refuge with King Shishak of Egypt. 287 He stayed in Egypt until Solomon died.
Solomon’s Reign Ends
11:41 The rest of the events of Solomon’s reign, including all his accomplishments and his wise decisions, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of Solomon. 288 11:42 Solomon ruled over all Israel from Jerusalem 289 for forty years. 11:43 Then Solomon passed away 290 and was buried in the city of his father David. 291 His son Rehoboam replaced him as king. 292
Rehoboam Loses His Kingdom
12:1 Rehoboam traveled to Shechem, for all Israel had gathered in 293 Shechem to make Rehoboam 294 king. 12:2 295 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard the news, he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon and had been living ever since. 296 12:3 They sent for him, 297 and Jeroboam and the whole Israelite assembly came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 12:4 “Your father made us work too hard. 298 Now if you lighten the demands he made and don’t make us work as hard, we will serve you.” 299 12:5 He said to them, “Go away for three days, then return to me.” So the people went away.
12:6 King Rehoboam consulted with the older advisers who had served 300 his father Solomon when he had been alive. He asked them, 301 “How do you advise me to answer these people?” 12:7 They said to him, “Today if you show a willingness to help these people and grant their request, they will be your servants from this time forward.” 302 12:8 But Rehoboam rejected their advice and consulted the young advisers who served him, with whom he had grown up. 303 12:9 He asked them, “How do you advise me 304 to respond to these people who said to me, ‘Lessen the demands your father placed on us’?” 305 12:10 The young advisers with whom Rehoboam 306 had grown up said to him, “Say this to these people who have said to you, ‘Your father made us work hard, but now lighten our burden.’ 307 Say this to them: ‘I am a lot harsher than my father! 308 12:11 My father imposed heavy demands on you; I will make them even heavier. 309 My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.’” 310
12:12 Jeroboam and all the people reported 311 to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had ordered when he said, “Return to me on the third day.” 12:13 The king responded to the people harshly. He rejected the advice of the older men 12:14 and followed 312 the advice of the younger ones. He said, “My father imposed heavy demands on you; I will make them even heavier. 313 My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.” 314 12:15 The king refused to listen to the people, because the Lord was instigating this turn of events 315 so that he might bring to pass the prophetic announcement he had made 316 through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat.
12:16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, the people answered the king, “We have no portion in David, no share in the son of Jesse! 317 Return to your homes, O Israel! 318 Now, look after your own dynasty, O David!” 319 So Israel returned to their homes. 320 12:17 (Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah.) 12:18 King Rehoboam sent Adoniram, 321 the supervisor of the work crews, 322 out after them, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam managed to jump into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 323 12:19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the Davidic dynasty to this very day. 12:20 When all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they summoned him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. No one except the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the Davidic dynasty. 324
12:21 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he summoned 180,000 skilled warriors from all of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin 325 to attack Israel and restore the kingdom to Rehoboam son of Solomon. 12:22 But God told Shemaiah the prophet, 326 12:23 “Say this to King Rehoboam son of Solomon of Judah, and to all Judah and Benjamin, as well as the rest of the people, 12:24 ‘The Lord says this: “Do not attack and make war with your brothers, the Israelites. Each of you go home, for I have caused this to happen.”’” 327 They obeyed the Lord and went home as the Lord had ordered them to do. 328 12:25
Jeroboam Makes Golden Calves 329
Jeroboam built up Shechem in the Ephraimite hill country and lived there. From there he went out and built up Penuel. 12:26 Jeroboam then thought to himself: 330 “Now the Davidic dynasty could regain the kingdom. 331 12:27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem, 332 their loyalty could shift to their former master, 333 King Rehoboam of Judah. They might kill me and return to King Rehoboam of Judah.” 12:28 After the king had consulted with his advisers, 334 he made two golden calves. Then he said to the people, 335 “It is too much trouble for you to go up to Jerusalem. Look, Israel, here are your gods who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” 12:29 He put one in Bethel 336 and the other in Dan. 12:30 This caused Israel to sin; 337 the people went to Bethel and Dan to worship the calves. 338
12:31 He built temples 339 on the high places and appointed as priests people who were not Levites. 12:32 Jeroboam inaugurated a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, 340 like the festival celebrated in Judah. 341 On the altar in Bethel he offered sacrifices to the calves he had made. 342 In Bethel he also appointed priests for the high places he had made.
A Prophet from Judah Visits Bethel
12:33 On the fifteenth day of the eighth month (a date he had arbitrarily chosen) 343 Jeroboam 344 offered sacrifices on the altar he had made in Bethel. 345 He inaugurated a festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to offer sacrifices.