SOLOMON REALISED (AS WE ALL DO - THOUGH NOT AS LAVISHLY) THAT EVEN HAVING MORE POWER, RICHES AND WISDOM THAN ANYONE ELSE ON THE EARTH - AND EXPERIENCING EVERY INSATIABLE PLEASURE KNOWN TO MAN ... THE ONLY ONE WORTH FILLING HIMSELF WITH, CHASING AFTER AND SERVING IN THIS LIFE IS YAHUAH ... FOR THERE IS NO TRUE LOVE, JOY, PEACE AND LIFE TO BE FOUND OUTSIDE OF HIM AND HIS LIVING WORD!
IN MANY WAYS THIS CHAPTER TELLS THE STORY OF ONE OF THE GREATEST ONGOING TRAGEDIES IN YISHARAL’S ISTORY: THE DISSOLUTION OF THE KINGDOM OF YISHARAL. THE GOLDEN AGE WAS OVER. IT HAD ONLY LASTED A MERE 80 YEARS. AND MUCH OF THE BLAME FALLS AT SOLOMON AND HIS SON REHOBOAM’S FEET. REHOBOAM IMMEDIATELY SUCCEEDED HIS FATHER AND THERE IS NO HINT OF CONTROVERSY OVER HIS CORONATION. NO RECORD OF OTHERS OF HIS BROTHERS OR HALF-BROTHERS CONTESTING HIS RIGHT TO THE THRONE - NONE !. ALL APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN AN ORDERLY AND PEACEFUL AND DIGNIFIED PROCESS.
REHOBOAM WAS NO DOUBT A MUCH YOUNGER MAN WHEN HE FIRST ASSUMED THE THRONE OF YISHARAL. WHEN SOLOMON DIED AND IT WAS TIME FOR REHOBOAM’S CORONATION SOME OF THE LEADERS OF THE NORTHERN TRIBAL COALITION SENT FOR JEROBOAM TO COME BACK FROM HIS SELF-IMPOSED EXILE IN EGYPT TO PREPARE FOR WHAT THEY HAD BEEN PLANNING FOR A LONG TIME: TO OFFICIALLY WITHDRAW FROM THE TRIBAL UNION AND ONCE AGAIN BECOME THEIR OWN 10-TRIBE KINGDOM. BUT WHAT WE’LL SOON SEE IS THAT THIS DETERMINATION TO SEPARATE THEMSELVES LED TO ALSO WITHDRAWING FROM YAHUAH’S COMMANDMENTS, HIS TORAH, AND FROM HIS BLOOD-COVENANT, AND INSTEAD SETTING UP AN ALTERNATIVE PAGAN SYSTEM OF WORSHIP THAT PLEASED THEM.
CHARGED EMOTIONAL EVENT THAT WOULD HAVE SENT THE MAJORITY OF YISHARAL’S POPULATION (NORTH AND SOUTH) INTO A LONG-TERM STATE OF DEPRESSION AND FEAR. NO DOUBT THE LEADERS WHO WANTED THIS SPLIT WERE SELF-SATISFIED BECAUSE THEY HAD ACHIEVED PERSONAL POWER AND CONTROL.
AS WE SEE IN THESE PASSAGES THE TENSIONS BETWEEN THE NORTH AND SOUTH WERE AT THE BOILING POINT AND SO IT PROBABLY SEEMED WISE FOR REHOBOAM TO TRAVEL UP NORTH AND RECEIVE AFFIRMATION OF HIS ASCENDANCY EVEN IF IT MEANT DOING IT ON THE TERMS OF THOSE NORTHERN TRIBES BY GOING TO SHECHEM. HIS FATHER SOLOMON AND GRANDFATHER DAVID WOULD HAVE INSTINCTIVELY KNOWN THAT TO DO SO WOULD HAVE BEEN AN ADMISSION OF WEAKNESS. AND IN THIS KIND OF SOCIETY, THAT ONLY SUCCEEDED IN STRENGTHENING REHOBOAM’S ENEMIES.
AND PREDICTABLY BY AGREEING TO THIS SOMEWHAT DEMEANING DEMAND FOR THE NEW KING TO VENTURE NORTH TO BE CONFIRMED, THIS PRESENTED AN OPPORTUNITY FOR JEROBOAM TO RETURN FROM SELF-EXILE IN EGYPT (HE HAD FLED SOME TIME EARLIER BECAUSE HE OPENLY SOUGHT TO DEPOSE KING SOLOMON, AND SOLOMON TRIED TO HAVE HIM KILLED). AND WITH JEROBOAM LEADING THE WAY WHEN REHOBOAM ARRIVED AT SHECHEM, THE NEW KING WAS CONFRONTED BY THE DEMAND TO REDUCE THE TAXATION THAT HAD BEEN PLACED UPON THE NORTHERN TRIBES. THIS TAXATION CONSISTED BASICALLY OF TWO THINGS: MONEY AND LABOR. IT IS IRONIC THAT BEFORE HE FLED, JEROBOAM WAS HAPPILY APPOINTED BY KING SOLOMON AS THE SUPERVISOR OF FORCED LABOR THAT WAS TO BE SUPPLIED BY THE 2 MOST POWERFUL NORTHERN TRIBES, EPHRAIM AND MANESSAH. AND NOW HERE HE IS REPRESENTING THE NORTHERN TRIBES DEMANDING THAT THE NEW KING OF YISHARAL LIGHTEN THE LOAD.
NO DOUBT THE HOPE WAS TO CREATE A CRISIS OVER WHAT HAD BEEN A POPULAR ISSUE AMONG THE COMMON PEOPLE OF THE 10 NORTHERN TRIBES: FORCED LABOR. AND AS ANY EXPERIENCED POLITICIAN KNOWS, YOU NEVER LET A GOOD CRISIS GO TO WASTE. SO NOW REHOBOAM HAD A PROBLEM - IF HE GAVE IN TO THE DEMAND HE WOULD LOSE HONOUR AND BE SHAMED. HE WOULD ALSO LOSE THE USE OF VALUABLE FORCED LABOR FOR HIS GOVERNMENT. ON ONE HAND THE NORTH WAS NOT BEING UNREASONABLE. KING SOLOMON NEVER SHOULD HAVE EMPLOYED FORCED HEBREW LABOR IN THE FIRST PLACE. SECONDLY IT WAS IMPLEMENTED IN AN UNFAIR WAY: ONLY THE NORTHERN TRIBES WERE REQUIRED TO SUPPLY IT. SOLOMON’S OWN TRIBE OF JUDAH WAS EXEMPT. ONE CAN ONLY IMAGINE THE LEVEL OF CONTEMPT AND OUTRAGE THIS CAUSED. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND SOLOMON’S PROGRAMS HAD MADE YISHARAL THE ENVY OF THE KNOWN WORLD. THE 10 NORTHERN TRIBES HAD BENEFITED GREATLY AND HAD EXPERIENCED A NEARLY UNDISTURBED PEACE DURING THE 40 YEARS THAT HE RULED. SO THE REAL ISSUE IS ONE THAT HAS VEXED MANKIND AT ALL TIMES: WHO WOULD BE IN CONTROL? FOR THE PAST 80 YEARS YISHARAL HAD BEEN RULED BY A JUDAHITE: DAVID AND THEN SOLOMON AND NOW REHOBOAM. THE NORTH WANTED THEIR TURN IN POWER.
1Jeroboam son of Nebat was still in Egypt where he had run away from Solomon (who had tried to kill him). 2But when he heard about Solomon’s death, he returned to his city, Zeredah (in the hills of Ephraim). 3Rehoboam and all the Yisharalites (THE 10 NORTHERN TRIBES) went to Shechem to make him the new King.
HERE BEGINNING IN 1ST KINGS CHAPTER 12 WE ARE GIVEN A RATHER EMOTIONLESS REPORT OF THE SECESSION OF THE 10 NORTHERN TRIBES FROM THE NATION OF YISHARAL, THE DEATH OF SOLOMON, AND THE RISE OF 2 NEW HEBREW KINGS, REHOBOAM AND JEROBOAM, WHO WERE A VAST DEPARTURE FROM DAVID AND SOLOMON.
YAHUAH HAS DETERMINED TO SPLIT YISHARAL INTO TWO UNEVEN PORTIONS, AND TO STRIP SOLOMON’S AND HIS DESCENDANTS OF THE LARGER ONE, DUE TO SOLOMON’S LACK OF LOYALTY TO YAHUAH. IT WAS ALL ON THE KING. THE LOSS OF KING SOLOMON, THE CORONATION OF KING REHOBOAM, THE ARRIVAL OF JEROBOAM AND THE SPLIT OF YISHARAL INTO 2 SEPARATE KINGDOMS WAS A HIGHLY
4The people said to Rehoboam, “Your father forced us to work very hard and made our yoke extremely heavy. Now, make it easier for us. Stop the heavy work that your father forced us to do and we will serve you.” 5Rehoboam answered, “Come back to me in three days, and I will answer you.” So the people left.
THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE NORTHERN TRIBES SAY THAT IF REHOBOAM WILL NEGOTIATE A SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCED AMOUNT OF FORCED LABOR THAT’S CURRENTLY REQUIRED OF THEM, THEN THEY WILL AGREE TO SERVE HIM (MEANING TO ACCEPT HIM AS KING). THE KING ASKED FOR 3 DAYS TO THINK IT OVER. WHAT HE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND WAS THAT IT WAS ALREADY CHECKMATE. THE MOMENT HE AGREED TO GO TO SHECHEM HE MADE A TACTICAL MISTAKE FROM WHICH THERE WAS NO TURNING BACK. HIS VERY FIRST ACT AS KING WAS TO APPEAR WEAK, AND HE DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH CUNNING OR SUPPORT TO REASSERT HIS POWER UPON THE NORTHERN TRIBES. FIRST HE GOES TO THE ROYAL COURT OF ADVISORS THAT HIS FATHER HAD USED FOR SO MANY YEARS.
6There were some Elders who had helped Solomon make decisions when he was alive. So King Rehoboam asked these men what he should do. He said, “How do you think I should answer the people?”7They answered, “If you are like a servant to them today, they will sincerely serve you. If you speak kindly to them, they will always work for you.” 8But Rehoboam did not listen to the advice from the Elders, but instead asked the advice of the younger men who were his friends, saying, 9“The people said, ‘Give us a lighter yoke than your father put on us.’ So how do you think I should answer them? What should I tell them?” 10Then the young men who grew up with him answered, “Those people seriously came to you and said, ‘Your father forced us to work hard, now make our life easier?’ No way! Go and tell them, ‘My little finger is stronger than my father’s whole body. 11My father forced you to work hard, but I will make you work even harder! My father flogged you with whips, but I will use scourges (whips that have sharp metal tips).’”
HE ASKS THEM HOW THEY WOULD RESPOND TO JEROBOAM’S DEMANDS AND THEY TELL REHOBOAM THAT IF HE WILL BE A SERVANT-KING (WHICH IS THE KIND OF KING THAT YAHUAH SAYS IS REQUIRED OF ALL YISHARALITE KINGS), AND HE RESPONDS TO THE NORTHERN TRIBAL LEADERS WITH GOOD WORDS, THEN THEY WILL BE HIS SERVANTS (LOYAL TO THE THRONE OF REHOBOAM) ALL OF THEIR DAYS. IN OTHER WORDS THEIR COUNCIL WAS FOR REHOBOAM TO GIVE IN TO THEIR DEMANDS AND DO SO FAVOURABLY. THIS WAS WISE ADVICE IF ONE CONSIDERS REHOBOAM’S TENUOUS POSITION. THE COUNCIL OF ELDERS KNEW THE BOX THAT REHOBOAM HAD CREATED FOR HIMSELF. NO DOUBT HAD REHOBOAM NOT GONE UP NORTH TO SHECHEM AND INSTEAD HAD TOLD THE NORTHERN TRIBES THAT HE NEEDED NO CORONATION, HAD THEY DEMANDED THE SAME THING THE ADVICE WOULD HAVE BEEN QUITE DIFFERENT. BUT HE WAS OPERATING FROM A POSITION OF WEAKNESS AND SO HIS ONLY HOPE TO REMAIN KING AND AVOID A CIVIL WAR WAS TO GIVE THE NORTHERN TRIBES WHAT THEY ASKED FOR. BUT THE YOUNG AND IMPETUOUS REHOBOAM DIDN’T LIKE THE ANSWER OF THIS COUNCIL AND SO IN VERSE 8 HE WENT TO SOME OF HIS FRIENDS WHO HE HAD GROWN UP WITH (SO BY DEFINITION THEY WERE NOT MATURE AND HAD LITTLE IF ANY EXPERIENCE IN DIPLOMACY) AND ASKED THEM WHAT HE OUGHT TO DO. NATURALLY, THEY TOLD HIM WHAT HE WANTED TO HEAR BECAUSE THEY WERE OF SIMILAR TEMPERAMENT. THEY RECOMMENDED THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE WISE ELDERS HAD ADVISED. THEY ADVISED A SHOW OF POWER TO TRY AND RECOVER FROM HIS MISTAKE OF TRAVELING TO SHECHEM FOR A CORONATION CEREMONY.
12Three days later, Jeroboam and all the people came back as Rehoboam had said. 13King Rehoboam did not listen to the advice from the Elders and he was rude and harsh to the people. 14He did what his friends told him to do and said, “My father forced you to work hard, but I will make you work even harder! My father flogged you with whips, but I will use scourges.” 15So the King did not do what the people wanted, and YAHUAH caused this all to happen, in order to keep the promise He made to Jeroboam (son of Nebat) when he sent the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh to speak to him.
REHOBOAM WENT BACK TO JEROBOAM AND HIS COHORTS WITH THIS ANSWER ON THE 3RD DAY, AS PROMISED. THE EXACT WORDS THAT HIS YOUNG ADVISORS SUGGESTED WERE WHAT HE SPOKE. THESE WERE THE WORDS OF A TYRANT, NOT A SERVANT-KING. THE KING DID NOT LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE; THAT IS HE DID NOT HEAR AND ACT APPROPRIATELY. BUT WE ARE REMINDED IMMEDIATELY THIS ALL OF THIS WAS YAHUAH’S PROVIDENCE; THIS WAS THE WAY THAT THE KINGDOM WOULD BE SPLIT AND THE LARGER PORTION TAKEN FROM SOLOMON’S SON. NO DOUBT NO ONE DETECTED THAT YAHUAH WAS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS; EVERYTHING HAPPENED IN THE CONTEXT OF MEN DEALING WITH MEN ON POLITICAL MATTERS. THEY ALL OPERATED WITHIN THEIR NATURAL CHARACTER, AND ALL RESPONDED AS ONE WOULD EXPECT. AND YET IT ALL SERVED TO BRING ABOUT WHAT YAHUAH HAD DETERMINED HE WOULD DO IN RESPONSE TO SOLOMON’S IDOLATRY.
16The Yisharalites saw that the new King refused to listen to them, so they said to him, “You can take your Royal Family and stick it! We’re not part of David’s family! We don’t get any of Jesse’s land, do we? So now, people of Yisharal, we’re outta here - screw this tyrant! Let’s go home and let David’s son rule his own people!” So the Yisharalites all went home. 17But Rehoboam still ruled over the Yisharalites who lived in the cities of Judah, (JUDAH, BENJAMIN & A SMALL AMOUNT OF SIMEON) ... THIS WAS A STUPID AND IRRESPONSIBLE RESPONSE BY THE KING, AND SO IN VERSES 16 AND 17 THE 10 TRIBES DECLARE THEIR INDEPENDENCE USING THE COLOURFUL LANGUAGE OF THAT ERA.
18A man named Adoniram was one of the men who directed the labor-workers. King Rehoboam sent him to talk to the people, but the Yisharalites threw stones at him until he died. King Rehoboam ran to his chariot and escaped to Jerusalem. 19So Yisharal rebelled against the family of David, and this is how things are even today. 20When all the Yisharalites (10 NORTHERN TRIBES) heard that Jeroboam had come back, they called him to a meeting and made him King over all Yisharal. The tribe of Judah was the only tribe that continued to follow the family of David. 21King Rehoboam went back to Jerusalem and gathered together an army of 180,000 men from the families of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin in order to fight against the Yisharalites and take back his Kingdom. 22But YAHUAH spoke to a prophet named Shemaiah.
He said, 23“Talk to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, King of Judah, and to the men of Judah and Benjamin. 24Say to them, ‘YAHUAH says that you must not go to war against your brothers. Everyone, go home! For I made all this happen.’” So all the men in Rehoboam’s Army obeyed YAHUAH. They went home, just as YAHUAH had commanded.
OF COURSE THE REBELLIOUS REHOBOAM JUST DIDN’T GET IT THAT THE MATTER WAS NOW A CLOSED-CASE IN HEAVEN AND SO HE DECIDED HE WOULD TRY TO MAKE AMENDS ON EARTH. BEFORE HE LEFT FOR JERUSALEM HE DISPATCHED ADORAM WHO IN CHARGE OF ALL FORCED LABOR THROUGHOUT THE KINGDOM TO GO TO THE LEADERS OF THE NORTH AND PATCH THINGS UP AND GET THE PEOPLE TO ACCEPT REHOBOAM AS KING. THE MINUTE HE WAS SPOTTED ADORAM WAS KILLED SO REHOBOAM MOUNTED HIS CHARIOT AND FLED TO THE SAFETY OF THE SOUTH.
WHEN THE TRIBAL ELDERS AND CLAN LEADERS HEARD THAT JEROBOAM HAD RETURNED AND WHAT HAD TRANSPIRED BETWEEN REHOBOAM AND JEROBOAM, THE PEOPLE CROWNED HIM AS KING OF THE NORTHERN TRIBES AND CALLED THE NATION “YISHARAL”. IN A FEW DECADES THE SUPER-TRIBE OF EPHRAIM BECAME SUFFICIENTLY DOMINANT IN THE NORTH THAT THE NATION BECAME KNOWN SIMPLY AS EPHRAIM. JUST SO AS TO BE A LITTLE CLEARER AS WE PROCEED, OFTEN FROM HERE FORWARD I’LL CALL THIS 10 TRIBE NATION “EPHRAIM-YISHARAL” SO AS TO SEPARATE IT FROM THE FORMER 12 TRIBE UNIFIED NATION OF YISHARAL AND TO SEPARATE IT FROM THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM OF JUDAH.
AFTER A FAILED DIPLOMATIC MISSION TO TRY AND RECOVER HIS LOST KINGDOM, NOW REHOBOAM WOULD TRY BRUTE FORCE. HE CALLED UPON THE TRIBAL ARMY OF HIS HOME TRIBE JUDAH AS WELL AS HIS ALLY BENJAMIN AND ASSEMBLED 180,000 WARRIORS. THIS WAS TO BE ALL OUT WAR TO REGAIN HIS KINGDOM. APPARENTLY HIS SOUTHERN TRIBAL COALITION AGREED WITH THE GOAL OF KEEPING THE KINGDOM INTACT BECAUSE HE WAS QUICKLY ABLE TO RAISE THIS HUGE ARMY AND THERE IS NO RECORD OF DISAGREEMENT. BUT SUDDENLY A PROPHET NAMED SHEMAIAH (MEANING HEAR AND OBEY YAHUAH) APPEARS AND TELLS THE KING THAT HE IS NOT TO ATTACK YISHARAL; THAT ALL THE WARRIORS OF JUDAH AND BENJAMIN ARE TO GO HOME, BECAUSE THE LOSS OF THE NORTHERN KINGDOM WAS BROUGHT ABOUT BY YAHUAH. INTERESTINGLY REHOBOAM AND THE ARMY OBEYED.
PERHAPS WE HAVE TO GIVE REHOBOAM A BIT OF A BREAK; IT SEEMS THAT HE REALLY DIDN’T KNOW THAT HE WAS DESTINED TO LOSE HIS KINGDOM DUE TO THE IDOLATRY HIS FATHER SOLOMON HAD COMMITTED. JEROBOAM KNEW ABOUT IT BUT REHOBOAM DIDN’T. EVERY YISHARALITE KING HAD AT LEAST ONE PROPHET THAT WAS ASSIGNED TO HIM BY YAHUAH; IT SEEMS THAT SHEMAIAH MUST HAVE BEEN REHOBOAM’S PROPHET SO WHEN SHEMAIAH TOLD THE KING THE ORACLE FROM YAHUAH (THAT HE WAS NOT TO GO AND ATTACK JEROBOAM AND THE NORTHERN TRIBES), REHOBOAM BELIEVED HIM. SO I THINK WE HAVE TO GIVE SOME MERIT TO REHOBOAMEVEN THOUGH HIS BOORISH BEHAVIOR AND TYRANNICAL ATTITUDE HAD MUCH TO DO WITH THE CIRCUMSTANCES HE NOW FACED.
JEROBOAM WAS PROBABLY A YAHUAH-FEARING MAN AT FIRST; OTHERWISE YAHUAH WOULD NOT HAVE GIVEN HIM THE OPPORTUNITY TO RULE THE NORTHERN TRIBES WITH THE PROMISE THAT IF HE OBEYED YAHUAH’S COMMANDMENTS HE WOULD HAVE AN ENDURING DYNASTY. BUT THE POWER OF KNOWING HE WOULD BE KING, AND THEN WHEN HE BECAME KING, WAS TOO MUCH FOR HIM AND HE QUICKLY FELL FROM GRACE AND SOON DESCENDED INTO THE WORST SORTS OF IDOLATRY. HE WOULD INSTITUTE POLICIES THAT WOULD DOOM HIS REIGN AND HIS PEOPLE AND THEY REVOLVED AROUND SETTING UP AN ALTERNATIVE RELIGIOUS SYSTEM.
25Jeroboam rebuilt the city of Shechem, in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived there. Later he went to the city of Penuel and rebuilt it. 26-27Jeroboam said to himself, “If the people keep going to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at YAHUAH’S Temple, someday they will want to be ruled by their old masters again. They will want to be ruled by King Rehoboam of Judah. And then they will kill me.” 28So the King asked his advisors what to do. They gave him their advice, and King Jeroboam made two golden calves, saying to the people, “You don’t have to go to Jerusalem to worship anymore. Yisharal, these are the Alahims that brought you out of Egypt".
(THIS IS EXACTLY THE SAME THING THAT AARON SAID AT THE TIME HE MADE THE GOLDEN CALF IN THE DESERT IN EX 32:4)
29King Jeroboam put one golden calf in Bethel and the other one in the city of Dan. [Bethel was a city in the southern part of Yisharal, near Judah. Dan was in the northern part of Yisharal.] 30What a terrible sin this was, because the Yisharalites started going to the cities of Dan and Bethel to worship the golden calves - instead of worshipping YAHUAH at the place where He rested His Name: Jerusalem!
JEROBOAM BUILT UP SHECHEM AND PENUEL, MEANING HE FORTIFIED THE CITIES IN CASE REHOBOAM DID WHAT JEROBOAM PROBABLY WOULD HAVE DONE IN A SIMILAR SITUATION: ATTACK AND TRY TO REGAIN THE TERRITORY. INTERESTINGLY IN 2ND CHRONICLES 11 WE FIND THAT REHOBOAM WAS AFRAID THAT JEROBOAM WOULD ATTACK JUDAH IN ORDER TO RULE OVER ALL 12 TRIBES.
"THIS IS WHAT YAHUAH SAYS: 'YOU ARE NOT TO GO UP AND FIGHT YOUR BROTHERS! EVERY MAN IS TO GO BACK HOME, BECAUSE THIS IS MY DOING.'" THEY PAID ATTENTION TO THE WORDS OF YAHUAH AND TURNED BACK FROM ATTACKING JEROBOAM. REHOBOAM LIVED IN JERUSALEM AND BUILT CITIES FOR DEFENSE IN JUDAH".
JEROBOAM MUST HAVE BEEN OBSERVING HOW HIS PEOPLE STILL JOURNEYED TO JERUSALEM TO THE TEMPLE TO WORSHIP, SACRIFICE, AND OBSERVE THE FEASTS AND APPOINTED TIMES BECAUSE HE BEGAN TO GET PARANOID THAT WITH THIS CONTINUED TEMPLE AND PRIESTHOOD CONNECTION HIS PEOPLE MIGHT DECIDE TO KILL HIM AND ASK REHOBOAM TO BE THEIR KING (AND THUS RE-UNITE THE KINGDOM UNDER THE DAVIDIC DYNASTY). AND THE TRUTH IS THAT NO DOUBT THE COMMON PEOPLE OF THE NORTHERN TRIBES WEREN’T AS INTERESTED IN SEPARATION AND HOSTILITY BETWEEN JUDAH AND EPHRAIM-YISHARAL AS WAS JEROBOAM AND THE TRIBAL LEADERS. AFTER ALL THEIR MAIN BEEF WITH SOLOMON AND THEN REHOBOAM WAS THEIR CONTINUING INSISTENCE ON USING THE PEOPLE FOR FORCED LABOR FOR GOVERNMENT PROJECTS. HIS SOLUTION? CREATE A WHOLE NEW RELIGIOUS SYSTEM COMPLETE WITH HIS OWN DEITIES, IDOLS, HIGH PLACES, AND PRIESTS.
HE HAD TWO GOLDEN CALVES MANUFACTURED AND TOLD THAT PEOPLE THAT GOING TO JERUSALEM TO WORSHIP WAS TOO MUCH OF AN INCONVENIENCE. JEROBOAM HAD GONE SPIRITUALLY INSANE IN HIS DESIRE FOR POWER AND CONTROL. THAT WARPED MIND PUT ONE OF THE GOLDEN CALVES AT THE NORTHERN MOST PART OF YISHARAL IN DAN, AND ANOTHER IN THE SOUTHERN MOST PART OF YISHARAL AT BETHEL. THAT WAY HIS PEOPLE WOULDN’T HAVE TERRIBLY FAR TO GO TO SACRIFICE AND WORSHIP NO MATTER WHERE THEY LIVED IN JEROBOAM’S KINGDOM.
FRANKLY IT STRETCHES THE IMAGINATION TO WONDER HOW SOMEONE LIKE JEROBOAM AND A PEOPLE LIKE THE NORTHERN TRIBES OF YISHARAL COULD FIND IT ACCEPTABLE TO SIMPLY EXCHANGE DEITIES (OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW!) FOR THE SAKE OF CONVENIENCE AND POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. AFTER BUT 1 GENERATION FROM THE CONSTRUCTION AND CONSECRATION OF SOLOMON’S TEMPLE, THE PEOPLE OF NORTHERN YISHARAL WENT WHORING NOT JUST AFTER OTHER IDOLS, BUT AFTER A NEW WORSHIP-SYSTEM THAT THEY INVENTED.
31Jeroboam also built Temples at the pagan high places and chose Priests from among the different tribes of Yisharal. (He did not choose Priests only from the tribe of Levi as Moses commanded.) 32Then King Jeroboam started a new festival that was like the festival of Tabernacles in Judah, but it was on the 15th day of the eighth month. At this time the King offered sacrifices on the altar at Bethel. He and the Priests that he chose offered the sacrifices to the calves that he had set up at the high places he’d made.
33So King Jeroboam chose his own time for a festival for the Yisharalites, the 15th day of the eighth month. And during that time he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the altar he had built at Bethel.
THAT JEROBOAM MADE A TEMPLE THAT CONSISTED OF MULTIPLE BAMOT (HIGH PLACES). HE CREATED A NEW PRIESHOOD FROM NON-LEVITES. BUT THEN HE WENT SO FAR AS TO FORSAKE THE SCRIPTURAL FEASTS AND OTHER APPOINTED TIMES AND CREATED HIS OWN. WHY? IN ORDER TO SEPARATE HE AND HIS PEOPLE AS FAR AS POSSIBLE FROM THE ROOTS OF THEIR BELIEF SO THAT A NEW ORDER WITH A NEW AGENDA COULD BE CREATED AND OBSERVED. HE CREATED A NEW HOLIDAY IN THE 8TH MONTH OF THE YEAR THAT BEGAN ON THE 15TH DAY. IN OTHER WORDS IT MIMICKED TABERNACLES (SUKKOTH) THAT OCCURS ON THE 15TH DAY OF THE 7TH MONTH.