1 Kings 14
Jeroboam, condemned by God
The queen’s secret mission1A short time later, King Jeroboam’s son Abijah, got sick. 2The king told his wife, “I want you to disguise yourself and go to Shiloh. Find Ahijah, the prophet who predicted I would be king.  3Take him some gifts: 10 loaves of bread, a few of those little sweet cakes, and a jug of honey. Then ask him about our son. He’ll tell you what’s going to happen.” 4Jeroboam’s wife went to Ahijah’s house in Shiloh. The prophet was old and blind by this time. 5But the LORD had told him, “Jeroboam’s wife will be coming to ask you about her son. He is sick. She will pretend she’s another woman. So, here’s what I want you to say.” And God gave him the message. 6Ahijah heard her footsteps when she stepped inside. He said, “Come on in. Jeroboam’s wife is welcome here. Why are you pretending to be someone else? I have some heavy news for you to carry home.
God’s message for the king7Here’s what you need to tell Jeroboam. Tell him this message comes from the LORD, the God of Israel: ‘I picked you out of the vast crowd and made you leader of my people, Israel. 8I tore a huge part of the kingdom away from David’s family. His children weren’t like David, and neither are you. David obeyed the law. He stayed devoted to me with all his heart. He wanted nothing more than to please me. 9You’ve got more evil in you than all the evil people who ever lived. You invented your own gods, stuck them in a mold, and turned them into statues. You made me angry, and you made me your enemy. 10I’m going to toss you out like yesterday’s trash. No male under your roof will survive—sons or slaves, it won’t matter which. Your family dynasty will disappear like dried manure thrown into a fire. 11If your people die in the city, their bodies will feed the dogs. If they die in fields, birds will pick them apart.’
God’s message for the queen12Now go back home to your family. When you step foot into the city, your son will die. 13People throughout Israel will mourn him and bury him. But he is the only person in your family who will be buried. He’s the only decent one among you. 14The LORD will produce another king. That king will erase Jeroboam’s family. Soon. Very soon. 15The LORD is going to shake Israel like a reed in a river. Then he’s going to rip their roots right out of this ground that he gave their ancestors. He’s going to heave the whole lot of them out of here. He’s going to scatter them clear across the far side of the Euphrates River. When they raised those pagan poles,  they enraged the LORD. 16God will leave Israel because of Jeroboam’s sins and the sins he caused Israel to commit.” 17Jeroboam’s wife returned to their home in Tirzah.  When she stepped into the house, her son died. 18The people of Israel mourned for him and buried him, just like the LORD said, through the prophet Ahijah.
Jeroboam dies19For more on the story of Jeroboam’s reign and his wars, look in the History of Israel’s Kings.  20He ruled Israel for 22 years. Then he died and his son Nadad took over as king. 
King Rehoboam’s story in Judah21Solomon’s son Rehoboam was 41 years old when he became king. He ruled Judah for 17 years. He kept Jerusalem as his capital. This was the one city in all Israel and Judah that God chose to most associate with his name. This is where his people came to worship. Rehoboam’s mother was Naamah, from the nation of Ammon.  22Judah chose evil over God. That made God jealous. The sins of this generation were worse than those of all the ancestors combined. 23The people of Judah built shrines with pillars and pagan poles. And they put them high and low, on hilltops and under shade trees all over the land. 24They created an order of sacred prostitution, with priests providing that repulsive service and calling it worship.  The people practiced all the sins of the pagan nation who had lived there before them.
Egypt’s King Shishak takes Jerusalem25During the fifth year of King Rehoboam’s reign, Egypt’s King Shishak  invaded and attacked Jerusalem. 26He stole everything of value from the Temple.  And he took the golden shields  Solomon had made. 27Rehoboam replaced the shields, but he used bronze instead of gold. And he ordered the royal palace guards at the front door to keep them safe. 28Whenever the king went to the Temple, the guards who escorted him brought the shields with them. When they returned, they stored the shields in a guarded room. 29The rest of Rehoboam’s story is preserved in the History of Judah’s Kings.  30Rehoboam of Judah and Jeroboam of Israel remained in a constant state of war. 31Rehoboam died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David.  He was Solomon’s son with Naamah, a woman from Ammon. His son Abijam became the next king.
1 Kings 11:30.
Known as Asherah poles. These may have been trees or poles meant to represent trees, as symbols of a Canaanite fertility goddess known as Asherah, goddess of motherhood. She was the love interest of Baal, chief god of the people who lived in Canaan, now known as Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
Tirzah was a city in what is now the Palestinian Territory of the West Bank. Archaeologists identify it with Tel el-Far’ah North. It’s roughly 6 miles (10 km) north of Shechem and 35 miles (60 km) north of Jerusalem.
A lost book apparently filled with more details about the Israelite kings. Some scholars say they consider this and the History of Judah’s Kings (14:29) lost books of the Bible.
For all God’s buildup on the horror Jeroboam should expect in his life, this ending is a shocking letdown. We expect to see dogs eating bodies in the street, but there’s nothing unusual reported: the king died and his son took over. The son’s reign lasted only about a year. One of his commanders, Baasha, murdered him and became king for about the next 25 years. Jeroboam’s dynasty was little more than one and done.
The mention of Ammon here and in verse 31 reads like a complaint. Ammonites had been perpetual enemies of the Jewish people. It was that way ever since the time Israelites returned from slavery in Egypt and began resettling in what was then called Canaan, today’s Israel and Palestinian Territories (Judges 3:13; 10:8). When King Solomon married an Ammon woman and built a sanctuary to the god Chemosh on the Mount of Olives, he legitimized this idolatry for about 400 years. Israel’s idolatry, the prophets said, would be why God would allow invaders to wipe the Jewish nation off the political map. Babylonians from what is now Iraq did that in 586 BC. The god’s name shows up in a Canaanite inscription chiseled into a stone record known as the Mesha Stele or the Moabites Stone, from the 800’s BC. It’s on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Some scholars say this likely refers to Canaanite rituals involving the god Baal. Baal was considered a god of fertility in family, flocks, and fields. Some scholars say the idea behind one worship ritual was to entertain Baal by letting him watch people have sex. They did this so he would make it rain. It’s a tad gross, but some taught that the rain was Baal’s semen. So, if the sex of worshipers got Baal stimulated enough, he would make it rain in this predominately dry part of the world. Priests apparently served as sacred prostitutes assigned to helping worshipers please their god.
King Shishak, usually linked with Pharaoh Shoshenq I, allied himself with King Jeroboam of Israel instead of Rehoboam of Judah. Some of his war records were found, with lists of Judean cities he conquered. Jerusalem isn’t among them. Bible writers say he attacked with too many soldiers to count, a cavalry of 60,000, and a chariot corps of 1,200 (2 Chronicles 12).
This could have been when the Israelites lost their most sacred relic, the chest with the stones of the Ten Commandments. The gold-covered chest is also known as the Ark of The Covenant.
1 Kings 10:16.
See the note for 14:19.
The City of David was the original part of town before Solomon expanded up the hill to add the Temple and palace complexes.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.