Don’t be a Jeroboam

And it came to pass, when he reigned, that he smote all of the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite: Because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, by his provocation wherewith he provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger. 1 Kings 15:29-30

Jeroboam was the first king of the northern kingdom after the civil war in which Israel divided into two kingdoms. Jeroboam initially was part of Yahweh God’s plan, but he made some poor decisions which caused him to eventually be an enemy of God. There are many references to Jeroboam, even after his death. These references usually say something like this:

2Ki 15:8 In the thirty and eighth year of Azariah king of Judah did Zachariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria six months.
2Ki 15:9 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his fathers had done: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.

2Ki 15:17 In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria.
2Ki 15:18 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.

2Ki 15:23 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years.
2Ki 15:24 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.

2Ki 15:27 In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years.
2Ki 15:28 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.

There are different ways to distinguish people from one another so they are not confused with anyone else. Today, we have first and last names, addresses and numbers issued by governments to distinguish our identities. Twenty-five hundred years ago, a person’s name was often followed the name of their father, much like Jeroboam the son of Nebat. This was obviously done to set them apart from anyone with the same name, so the person could say, “I mean this certain Jeroboam”. How would you like a key identifier in your name to be recorded in scripture as Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin? This tells us what Jeroboam did was very bad in the sight of Yahweh, so bad, that the sins of the people for years to come, would be identified by what Jeroboam did.

Jeroboam started out as part of Yahweh’s plan, and Jeroboam, for the most part had good intentions. He is introduced when Solomon is still king over a united, twelve tribe kingdom.

1Ki 11:28 And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.

The house of Joseph referred to, is Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph’s sons, which usually refers to the tribes of the northern kingdom. Unfortunately, some will immediately think of the LDS church with this type of terminology, but the book of Kings predates that theological system, and Joseph Smith, by more than a couple thousand years. If that holds anyone back from understanding the truth, remember that deception is mixed with a lot of truth to make it believable and deceptive at the same time. As we read on, Jeroboam is picked by Yahweh to be a leader.

1Ki 11:29 And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field:
1Ki 11:30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces:
1Ki 11:31 And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:
1Ki 11:32 (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:)
1Ki 11:33 Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father
1Ki 11:34 Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant’s sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes:
1Ki 11:35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.
1Ki 11:36 And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.
1Ki 11:37 And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel.
1Ki 11:38 And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.

1Ki 11:39 And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever.
1Ki 11:40 Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
1Ki 11:41 And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?
1Ki 11:42 And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years.
1Ki 11:43 And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.

These verses have huge impact on history. Yahweh gave Jeroboam ten tribes from Solomon, because Solomon sinned by using symbols of foreign gods, setting up altars to foreign gods and did not follow Yahweh’s instructions or walk in his ways. Here is all Jeroboam had to do to be successful: “if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee”.

Jeroboam didn’t have to be shamed forever by having the reputation of causing Israel to sin. The northern kingdom of Israel did not need to be scattered among the nations of the Earth, and Yahweh may have brought the split kingdom back together again if Jeroboam was obedient. What did Jeroboam do that was so grievous to God?

1Ki 12:25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel.
1Ki 12:26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:
1Ki 12:27 If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.
1Ki 12:28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
1Ki 12:29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.
1Ki 12:30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.

Jeroboam was afraid that if the people he was leader over followed Yahweh’s instructions to return to Jerusalem three times a year for the feasts of Yahweh God, they would become loyal to the king of the southern kingdom, Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, and he would lose his power. The logical thing in his mind was to make his own feast day to Yahweh, on a day Yahweh did not command, and make some golden calves to go along with it, at places Yahweh did not command, so everyone could stay close to home. Much like people today, Jeroboam did not study or know scripture, so he did not remember what happened when Aaron tried the same thing while Moses was on Mount Horeb receiving the Ten Commandments.

Exo 32:3 And all the people took off the rings of gold that were on their ears and brought it to Aaron.
Exo 32:4 And he took from their hand, and he shaped it with a tool, and he made it a cast-image bull calf, and they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”
Exo 32:5 And Aaron saw, and he built an altar before it, and Aaron called, and he said, “A feast for Yahweh tomorrow.”
Exo 32:6 And they started early the next day, and they offered burnt offerings, and they presented fellowship offerings, and the people sat to eat and drink, and they rose up to revel.

Something I never realized until a few years ago, is that in Exodus chapter 32 verse 5, Aaron and the people were using the golden calf to represent Yahweh. In verse 4, the Hebrew word there for gods is Strong’s H433, Eloheem, which can refer to Yahweh, capital G God, or simply gods. Based on verse 5, it clearly is referring to Eloheem capital G God, Yahweh, hence the confusion associated with this story. The same word is used in first Kings 12:28, which shows Jeroboam was using the calves like Aaron, to represent Yahweh.

Jeroboam makes the same mistake and sets up his phoney feast day for Yahweh out of complete ignorance of scripture and the nature of the creator of the cosmos. What does this say about our feast days, with all the symbolism of the gods of the nations described throughout scripture, and that the whole world embraces along with us? Just a question.

Jeroboam does not stop there though. It looks like idolatry with good intentions will lead to more idolatry. When a person, or group of people, justify breaking one of Yahweh’s commandments, it leads them down the path to break them all, then completely forget them. At some point down this path, one begins worshipping a different god or gods, strange gods, and is no longer worshipping Yahweh.

1Ki 12:31 And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.
1Ki 12:32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.
1Ki 12:33 So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.

What was Jeroboam’s great sin that gave him the name Jeroboam, son of Nebat, the one who made Israel sin? He devised a feast day in his own heart, a holy day, that was not ordained by Yahweh in scripture, along with making an image of Yahweh and worshipping it. This lead him down the path of worshipping all the foreign gods of the nations that Yahweh specifically commanded us not to do. Here is how it ended for Jeroboam, and ultimately the prophecy came to pass and the Northern Kingdom was scattered among the nations, given over to the gods they worshipped.

1Ki 14:1 At that time, Abijah son of Jeroboam became ill.
1Ki 14:2 Jeroboam said to his wife, “Please get up and disguise yourself so that they will not know that you are the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh. Look, Ahijah the prophet is there, and he spoke concerning me before I became king over this people.
1Ki 14:3 You must take ten loaves of bread in your hand and cakes and a jar of honey, and you must go to him. He shall tell you what will happen to the boy.”
1Ki 14:4 The wife of Jeroboam did so. She got up, went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. Now Ahijah was not able to see, for his eyes were fixed because of his old age.
1Ki 14:5 Then Yahweh said to Ahijah, “Look, the wife of Jeroboam is coming to seek a word from you about her son, for he is ill. Thus and so you shall say to her. When she comes, she will be disguising herself.”
1Ki 14:6 It happened at the moment Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps coming through the doorway, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why are you making yourself unrecognizable? I have been sent a hard message for you:
1Ki 14:7 Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says Yahweh the God of Israel: “Because I raised you from the midst of the people and I made you leader over my people Israel,
1Ki 14:8 I tore the kingdom from the house of David and I gave it to you. But you were not like my servant David who kept my commandments, and who went after me with all his heart, to do only what is right in my eyes.
1Ki 14:9 But you did more evil than all who were before you. You have gone and made for yourself other gods and molten idols to provoke me, but me you have completely disregarded.
1Ki 14:10 Therefore, look, I am about to bring disaster upon the house of Jeroboam, and I will cut off males from Jeroboam, bond or free, in Israel. I will burn after the house of Jeroboam as one burns after the manure, until it is finished.
1Ki 14:11 He who dies for Jeroboam in the city, the dogs will eat. He who dies in the open field, the birds from the heavens will eat, for Yahweh has spoken it.”‘
1Ki 14:12 As for you, get up. Go to your house. When your feet enter the city, the child will die.

1Ki 14:13 All of Israel will mourn for him, and they will bury him. This one alone will come to a tomb for Jeroboam, because a good thing has been found in him by Yahweh the God of Israel in the house of Israel.
1Ki 14:14 Yahweh will raise up a king for himself over Israel who will even now cut off the house of Jeroboam this day.
1Ki 14:15 Yahweh will strike Israel as one shakes the reed plant in the water, and he will root Israel up from this good land that he gave to their ancestors. He will scatter them beyond the River because they have made their sacred poles which are provoking Yahweh.
1Ki 14:16 He will give up Israel because of the sin of Jeroboam which he sinned and which he caused Israel to sin.”

1Ki 14:17 Then the wife of Jeroboam got up, went, and came to Tirzah. As she was coming to the threshold of the house, the boy died.
1Ki 14:18 They buried him and all of Israel mourned for him, according to the word of Yahweh which he had spoken by the hand of his servant Ahijah the prophet.

If you study and do some research, it is not hard to understand the symbology of sacred poles, groves, the mystery religions, sun god worship, and mythology. It all exists today, in 2020, and we are seeing its fruits. It was also prophesied that at some point in the future, after Israel was scattered among the nations, they would wake up and realize what was going on.

Jer 16:14 Therefore look, days are coming,’ declares Yahweh, ‘and it will no longer be said, “As Yahweh lives, who led up the Israelites from the land of Egypt,”
Jer 16:15 but only “As Yahweh lives, who led up the Israelites from the land of the north, and from all the lands where he had driven them,” for I will bring them back to their ground that I gave to their ancestors.
Jer 16:16 Look, I am sending for many fishermen,’ declares Yahweh, ‘and they will fish them out, and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and from the clefts of the cliffs.
Jer 16:17 For my eyes are on all their ways, they are not hidden from before me, and their iniquity is not concealed from before my eyes.
Jer 16:18 And I will first doubly repay their iniquity and their sin because of their profaning my land with the dead bodies of their abhorrences, and with their abominations they have filled up my inheritance.'”
Jer 16:19 O Yahweh, my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth, and they will say, “Our ancestors have inherited only lies, vanity, and there is no profit in them.
Jer 16:20 Can a human make for himself gods? Yet they are not gods!”
Jer 16:21 “Therefore look, I am about to let them know, this time I am going to let them know my power and my might, and they will know that my name is Yahweh.”

Know Yahweh, יהוה by his name, and his expectations. Jesus came and explained it to the people that were alive at that time, and his words are for us as well.

Mar 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Mar 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Mar 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
Mar 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Mat 11:26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
Mat 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Don’t be a Jeroboam.

Featured image taken by Emma Vail in New Brunswick, Canada.

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