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A Man of God From Judah

13 A man of God went from Judah to Bethel. He had received a message from the Lord. He arrived in Bethel just as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to offer a sacrifice. The man cried out. He shouted a message from the Lord against the altar. He said, “Altar! Altar! The Lord says, ‘A son named Josiah will be born into the royal family of David. Altar, listen to me! Josiah will sacrifice the priests of the high places on you. They will be the children of the priests who are offering sacrifices here. So human bones will be burned on you.’ ” That same day the man of God spoke about a miraculous sign. He said, “Here is the sign the Lord has announced. This altar will be broken to pieces. The ashes on it will be spilled out.”

The man of God announced that message against the altar at Bethel. When King Jeroboam heard it, he reached out his hand from the altar. He said, “Grab him!” But as he reached out his hand toward the man, it dried up. He couldn’t even pull it back. Also, the altar broke into pieces. Its ashes spilled out. That happened in keeping with the miraculous sign the man of God had announced. He had received a message from the Lord.

King Jeroboam spoke to the man of God. He said, “Pray to the Lord your God for me. Pray that my hand will be as good as new again.” So the man of God prayed to the Lord for the king. And the king’s hand became as good as new. It was just as healthy as it had been before.

The king said to the man of God, “Come home with me for a meal. I’ll give you a gift.”

But the man of God replied to the king. He said, “What if you were to give me half of what you own? Even then I wouldn’t go with you. I wouldn’t eat bread or drink water here. The Lord gave me a command. He said, ‘Do not eat bread or drink water there. Do not return the same way you came.’ ” 10 So he took another road. He didn’t go back on the same road he had taken when he came to Bethel.

11 An old prophet was living in Bethel. His sons came and spoke to him. They told him everything the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what the man had said to the king. 12 Their father asked them, “Which way did he go?” His sons showed him the road the man of God from Judah had taken. 13 So he said to his sons, “Put a saddle on the donkey for me.” When they had done it, he got on the donkey. 14 He traveled on the same road the man of God had taken. He found the man sitting under an oak tree. He asked him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”

“I am,” he replied.

15 So the prophet said to him, “Come home with me. I’ll give you something to eat.”

16 The man of God said, “I can’t go back to Bethel with you. I can’t eat bread or drink water with you there. 17 I’ve received a message from the Lord. He told me, ‘Do not eat bread or drink water there. Do not return the same way you came.’ ”

18 The old prophet answered, “I’m also a prophet, just like you. An angel gave me a message from the Lord. The message said, ‘Bring the man of God back with you to your house. Then he can eat bread and drink water with you.’ ” But the old prophet was telling him a lie. 19 The man of God returned with him. He ate and drank in his house.

20 They were sitting at the table. The Lord gave a message to the old prophet who had brought the man of God back. 21 He cried out to the man who had come from Judah. He told him, “The Lord says, ‘You have not done what I told you to do. You have not obeyed the command I gave you. I am the Lord your God. 22 You came back here and ate bread and drank water. You did it in the place where I told you not to. So your body will not be buried in your family tomb.’ ”

23 The man of God finished eating and drinking. Then the old prophet who had brought him back put a saddle on the man’s donkey for him. 24 And the man went on his way. A lion attacked him on the road and killed him. His body was left lying on the road. The donkey and the lion were standing beside it. 25 Some people passed by. They saw the body lying on the road. They saw the lion standing beside the body. Then they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived.

26 The prophet who had brought the man back from his journey heard about what had happened. He said, “It’s the man of God. He didn’t do what the Lord told him to do. So the Lord has given him over to the lion. The lion has attacked him and killed him. Everything has happened just as the Lord’s message had warned him it would.”

27 The old prophet said to his sons, “Put a saddle on the donkey for me.” So they did. 28 Then he went out. He found the body of the man of God lying on the road. The donkey and the lion were standing beside it. The lion hadn’t eaten the body. It hadn’t attacked the donkey either. 29 So the prophet picked up the man’s body. He put it on the donkey. He brought it back to his own city. He wanted to mourn for him and bury him. 30 Then he placed the body in his own tomb. People mourned for him. They said, “Oh, no, my friend! My dear friend!”

31 After the old prophet had buried the the man of God, he spoke to his sons. He said, “When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried. Put my bones next to his bones. 32 I want you to do that because he announced a message from the Lord. He spoke against the altar in Bethel. He also spoke against all the temples that are on the high places. They are in the towns of Samaria. What the man of God said will certainly come true.”

33 Even after all of that happened, Jeroboam still didn’t change his evil ways. Once more he appointed priests for the high places. He made priests out of all kinds of people. In fact, he let anyone become a priest who wanted to. He set them apart to serve at the high places. 34 All of that was the great sin the royal family of Jeroboam committed. It led to their fall from power. Because of it, they were destroyed from the face of the earth.

The Man of God From Judah

13 By the word of the Lord a man of God(A) came from Judah to Bethel,(B) as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering. By the word of the Lord he cried out against the altar: “Altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: ‘A son named Josiah(C) will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places(D) who make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.’” That same day the man of God gave a sign:(E) “This is the sign the Lord has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out.”

When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back. Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the Lord.

Then the king said to the man of God, “Intercede(F) with the Lord your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God interceded with the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before.

The king said to the man of God, “Come home with me for a meal, and I will give you a gift.”(G)

But the man of God answered the king, “Even if you were to give me half your possessions,(H) I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread(I) or drink water here. For I was commanded by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.’” 10 So he took another road and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel.

11 Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king. 12 Their father asked them, “Which way did he go?” And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken. 13 So he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And when they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it 14 and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”

“I am,” he replied.

15 So the prophet said to him, “Come home with me and eat.”

16 The man of God said, “I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread(J) or drink water with you in this place. 17 I have been told by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.’”

18 The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the Lord:(K) ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (But he was lying(L) to him.) 19 So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.

20 While they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet who had brought him back. 21 He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have defied(M) the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. 22 You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors.’”

23 When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him. 24 As he went on his way, a lion(N) met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it. 25 Some people who passed by saw the body lying there, with the lion standing beside the body, and they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived.

26 When the prophet who had brought him back from his journey heard of it, he said, “It is the man of God who defied(O) the word of the Lord. The Lord has given him over to the lion, which has mauled him and killed him, as the word of the Lord had warned him.”

27 The prophet said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me,” and they did so. 28 Then he went out and found the body lying on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The lion had neither eaten the body nor mauled the donkey. 29 So the prophet picked up the body of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back to his own city to mourn for him and bury him. 30 Then he laid the body in his own tomb,(P) and they mourned over him and said, “Alas, my brother!”(Q)

31 After burying him, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried; lay my bones(R) beside his bones. 32 For the message he declared by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel and against all the shrines on the high places(S) in the towns of Samaria(T) will certainly come true.”(U)

33 Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways,(V) but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts(W) of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places. 34 This was the sin(X) of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction(Y) from the face of the earth.

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