12:26 Jeroboam then thought to himself: 1 “Now the Davidic dynasty could regain the kingdom. 2 12:27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem, 3 their loyalty could shift to their former master, 4 King Rehoboam of Judah. They might kill me and return to King Rehoboam of Judah.” 12:28 After the king had consulted with his advisers, 5 he made two golden calves. Then he said to the people, 6 “It is too much trouble for you to go up to Jerusalem. Look, Israel, here are your gods who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” 12:29 He put one in Bethel 7 and the other in Dan. 12:30 This caused Israel to sin; 8 the people went to Bethel and Dan to worship the calves. 9
12:31 He built temples 10 on the high places and appointed as priests people who were not Levites. 12:32 Jeroboam inaugurated a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, 11 like the festival celebrated in Judah. 12 On the altar in Bethel he offered sacrifices to the calves he had made. 13 In Bethel he also appointed priests for the high places he had made.
12:33 On the fifteenth day of the eighth month (a date he had arbitrarily chosen) 14 Jeroboam 15 offered sacrifices on the altar he had made in Bethel. 16 He inaugurated a festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to offer sacrifices.
1 tn Heb “said in his heart.”
2 tn Heb “Now the kingdom could return to the house of David.” The imperfect verbal form translated “could return” is understood as having a potential force here. Perhaps this is not strong enough; another option is “will return.”
4 tn Heb “the heart of these people could return to their master.”
5 tn The words “with his advisers” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
6 tn Heb “to them,” although this may be a corruption of “to the people.” Cf. the Old Greek translation.
8 tn Heb “and this thing became a sin.”
9 tc The MT reads “and the people went before the one to Dan.” It is likely that some words have been accidentally omitted and that the text originally said, “and the people went before the one at Bethel and before the one at Dan.”
11 sn The eighth month would correspond to October-November in modern reckoning.
13 tn Heb “and he offered up [sacrifices] on the altar; he did this in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made.”
14 tn Heb “which he had chosen by himself.”
15 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jeroboam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.