Jeroboam 1 was the son of Nebat. He became the first king of the northern kingdom of Israel, after Israel had split away from Judah, which included the city of Jerusalem and the Temple. The prophet Ahijah prophesied that upon Solomon's death, Jeroboam would become king over ten tribes. After Solomon heard of the prophecy, he ordered Jeroboam killed, but Jeroboam fled to Egypt.
After Solomon's death, his son, Rehoboam, angered the ten tribes in the northern part of Israel with heavy taxes. This encouraged the people in the northern part of Israel to break away from Judah (the southern part of Israel) and to form a separate kingdom. Jeroboam returned from Egypt and was crowned king of the northern kingdom of Israel, which was home to ten of the tribes of Israel. Wars were continuous between Israel and Judah during Jeroboam's reign.
Jeroboam followed pagan ways. He placed golden calves in the towns of Bethel and Dan in the hopes of getting people to worship without going to the Temple in Jerusalem, which was in Judah. Jeroboam dismissed the priestly tribe of Levi and appointed his own priests. This caused many Levites to defect to Jerusalem.
The Lord sent a prophet to warn Jeroboam to turn away from his evil ways. Jeroboam's refusal eventually resulted in the destruction of his kingdom and his family.
Ahijah the prophet told Jeroboam's wife of the oncoming death of their son, and also of a king over Israel who will destroy the family of Jeroboam, and how the people of Israel will be uprooted and scattered beyond the Euphrates, because they angered the Lord by worshiping idols. All this later happened.
Jeroboam 1 reigned 22 years. When he died, his son Nadab became king. The story of Jeroboam 1 is found in 1 Kings, chapters 11-14. The name Jeroboam means " may the people grow numerous."
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