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1 Kings 12:25-33

Jeroboam Makes Golden Calves

12:25 1 Jeroboam built up Shechem in the Ephraimite hill country and lived there. From there he went out and built up Penuel. 12:26 Jeroboam then thought to himself: 2  “Now the Davidic dynasty could regain the kingdom. 3  12:27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem, 4  their loyalty could shift to their former master, 5  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, 6  he made two golden calves. Then he said to the people, 7  “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 8  and the other in Dan. 12:30 This caused Israel to sin; 9  the people went to Bethel and Dan to worship the calves. 10 

12:31 He built temples 11  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, 12  like the festival celebrated in Judah. 13  On the altar in Bethel he offered sacrifices to the calves he had made. 14  In Bethel he also appointed priests for the high places he had made.

A Prophet from Judah Visits Bethel

12:33 On the fifteenth day of the eighth month (a date he had arbitrarily chosen) 15  Jeroboam 16  offered sacrifices on the altar he had made in Bethel. 17  He inaugurated a festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to offer sacrifices.

1 tc The Old Greek translation has here a lengthy section consisting of twenty-three verses that are not found in the MT.

2 tn Heb “said in his heart.”

3 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 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

5 tn Heb “the heart of these people could return to their master.”

6 tn The words “with his advisers” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

7 tn Heb “to them,” although this may be a corruption of “to the people.” Cf. the Old Greek translation.

8 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

9 tn Heb “and this thing became a sin.”

10 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 tn The Hebrew text has the singular, but the plural is preferable here (see 1 Kgs 13:32). The Old Greek translation and the Vulgate have the plural.

12 sn The eighth month would correspond to October-November in modern reckoning.

13 sn The festival he celebrated in Judah probably refers to the Feast of Tabernacles (i.e., Booths or Temporary Shelters), held in the seventh month (September-October). See also 1 Kgs 8:2.

14 tn Heb “and he offered up [sacrifices] on the altar; he did this in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made.”

15 tn Heb “which he had chosen by himself.”

16 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jeroboam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

17 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

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