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man of God besought the Lord, and the king's' hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.
And the king said unto the man of God, come home with .me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward,
And the man of God said unto the king, If thou". wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, nei. ther will I eat bread, nor drink water in this place.... 2. For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD,
saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou .camest. So he went another way, and returned not by the
way that he came to Beth-el.
After this thing, Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people, priests
of the high-places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, 9 and he became one of the priests of the high places.. 2. And this thing became, sin unto the house of Jero
boam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth.
At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick.
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.
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.
And Jeroboam's wife did 80, and arose and went to Shi. loh, and came to the house of Ahijah : but Ahijaḥ could not see, for his eyes were set by reason of his
age. 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.
And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, and 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..
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,
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, 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
ananas behind thy back :
Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every man, 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.
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. : Arise thou, therefore, get thee to thine own house : and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die.
And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him ; for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there iş found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam,
Moreover, the LORD shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day ; For the Lord shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in L 5
the waters and He shall root up Israet 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.
And he shall give Israel up, because of the sin of Jero. boam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin.
And Jeroboam's wife arose; and departed, and eame to Tirzah : apd when she came to the threshold of the door the child died.
And they buried him, and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake big the hand of his servant A hijah the prophet.
And the days which Jeroboam reigned, were two and twenty years : and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in kis stead.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. Jeroboam soon forgot the admonitions of the prophet, and brought the curse of God upon himself by the abominable practice of idolatry. It seems that he apprehended Rehoboam would have the advantage, and eftice the people back to himself, if they continued to resort to the Temple at JERÚSALEM ; he therefore studied for an expedient to prevent them.'
In Solomon's reign the people built them high places on every high hill, and under every green tree; and did according to all the abominations of the nations, which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel; so they were easily induced to forsake the Lord.
Jeroboam knew that he had not the means to build a temple to vie with that of Solomon, but something he thought he must do to prevent the desertion of his people. Having resided for a long time in Egypt, he wished to form an alliance with that country, with a view to trengthen his power. Among their numerous idols the
Egyptians had two oxén which they worshipped one at he elty of Memphis called Apis, the other at Hierapolit, called Mnepis. That he might therefore gain the favour of his peoples Jeroboam made idols in the forth of these oxen, and placed them likewise in different parts of his kingdoin. Dan was farrous, in the time of Meali, for his Teraphim; and Bethel was esteemed a sacred place oh account of Jacob's tision of the ladder, and the Lord's frequent appearanice to him. By setting up his golden calves in these places, which had long been esteettied sacred, Jeroboam contrived at once to please the Egyptians; and to gratify his owh subjects.
Zoan, the city at which the new race of Egyptian king's resided, was not far from the borders of Canaan. It was the interest of former kings to be upok good terms with David's race; But Bhishak had cause to fear, that Solomon's soft would be ready to join the deposed family in Egypt; for this reason it was politic för him to encourage Jeroboam, who appeared to be an usurper also.
All the order of priests and Levites adhered to the Temple service, by which they drew the displeasure of Jeroboam upon them, and having occasion for ministers, he chose such as we réad of. This was a great act of presumption, but Jeroboam stopt at nothing to effect his am. bitious purposes ; for, without thė least regard to the orde hances of the LORD, he instituted neru festivals ; so that he totally subverted the public worship, and the people pludged themselves Keadlong into the grossest idolatry, and entirely forsook the LORD, but, in his infinite mercy, the LORD vouchsafed to call them to repentance, by sendo ing a prophet, and working sứch miracles ás must have converted them, if they had not hardened their hearts.
The mercy of God was shewn to Jeroboam in warning hink of the destruction he would bring on his family; and also to his son, the good young Abijah, by taking him
into a happier state : his death, which was a punishment to the parent, was a blessing to the child, by removing him to a better world. :s
The LORD threatened, by the mouth of His prophet, that," he would give Israel up, because of the sin of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin,” We must not from this suppose, that Israel would have been punished for the wickedness of their sovereign, if the people had adhered to their duty. They well knew that Jeroboam's proceedings were directly contrary to the law of Gon; yet they willingly made themselves partakers of his crime, and therefore deserved to be given up. It is called Jeroboam's sin, because he introduced it; but the people must have been inclined to idolatry, or they would not have been so easily influenced by him.
Jeroboam and the Israelites were as undeserving as the people of Judah of God's favour ; and one is lost in admi. ration of the divine forbearance, that they were suffered to remain on the face of the earth ?
The prediction, which the prophet delivered respecting Josiah, was a very remarkable one, and it was afterwards exactly accomplished *. We are told, that the young prophet who spake it came to a very untimely end; for he suffered himself to be persuaded by another prophet, who pretended to be also inspired, to go to his house, instead of obeying the Lord's commands, which the young prophet had himself received by divine iuspiration : to punish him for thus inconsiderately preferring the word of a man to the word of God, he was torn to pieces by a lion. (to save him from which he was perhaps directed to return home another way). This punishment appears very severe, because it seems that the young prophet really thought the old prophet spake truth ; but we may suppose God permitted him to be slain for a warning to * 1 Kings 'xjii. 20. &c.