This article is part of a series of Bible passages, which together are mainly about how the Bible says the Jewish race developed and were given laws, how they settled in ancient Israel, and how it says God sometimes punished them for disobeying his commands, which led to them changing their ways.
This is Part 2 (of 11) in Section 8: "The Kings of Israel and Judah, and Disaster and Prosperity Brought on the Two Kingdoms According to Their Obedience or Disobedience to God".
Some parts of the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation are very unpleasant. If you become offended by anything, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.
The purpose of the Old Testament seems to have been mainly to try to scare lawless societies into behaving decently, giving up the cruel ways the Bible says they were guilty of. Hence much of the gruesomeness, which is at least in part meant to warn people committing cruel and hurtful actions to change.
1 Kings chapter 12 (TEV)
25 King Jeroboam of Israel fortified the town of Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there for a while. Then he left and fortified the town of Penuel. 26 He said to himself, "As things are now, if my people go to Jerusalem and offer sacrifices to the Lord in the Temple there, they will transfer their allegiance to King Rehoboam of Judah and will kill me."
28 After thinking it over, he made two bull-calves of gold and said to his people, "You have been going long enough to Jerusalem to worship. People of Israel, here are your gods who brought you out of Egypt!" 29 He placed one of the gold bull-calves in Bethel and the other in Dan. 30 And so the people sinned, going to worship in Bethel and in Dan.
1 Kings chapter 14 (TEV)
21 Solomon's son Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen from all the territory of Israel as the place where he was to be worshiped. Rehoboam's mother was Naamah from Ammon. 22 The people of Judah sinned against the Lord and did more to arouse his anger against them than all their ancestors had done. 23 They built places of worship for false gods and put up stone pillars and symbols of Asherah to worship on the hills and under shady trees. 24 Worst of all, there were men and women who served as prostitutes at those pagan places of worship. The people of Judah practiced all the shameful things done by the people whom the Lord had driven out of the land as the Israelites advanced into the country.
25 In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. 26 He took away all the treasures in the Temple and in the palace, including the gold shields Solomon had made. 27 To replace them, King Rehoboam made bronze shields and entrusted them to the officers responsible for guarding the palace gates. 28 Every time the king went to the Temple, the guards carried the shields and then returned them to the guardroom. 30 During all this time Rehoboam and Jeroboam were constantly at war with each other.
Modern Western Paganism is devoid of such gruesome practices as child sacrifice and the dedication of girls to the gods as prostitutes. Some Pagans have been slandered by people who imagine that they must be involved in gruesome activities, perhaps because of widespread reports of generational Satanic ritual abuse in which girls are made to breed babies for the purposes of human sacrifice. To find out more about the reports, read the views of a policeman who says there is no physical evidence for such things having happened, and believes the stories to have been invented during harmful therapies: 'Occult Cop' (IPT Journal).
1 Kings chapter 14 (NLT)
1 Jeroboam's son Abijah became very sick. 2 So Jeroboam told his wife, "Disguise yourself so that no one will recognize you as the queen. Then go to the prophet Ahijah at Shiloh - the man who told me I would become king. 3 Take him a gift of ten loaves of bread, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and ask him what will happen to the boy."
4 So Jeroboam's wife went to Ahijah's home at Shiloh. He was an old man now and could no longer see. 5 But the LORD had told Ahijah, "Jeroboam's wife will come here, pretending to be someone else. She will ask you about her son, for he is very sick. You must give her the answer that I give you." 6 So when Ahijah heard her footsteps at the door, he called out, "Come in, wife of Jeroboam! Why are you pretending to be someone else?" Then he told her, "I have bad news for you.
7 Give your husband, Jeroboam, this message from the LORD, the God of Israel: 'I promoted you from the ranks of the common people and made you ruler over my people Israel. 8 I ripped the kingdom away from the family of David and gave it to you. But you have not been like my servant David, who obeyed my commands and followed me with all his heart and always did whatever I wanted him to do. 9 You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made other gods and have made me furious with your gold calves. And since you have turned your back on me, 10 I will bring disaster on your dynasty and kill all your sons, slave or free alike. I will burn up your royal dynasty as one burns up trash until it is all gone. 11 I, the LORD, vow that the members of your family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and those who die in the field will be eaten by vultures.'"
12 Then Ahijah said to Jeroboam's wife, "Go on home, and when you enter the city, the child will die. 13 All Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He is the only member of your family who will have a proper burial, for this child is the only good thing that the LORD, the God of Israel, sees in the entire family of Jeroboam. 14 And the LORD will raise up a king over Israel who will destroy the family of Jeroboam. This will happen today, even now! 15 Then the LORD will shake Israel like a reed whipped about in a stream. He will uproot the people of Israel from this good land that he gave their ancestors and will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, for they have angered the LORD by worshiping Asherah poles. 16 He will abandon Israel because Jeroboam sinned and made all of Israel sin along with him."
17 So Jeroboam's wife returned to Tirzah, and the child died just as she walked through the door of her home. 18 When the people of Israel buried him, they mourned for him, as the LORD had promised through the prophet Ahijah.
1 Kings chapter 14 (TEV)
31 Rehoboam died and was buried in the royal tombs in David's City and his son Abijah succeeded him as king.
2 Chronicles chapter 13 (NLT)
1 Abijah began to rule over Judah in the eighteenth year of Jeroboam's reign in Israel. 2 He reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother was Maacah, a daughter of Uriel from Gibeah.
Then war broke out between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 Judah, led by King Abijah, fielded 400,000 seasoned warriors, while Jeroboam mustered 800,000 courageous men from Israel.
4 When the army of Judah arrived in the hill country of Ephraim, Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim and shouted to Jeroboam and the Israelite army:
"Listen to me! 5 Don't you realize that the LORD, the God of Israel, made an unbreakable covenant with David, giving him and his descendants the throne of Israel forever? 6 Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat, who was a mere servant of David's son Solomon, became a traitor to his master. 7 Then a whole gang of scoundrels joined him, defying Solomon's son Rehoboam when he was young and inexperienced and could not stand up to them. 8 Do you really think you can stand against the kingdom of the LORD that is led by the descendants of David? Your army is vast indeed, but with you are those gold calves that Jeroboam made as your gods! 9 And you have chased away the priests of the LORD and the Levites and have appointed your own priests, just like the pagan nations. You let anyone become a priest these days! Whoever comes to be dedicated with a young bull and seven rams can become a priest of these so-called gods of yours!
10 "But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not abandoned him. Only the descendants of Aaron serve the LORD as priests, and the Levites alone may help them in their work. 11 They present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the LORD every morning and evening. ... We are following the instructions of the LORD our God, but you have abandoned him.
12 "So you see, God is with us. He is our leader. His priests blow their trumpets and lead us into battle against you. O people of Israel, do not fight against the LORD, the God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed!"
13 Meanwhile, Jeroboam had secretly sent part of his army around behind the men of Judah to ambush them. 14 When Judah realized that they were being attacked from the front and the rear, they cried out to the LORD for help. Then the priests blew the trumpets, 15 and the men of Judah began to shout. At the sound of their battle cry, God defeated Jeroboam and the Israelite army and routed them before Abijah and the army of Judah. 16 The Israelite army fled from Judah, and God handed them over to Judah in defeat. 17 Abijah and his army inflicted heavy losses on them; there were 500,000 casualties among Israel's finest troops that day. 18 So Judah defeated Israel because they trusted in the LORD, the God of their ancestors. 19 Abijah and his army pursued Jeroboam's troops and captured some of his towns, including Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron, along with their surrounding villages.
20 So Jeroboam of Israel never regained his power during Abijah's lifetime, and finally the LORD struck him down and he died. 21 By contrast, Abijah of Judah grew more and more powerful.
2 Chronicles chapter 14 (TEV)
1 King Abijah died and was buried in the royal tombs in David's City. His son Asa succeeded him as king, and under Asa the land enjoyed peace for ten years. 2 Asa pleased the Lord, his God, by doing what was right and good. 3 He removed the foreign altars and the pagan places of worship, broke down the sacred stone columns, and cut down the symbols of the goddess Asherah.
1 Kings chapter 14 (NLT)
20 Jeroboam reigned in Israel twenty-two years. When Jeroboam died, his son Nadab became the next king.
1 Kings chapter 15 (NLT)
25 Nadab son of Jeroboam began to rule over Israel in the second year of King Asa's reign in Judah. He reigned in Israel two years. 26 But he did what was evil in the LORD's sight and followed the example of his father, continuing the sins of idolatry that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit.
27 Then Baasha son of Ahijah, from the tribe of Issachar, plotted against Nadab and assassinated him while he and the Israelite army were laying siege to the Philistine town of Gibbethon. 28 Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of King Asa's reign in Judah, and he became the next king of Israel. 29 He immediately killed all the descendants of King Jeroboam, so that not one of the royal family was left, just as the LORD had promised concerning Jeroboam by the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh. 30 This was done because Jeroboam had aroused the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, by the sins he had committed and the sins he had led Israel to commit.
33 Baasha began to rule over Israel in the third year of King Asa's reign in Judah. Baasha reigned in Tirzah twenty-four years. 34 But he did what was evil in the LORD's sight and followed the example of Jeroboam, continuing the sins of idolatry that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit.
Psalm 10 (NLT)
1 O LORD, why do you stand so far away? 6 They say to themselves, "Nothing bad will ever happen to us!
Why do you hide when I need you the most?
2 Proud and wicked people viciously oppress the poor.
Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others.
3 For they brag about their evil desires;
they praise the greedy and curse the LORD.
4 These wicked people are too proud to seek God.
They seem to think that God is dead.
5 Yet they succeed in everything they do.
They do not see your punishment awaiting them.
They pour scorn on all their enemies.
We will be free of trouble forever!"
7 Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats.
Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues.
8 They lurk in dark alleys,
murdering the innocent who pass by.
They are always searching
for some helpless victim.
9 Like lions they crouch silently,
waiting to pounce on the helpless.
Like hunters they capture their victims
and drag them away in nets.
10 The helpless are overwhelmed and collapse;
they fall beneath the strength of the wicked.
11 The wicked say to themselves, "God isn't watching!
He will never notice!"
12 Arise, O LORD!
Punish the wicked, O God!
Do not forget the helpless!
13 Why do the wicked get away with cursing God?
How can they think, "God will never call us to account"?
14 But you do see the trouble and grief they cause.
You take note of it and punish them.
The helpless put their trust in you.
You are the defender of orphans.
15 Break the arms of these wicked, evil people!
Go after them until the last one is destroyed!
16 The LORD is king forever and ever!
Let those who worship other gods be swept from the land.
17 LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless.
Surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them.
18 You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed,
so people can no longer terrify them.
6 They say to themselves, "Nothing bad will ever happen to us!
Psalm 82 (NLT)
1 A psalm of Asaph.
God presides over heaven's court; he pronounces judgment on the judges:
2 "How long will you judges hand down unjust decisions? How long will you shower special favors on the wicked? Interlude
3 "Give fair judgment to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
4 Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people.
5 But these oppressors know nothing; they are so ignorant! And because they are in darkness, the whole world is shaken to the core.
1 Kings chapter 14 (TEV)
9 In the twentieth year of the reign of King Jeroboam of Israel, Asa became king of Judah, 10 and he ruled forty-one years in Jerusalem. His grandmother was Maacah, the daughter of Absalom. 11 Asa did what pleased the Lord, as his ancestor David had done. 12 He expelled from the country all the male and female prostitutes serving at the pagan places of worship, and he removed all the idols his predecessors had made.
2 Chronicles chapter 14 (TEV)
4 He commanded the people of Judah to do the will of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his teachings and commands. 5 Because he abolished the pagan places of worship and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah, the kingdom was at peace under his rule. 6 He built fortifications for the cities of Judah during this time, and for several years there was no war, because the Lord gave him peace. 7 He told the people of Judah, "Let us fortify the cities by building walls and towers, and gates that can be shut and barred. We have control of the land because we have done the will of the Lord our God. He has protected us and given us security on every side." And so they built and prospered.
8 King Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah, armed with shields and spears, and 280,000 men from Benjamin, armed with shields and bows. All of them were brave, well-trained men.
9 An Ethiopian named Zerah invaded Judah with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots and advanced as far as Mareshah. 10 Asa went out to fight him, and both sides took up their positions at Zephathah Valley near Mareshah. 11 Asa prayed to the Lord his God, "O Lord, you can help a weak army as easily as a powerful one. Help us now, O Lord our God, because we are relying on you, and in your name we have come out to fight against this huge army. Lord, you are our God; no one can hope to defeat you."
12 The Lord defeated the Ethiopian army when Asa and the Judean army attacked them. They fled, 13 and Asa and his troops pursued them as far as Gerar. So many of the Ethiopians were killed that the army was unable to rally and fight. They were overpowered by the Lord and his army, and the army took large amounts of loot.
2 Chronicles chapter 15 (TEV)
1 The spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded, 2 and he went to meet King Asa. He called out,
"Listen to me, King Asa, and all you people of Judah and Benjamin! The Lord is with you as long as you are with him. If you look for him, he will let you find him, but if you turn away, he will abandon you. 3 For a long time Israel lived without the true God, without priests to teach them, and without a law. 4 But when trouble came, they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel. They searched for him and found him. 5 In those days no one could come and go in safety, because there was trouble and disorder in every land. 6 One nation oppressed another nation, and one city oppressed another city, because God was bringing trouble and distress on them. 7 But you must be strong and not be discouraged. The work that you do will be rewarded."
8 When Asa heard the prophecy that Azariah son of Oded had spoken, he was encouraged. He did away with all the idols in the land of Judah and Benjamin and all the idols in the cities he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He also repaired the altar of the Lord that stood in the Temple courtyard.
9 Many people had come over to Asa's side from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, and were living in his kingdom, because they had seen that the Lord was with him. Asa summoned all of them and the people of Judah and Benjamin. 10 They assembled in Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year that Asa was king. 11 On that day they offered sacrifices to the Lord from the loot they had brought back: seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep. 12 They made a covenant in which they agreed to worship the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul. 13 Anyone, young or old, male or female, who did not worship him was to be put to death. 14 In a loud voice they took an oath in the Lord's name that they would keep the covenant, and then they shouted and blew trumpets. 15 All the people of Judah were happy because they had made this covenant with all their heart. They took delight in worshiping the Lord, and he accepted them and gave them peace on every side.
16 King Asa removed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made an obscene idol of the fertility goddess Asherah. Asa cut down the idol, chopped it up, and burned the pieces in Kidron Valley. 17 Even though Asa did not destroy all the pagan places of worship in the land, he remained faithful to the Lord ... 18 He placed in the Temple all the objects his father Abijah had dedicated to God, as well as the gold and silver objects that he himself dedicated.
Psalm 124 (NLT)
1 A song for the ascent to Jerusalem. A psalm of David.
If the LORD had not been on our side - let Israel now say - 2 if the LORD had not been on our side when people rose up against us,
3 they would have swallowed us alive because of their burning anger against us.
4 The waters would have engulfed us; a torrent would have overwhelmed us.
5 Yes, the raging waters of their fury would have overwhelmed our very lives.
6 Blessed be the LORD, who did not let their teeth tear us apart! 7 We escaped like a bird from a hunter's trap. The trap is broken, and we are free!
8 Our help is from the LORD, who made the heavens and the earth.
2 Chronicles chapter 16 (NLT)
1 King Baasha of Israel invaded Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from entering or leaving King Asa's territory in Judah. 2 Asa responded by taking the silver and gold from the treasuries of the LORD's Temple and from the royal palace. He sent it to King Ben-hadad of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus, along with this message: 3 "Let us renew the treaty that existed between your father and my father. See, I am sending you a gift of silver and gold. Break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel so that he will leave me alone."
4 Ben-hadad agreed to King Asa's request and sent his armies to attack Israel. They conquered the towns of Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all the store cities in Naphtali. 5 As soon as Baasha of Israel heard what was happening, he abandoned his project of fortifying Ramah. 6 Then King Asa called out all the men of Judah to carry away the building stones and timbers that Baasha had been using to fortify Ramah. Asa used these materials to fortify the towns of Geba and Mizpah.
7 At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him,
"Because you have put your trust in the king of Aram instead of in the LORD your God, you missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram. 8 Don't you remember what happened to the Ethiopians and Libyans and their vast army, with all of their chariots and horsemen? At that time you relied on the LORD, and he handed them all over to you. 9 The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on, you will be at war."
10 Asa became so angry with Hanani for saying this that he threw him into prison. At that time, Asa also began to oppress some of his people.
11 The rest of the events of Asa's reign, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
2 Chronicles chapter 15 (TEV)
12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a serious foot disease. Even when the disease became life threatening, he did not seek the LORD's help but sought help only from his physicians. 13 So he died in the forty-first year of his reign. 14 He was buried in the tomb he had carved out for himself in the City of David. He was laid on a bed perfumed with sweet spices and ointments, and at his funeral the people built a huge fire in his honor.
2 Chronicles chapter 17 (NLT)
1 Then Jehoshaphat, Asa's son, became the next king. He strengthened Judah to stand against any attack from Israel. 2 He stationed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah, and he assigned additional garrisons to the land of Judah and to the towns of Ephraim that his father, Asa, had conquered. 3 The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father's early years and did not worship the images of Baal. 4 He sought his father's God and obeyed his commands instead of following the practices of the kingdom of Israel.
Psalm 119 (NLT)
1 Happy are people of integrity, ... who follow the law of the LORD. 2 Happy are those who obey his decrees and search for him with all their hearts. 3 They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths.
4 You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. 5 Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your principles! 6 Then I will not be disgraced when I compare my life with your commands.
7 When I learn your righteous laws, I will thank you by living as I should! 8 I will obey your principles. Please don't give up on me!
9 How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules.
10 I have tried my best to find you - don't let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
19 I am but a foreigner here on earth; I need the guidance of your commands. Don't hide them from me!
71 The suffering you sent was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your principles.
72 Your law is more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver!
73 You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.
75 I know, O LORD, that your decisions are fair; you disciplined me because I needed it.
76 Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant. 77 Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your law is my delight.
84 How long must I wait? When will you punish those who persecute me?
85 These arrogant people who hate your law have dug deep pits for me to fall into. 86 All your commands are trustworthy. Protect me from those who hunt me down without cause. 87 They almost finished me off, but I refused to abandon your commandments.
88 In your unfailing love, spare my life; then I can continue to obey your decrees.
94 I am yours; save me! For I have applied myself to obey your commandments.
97 Oh, how I love your law! I think about it all day long.
98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for your commands are my constant guide. 99 Yes, I have more insight than my teachers, for I am always thinking of your decrees. 100 I am even wiser than my elders, for I have kept your commandments.
101 I have refused to walk on any path of evil, that I may remain obedient to your word.
102 I haven't turned away from your laws, for you have taught me well.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste; they are sweeter than honey. 104 Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life.
166 I long for your salvation, LORD, so I have obeyed your commands.
167 I have obeyed your decrees, and I love them very much. 168 Yes, I obey your commandments and decrees, because you know everything I do.
169 O LORD, listen to my cry; give me the discerning mind you promised. 170 Listen to my prayer; rescue me as you promised.
171 Let my lips burst forth with praise, for you have taught me your principles.
172 Let my tongue sing about your word, for all your commands are right.
173 Stand ready to help me, for I have chosen to follow your commandments. 174 O LORD, I have longed for your salvation, and your law is my delight.
The Bible does not instruct Christians and ordinary people to be violent towards Pagans or to destroy their places of worship. The Bible indicates that God illustrated in Old Testament times how much he objects to the worship of other gods and disobedience to his commands. It instructs Christians and ordinary individuals to behave in a very different way to the way in which God wanted the kings of Israel and Judah to behave. To find out more, visit What The Bible Says About Violence, Anger, Jealousy, Arguments, And Living In Peace With Each Other.
The next file in this section (Part 3), is entitled: "Treachery Against the Kings of Israel and Famine Brought on the Land as a Punishment From God; and the Miracles in the time of the Prophet Elijah".
The main Bible pages on this site:
|Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories|
|Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites|
|Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians.|
|If you have found parts of the Old Testament or the Book of Revelation offensive, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.|
The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.
Throughout this series, wherever the initials TEV appear, they stand for Today's English Version (The Good News Bible).Other initials:
Don't be afraid to question the truth of what a religious authority figure tells you, or even the Bible or other holy books themselves, or certain people's interpretation of them. Nothing to do with religion or the supernatural is so well established in fact it shouldn't be questioned. To find out why caution is a good idea, visit:
Are you up to trying the challenges of the New Testament's moral guidelines, and would you like to know more of what it says about the love of Jesus? Here are some links to Bible quotes about the beautiful ideals the New Testament encourages Christians to try to live up to:
There are a lot of pages on this website with quotations from the Old Testament on them. Many of these are unfortunately rather gruesome, since the main theme of the Old Testament is warnings and stories about how it says societies were punished for mass lawless and hurtful behaviour, even to the extent of having war brought on them by God, that seem to have been designed to scare societies where crime and violence were rampant into behaving more ethically. In case there is any misunderstanding, it should be understood that this website does not endorse war as anything other than a last resort. The position of the website owner can be gleaned from the articles:
Fancy some light relief or laughter therapy? Then go to the first of our jokes pages:
If you have a problem affecting your mental health or well-being, like depression, a difficulty with life-damaging worry, panic attacks, phobias or OCD, marriage problems, an addiction, an eating disorder, recovering from the trauma of sexual abuse or domestic violence, coping with bullies in the workplace, or bullying and teasing at school, trying to lose weight, raising difficult teenagers, caring for someone with a disease like Alzheimer's, wanting to recover from anorexia or self-harm, or grieving for someone you were close to or feeling lonely, and you'd like some ideas on coping or getting past it, visit our Self-help series.
If this is the first page you have visited on this site, this is part of Broadcaster.org.uk, a website about social and psychological issues, what the Bible says about social problems and other topics, and how they affect people's lives today.
Go to the Broadcaster.org.uk home page to find out more.....