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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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1 Kings 12:1-33

12  And Rehoboam came to Shekem, because all Israel had come to Shekem to install him as king; 2  —— 3*  and they told Rehoboam 4  “Your father made our yoke bear hard on us; now make the hard service to your father rather easier, and his heavy yoke that he put on us, and we will be your subjects.” 5  And he said to them “Go, and in three days more come back to me”; and they went. 6  And King Rehoboam consulted the old men who had been in the service of his father Solomon when he was alive, asking them “How do you advise me to reply to these people?” 7*  and they told him “If today you will be a subject to these people and respond to them and speak them fair, they will be subjects to you permanently.” 8  But he discarded the old men’s policy which they had recommended to him, and consulted the boys who had grown up with him, whom he had in his service, 9  and said to them “What reply do you advise that we give to these people who have told me ‘Make the yoke your father put on us rather easier’?” 10*  And the boys who had grown up with him told him “This is what you will say to these people who have told you ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, be easier on us’: you will tell them ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s hips. 11  Now my father imposed a heavy yoke on you, and I will add to your yoke; my father punished you with whips, and I will punish you with scorpions.’” 12  And all Israel came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had told them, “Come back to me on the third day”; 13  and the king gave them a harsh answer, and discarded the old men’s policy which they had recommended to him 14  and spoke to them in accordance with the boys’ policy, “My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke; my father punished you with whips, and I will punish you with scorpions.” 15*  And the king did not listen to the people, because it was a crisis determined by Jehovah in order to make good his prediction which Jehovah had given by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 16*  And all Israel saw that the king had not listened to them; and the people replied to the king “What share have we in David? no estate in Jesse’s son; to your homes, Israel! now look after your own house, David!” 17  and Israel went to their homes. 18  And King Rehoboam sent Adoniram, the superintendent of the corvée; and all Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam put his best foot foremost in getting into his chariot to take flight to Jerusalem; 19  and Israel rebelled against the house of David, and it has lasted to this day. 20  And when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had come back they sent and called him to the congress, and made him king over all Israel: nobody followed the house of David but the tribe of Judah alone. 21*  And Rehoboam came to Jerusalem and assembled all the house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand picked warriors, to make war with the house of Israel, to restore the kingship to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 22  And Jehovah’s word came to Shemaʽiah the man of God 23  “Say to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, the king of Judah, and to all the houses of Judah and Benjamin and the rest of the people, 24*  ‘Says Jehovah, You shall not go up, nor make war with your brothers the sons of Israel; go back home; for this thing has come from me.’” And they listened to Jehovah’s word and went back, going by Jehovah’s word. 25  And Jeroboam fortified Shekem in the highland of Ephraim, and made it his capital; and he went out from there and fortified Penuel. 26  And Jeroboam said to himself “Now the kingship will go back to the family of David: 27  if these people go up to offer sacrifice at Jehovah’s house at Jerusalem, the people’s hearts will turn back to their sovereign King Rehoboam of Judah, and they will kill me.” 28  And the king thought up a policy, and made two golden calves and said to the people “No more going up to Jerusalem: here are your gods, Israel, that brought you up out of Egypt”; 29  and he set one in Bethel and one he put in Dan, 30  and this thing became a sin. And the people went before the one up to Dan, 31  and he made height-houses, and made priests out of the common people who were not sons of Levi; 32  and Jeroboam appointed a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast in Judah, and went up the altar. So he did at Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made and setting up at Bethel the height-priests he had made. 33  And he went up the altar he had made at Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, the month he had improvised out of his own fancy; and he appointed a feast for the sons of Israel, and went up the altar to offer.

Footnotes

12:3 Var. puts in verse 2 and the first part of 3, thus: 2 and when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (he was still in Egypt, as he had fled away from King Solomon and Jeroboam had lived in Egypt, 3 and they sent and called him) Jeroboam came, and all the assembly of Israel; Var. 2 and when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was still in Egypt where he had fled away from King Solomon, heard of it, Jeroboam came back from Egypt; 3 and they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came,
12:7 Susp. (var. omits and respond to them)
12:10 Conj.* made our yoke heavy; take something off the weight of our yoke
12:15 Lit. it was a turn from Jehovah
12:16 Or your tents . . . their tents
12:21 Var. a hundred and twenty thousand
12:24 Var. adds after this verse several verses, numbered 24 a, 24 b, etc., as follows:
24a And King Solomon went to rest with his fathers, and was buried in his father David’s city with his father (codd. fathers); and his son Rehoboam succeeded him as king at Jerusalem, being sixteen years old at his accession to the throne, and reigned twelve years at Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Naʽamah, daughter of Anah the son of King Nahash of ʽAmmon. And he did what displeased Jehovah, and did not walk in his father David’s path. 24b And there was a man out of the highland of Ephraim, an officer of Solomon’s, named Jeroboam, whose mother’s name was Sarisa, a prostitute; and Solomon made him district chief over all the porterage of the line of Joseph, and he fortified Sereda in the highland of Ephraim for Solomon, and had three hundred teams of ponies; it was he who built the Millo by the porterage of the line of Ephraim; it was he who closed up the fortifications of David’s City. And he aspired to the kingship; 24c and Solomon tried to have him put to death, and he was afraid and fled away to King Shoshak of Egypt, and was with him till Solomon’s death. 24d And Jeroboam heard in Egypt that Solomon was dead, and he said in talking with King Shoshak “Give me leave to go to my own country”; and Shoshak said to him “Ask me for any boon and I will give it to you.” 24e (Shoshak had given Ano, the elder sister of his own wife Tahminas, to Jeroboam as his wife; she had grown up among the princesses; and she had had by Jeroboam a son Abijah.) 24f And Jeroboam said to Shoshak “Do give me leave to go”; and Jeroboam came out of Egypt, and came to the Sereda country in the highland of Ephraim. And all the tribe of Ephraim came together there; and Jeroboam built a stronghold there. 24g And his child was taken very severely sick; and Jeroboam went to inquire about the child. And he said to his wife Ano “Go and inquire of God about the child, whether he will get well of his sickness.” 24h And there was a man in Shiloh whose name was Ahijah, and he was sixty years old, and had Jehovah’s word with him; and Jeroboam said to his wife “Up with you, and take in your hand bread for the man of God and seed-cakes (unc.) for his children, and a bunch of raisins and a bottle of honey”; 24i and the woman rose and took in her hand bread and a couple of seed-cakes and a bunch of raisins and a bottle of honey for Ahijah 24k (the man was old, and his eyes too dim to see), and started from Sereda and went. And as she came into the city to Ahijah the Shilonite, Ahijah said to his boy “Go out to meet Jeroboam’s wife Ano and say to her ‘Come in without stopping, because Jehovah says “I am sending a hard message about you.”’” 24l And Ano went in to the man of God, and Ahijah said “Why have you brought me bread and raisins and seed-cakes and a bottle of honey? says Jehovah, As you go from me, when you enter the gate going into Sereda your girls will come out to meet you and will tell you the child is dead; 24m for, says Jehovah, I will exterminate every male person that belongs to Jeroboam: whoever of Jeroboam’s dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and whoever dies in the country the birds of the air shall eat; but over the child they shall wail ‘O, my lord!’ because there has been found in him something good with reference to Jehovah.” 24n And the woman went away when she had heard it; and when she came into Sereda the child died and the outcry of lamentation came out to meet her. And Jeroboam went to Shechem in the highland of Ephraim, and gathered the tribes of Israel there, and Rehoboam the son of Solomon went up there. 24o And Jehovah’s word came to Shemaiah the Enlamite “Get yourself a new cloak that has not been in water, and tear it in twelve pieces; and give it to Jeroboam and say to him ‘Says Jehovah, Take yourself ten pieces to put around you.’” And Jeroboam took them; and Shemaiah said “Says Jehovah, You shall reign over the ten tribes of Israel.” 24p And the people said to Rehoboam the son of Solomon “Your father made his yoke a heavy load on us, and the food for his table a heavy load; but now you will make it lighter on us and we will be your subjects.” And Rehoboam said to the people “In three days more I will reply to you.” 24q And Rehoboam said “Bring the elders in to me, and let me consult them as to what reply I shall give the people on the third day.” And Rehoboam recited the message to them as the people had sent it to him; and the elders of the people said “The people told you right”; but Rehoboam set aside their policy, and it did not suit him. 24r And he sent and brought in those who had grown up with him, and told them the same, “The people have sent me a message like this.” And those who had grown up with him said “This is what you will say to the people: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s hips; my father flogged you with whips, but I will keep you in order with scorpions’”; 24s and the speech suited Rehoboam, and he answered the people in accordance with the advice the boys who had grown up with him had given him. 24t And all the people, as one man, said to each other, and one and all cried out, “We have no share in David, nor estate in Jesse’s son; to your homes, Israel, because this is not a man for prince or for warden”; 24u and all the people scattered away from Shechem and went to their homes. And Rehoboam put his best foot foremost to get to his chariot and get in and get to Jerusalem; and all the tribe of Judah and all the tribe of Benjamin followed him. 24x And when the new year came in Rehoboam gathered all the men of Judah and Benjamin and went up to make war with Jeroboam at Shechem. 24y And Jehovah’s word came to Shemaiah the man of God “Say to King Rehoboam of Judah and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin and the rest of the people ‘Says Jehovah, You shall not go up, nor make war with your brothers the children of Israel; go back home; for this thing has come from me.’” 24z And they listened to Jehovah’s word and refrained from going, in accordance with Jehovah’s word. (There are no verses j, v, w.)