you know why this man is ripping his robe to pieces? God told him to do it.
This man is God’s prophet Ahijah. Do you know what a prophet is? He is a person
that God tells ahead of time what is going to happen. Ahijah is here speaking
to Jeroboam. Jeroboam is a man that Solomon put in charge of doing some of his
building work. When Ahijah meets Jeroboam here on the road, Ahijah does a
strange thing. He takes off the new robe that he is wearing and tears it into
12 pieces. He tells Jeroboam: ‘Take 10 pieces for yourself.’ Do you know why
Ahijah gives Jeroboam 10 pieces?
explains that God is going to take the kingdom away from Solomon. He says that
God is going to give 10 tribes to Jeroboam. This means that only two tribes
will be left for Solomon’s son Rehoboam to rule over.
Solomon hears what Ahijah told Jeroboam, he becomes very angry. He tries to
kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam runs away to Egypt. After a while Solomon dies. He
was king for 40 years, but now his son Rehoboam is made king. Down in Egypt
Jeroboam hears that Solomon is dead, so he comes back to Israel.
is not a good king. He is even meaner to the people than his father Solomon had
been. Jeroboam and some other important men go to King Rehoboam and ask him to
be nicer to the people. But Rehoboam does not listen. In fact, he becomes even
meaner than before. So the people make Jeroboam king over 10 tribes, but the
two tribes of Benjamin and Judah keep Rehoboam as their king.
does not want his people to go to Jerusalem to worship at God’s temple. So he
makes two golden calves and gets the people of the 10-tribe kingdom to worship
them. Soon the land becomes filled with crime and violence.
is also trouble in the two-tribe kingdom. Less than five years after Rehoboam
becomes king, the king of Egypt comes to fight against Jerusalem. He takes away
many treasures from God’s temple. So it is for only a short time that the
temple remains the same as when it was built.