1There came to Bethel at Yahweh's command a man of God from Judah, just as Jeroboam wasstanding by the altar to offer the sacrifice, 2and at Yahweh's command this man denounced the altar. 'Altar, altar,' he said, 'Yahweh says this, "Ason is to be born to the House of David, Josiah by name, and on you he wil slaughter the priests of the highplaces who have offered sacrifice on you, and on you he will burn human bones." ' 3At the same time he gave a sign. 'This is the sign', he said, 'that Yahweh has spoken, "This altar willburst apart and the ashes which are on it will be spilt." ' 4When the king heard how the man of God denounced the altar of Bethel, he stretched out his handfrom the altar, saying, 'Seize him!' But the hand he stretched out against the man withered, and he could notdraw it back, 5and the altar burst apart and the ashes from the altar were spilt, in accordance with the sign given bythe man of God at Yahweh's command. 6The king said to the man of God, 'I beg you to placate Yahweh your God, and so restore me the use ofmy hand.' The man of God placated Yahweh; the king's hand was restored as it had been before. 7The king then said to the man of God, 'Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I shall give you apresent,' 8but the man of God replied to the king, 'Were you to give me half your palace, I would not go with you. Iwil eat and drink nothing here, 9for I have had Yahweh's order, "You are to eat or drink nothing, nor to return by the way you came." ' 10And he left by another road and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel. 11Now there was an old prophet living in Bethel, and his sons came to tel him al that the man of Godhad done in Bethel that day; and the words which he had said to the king, they told these to their father too. 12'Which road did he take?' their father asked. His sons showed him the road which the man of Godwho came from Judah had taken. 13'Saddle the donkey for me,' he said to his sons; they saddled the donkey for him and he mounted. 14He fol owed the man of God and found him sitting under a terebinth. 'Are you the man of God', hesaid, 'who came from Judah?' 'I am,' he replied. 15'Come home with me,' he said, 'and take some food.' 16'I cannot go back with you,' he answered, 'or eat or drink anything here, 17for I have received Yahweh's order, "You are to eat or drink nothing there, nor to return by the wayyou came." ' 18'I too am a prophet like you,' the other replied, 'and an angel told me this by Yahweh's command,"Bring him back with you to your house to eat and drink." ' He was lying to him. 19The man of God went back with him; he ate and drank at his house. 20As they were sitting at table a word of Yahweh came to the prophet who had brought him back, 21and he addressed the man of God who came from Judah. 'Yahweh says this,' he said. ' "Since you have defied Yahweh's command and not obeyed the orders which Yahweh your God gave you, 22but have come back and eaten and drunk where he forbade you to eat and drink, your corpse wilnever reach the tomb of your ancestors." ' 23After he had eaten and drunk, the prophet saddled the donkey for him, and he turned about and wentaway. 24A lion met him on the road and killed him; his corpse lay stretched out on the road; the donkey stoodthere beside it; the lion stood by the corpse too. 25People going by saw the corpse lying on the road and the lion standing by the corpse, and went andspoke about it in the town where the old prophet lived. 26When the prophet who had made the man turn back heard about it, he said, 'That is the man of Godwho defied Yahweh's command! Yahweh has handed him over to the lion, which has mauled and kil ed him, justas Yahweh had foretold it would.' 27He said to his sons, 'Saddle the donkey for me,' and they saddled it. 28He set off and found the man's corpse lying on the road with the donkey and the lion standing besidethe corpse; the lion had neither eaten the corpse nor mauled the donkey. 29The prophet lifted the corpse of the man of God and put it on the donkey and brought it back to thetown where he lived to hold mourning for him and bury him. 30He laid the corpse in his own tomb, and they raised the mourning cry for him, 'Alas, my brother!' 31After burying him, the prophet said to his sons, 'When I die, bury me in the same tomb as the man ofGod, lay my bones beside his. 32For the word he uttered at Yahweh's command against the altar of Bethel and against al the shrinesof the high places in the towns of Samaria will certainly come true.' 33Jeroboam did not give up his wicked ways after this incident, but went on appointing priests for thehigh places from the common people. He consecrated as priests of the high places any who wished to be. 34Such conduct made the House of Jeroboam a sinful House, and caused its ruin and extinction fromthe face of the earth.
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