JEROBOAM CORRUPTS ISRAEL
King Jeroboam had his hands full and didn’t bask in success for long as he was faced with the task of securing the allegiance of two to three million disgruntled Israelites . The people were accustomed to looking to Jerusalem to the temple priesthood and the Davidic monarchy for leadership under Kings David and Solomon .
The government displayed strong , stable leadership religiously , politically and culturally . Jeroboam knew this would have to change Because he did not do these things or keep Jerusalemas the seat of power he had to sever the people’s connection to it lest they gravitate back to Judah and its capital , especially with the fall festivals pilgrimage to The Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. 1st kings 12 26 and 27 states , with Jeroboam speaking to himself , “
“The kingdom will now likely revert to the House of David. If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam. “ After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “ It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your Gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt. “
The declarations of Aaron and Jeroboam are almost identical:
‘These are your Gods, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt’ (Exodus 32:4, 8);
‘Behold your Gods, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt
(1 Kings 12:28)
After making the golden calf or golden calves both Aaron and Jeroboam celebrated festivals. Aaron builds an altar and Jeroboam builds an altar .
(Exod 32:5–6; 1 Kings 12:32–33).
One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. And this thing became a great sin; the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other. King Jeroboam was saying stop looking to Jerusalem, embrace this new religious political system I have developed for you !
Like all good counterfeiters Jeroboam relied heavily upon the original product for inspiration,(the golden calf Aaron and the people made as Moses was up on the mountain receiving the 10 Commandment) but he fashioned it to his own liking , adding in other pagan customs that he had gleaned from Egypt where he had enlisted the surrounding gentile nations . His strategy was effective to the Israelites . Jeroboam religious political system was similar enough to the one in Jerusalem to be believable . The people embraced it and never looked back .