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The Divided Kingdom – 1 Kings

Jeroboam builds temples to worship Baal and Civil War Follows

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Bethel

Jeroboam turns away from the LORD and makes golden bull calves for the people to worship Baal in new temples in Bethel and Dan so they will not need to travel to Jerusalem (in the southern rival kingdom of Judah) to worship there.

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Dan

Jeroboam turns away from the LORD and makes golden bull calves for the people to worship Baal in new temples in Bethel and Dan so they will not need to travel to Jerusalem (in the southern rival kingdom of Judah) to worship there.

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Shechem

King Jeroboam I of Israel (reigning from c.931 to c.911BC) fortifies Shechem to provide himself with a stronghold in the hill country of Ephraim. He also fortifies Penuel, a town across the Jordan near the River Jabbok.

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Penuel

King Jeroboam I of Israel (reigning from c.931 to c.911BC) fortifies Shechem to provide himself with a stronghold in the hill country of Ephraim. He also fortifies Penuel, a town across the Jordan near the River Jabbok.

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Bethel-2

A prophet from Judah is sent by the LORD to the new pagan temple at Bethel and warns Jeroboam that a future king of Judah (King Josiah) will destroy his altar to Baal.

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Shiloh

Ahijah, the prophet from Shiloh, prophesies that God will bring disaster on Jeroboam’s household because he has worshipped idols, and the people of Israel will be uprooted and scattered beyond ‘the river’ (the River Euphrates) for worshipping foreign gods. Jeroboam’s son Abijah falls ill and dies. When Jeroboam dies in c.911BC, he is succeeded by another son, Nadab, who reigns briefly from c.911 to c.910BC.

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Judah

Meanwhile, King Rehoboam of Judah (who reigns from c.931 to c.914BC) also turns away from the LORD and worships foreign gods. Altars to Baal and Asherah are set up on the high places, and sacred ‘Asherah poles’ (fertility symbols representing fruit-laden branches) are erected under the shade of large trees.
In c.927BC, Jerusalem (the capital of Judah) is attacked and sacked by Israel’s ally Pharaoh Ramesses II of Egypt (referred to, in Hebrew, as 'Shyshak', meaning ‘the plunderer’, or 'Shishak' in English). The temple treasures and all the wealth of the royal palace of Judah are carried off to Egypt.

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Judah-2

Rehoboam is succeeded by his son Abijah as King of Judah (from c.914 to c.912BC). Throughout his reign, Judah is at war with Israel.

1 Kings 15:9-16 Abijah’s son Asa becomes King of Judah in c.912BC. He burns the idols and cuts down the ‘Asherah poles’. He is constantly at war with Israel.

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Ramah

Jeroboam’s son, Nadab, is killed by Baasha who becomes King of Israel in c.910BC. Baasha fortifies Ramah (c.5 miles / 8 km north of Jerusalem, the capital of Judah) to protect himself from the people of Judah. King Asa of Judah then forges an alliance with Ben-Hadad, the King of Aram (based at Damascus in Syria), who conquers the northern parts of Israel around Dan and Kinnereth(the Sea of Galilee). So King Baasha of Israel abandons Ramah and retreats north to Tirzah, where he builds a new capital in the hill country of Ephraim north east of Shechem.
The people of Judah occupy the land immediately north of Jerusalem, and use the stone and timber from Ramah to fortify Geba and Mizpah. In fulfilment of Ahijah’s prophesy (see 1 Kings 14:10), Baasha destroys the whole of Jeroboam’s family.

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Samaria

In c.887BC, Baasha is succeeded by his son Elah as King of Israel (from c.887 to c.886BC). He is assassinated in c.886BC (the second year of his reign) by Zimri, one of his officials, who immediately kills all of Baasha’s descendents. The Israelite army rises in revolt and installs Omri – the commander of the army – as King of Israel (from c.886 to c.874BC). Civil war breaks out as some Israelites support Tibni’s claim to the throne. Three years later, in c.883BC, Tibni is killed, and Omri becomes the undisputed king.

In the sixth year of his reign, King Omri of Israel buys the hill of Samaria (named after Shemer, its owner) and fortifies it. The capital of Israel is transferred from Tirzah to Samaria in c.881BC. Omri is succeeded by his son Ahab in c.874BC.

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