Solomon & Jeroboam’s Sin
At this time of the agricultural year the scripture leads our mind to the great sin of Jeroboam the Son of Nebat who cause Israel to sin. In this message we will look at the significance of Solomon’s sin light of and in contrast of Jeroboam’s sin as kings and heads of state.
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Delivered on 8-15-2022 / grego. 12-08-2022
Compiled by JS LOWTHER
Solomon & Jeroboam’s Sin
1Ki_12:25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel.
1Ki 12:26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:
1Ki 12:27 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.
1Ki 12:28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
1Ki 12:29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.
1Ki 12:30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
1Ki 12:31 And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.
1Ki 12:32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.
1Ki_2:33 So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.
Lev_23:34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.
Lev 23:35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Lev 23:36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.
On this lunar sabbath, on the 15th day of the 8th month we commemorate a horrible event, we remember the sin of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.
11 times in the books of kings do we read these words “Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.”
as prior described.
The sin of Jeroboam is not a small sin, it is the rather viewed by the prophets and chroniclers of Israelite History to be the measuring stick used to judge the sins of all the other kings and rulers and even the state of the union on a national level.
And the sin of Jeroboam as a king as a government official was idolatry, and it came in the form of abandoning the regulative principle of worship as discussed last week.
But much of what happened to Jeroboam was taught to him in a strange way by the leadership of his former king Solomon the son of David.
The sin of Jeroboam is an obviously idolatry, but it is idolatry in many ways beyond the obvious:
Exo_20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Exo 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
His sin is obviously on the most visual level seen by the golden calves which he made to worship YHWH by in name.
But it is also on the most unseen level to others no different than the sin of imagination, which we see him engaged in as he invents worship for the people contrary to the word of God.
Let’s read some of the history that led to this scenario:
1Ki_1:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
1Ki 11:2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
1Ki 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
1Ki 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
1Ki 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
1Ki 11:6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.
1Ki 11:7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.
1Ki 11:8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
1Ki 11:9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,
1Ki 11:10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.
1Ki 11:11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.
1Ki 11:12 Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.
Now what do we have here as Jeroboams sin?
Well first in Solomon’s life practices, Solomon even in his God given wisdom was not wise enough to obey the plain word of the Lord on the matter of who he should marry and love.
We are not to be ignorant of the devices of Satan, and all sin which is manufactured in the heart, such is brought about in the same way, the device or mechanism is employed is the use of intellect- human reasoning to make void the word and law of God.
In the case of Solomon, as it is this day, race mixing was prohibited by God’s law, Deuteronomy 7 is partly quoted here on this matter, but Solomon who we know was not unwise somehow reasoned himself into committing this sin.
Subtility in speech and of what is obviously wrong in Scripture and nature is the device of Satan, and we are not to be ignorant of this according to scripture.
Let’s look at the sin of Solomon as he moves from allowed indulgences to full law violation and idolatry.
What we see is Solomon violating the commandments of God by his love for women. The love of women by men is an allowable thing. A man is allowed to love a woman, and in these days, it was not unusual for a man to have many wives and that was no prohibited by God’s law, but what dose Solomon do?
Solomon indulges in what is allowed until it becomes what is not allowed, he allows his flesh to revel in the things of the flesh and through this indulgence the things of the Spirit slip away, and the things of the spirit are taught by the word of God, yes, the Law of God.
So, the idol in the heart of Solomon we are told here was not acknowledging God in all his way.
Interestingly enough the Holy Spirit of God by Solomon after these many sins had been repented of are told to us like this:
Pro_3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Pro 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
And look at this other piece of inspired truth also of Solomon:
Pro 23:27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.
And so what do we see here in violation after the word of God in Solomon’s lead him to idolatry and adultery with strange women?
Go to Deut_17:15:
Deu 17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
Deu 17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
Deu 17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
Deu 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
Deu 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
Deu 17:20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
The Law commands exactly that a stranger or foreigner is not to rule the native people, but Solomon not heeding the law of the kingdom by use of his own human wisdom, though given by God, rather leads Israel down a path of not obeying the word of God, an example that would eventually destroy us as a United Kingdom.
1Ki_11:28 And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.
1Ki 11:29 And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field:
1Ki 11:30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces:
1Ki 11:31 And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:
1Ki 11:32 (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:)
1Ki 11:33 Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.
1Ki 11:34 Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant’s sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes:
1Ki 11:35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.
1Ki 11:36 And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.
1Ki 11:37 And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel.
1Ki 11:38 And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.
1Ki 11:39 And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever.
1Ki 12:1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.
1Ki 12:2 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;)
1Ki 12:3 That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying,
1Ki 12:4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.
1Ki 12:5 And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed.
1Ki 12:6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?
1Ki 12:7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.
1Ki 12:8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:
1Ki 12:9 And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?
1Ki 12:10 And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins.
1Ki 12:11 And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
1Ki 12:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day.
1Ki 12:13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him;
1Ki 12:14 And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
1Ki 12:15 Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
1Ki 12:16 So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.
Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews
Book 8 CHAPTER 8
v. 4. When therefore Jeroboam had built him a palace in the city Shechem, he dwelt there. He also built him another at Penuel, a city so called. And now the feast of tabernacles was approaching in a little time, Jeroboam considered, that if he should permit the multitude to go to worship God at Jerusalem, and there to celebrate the festival, they would probably repent of what they had done, and be enticed by the temple, and by the worship of God there performed, and would leave him, and return to their first kings; and if so, he should run the risk of losing his own life; so he invented this contrivance; He made two golden heifers, and built two little temples for them, the one in the city Bethel, and the other in Dan, which last was at the fountains of the Lesser Jordan (25) and he put the heifers into both the little temples, in the forementioned cities. And when he had called those ten tribes together over whom he ruled, he made a speech to the people in these words: “I suppose, my countrymen, that you know this, that every place hath God in it; nor is there any one determinate place in which he is, but he every where hears and sees those that worship him; on which account I do not think it right for you to go so long a journey to Jerusalem, which is an enemy’s city, to worship him. It was a man that built the temple: I have also made two golden heifers, dedicated to the same God; and the one of them I have consecrated in the city Bethel, and the other in Dan, to the end that those of you that dwell nearest those cities may go to them, and worship God there; and I will ordain for you certain priests and Levites from among yourselves, that you may have no want of the tribe of Levi, or of the sons of Aaron; but let him that is desirous among you of being a priest, bring to God a bullock and a ram, which they say Aaron the first priest brought also.” When Jeroboam had said this, he deluded the people, and made them to revolt from the worship of their forefathers, and to transgress their laws. This was the beginning of miseries to the Hebrews, and the cause why they were overcome in war by foreigners, and so fell into captivity.
Solomon in his reasoning, much like the modern day cast off the reasonable sacrifice which we owe God in keeping His word in living worship. Solomon chose to violate God’s law given to the king, and to the common man, and he did so by a wise heart changed towards lust.
Jeroboam’s sin is not much different, though it is worse in the words of scripture, this is because Solomon was openly breaking God’s Law and openly worshiping ‘another god’ by other names and rites.
While on the other hand Jeroboam calls his god and idol “YHWH – the LORD”, and he mimicked the Lawful practice of the feast of Tabernacles, and of the temples Levitical worship, as well he justified his change of the regulative principles of worship clearly spoken of in God’s law by a very reasonable argument, an argument not unscriptural, as the very words of David and Solomon and many prophets as well as the Apostles and martyr Stephen of the book of Acts express,
Act_7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
And it is this exact expression of truth that Jeroboam is near citing as says Josephus:
“...you know this, that every place hath God in it; nor is there any one determinate place in which he is, but he every where hears and sees those that worship him...”
And it is for this very reason that Jeroboam’s heart invention is made the measuring stick of all of Israel’s sin hereafter, because his argument was made in reasonable subtility though he knew that the Word of the LORD GOD by the prophet Abijah commanded obedience according to God’s Law and not contrary to it.