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Tuesday, May 27 2014

1 Kings 14: The First Kings Of Israel and Judah

"There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days"

The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) divided the united kingdom of Israel into "Israel" and "Judah" as a punishment for King Solomon's idolatry (see What Caused Solomon's Idolatry?). From that time on, Israel and Judah were completely independent countries, each with their own king (see Kings of Israel and Judah and When Will The United Kingdom Be Restored?).

The last king of the united kingdom of Israel, Rehoboam of the tribe of Judah, became the first king of the Kingdom of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah). At the same time, the first king of the Kingdom of Israel was Jeroboam, who happened to be of the tribe of Ephraim (see Jeroboam Of Israel). Their political relationship never improved after their separation: "There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days."

While Jeroboam had every opportunity and advantage to be a good king in the eyes of the LORD, he freely chose (see The Kingdom Of Freedom) to be a corrupt idol worshiper. The result was self-inflicted strife for Jeroboam at every level.

The Division of The Kingdom under Rehoboam

"14:1 At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. 14:2 And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people. 14:3 And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child. 14:4 And Jeroboam's wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah.

But Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age. 14:5 And the LORD said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son; for he is sick: thus and thus shalt thou say unto her: for it shall be, when she cometh in, that she shall feign herself to be another woman." (1 Kings 14:1-5 KJV)

The LORD had given Jeroboam a kingdom ("I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel") but Jeroboam had used his mandate to do "evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images." Jeroboam had led the rebellion against Solomon's corruption, but like most revolutionaries, he soon became just as corrupt as the one he opposed (the saying that "power corrupts" has been proven correct with many carnal-minded people).

"14:6 And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings. 14:7 Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel, 14:8 And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes; 14:9 But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:

14:10 Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone. 14:11 Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it.

14:12 Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die. 14:13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

14:14 Moreover the LORD shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day: but what? even now. 14:15 For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger. 14:16 And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin." (1 Kings 14:6-16 KJV)

Tirzah was one of the capital cities of Israel (see the Fact Finder question below).

Israel and Judah

"14:17 And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: and when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died;

14:18 And they buried him; and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by the hand of his servant Ahijah the prophet." (1 Kings 14:17-18 KJV)

Jeroboam reigned for twenty two years. Although the kingdom survived him, for a while, until the LORD had it destroyed by the Assyrians (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes), the memory of Jeroboam itself became a perpetual saying for corruption e.g "16:26 For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin, to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger with their vanities." (1 Kings 16:26 KJV).

"14:19 And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred, and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

14:20 And the days which Jeroboam reigned were two and twenty years: and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 14:19-20 KJV)

Rehoboam was in many ways a mirror image of Jeroboam. During his reign, Judah was filled with idolatry ("they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree") and sodomy ("there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel"). Ironically, the united kingdom was divided for that very reason, but both new kingdoms descended into depravity "above all that their fathers had done."

"14:21 And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah.

Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess.

14:22 And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. 14:23 For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.

14:24 And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel." (1 Kings 14:21-24 KJV)

The Temple built by Solomon was later destroyed by the Babylonians, but the first to plunder some of it was Shishak, the king of Egypt (the word "Pharaoh originally referred to the Egyptian king's palace, but later came to be used for the king himself). Rehoboam's reign was also filled with self-inflicted strife.

"14:25 And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem: 14:26 And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made.

14:27 And king Rehoboam made in their stead brasen shields, and committed them unto the hands of the chief of the guard, which kept the door of the king's house. 14:28 And it was so, when the king went into the house of the LORD, that the guard bare them, and brought them back into the guard chamber.

14:29 Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

14:30 And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days.

14:31 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 14:25-31 KJV)

Fact Finder: What cities were capitals of Israel and Judah? When did Jerusalem become a capital city?
See The Capitals Of Israel and 2 Samuel 5: How Long Was Jerusalem The Capital Of Israel?


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This Day In History, May 27

893: Simeon I of was proclaimed Emperor of the first Bulgarian empire.

927: The Battle of the Bosnian Highlands; the Croatian army under King Tomislav defeated the Bulgarian Army.

1153: Malcolm IV was coronated as King of Scotland.

New Amsterdam 1199: John, the youngest of five sons of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, was crowned King of England.

1328: Philip VI was coronated as King of France.

1564: John Calvin, prominent in the Protestant Reformation, died in Geneva.

1647: Peter Stuyvesant was inaugurated as the governor of New Amsterdam (it was later renamed New York when the English took the city from the Dutch).

1679: The English Parliament passed the Habeas Corpus Act, protecting citizens against false arrest and imprisonment. The main principles of the act were later incorporated into the U.S. Constitution.

1703: Czar Peter ("Peter the Great") founded the city of St. Petersburg as Russia's new capital.

1860: Giuseppe Garibaldi took Palermo in Sicily in his move to unite Italy.

1883: Alexander III was crowned Tsar of Russia.

1896: A tornado struck St. Louis, Missouri and East Saint Louis, Illinois killing 255 people and causing billions of dollars of damage.

1905: Nearly the entire Russian European Baltic fleet, that had sailed halfway around the world to the straits separating Korea and Japan, was sunk by the Japanese at the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War.

1907: A bubonic plague outbreak struck San Francisco, California.

1918: The Third Battle of the Aisne in France during the First World War. The battle lasted 8 days. The German operation, otherwise known as "The Battle of the Chemin des Dames" was briefly successful, but was stopped by the allies.

1926: A combined French and Spanish force of 250,000 men defeated independence Arab forces under Abd el-Krim in North Africa.

1927: The Ford Motor Company replaced the "Model T" with the "Model A."

1964: Jawaharial Nehru, Prime Minister of India, died at age 75.

1994: Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia after spending two decades in exile.

1999: The International Criminal Tribunal indicted Slobodan Milosevic and four others for war crimes in Kosovo.





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