(302) – JEROBOAM

Who was Jeroboam? He was of the tribe of Ephraim, son of Nebat, very industrious since he was a child. Solomon, knowing his aptitudes, made him a superintendant of the tributes of all the house of Joseph (1 Kings 11:28).

“It happened at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; now [Ahijah] had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field. Ahijah laid hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it in twelve pieces. He said to Jeroboam, ‘Take ten pieces; for thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel, “Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to you (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); because that they have forsaken me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon. They have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in my eyes, and [to keep] my statutes and my ordinances, as David his father did” (1 Kings 11:29-33). And Jehovah said more: “However 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, who kept my commandments and my statutes; but I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and will give it to you, even ten tribes. To his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a lamp always before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there” (1 Kings 11:34-36).

This text makes it very clear that Jehovah was the one who chose Jeroboam, son of Nebat, and who gave him the ten tribes, which formed the kingdom of the North. It happened that Jeroboam thought in his heart: The temple is in Jerusalem, and the people will go there to worship and offer sacrifices. Then the heart of the people will go after Rehoboam’s, son of Solomon, and they will kill me (1 Kings 12:26-27). So the king Jeroboam made two golden calves and said to the people: “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt.” And he set one calf in Betel, and the other he set in Dan. Now this thing became a sin before Jehovah, and the people went astray (1 Kings 12:28-30).

Jehovah, then, plans to destroy all the house of Jeroboam, the man that he, the god of Israel, had chosen to be the king of the ten tribes. “Therefore, behold, I will bring evil on the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam everyone who urinates on a wall, he who is shut up and he who is left at large in Israel, and will utterly sweep away the house of Jeroboam, as a man sweeps away dung, until it is all gone. He who dies of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and he who dies in the field shall the birds of the sky eat: for Jehovah has spoken it” (1 Kings 14:10-11).

Jehovah, in this political maneuver, made at least four serious and unfair mistakes that did not harmonize with the image of the loving God, forgiving and perfect, revealed by Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

1.     He divided the kingdom of Israel in two. Did not Jehovah know that the “kingdom divided against itself … will not stand”? Jesus, who is one with the Father, revealed this truth saying, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand” (Matt. 12:25; 1 Kings 11:35-36). Divided, the two kingdoms began to make war with each other. A real God knows this.

2.     Jehovah chose a bad man to rule over the ten tribes. Now, Solomon declares that Jehovah searches the hearts, in Prov. 21:2. And he declares more: “If you say, ‘Behold, we didn’t know this;’ doesn’t he who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, doesn’t he know it? Shall he not render to every man according to his work” (Prov. 24:12). The prophet Daniel said: He reveals the deep and secret things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him” (Dan. 2:22). The very Jehovah said about the very Jehovah: “Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you. Before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you. I have appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer. 1:5). King David declares that Jehovah searches the hearts and understands every imagination and thought (1 Chr. 28:9). And David said: “You know my sitting down and my rising up. You perceive my thoughts from afar” (Ps. 139:2). Now, knowing the thoughts and intentions of men, and knowing their inclinations, even before they were born, Jehovah could not have placed a bad king over Israel unless he had the intention to destroy the kingdom (the evil that Jeroboam had is in 1 King 12:26-30).

3.     The third injustice of Jehovah is in the fact that he ordered the destruction of the house of Jeroboam, children and the young included, annulling his own rule, which says: “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin” (Deut. 24:16; 1 Kings 14:10-11).

4.     The fourth mistake is that Jehovah blamed Israel for choosing Jeroboam to be king over Israel. Let us read the text: “Jehovah rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. For he tore Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drove Israel from following Jehovah, and made them sin a great sin” (2 Kings 17:20-21). The man who does not admit his fault does not have honor or dignity. In the case of a god this attitude is abominable. God blaming innocent man because he wants to destroy them! Nero did just that. He gave orders to set Rome on fire and blamed it on the Christians because he wanted to kill them.

But Jehovah’s crimes do not stop there. Solomon asked Jehovah for wisdom in prayer. He was promptly answered. Jehovah told him: “I have given you a wise and an understanding heart; so that there has been none like you before you, neither after you shall any arise like you” (1 Kings 3:12). The wisdom was so earthly and carnal, that Solomon, the lubricious, married 700 princesses, and besides that, he had 300 concubines for his sexual pleasure. The wisdom was so earthly and diabolic, that Solomon used it to oppress the people by charging high taxes; for in order to feed 1,000 wives, servants, and princes in his banquets, “Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and sixty measures of meal, ten head of fat cattle, and twenty head of cattle out of the pastures, and one hundred sheep, besides harts, and gazelles, and roebucks, and fattened fowl” (1 Kings 10:14-15). Solomon received 666 talents of gold each year, besides what he got through dealings with other kings. (1 Kings 10:14-15). The yoke imposed by Solomon was so heavy that after his death the people went to his son Rehoboam’s, the new king, pleading: “Your father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make you the grievous service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, lighter, and we will serve you” (1 Kings 12:4). Rehoboam’s, forgetting all prudence and following the foolish counsel of the young irresponsible men of his time, answered the people, saying: “My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. Now whereas my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpion” (1 Kings 12:10-11). This senseless declaration of Rehoboam’s caused the division of the kingdom of Israel in two. The idea that we get is that Rehoboam’s was irresponsible. But this is not so. The words of Rehoboam’s are repeated in the second book of the chronicles of Israel, where we find, “So the king didn’t listen to the people; for it was brought about of God, that Jehovah might establish his word, which he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat” (2 Chr. 10:14-15). Unbelievable! They were not Rehoboam’s words, but the words of Jehovah, using the mouth of Rehoboam’s, to do evil. If this was the plan of Jehovah, he also used Solomon to do evil; therefore the wisdom given to Solomon was malefic.

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