A Prophet Announces God’s Judgment
1 A man of God from Judah had come to Bethel. When he arrived, Jer o boam was standing at the altar to offer a sacrifice. 2 By a command of the Lord, this man condemned the altar. “Altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: There will be a son born in David’s family line. His name will be Josiah. Here on you Josiah will sacrifice the priests from the illegal worship sites who offer sacrifices on you. Human bones will be burned on you.”
3 That day the man of God ⌊also⌋ gave ⌊them⌋ a miraculous sign, saying, “This is the sign that the Lord will give you: You will see the altar torn apart. The ashes on it will be poured ⌊on the ground⌋.”
4 When King Jer o boam heard the man of God condemning the altar in Bethel, he pointed to the man across the altar. “Arrest him,” he said. But the arm that he used to point to the man of God was paralyzed so that he couldn’t pull it back. 5 The altar was torn apart, and the ashes from the altar were poured ⌊on the ground⌋. This was the miraculous sign the man of God performed at the Lord’s command.
6 Then the king asked the man of God, “Please make an appeal to the Lord your God, and pray for me so that I can use my arm again.” So the man of God made an appeal to the Lord, and the king was able to use his arm again, as he had earlier.
7 The king told the man of God, “Come home with me; have something to eat and drink, and I will give you a gift.”
8 The man of God told the king, “Even if you gave me half of your palace, I would never go with you to eat or drink there. 9 When the Lord spoke to me, he commanded me not to eat or drink or go back on the same road I took.” 10 So the man of God left on another road and didn’t go back on the road he had taken to Bethel.
A Prophet Disobeys God
11 An old prophet was living in Bethel. His sons told him everything the man of God did in Bethel that day and the exact words he had spoken to the king. When they told their father, 12 he said to them, “Which road did he take?” (His sons had seen which road the man of God from Judah had taken.) 13 The old prophet told his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” After they had saddled the donkey for him, he got on it.
14 He went after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak tree. The old prophet asked him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”
“Yes,” he answered.
15 “Come home with me, and eat a meal,” the old prophet replied.
16 The man of God said, “I’m not allowed to go back with you. I’m not allowed to eat or drink with you. 17 When the Lord spoke to me, he told me not to eat or drink there or go back on the road I took to get there.”
18 The old prophet said, “I’m also a prophet, like you. An angel spoke the word of the Lord to me. He said, ‘Bring him home with you so that he may have something to eat and drink.’” (But the old prophet was lying.)
19 The man of God went back with him and ate and drank in his home. 20 When they were sitting at the table, the Lord spoke his word to the old prophet who had brought back the man of God. 21 The Lord also called to the man of God. He said, “This is what the Lord says: You rebelled against the words from the Lord’s mouth and didn’t obey the command that the Lord your God gave you. 22 You came back, ate, and drank at this place about which he told you, ‘Don’t eat or drink there.’ That is why your dead body will not be allowed to be placed in the tomb of your ancestors.”
23 After the old prophet had something to eat and drink, he saddled the donkey for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 The man of God left. A lion found him ⌊as he traveled⌋ on the road and killed him. His dead body was thrown on the road. The donkey and the lion were standing by the body. 25 People who passed by saw the body lying on the road and the lion standing by the body. They talked about it in the city where the old prophet was living.
26 When the old prophet who had brought the man of God back from the road heard about it, he said, “It’s the man of God who rebelled against the words from the Lord’s mouth! The Lord gave him to the lion. It tore him to pieces and killed him as the word of the Lord had told him.”
27 Then the old prophet told his sons to saddle his donkey for him. So they did.
28 He found the body of the man thrown on the road. He also found the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The lion had not eaten the body, nor had it torn the donkey to pieces. 29 The old prophet picked up the body of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back. He came to his own city to mourn for him and to bury him. 30 He laid the body of the man of God in his own tomb and mourned over the man, saying, “Oh no, my brother, my brother!” 31 After he had buried the man of God, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the tomb where the man of God was buried. Lay my bones beside his bones. 32 The things that he announced by a command of the Lord against the altar in Bethel and all the illegal worship sites in the cities of Samaria will happen.”
33 Even after this, Jer o boam didn’t change his evil ways, but he once again made some men priests for the illegal worship sites. He took all who were willing and appointed them to be priests at the worship sites. 34 Appointing illegal priests became the sin of Jer o boam’s family so that it had to be destroyed and wiped off the face of the earth.