1 Kings 12:33
On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, Jeroboam offered sacrifices on the altar he had set up in Bethel. So he ordained a feast for the Israelites, offered sacrifices on the altar, and burned incense.
An Error that Could not be RepairedJ. Urquhart 1 Kings 12:21-33
A Man-Made ReligionHomiletic Review1 Kings 12:26-33
Ecclesiastical Policy of JeroboamW. G. Horder.1 Kings 12:26-33
Idolatry EstablishedA. W. Pitzer, D. D.1 Kings 12:26-33
Idolatry EstablishedMonday Club Sermons1 Kings 12:26-33
Idolatry in IsraelF. W. Ryder.1 Kings 12:26-33
Idolatry in IsraelW. F. McDowell.1 Kings 12:26-33
Jeroboam's SinJ.A. Macdonald 1 Kings 12:28-33

Unbelief is the root of all mischief. Had the king of Israel believed God, he would have obeyed Him; then he would have been under no temptation to set up a spurious religion to the confusion of his family and people. But what did he mean by these calves?


1. So he describes them in the text.

(1) "These are thy Elohim, O Israel." Our English Bibles give the word "God" without the capital G, as though the purpose of Jeroboam were to lead the people away from the true God. This, indeed, was the effect, but that it was the design may well be doubted.

(2) He farther identifies the Elohim represented in them as having brought them up out of the land of Egypt. This expression is equivalent to saying that the Elohim he would remind them of in these figures was the same who wrought all the miracles of the Exodus.

(3) We must not be misled by the words, "Behold thy Elohim," or "These airs thy Elohim," as though he wished to impose these calves upon them as the very Elohim who wrought all the wonders of their miraculous history. For this is a Hebraism for similitudes (see Genesis 41:27; Daniel 2:38; 1 Corinthians 10:4). Note: Romanists impose their monstrous transubstantiation upon those who have not discerned this.

2. His error was a reproduction of Aaron's.

(1) This will be clear from a comparison of the text with Exodus 32:4.

(2) Aaron could not, under the very shadow of the Shekinah, and within hearing of the voice of thunder from Sinai, have intended to substitute his calf for the very Elohim.

(3) But that he only intended it as an emblem of the true God is placed very clearly before us in the words following (Exodus 32:5, 6), in which the feast celebrated before his calf is called a "feast of Jehovah"

3. Yet this was idolatry.

(1) Idolatry may consist of worshipping the creature instead of the Creator. This the Romanist does when he worships the wafer.

(2) Or it may be substituting some imagination of his heart for the God who has miraculously revealed Himself, and whose revelations concerning Himself are written in Holy Scripture. Such were the idealizations of the ancient (and also modern) heathen.

(3) Or it may consist in attempting to worship the true God through unauthorised images (see Exodus 20:4). This was the case with Aaron, also with Jeroboam. It is likewise the case with the Romanist, who uses crucifixes, and images and pictures of the Persons of the Trinity.


1. He had the cherubim in his mind.

(1) These had the visage of a calf. They had, indeed, also the visages of a lion, of a man, and of an eagle. But the whole figure terminated in the foot of a calf (Ezekiel 1:7).

(2) Jeroboam's calf probably had also associated with it the other visages of the cherubim; so probably had Aaron's, for they respectively call their image by the plural name Elohim (אלהים). The single image at Bethel is also called calves (עלגים) in the plural, which suggests a plurality of visages, though not necessarily visages of calves, for the whole emblem appears to have been designated by this name.

2. But the cherubim were emblems of the Holy Trinity.

(1) The calf or young bull, which by the ancients was taken for an emblem of fire, stood here for the first Person of the Godhead. (See Bato's "Critica Hebraea," under עגל and כרוב; also his learned "Inquiry into the Occasional and Standing Similitudes of the Lord God in the Old and New Testaments.")

(2) The lion was the symbol of light, and stood for the second Person. With the face of the lion that of the man was constantly associated, foreshadowing the assumption of the manhood into the Godhead by that blessed Person.

(3) And the eagle, the emblem of air, stood for the Holy Spirit.

(4) These, therefore, are called the cherubim, or similitudes of the Great Ones, from רבים Great Ones, and כ like.

3. Micah's teraphim were like Jeroboam's calves.

(1) They were a compound or plural image like the cherubim, and used like them (see Judges 17:5, 18:5).

(2) Michael was a worshipper of the true God, and so was Laban, who also used teraphim (see Genesis 31:19, 30, 37, 49),

(3) Compare also 1 Samuel 19:13; Ezekiel 21:21; Hosea 3:4.

(4) The cerberus of the pagans, with its plurality of heads, was a corruption, and the name of that monster keeps up the sound, of the original Hebrew cherubim. How subtle is the spirit of idolatry! We cannot keep too close to God's Word. - M.

And Jeroboam said in his heart.
"History is God teaching by example." All history is that. But the annals of the Hebrew race possess a peculiar interest, because in them the divine tuition is divinely interpreted. In the historical books of the Old Testament we have the record of a revelation rather than the revelation itself. The real revelation lies in the national life, of which the books are partly an account, partly an interpretation. Jeroboam became king. Born in humble circumstances, he had risen by dint of his energy and genius to a place so prominent in public affairs that he was suspected of aspiring to royalty. In every age, in spite of custom, caste, or condition, the men who are determined to rise will rise.

I. OPPORTUNITY. Seated at last firmly on his throne, Jeroboam was face to face with the opportunity of his life. It was a decisive hour in the young ruler's career. His future and the fate of a kingdom hung in the balance. Should he determine to serve God, work righteousness, lighten oppression, promote religion — should he prove strong to do all that Jehovah his God commanded — he might easily make himself the mightiest monarch, and his people the foremost nation of the age. God would then be with him. But if he disregarded these high ends, his kingdom would come to nought, and his name be a hissing and a by-word. God would be against him. Strange that Jeroboam did not comprehend this. No lesson was more clearly taught in the history of his country. Jeroboam is not alone in this fault. For nations and rulers to meet and lose such crucial chances is not at all uncommon. Not "once," as Lowell hath it, but often-

To every man and nation comes the moment to decide,

In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side.

Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,

Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right,

And the choice goes by forever, 'twixt that darkness and that light.One immortal precept Jeroboam's case vividly illustrates — the only safe path is the right path. Our salvation from failure and shame lies in being absolutely true to our deepest convictions of right, unswervingly loyal to what we know of God's will.

II. EXPEDIENCY VERSUS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Before his great opportunity Jeroboam failed. The causes of his downfall were all the more seductive because they seemed to be justified by the soundest maxims of governmental policy. It would never do, he reasoned, to have the centre of the national religion in a foreign city, and especially in the chief city of the country from which his subjects had just seceded. They might as safely have the seat of government in the capital of a rival nation as to have the seat of religion there. If the people continued to go up to the prominent feasts at Jerusalem, there was danger of a revolution backward. The old ties might prove too strong. Religious scruples knight overcome political considerations. It was necessary to isolate the nation religiously as well as governmentally. The secession must be complete. To this end Jeroboam now devoted his energies. Having fortified some of the chief cities of his realm, he set to work to create a public sentiment favourable to his scheme. "It is too much," he said to the people, "for you to go up to Jerusalem." There was plausibility in this plea. Devices to lighten the stress of duty, or give a liberal interpretation to moral obligations, are apt to be popular. The new arrangement seems to have sprung into general favour at once. Following up the advantage thus gained, the king established two centres of worship — one at Bethel, a place already sanctified by many sacred events; the other at Dan, on the northern frontier. So, for mere political ends, the national connection with the religion which God had ordained was broken off. Jeroboam had made a fatal mistake. He had set politics before religion, chosen convenience instead of duty, made expediency take the place of righteousness. Disastrous consequences always follow a choice like that. Keen-sighted men are often short-sighted. They see vividly, but only at close range, like those party leaders whose foresight does not extend beyond the next election. But the immutable laws move relentlessly on to exact in due season their last ounce of penalty. "They enslave their children's children who make compromise with sin," saith the Delphic Oracle. Thousands of Esaus are all the time peddling their birthrights for messes of pottage. For the sake of temporary gain, or the gratification of a present desire, or to tide over an immediate crisis, they put in pawn their manhood, purity, and honour, and mortgage their future to the Devil. This evil tendency is greatly increased by current sentiments about success. Success is a cardinal virtue with most of us. We worship the goddess of victory. Having exalted to a superlative rank the matter of gaining our end, the severity with which we criticise the means is inversely as the degree of success hoped for. The great thing nowadays is to get ahead — by honourable courses if one can; but to get ahead. Herein he is a warning to us. Whoever puts policy before religion, chooses convenience before duty, or makes expediency a greater thing than righteousness, has foredoomed his career to ultimate failure, and his name to certain shame.

III. IDOLATRY. One false step necessitates a second. Having adopted his policy, the new king must needs devise suitable means for carrying it out. An evil aim and end calls for evil devices. The results of Aaron's experiment, however, would seem sufficient to have deterred any one from imitating it. Common sense should have perceived the advisability of making as few changes as need be, and of introducing gradually such as were imperative. The religious sense of the worthiest classes was sure to be shocked at any radical alterations in the established order. But the king, having entered upon a wrong road, went rashly on. It is argued by some commentators that this was not idolatry in the strict sense, but only the worship of Jehovah under the form of a calf. And indeed the phrase may read, "This is thy God, O Israel, that brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." Be that as it may, Jehovah had expressly forbidden men to worship him in that fashion, for the wise reason that worship by the aid of sensuous forms invariably degenerates among the masses into actual idolatry. The making of images results in the worship of false gods. Fifty years later, in the days of Elijah the reformer, we find the nation wholly given over to idols. The worship of Jehovah had almost entirely ceased. Baal, Astarte, and Moloch were the reigning deities. 'Tis ever thus. Idolatry involves also the sin of disobedience. God had said, "Thou shalt not." This Jeroboam well knew. He ought to have remembered the hot displeasure with which in the history of his nation infractions of God's will had been punished. What a strange infatuation possesses men who suppose that they can please God while doing the very things which He has sternly forbidden! Yet men are guilty of this folly all the time. But the crowning iniquity of Jeroboam, for which more than for all else he was condemned, was that he used the public power, the Divinely bestowed authority of the state, for the furtherance of ungodliness. There is a warning here for legislators who legalise a nefarious traffic, give respectability to lotteries and gambling-dens, or load unjust taxes upon the poor and weak, and for rulers who wink at bribery, theft, and other wickedness in high places.

IV. DOOM. In his procedure Jeroboam overlooked a universal law. Consequences are inevitable. Effects follow their causes. Every road has its proper terminus, every seed its peculiar harvest. Choose your course, and you will come to the end of it. Sow your seed; you must reap the sort of grain which you have sown. Flesh and corruption, wind and whirlwind, spirit and life, obedience and blessing, transgression and ruin: these things go in these pairs. The two names in each pair are but two names for the selfsame thing. In natural matters, in physical science, this principle is everywhere respected; in spiritual it is almost universally ignored. Since the foundation of the world men have been doing evil that good might come, seeking blessedness by the way of the transgressor, sowing tares and watching for wheat.

(F. W. Ryder.)

I. THE MAN — JEROBOAM. The man inaugurates the policy. The idolater precedes the idolatry. The sin does not force itself into Israel, but is introduced by the king. Jeroboam was the son of Nebat. Dean Stanley says his mother had been a woman of loose character. The son had courage, ability, and industry. He held an important office, under Solomon, and "was known as the man who had inclosed the city of David."

II. THE PEOPLE — ISRAEL. The people followed their king. (There is a tradition that one family held out against calf-worship.) The national conscience was not sensitive, the national faith not vigorous, the sense of loyalty not strong, the spirit of obedience not quick. The people, though knowing better, were easily led into disobedience. They knew the law, and the history of Aaron's golden calves. Their eyes were open, but they lacked the moral fibre and high spirit that will refuse to follow a false leader in his wrong plans. Many of them must have surrendered conscience in following this apostate king. Let us not be too severe in our judgment of them. Hosts of informed people are being led in evil ways by modern Jeroboams. Men like him still frequently decide public policy, even in matters of morals and religion, and the multitudes follow even into the ditch. Conscience goes to the wall. The king, the government, or the party chooses the policy, offering plausible excuse for violating God's law, and the people follow. The result is certain. A nation surrendering conscience loses conscience. A people disobedient to God suffers His wrath. Israel did.

III. THE SIN — IDOLATRY. This evil surrounded the Jews. They knew the nature and results. God was training them for pure worship. The spiritual God was trying to get a spiritual people. He had always to resist a tendency to idolatry. His word is full of warnings against it and woes upon it. He knew its nature and deadly result. Evermore He tries to prevent it, not in petty jealousy, but for the love of His children. Worship is love. God does not so jealously guard mere forms and ceremonies. He does guard the love of His people. Worshipping Him is loving Him. And that is the deepest relation between God and man. His supreme expression toward man is the utterance of His love. Man's supreme response is love. Love brooks no divided heart. Love needs no images. "God is a spirit." Love is spiritual. Worship, in its essence, is love. He "seeketh such to worship Him as worship Him in spirit and in truth." "For two hundred and fifty-seven years this terrible indictment, 'he made Israel to sin,' follows Jeroboam and his kingdom through all the pages of this sacred record, until the kingdom was utterly destroyed and the Ten Tribes blotted from the map of human history, even as Moses and the prophets had predicted." Why does this result follow idolatry? Because right relation to God is the root of character. If that relation be wrong life itself is wrong. This is fundamental. Error or fault here is fatal. There are not two centres to this circle. Men cannot keep the first commandment and break the second. In idolatry men satisfy their religious feeling by a false worship which pretends to be true. The essence of it is disobedience; self-choice instead of self-surrender. It denies God by choosing other ways than His. It looks religious; it is the essence of sin. It begins with materialism and ends in polytheism or atheism. A close student has said: "Idolatry does not begin as idolatry. There is evolution down as well as up. The argument for image-worship is specious, and it is always in essential spirit the same. Every tendency toward materialisation is a backward tendency in religion. The golden calves which Jeroboam sets up as a representation of God lead naturally and speedily to the horrible pagan rites which come in with Ahab and Jezebel." "Idolatry in the ancient Church," says the Britannica, "was naturally reckoned among those magna crimina or great crimes against the first and second commandments which involved the highest ecclesiastical censures." The danger of idolatry has not ceased. St. John's message is still to men: "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." The golden calf still exists in "covetousnesst the which is idolatry." It exists to destroy.

(W. F. McDowell.)

It is no less man's highest duty than his supreme blessedness to know and love and serve the true and living God: to know Him is life eternal; to be ignorant of Him is death for evermore. The character of the God who is worshipped reproduces itself in the characters of the worshippers; if He is vile, His worshippers will be vile; if He is pure, they will be pure. The essential nature of idolatry renders it, of necessity, one of the vilest and most debasing of sins. The worship of false gods has been almost universally associated with the use of idols, images, and pictures. Where you find the false god you find his image, and where you find the image there also is the false god; hence Jehovah forbids the use of material objects that have always been used in connection with the worship of false gods. He is a spirit, and His worship must be pure and spiritual. But the connection between worshipping the true God by images and the worship of other gods than the Lord is most intimate; and two generations later, and after Jeroboam had corrupted the worship of Jehovah, Ahab, instigated by his wicked heathen wife Jezebel, formally established the idolatrous worship of other gods, Baal, Ashtoreth, and Moloch, in the capital of his nation. The enormity of Jeroboam's sin is seen in the light of Jehovah's peculiar relations to him and to his people. God entered into the most solemn covenant relations with them. He was to them not only Creator and Lord and Judge, as He was to all other nations, but He was their Friend, their Guide, their Protector. Had Jeroboam been pious as he was brave, had he received the kingdom as a sacred trust from the Lord, had he ruled as theocratic king, had he relied upon the promises and protection of Jehovah, then indeed would the Lord have built him a sure house, and his kingdom would soon have absorbed the two other tribes and have endured for generations; but, alas! he took counsel of his own wisdom, not of the wisdom of God; he trusted to human power rather than to the protection of Jehovah, and proceeded promptly to organise and consolidate his kingdom. Four important measures received his immediate attention: a capital, a worship, a festival and a priesthood. He selected Shechem in the great tribe of Ephraim, and built there a city as the capital of his kingdom. But the worship of the people was the matter of greatest importance in the establishment of his kingdom. The children of Israel brought with them from Egypt many of the customs and idolatrous manners of their masters. During the period of their sojourn and bondage they had become contaminated by their daily contact with Egyptian idolatry, and the animal-worship of this ancient and august civilisation had made on their minds a most profound and lasting impression. So deeply rooted was this foul idolatry in the hearts of Israel that in sight of Mount Sinai, and while Moses was receiving the law from God and delayed to come down, the people gathered themselves unto Aaron and said, "Up! make us gods which shall go before us," etc. Jeroboam doubtless remembered this incident in the history of his people; he had this venerable precedent for his guide — a precedent established by the first high priest of Israel; whereupon he took counsel and made two calves of gold, and said, It is too much for the people to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the golden calves, and it gave colour and direction to the whole subsequent history of the northern kingdom of the ten tribes. And thus idolatry was established by the king himself as the national religion of the ten tribes, constituting the northern kingdom of Israel.

1. The wise Solomon saw the many abilities of Jeroboam, and made him, when a young man, ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph; he was a man of decision, discretion, industry and valour. But he was destitute of faith and devoid of that fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom.

2. Jeroboam in thus establishing idolatry in order to strengthen the throne and consolidate his kingdom ignored the living God as a potent factor in the problem. The Divine element, which was the all-controlling one, found no place in his plans, his calculations or his conduct.

3. In the establishment of idolatry he did not openly reject the Jehovah of Israel, but corrupted His worship — with what far-reaching evil let Israel's shameful history. and ignominious end proclaim.

4. The corruption of the people proceeded, pars passu, with the corruption of the worship of God. The life of the nation began with flagrant violations of the Divine law and with an idolatrous worship, and the effects of these sins are seen in all the subsequent history of Israel. The national life was polluted at its very fountain, for the religion and worship of any people are the very innermost springs of being, development and civilisation; and so Israel passed from bad to worse with frightful rapidity and momentum, and her history is red with blood and dark with defilement.

5. Israel's idolatry led not only to her decay, but to her death. The wages of sin is death, no less for the nation than for the individual. The soul that sinneth and the nation that sinneth shall die.

(A. W. Pitzer, D. D.)

I. JEROBOAM'S DIFFICULTY. The difficulty was a religious one. In the northern kingdom which he had founded there was no temple — no place consecrated for offerings and sacrifices. The temple was the crowning glory of Jerusalem, the capital of the southern kingdom, "Whither the tribes went up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel." The only place of sacrifice, the only place in which the highest religious duties could be discharged, was in the rival kingdom over which Rehoboam reigned. The hour had not yet come when "neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem should men worship the Father." It was the hour in which every devout Jew felt compelled to offer the appointed sacrifices in the appointed place. No provision could be found in Jeroboam's kingdom for the religious wants of the people. He had to rule a nation (which was nothing if it was not religious — a nation which, in former times, had been ruled by Jehovah without the aid of kings) without any of the signs of His presenced no ark, no shekinah glory, no tables of stone, no altar, no priest, no temple. Jeroboam knew full well that these were essential to the nation — that unless these religious needs were met within his own borders the people would go up to Jerusalem, they would be found within the temple of Solomon. He feared that they would be fascinated by the glory both of the city and temple; that their hearts would be drawn thither; that the rival kingdom of Judah would acquire new glory in their eyes; and that, sooner or later, they would forsake their allegiance to him and his throne, and return to the dynasty which they had so recently forsaken.

II. JEROBOAM'S REMEDY. The difficulty was very evident. The remedy was not easily to be found. It probably gave the king much anxious thought, and, when it was found, was of the kind to be expected both from his character and antecedents. Altars were reared, objects of worship were devised after the model afforded by the sacred calf of Heliopolis. The cry heard long before beneath the granite crags of Sinai was repeated: "These are thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." The feast times were altered to suit the later harvest of the more northern climate. To borrow the felicitous historical illustrations of Dean Stanley, just as Abder-rahman, Caliph of Spain, arrested the movements of his subjects to Mecca by the erection of the holy place of the Zeca at Cordova, or as Abdelmalik, because of his quarrel with the authorities at Mecca, built the dome of the rock at Jerusalem, so Jeroboam sought to rear rival seats of sacrifice in his kingdom to keep the heart, of the people from Jerusalem, and bind them more closely to his person and his throne.


1. The inconvenience of the State busying itself with religious matters. The true policy of Jeroboam would have been to have left religion alone. He had been called to the throne for political purposes. After all, the root of the whole mischief is to be found in want of faith. Assuredly it was thus with Jeroboam. On two distinct occasions, by symbolic but most expressive methods, he had received the assurance that over the ten tribes he would be called to be king. He knew that "the thing was from the Lord." This religious difficulty met him, it is true, at the very opening of his reign. Why could he not leave it in Jehovah's hands? Why could he not fill the throne assured that God would provide for the Church? Why could he not believe that called to the throne he would be preserved therein, although the people did go year by year to sacrifice in the rival kingdom? It is thus in our day. Men are filled with all manner of fear if this union be not preserved. Why cannot we believe that God will provide for His Church, and that the more she trusts in Him and the less in men, the stronger she will be for her work?

2. The evil of preferring policy to principle. Policy lay at the root of Jeroboam's mischief Although he hid lived in Egypt, he belonged to the chosen race, and was ignorant neither of its history nor laws. Policy is a word too often on men's lips. The very commonness of its use is significant of the prevalence of the thought. To many minds it is quite sufficient to dissuade from a course of action to say it is not good policy. If right go with policy, all is well; if right part company with policy, right pleads in vain. The men who range themselves fearlessly under the banner of truth, who adopt the motto of our great English orator and statesman, "Be just, and fear not," are regarded as dangerous men. The cry needs to be heard, "Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait on Thee." The conviction needs to take strong hold of our spirit, "Thou desirest truth in the inward parts." We need to .listen to the words of our great Poet, words which sound like an echo of the voice of prophet and apostle, words filled with the spirit of Him who came to bear witness to the Truth —

To thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

(W. G. Horder.)

Monday Club Sermons.
I. THE KING MADE USE OF THE CHURCH TO SERVE HIS POLITICAL AMBITIONS. Historical illustrations of success in a similar line to that entered upon by Jeroboam are abundant. The Roman Church has this sad record to face, of its having been a support or cover to all the personal ambitions that throb in a human breast. The important thing, however, is that, under all forms of church establishment or order, these influences are liable to manifest themselves. The dangers to the church arise not merely from the desires of prominent individuals to exercise undue control in ecclesiastical affairs; the false sentiments of men within and without the church are the sources of peril. Pressure is brought to bear upon the Christian community to declare itself positively on difficult or doubtful questions. Political motives often mingle with those that are personal in leading men thus to antagonise the church into a position favourable to their views.

II. THE PEOPLE SACRIFICED THEIR RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLES TO THEIR LOVE OF EASE. If a young man who has been taught secret prayer neglects that duty and privilege till bedtime, and delays still further till he retires, that prayer will not be a vital, faithful prayer. Frederick W. Robertson used to say, "Begin the day with a sacrifice." He rose quickly. He engaged his mind, instead of allowing it to wander in the precious morning hours. It was his habit to learn a verse of Scripture while dressing. Some vigorous mental and moral effort is necessary to bring one into a proper state for worship.

III. THE INTRODUCTION OF OLD ERRORS MADE IDOLATRY MORE ACCEPTABLE. Jeroboam took advantage of an incident in the early history of the people of Israel in setting up the golden calves. The old sin of the tribes, in worshipping the calf made by Aaron in the absence of Moses, was yet to bear fruit. The new ritual is made more acceptable by being linked with an old sin. The people fell again into the pit from which they were digged. The results, however, were those that universally followed disobedience to God's commands. Moab and Damascus were soon as near as Bethel and Dan, and their worship as acceptable to deceived Israel.

IV. A SERVILE PRIESTHOOD AIDED IN ACCOMPLISHING THE ENSLAVEMENT OF THE PEOPLE. We need not understand, by the lowest orders of the people, the worst of the population of the ten tribes. The king chose his priests where it pleased him, outside of the tribe of Levi. This would undoubtedly be a popular measure. Probably the king did not choose all bad men. It does not appear a matter of great importance to many in this day that a man be called of God to the ministry; it is, however, a most vital matter. If he does not recognise God's call upon him, he will not feel responsibility to God. He is only, or chiefly, responsible to men. We obey the master that elevates us. The priests, out of the lowest, orders of tim people, served the king. Men will treat lightly the word of God unless an inward voice has declared to them its sacredness and their commission in regard to it. The servility begotten of a feeling of responsibility to men expresses itself in formalism. It recognises custom and tradition as the law by which men are to guide their lives. A ministry that the world calls will obey its master. Let us have a consecrated and called ministry.

(Monday Club Sermons.)

Homiletic Review.
Jeroboam sought to satisfy the people's longings.


1. In work done in the churches from wrong motives.

2. In accepting doctrines which are merely pleasing to us.

3. In modifying God's Word to suit the times.

4. In making our standard the standard for testing salvation.


(1)is acceptable to God;

(2)will satisfy man's deepest longings;

(3)will save man and stand the test of time. Is your religion man-made or God-made?

(Homiletic Review.).

Adoniram, Adoram, Ahijah, Benjamin, Dan, David, Israelites, Jeroboam, Jesse, Levi, Levites, Nebat, Penuel, Rehoboam, Shemaiah, Solomon
Bethel, Dan, Egypt, Jerusalem, Penuel, Shechem
Altar, Bethel, Beth-el, Built, Burn, Burning, Burnt, Choosing, Devised, Eighth, Feast, Festival, Fifteenth, Fixed, Heart, Incense, Instituted, Israelites, Maketh, Month, Offer, Offered, Offereth, Offerings, Ordained, Orders, Perfume, Pleasure, Sacrifices, Smoke, Sons
1. The Israelites, assembled at Shechem to crown Rehoboam,
4. by Jeroboam make a suit of relaxation unto him
6. Rehoboam, refusing the old men's counsel, answers them roughly
16. Ten tribes revolting, kill Adoram, and make Rehoboam flee
21. Rehoboam, raising an army, is forbidden by Shemaiah
25. Jeroboam strengthens himself by cities
26. and by idolatry of the two calves

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 12:26-33

     5811   compromise
     7233   Israel, northern kingdom

1 Kings 12:32-33

     1654   numbers, 11-99

How to Split a Kingdom
And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. 2. And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt); 3. That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, 4. Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Political Religion
'Then Jeroboam built Shechera in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel. 26. And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: 27. If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. 28. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

"This Thing is from Me"
"Thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me."--1 Kings 12:24. IT IS VERY DELIGHTFUL to read a history in which God is made prominent. How sadly deficient we are of such histories of our own English nation! Yet surely there is no story that is more full of God than the record of the doings of our British race. Cowper, in one of his poems, shows the parallel between us and the house of Israel,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 42: 1896

The Hebrews and the Philistines --Damascus
THE ISRAELITES IN THE LAND OF CANAAN: THE JUDGES--THE PHILISTINES AND THE HEBREW KINGDOM--SAUL, DAVID, SOLOMON, THE DEFECTION OF THE TEN TRIBES--THE XXIst EGYPTIAN DYNASTY--SHESHONQ OR SHISHAK DAMASCUS. The Hebrews in the desert: their families, clans, and tribes--The Amorites and the Hebrews on the left bank of the Jordan--The conquest of Canaan and the native reaction against the Hebrews--The judges, Ehud, Deborah, Jerubbaal or Gideon and the Manassite supremacy; Abimelech, Jephihdh. The Philistines,
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 6

How God Works in the Hearts of Men.
1. Connection of this chapter with the preceding. Augustine's similitude of a good and bad rider. Question answered in respect to the devil. 2. Question answered in respect to God and man. Example from the history of Job. The works of God distinguished from the works of Satan and wicked men. 1. By the design or end of acting. How Satan acts in the reprobate. 2. How God acts in them. 3. Old Objection, that the agency of God in such cases is referable to prescience or permission, not actual operation.
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Use to be Made of the Doctrine of Providence.
Sections. 1. Summary of the doctrine of Divine Providence. 1. It embraces the future and the past. 2. It works by means, without means, and against means. 3. Mankind, and particularly the Church, the object of special care. 4. The mode of administration usually secret, but always just. This last point more fully considered. 2. The profane denial that the world is governed by the secret counsel of God, refuted by passages of Scripture. Salutary counsel. 3. This doctrine, as to the secret counsel of
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

The Upbringing of Jewish Children
The tenderness of the bond which united Jewish parents to their children appears even in the multiplicity and pictorialness of the expressions by which the various stages of child-life are designated in the Hebrew. Besides such general words as "ben" and "bath"--"son" and "daughter"--we find no fewer than nine different terms, each depicting a fresh stage of life. The first of these simply designates the babe as the newly--"born"--the "jeled," or, in the feminine, "jaldah"--as in Exodus 2:3, 6, 8.
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

The Instrumentality of the Wicked Employed by God, While He Continues Free from Every Taint.
1. The carnal mind the source of the objections which are raised against the Providence of God. A primary objection, making a distinction between the permission and the will of God, refuted. Angels and men, good and bad, do nought but what has been decreed by God. This proved by examples. 2. All hidden movements directed to their end by the unseen but righteous instigation of God. Examples, with answers to objections. 3. These objections originate in a spirit of pride and blasphemy. Objection, that
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

The Twelve Minor Prophets.
1. By the Jewish arrangement, which places together the twelve minor prophets in a single volume, the chronological order of the prophets as a whole is broken up. The three greater prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, stand in the true order of time. Daniel began to prophesy before Ezekiel, but continued, many years after him. The Jewish arrangement of the twelve minor prophets is in a sense chronological; that is, they put the earlier prophets at the beginning, and the later at the end of the
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

Of Civil Government.
OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT. This chapter consists of two principal heads,--I. General discourse on the necessity, dignity, and use of Civil Government, in opposition to the frantic proceedings of the Anabaptists, sec. 1-3. II. A special exposition of the three leading parts of which Civil Government consists, sec. 4-32. The first part treats of the function of Magistrates, whose authority and calling is proved, sec. 4-7. Next, the three Forms of civil government are added, sec. 8. Thirdly, Consideration
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Travelling in Palestine --Roads, Inns, Hospitality, Custom-House Officers, Taxation, Publicans
It was the very busiest road in Palestine, on which the publican Levi Matthew sat at the receipt of "custom," when our Lord called him to the fellowship of the Gospel, and he then made that great feast to which he invited his fellow-publicans, that they also might see and hear Him in Whom he had found life and peace (Luke 5:29). For, it was the only truly international road of all those which passed through Palestine; indeed, it formed one of the great highways of the world's commerce. At the time
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

The Figurative Language of Scripture.
1. When the psalmist says: "The Lord God is a sun and shield" (Psa. 84:11), he means that God is to all his creatures the source of life and blessedness, and their almighty protector; but this meaning he conveys under the figure of a sun and a shield. When, again, the apostle James says that Moses is read in the synagogues every Sabbath-day (Acts 15:21), he signifies the writings of Moses under the figure of his name. In these examples the figure lies in particular words. But it may be embodied
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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