Read 1 Kings 12:21-33

v 32   And Jeroboam instituted a religious festival in Bethel, held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in imitation of the annual Festival of Shelters in Judah. There at Bethel he himself offered sacrifices to the calves he had made, and he appointed priests for the pagan shrines he had made.

Jeroboam goes the whole way of imitating the old religious system in Jerusalem, setting up places for making sacrifices to the golden calves he had made. ‘So on the advice of his counsellors, the king made two gold calves. He said to the people, “It is too much trouble for you to worship in Jerusalem. Look, Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of Egypt!”

(v 28)

So we now have two separate Kingdoms, with different religious structures, and each with its own King.

This sometimes causes confusion in our reading of the Bible. We read of notorious rulers of Israel, such as Ahab and Jezebel, and the stories of these two Kingdoms get intertwined, such as in 1 Kings 16:29 where both are referred to in the same sentence. ‘ Ahab son of Omri began to rule over Israel in the thirty-eighth year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twenty-two years.

It had been David who had brought the tribes of Israel into a united kingdom following the death of Saul. Only two Kings ever ruled over the complete Kingdom, David and Solomon, and we leave the story of David and his legacy as the tribes disintegrate and remain at loggerheads, open to invasion and being conquered, as they were in later years.


Thursday 1st August Daily Notes from the HUB.