- A Withered Hand
- Jeroboam's End
- References and Footnotes
- Other Pages to View
Rehoboam and Jeroboam warred with each other during the entirety of their respective rules . Both kings also led their territory of the kingdom into idolatry.
Rehoboam takes the throne of Judah when he is 41 years old and rules for 17 years. His mother was an Ammonite named Naamah. Rehoboam leads the people into idolatry and causes them to worship at false altars. The kingdom is also overtaken by “sodomites.” Sodomite refers to male prostitutes that were associated with pagan worship of the area.
Due to their idolatry and allowance of idolatry, the nation is left weak and vulnerable. Egypt takes advantage of this and mounts a successful attack. The Egyptians steal all of the treasures from the Temple and from Solomon's house. In this loss of wealth, Rehoboam has to replace the original gold shields his father had installed with brass. When Rehoboam dies, his son Abijam takes over.
Jeroboam also leads the his portion of the kingdom into idolatry. God sends a message to Jeroboam through a prophet that this idolatry will not stand. A man from David's line, named Josiah, is prophesied to desecrate the pagan altar Jeroboam has constructed with human remains. God even gives a sign to confirm the prophecy after it is spoken.
A Withered Hand
One sign God gives is to wither the hand of Jeroboam. Jeroboam asks the prophet to intercede so that his hand may return to normal and the prophet obliges. At the prophet's request, Jeroboam's hand is restored to normal. This should have put the fear of God into Jeroboam's heart, but just as it happens today, his gratitude was short lived. Jeroboam offers a reward to the prophet for his service, but the prophet refuses. The prophet explains that God has commanded him not to eat bread, drink wine, or return the same way he came. Likely, God didn't want the prophet to let his guard down or the people to view the act of him breaking bread with Jeroboam as a sanctioning of their idolatry. Instead, the prophet was to exit leaving them to think on their sins.
The prophet was on his way home when an old prophet sent after him. The old prophet offers him bread and wine, just as the king had. When the old prophet receives the same rejection the king received, he lies to the younger prophet and claims an angel has told him to bring the prophet to his home and feed him. Swayed, the younger prophet disobeys God's order and eats with the old prophet. During this time, God reveals to the prophet that he will die for his disobedience. The young prophet is slain by a lion on his way back. The old prophet mourns for this loss and takes over the obligation of burying the body. The old prophet requests that when he die, he be buried there as well.
This is a reminder that when we lie to people, we can cause them to falter. We should never persuade people to do the wrong thing, especially under the false pretense that God said it was ok. Also, when we have heard God clearly, we should not heed contradictory messages from others.
After his encounter, Jeroboam returns to sin and continues to appoint priests from non-Levites.
When one of Jeroboam's son is sick and ailing, he sends his wife, in disguise, to Ahijah. Ahijah was the same prophet that had foretold his kingship. Although Ahijah has lost his vision because of his age, God reveals the woman as Jeroboam's wife. Ahijah confirms that Jeroboam's sins will cause him to lose the kingdom and the child will die. Although God allows the boy to die, He grants a peaceful death him because He had seen something good the boy.
Jeroboam reigns for 22 years before he dies. When he dies, one of his other sons (Nadab) replaces him as king.
References and Footnotes
- "1 Kings 14:24 Commentary." BibleHub.com; visited January 2017
- Fun fact: Naamah is also the name of a woman from Cain’s lineage; she is the daughter of Lamech, the first man confirmed to be in a polygamous relationship. (Genesis 4:22)
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