1 Kings 11:26-39
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
26 Solomon had a servant, Jeroboam, son of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zeredah with a widowed mother named Zeruah. He rebelled against the king. 27 This is how he came to rebel. King Solomon was building Millo, closing up the breach of the City of David, his father. 28 Jeroboam was a very able man, and when Solomon saw that the young man was also a good worker, he put him in charge of all the carriers conscripted from the house of Joseph.
29 At that time Jeroboam left Jerusalem, and the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the road. The prophet was wearing a new cloak,[a] and when the two were alone in the open country, 30 (A)Ahijah took off his new cloak, tore it into twelve pieces, 31 (B)and said to Jeroboam: “Take ten pieces for yourself. Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I am about to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and will give you ten of the tribes. 32 He shall have one tribe for the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 33 For they have forsaken me and have bowed down to Astarte, goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh, god of Moab, and Milcom, god of the Ammonites. They have not walked in my ways or done what is right in my eyes, according to my statutes and my ordinances, as David his father did. 34 Yet I will not take any of the kingdom from Solomon himself, but will keep him a prince as long as he lives, for the sake of David my servant, whom I have chosen, who kept my commandments and statutes.
35 But I will take the kingdom from his son’s hand and give it to you—that is, the ten tribes. 36 I will give his son one tribe, that David my servant may always have a holding before me in Jerusalem, the city I have chosen, to set my name there. 37 You I will take and you shall reign over all that you desire and shall become king of Israel. 38 If, then, you heed all that I command you, walking in my ways, and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and my commandments like David my servant, I will be with you. I will build a lasting house for you, just as I did for David; I will give Israel to you. 39 I will humble David’s line for this, but not forever.”Read full chapter
- 11:29 The narrator uses a powerful wordplay here. In the Hebrew consonantal text, Ahijah’s cloak (slmh) is indistinguishable from Solomon’s name (slmh). Since a prophetic gesture such as Ahijah’s was understood as effecting the event it announced, Ahijah’s tearing of his cloak embodies the divine action that will tear Solomon’s kingdom apart (cf. vv. 11–13).