I Kings 13
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  And, behold, there came a man of God out of Yehuda by the word of Hashem unto Beit El; and Yerovam was standing by the Mizbayach to offer.

א  וְהִנֵּה אִישׁ אֱלֹהִים בָּא מִיהוּדָה בִּדְבַר יְהוָה אֶל בֵּית אֵל וְיָרָבְעָם עֹמֵד עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לְהַקְטִיר.

2  And he cried against the Mizbayach by the word of Hashem, and said: ‘O Mizbayach, Mizbayach, thus saith Hashem: Behold, a son shall be born unto the house of David, Yoshiahu by name; and upon thee shall he sacrifice the kohanim of the high places that offer upon thee, and men’s bones shall they burn upon thee.’

va-yik-RA al ha-miz-BAY-akh bid-VAR a-do-NAI va-YO-mer miz-BAY-akh miz-BAY-akh koh a-MAR a-do-NAI hi-NAY no-LAD l’-VAYT da-VID yo-shi-YA-hu sh’-MO v’-za-VAKH a-LE-kha et ko-ha-NAY ha-ba-MOT ha-mak-ti-REEM a-LE-kha v’-atz-MOT a-DAM yis-r’-FU a-LE-kha

ב  וַיִּקְרָא עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ בִּדְבַר יְהוָה וַיֹּאמֶר מִזְבֵּחַ מִזְבֵּחַ כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה הִנֵּה בֵן נוֹלָד לְבֵית דָּוִד יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ שְׁמוֹ וְזָבַח עָלֶיךָ אֶת כֹּהֲנֵי הַבָּמוֹת הַמַּקְטִרִים עָלֶיךָ וְעַצְמוֹת אָדָם יִשְׂרְפוּ עָלֶיךָ.

13:2   And upon thee shall he sacrifice the kohanim of the high places that offer upon thee

Beth-el is a spiritually significant location in the Bible. To the east of Beth-el is where Abraham first calls out in the name of the Lord (Genesis 12:8), and Beth-el is where Jacob wakes up from his famous dream and declares “How full of awe is this place! this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” Beth-el is also chosen as a place of worship and prayer during the time period of the Judges (Judges 20:26). It is therefore not surprising that King Jeroboam chooses Beth-el as the location in which to erect his alternate altar to God. However, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem is the only place where the Children of Israel are permitted to offer sacrifices. Though God had ordained that King Solomon’s kingdom would be split, he did not intend to diminish the centrality of Jerusalem and the Temple. Therefore, what Jeroboam does is a grave sin which causes others to sin as well. God sends a prophet to proclaim that he will lose the kingdom and his altar will be destroyed. As recorded in II Kings 23, the righteous King Josiah of the house of David destroys the altar in fulfilmment of this prophecy.

Comment

3  And he gave a sign the same day saying: ‘This is the sign which Hashem hath spoken: Behold, the Mizbayach shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.’

ג  וְנָתַן בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא מוֹפֵת לֵאמֹר זֶה הַמּוֹפֵת אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה הִנֵּה הַמִּזְבֵּחַ נִקְרָע וְנִשְׁפַּךְ הַדֶּשֶׁן אֲשֶׁר עָלָיו.

4  And it came to pass, when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the Mizbayach in Beit El, that Yerovam put forth his hand from the Mizbayach, saying: ‘Lay hold on him.’ And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back to him.

ד  וַיְהִי כִשְׁמֹעַ הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת דְּבַר אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר קָרָא עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ בְּבֵית אֵל וַיִּשְׁלַח יָרָבְעָם אֶת יָדוֹ מֵעַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לֵאמֹר תִּפְשֻׂהוּ וַתִּיבַשׁ יָדוֹ אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַח עָלָיו וְלֹא יָכֹל לַהֲשִׁיבָהּ אֵלָיו.

5  The Mizbayach also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the Mizbayach, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of Hashem.

ה  וְהַמִּזְבֵּחַ נִקְרָע וַיִּשָּׁפֵךְ הַדֶּשֶׁן מִן הַמִּזְבֵּחַ כַּמּוֹפֵת אֲשֶׁר נָתַן אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים בִּדְבַר יְהוָה.

6  And the king answered and said unto the man of God: ‘Entreat now the favour of Hashem thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me.’ And the man of God entreated Hashem, and the king’s hand was restored him, and became as it was before.

ו  וַיַּעַן הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים חַל נָא אֶת פְּנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְהִתְפַּלֵּל בַּעֲדִי וְתָשֹׁב יָדִי אֵלָי וַיְחַל אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים אֶת פְּנֵי יְהוָה וַתָּשָׁב יַד הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵלָיו וַתְּהִי כְּבָרִאשֹׁנָה.

7  And the king said unto the man of God: ‘Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.’

ז  וַיְדַבֵּר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים בֹּאָה אִתִּי הַבַּיְתָה וּסְעָדָה וְאֶתְּנָה לְךָ מַתָּת.

8  And the man of God said unto the king: ‘If thou wilt give me half thy house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place.

ח  וַיֹּאמֶר אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ אִם תִּתֶּן לִי אֶת חֲצִי בֵיתֶךָ לֹא אָבֹא עִמָּךְ וְלֹא אֹכַל לֶחֶם וְלֹא אֶשְׁתֶּה מַּיִם בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה.

9  For it so was charged me by the word of Hashem, saying: Thou shalt eat no bread, nor drink water, neither return by the way that thou camest.’

ט  כִּי כֵן צִוָּה אֹתִי בִּדְבַר יְהוָה לֵאמֹר לֹא תֹאכַל לֶחֶם וְלֹא תִשְׁתֶּה מָּיִם וְלֹא תָשׁוּב בַּדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר הָלָכְתָּ.

10  So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Beit El.

י  וַיֵּלֶךְ בְּדֶרֶךְ אַחֵר וְלֹא שָׁב בַּדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר בָּא בָהּ אֶל בֵּית אֵל.

11  Now there dwelt an old Navi in Beit El; and one of his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Beit El, and the words which he had spoken unto the king, and they told them unto their father.

יא  וְנָבִיא אֶחָד זָקֵן יֹשֵׁב בְּבֵית אֵל וַיָּבוֹא בְנוֹ וַיְסַפֶּר לוֹ אֶת כָּל הַמַּעֲשֶׂה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים הַיּוֹם בְּבֵית אֵל אֶת הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיְסַפְּרוּם לַאֲבִיהֶם.

12  And their father said unto them: ‘What way went he?’ For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, that came from Yehuda.

יב  וַיְדַבֵּר אֲלֵהֶם אֲבִיהֶם אֵי זֶה הַדֶּרֶךְ הָלָךְ וַיִּרְאוּ בָנָיו אֶת הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר הָלַךְ אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר בָּא מִיהוּדָה.

13  And he said unto his sons: ‘Saddle me the ass.’ So they saddled him the ass; and he rode thereon.

יג  וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל בָּנָיו חִבְשׁוּ לִי הַחֲמוֹר וַיַּחְבְּשׁוּ לוֹ הַחֲמוֹר וַיִּרְכַּב עָלָיו.

14  And he went after the man of God, and found him sitting under a terebinth; and he said unto him: ‘Art thou the man of God that camest from Yehuda?’ And he said: ‘I am.’

יד  וַיֵּלֶךְ אַחֲרֵי אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים וַיִּמְצָאֵהוּ יֹשֵׁב תַּחַת הָאֵלָה וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הַאַתָּה אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר בָּאתָ מִיהוּדָה וַיֹּאמֶר אָנִי.

15  Then he said unto him: ‘Come home with me, and eat bread.’

טו  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לֵךְ אִתִּי הַבָּיְתָה וֶאֱכֹל לָחֶם.

16  And he said: ‘I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee; neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place.

טז  וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא אוּכַל לָשׁוּב אִתָּךְ וְלָבוֹא אִתָּךְ וְלֹא אֹכַל לֶחֶם וְלֹא אֶשְׁתֶּה אִתְּךָ מַיִם בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה.

17  For it was said to me by the word of Hashem: Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn back to go by the way that thou camest.’

יז  כִּי דָבָר אֵלַי בִּדְבַר יְהוָה לֹא תֹאכַל לֶחֶם וְלֹא תִשְׁתֶּה שָׁם מָיִם לֹא תָשׁוּב לָלֶכֶת בַּדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר הָלַכְתָּ בָּהּ.

18  And he said unto him: ‘I also am a Navi as thou art; and an angel spoke unto me by the word of Hashem, saying: Bring him back with thee into thy house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’—He lied unto him.—

יח  וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ גַּם אֲנִי נָבִיא כָּמוֹךָ וּמַלְאָךְ דִּבֶּר אֵלַי בִּדְבַר יְהוָה לֵאמֹר הֲשִׁבֵהוּ אִתְּךָ אֶל בֵּיתֶךָ וְיֹאכַל לֶחֶם וְיֵשְׁתְּ מָיִם כִּחֵשׁ לוֹ.

19  So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.

יט  וַיָּשָׁב אִתּוֹ וַיֹּאכַל לֶחֶם בְּבֵיתוֹ וַיֵּשְׁתְּ מָיִם.

20  And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of Hashem came unto the Navi that brought him back.

כ  וַיְהִי הֵם יֹשְׁבִים אֶל הַשֻּׁלְחָן ויְהִי דְּבַר יְהוָה אֶל הַנָּבִיא אֲשֶׁר הֱשִׁיבוֹ.

21  And he cried unto the man of God that came from Yehuda, saying: ‘Thus saith Hashem: Forasmuch as thou hast rebelled against the word of Hashem, and hast not kept the commandment which Hashem thy God commanded thee,

כא  וַיִּקְרָא אֶל אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר בָּא מִיהוּדָה לֵאמֹר כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה יַעַן כִּי מָרִיתָ פִּי יְהוָה וְלֹא שָׁמַרְתָּ אֶת הַמִּצְוָה אֲשֶׁר צִוְּךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ.

22  but camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which He said to thee: Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcass shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.’

כב  וַתָּשָׁב וַתֹּאכַל לֶחֶם וַתֵּשְׁתְּ מַיִם בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֵלֶיךָ אַל תֹּאכַל לֶחֶם וְאַל תֵּשְׁתְּ מָיִם לֹא תָבוֹא נִבְלָתְךָ אֶל קֶבֶר אֲבֹתֶיךָ.

23  And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, namely, for the Navi whom he had brought back.

כג  וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי אָכְלוֹ לֶחֶם וְאַחֲרֵי שְׁתוֹתוֹ וַיַּחֲבָשׁ לוֹ הַחֲמוֹר לַנָּבִיא אֲשֶׁר הֱשִׁיבוֹ.

24  And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him; and his carcass was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it; the lion also stood by the carcass.

כד  וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיִּמְצָאֵהוּ אַרְיֵה בַּדֶּרֶךְ וַיְמִיתֵהוּ וַתְּהִי נִבְלָתוֹ מֻשְׁלֶכֶת בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְהַחֲמוֹר עֹמֵד אֶצְלָהּ וְהָאַרְיֵה עֹמֵד אֵצֶל הַנְּבֵלָה.

25  And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcass cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcass; and they came and told it in the city where the old Navi dwelt.

כה  וְהִנֵּה אֲנָשִׁים עֹבְרִים וַיִּרְאוּ אֶת הַנְּבֵלָה מֻשְׁלֶכֶת בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְאֶת הָאַרְיֵה עֹמֵד אֵצֶל הַנְּבֵלָה וַיָּבֹאוּ וַיְדַבְּרוּ בָעִיר אֲשֶׁר הַנָּבִיא הַזָּקֵן יֹשֵׁב בָּהּ.

26  And when the Navi that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said: ‘It is the man of God, who rebelled against the word of Hashem; therefore Hashem hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of Hashem, which He spoke unto him.’

כו  וַיִּשְׁמַע הַנָּבִיא אֲשֶׁר הֱשִׁיבוֹ מִן הַדֶּרֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים הוּא אֲשֶׁר מָרָה אֶת פִּי יְהוָה וַיִּתְּנֵהוּ יְהוָה לָאַרְיֵה וַיִּשְׁבְּרֵהוּ וַיְמִתֵהוּ כִּדְבַר יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לוֹ.

27  And he spoke to his sons, saying: ‘Saddle me the ass.’ And they saddled it.

כז  וַיְדַבֵּר אֶל בָּנָיו לֵאמֹר חִבְשׁוּ לִי אֶת הַחֲמוֹר וַיַּחֲבֹשׁוּ.

28  And he went and found his carcass cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcass; the lion had not eaten the carcass, nor torn the ass.

כח  וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיִּמְצָא אֶת נִבְלָתוֹ מֻשְׁלֶכֶת בַּדֶּרֶךְ וַחֲמוֹר וְהָאַרְיֵה עֹמְדִים אֵצֶל הַנְּבֵלָה לֹא אָכַל הָאַרְיֵה אֶת הַנְּבֵלָה וְלֹא שָׁבַר אֶת הַחֲמוֹר.

29  And the Navi took up the carcass of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back; and he came to the city of the old Navi, to lament, and to bury him.

כט  וַיִּשָּׂא הַנָּבִיא אֶת נִבְלַת אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים וַיַּנִּחֵהוּ אֶל הַחֲמוֹר וַיְשִׁיבֵהוּ וַיָּבֹא אֶל עִיר הַנָּבִיא הַזָּקֵן לִסְפֹּד וּלְקָבְרוֹ.

30  And he laid his carcass in his own grave; and they made lamentation for him: ‘Alas, my brother!’

ל  וַיַּנַּח אֶת נִבְלָתוֹ בְּקִבְרוֹ וַיִּסְפְּדוּ עָלָיו הוֹי אָחִי.

31  And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spoke to his sons, saying: ‘When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones.

לא  וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי קָבְרוֹ אֹתוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל בָּנָיו לֵאמֹר בְּמוֹתִי וּקְבַרְתֶּם אֹתִי בַּקֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים קָבוּר בּוֹ אֵצֶל עַצְמֹתָיו הַנִּיחוּ אֶת עַצְמֹתָי.

32  For the saying which he cried by the word of Hashem against the Mizbayach in Beit El, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Shomron, shall surely come to pass.’

לב  כִּי הָיֹה יִהְיֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר קָרָא בִּדְבַר יְהוָה עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֲשֶׁר בְּבֵית אֵל וְעַל כָּל בָּתֵּי הַבָּמוֹת אֲשֶׁר בְּעָרֵי שֹׁמְרוֹן.

33  After this thing Yerovam returned not from his evil way, but made again from among all the people kohanim of the high places; whosoever would, he consecrated him, that he might be one of the kohanim of the high places.

לג  אַחַר הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה לֹא שָׁב יָרָבְעָם מִדַּרְכּוֹ הָרָעָה וַיָּשָׁב וַיַּעַשׂ מִקְצוֹת הָעָם כֹּהֲנֵי בָמוֹת הֶחָפֵץ יְמַלֵּא אֶת יָדוֹ וִיהִי כֹּהֲנֵי בָמוֹת.

34  And by this thing there was sin unto the house of Yerovam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth.

לד  וַיְהִי בַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה לְחַטַּאת בֵּית יָרָבְעָם וּלְהַכְחִיד וּלְהַשְׁמִיד מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה.

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I Kings 12
I Kings 14

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I Kings 13