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Chapter 14

Ahijah Announces Jeroboam’s Downfall.[a] At that time Abijah, son of Jeroboam, took sick. (A)So Jeroboam said to his wife, “Go and disguise yourself so that no one will recognize you as Jeroboam’s wife. Then go to Shiloh, where you will find Ahijah the prophet. It was he who spoke the word that made me king over this people. Take along ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the child.” The wife of Jeroboam did so. She left and went to Shiloh and came to the house of Ahijah.

Now Ahijah could not see because age had dimmed his sight. But the Lord said to Ahijah: Jeroboam’s wife is coming to consult you about her son, for he is sick. Thus and so you must tell her. When she comes, she will be in disguise. So Ahijah, hearing the sound of her footsteps as she entered the door, said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why are you in disguise? For my part, I have been commissioned to give you bitter news. Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I exalted you from among the people and made you ruler of my people Israel. I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you. Yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with his whole heart, doing only what is right in my sight. You have done more evil than all who were before you: you have gone and made for yourself other gods and molten images to provoke me; but me you have cast behind your back. 10 (B)Therefore, I am bringing evil upon the house of Jeroboam:

I will cut off from Jeroboam’s line every male
    —bond or free—in Israel;
I will burn up what is left of the house of Jeroboam
    as dung is burned, completely.
11 (C)Anyone of Jeroboam’s line who dies in the city,
    dogs will devour;
anyone who dies in the field,
    the birds of the sky will devour.

For the Lord has spoken!’ 12 As for you, leave, and go home! As you step inside the city, the child will die, 13 and all Israel will mourn him and bury him, for he alone of Jeroboam’s line will be laid in the grave, since in him alone of Jeroboam’s house has something pleasing to the Lord, the God of Israel, been found. 14 The Lord will raise up for himself a king over Israel who will cut off the house of Jeroboam—today, at this very moment! 15 The Lord will strike Israel like a reed tossed about in the water and will pluck out Israel from this good land which he gave their ancestors, and will scatter them beyond the River,[b] because they made asherahs for themselves, provoking the Lord. 16 He will give up Israel because of the sins Jeroboam has committed and caused Israel to commit.” 17 So Jeroboam’s wife left and went back; when she came to Tirzah and crossed the threshold of her house, the child died. 18 He was buried and all Israel mourned him, according to the word of the Lord spoken through his servant Ahijah the prophet.

19 The rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he fought and how he reigned, these are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 20 The length of Jeroboam’s reign was twenty-two years. He rested with his ancestors, and Nadab his son succeeded him as king.

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Footnotes

  1. 14:1–20 The last major unit of the Jeroboam story recounts the story of Ahijah of Shiloh’s oracle condemning the entire house of Jeroboam; this is followed by a formulaic notice of Jeroboam’s death and the succession of his son. Compare the first unit of the Jeroboam story, 11:26–43, which recounted Ahijah’s oracle proclaiming Jeroboam’s kingship, followed by the formulaic notice of the death of Solomon.
  2. 14:15 The River: the Euphrates; see note on 5:1.

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