JEROBOAM (jer'o-bo'am), aleb. t;'?7,:, yaw rob-awne , people will contend).
/. The first king of Israel. He was of the tribe of Ephraim, the son of Nebat, an Eph raimite, by a woman named Zeruiah (1 Kings xi :26).
(1) Noticed by Solomon. He was noticed by Solomon as a very highly gifted and active young man, and was appointed one of the superin tendents of the works which that magnificent king was carrying on at Jerusalem 0 Kings xi : 28). (B. C. 96o.) This appointment, the re ward of his merits, might have satisfied his am bition had not the declaration of the prophet Ahi jah given him higher hopes.
(2) Future Kingship Foretold. When in formed that, by the divine appointment, he was to become king over the ten tribes about to be rent from the house of David, he was not content to wait patiently for the death of Solomon.
(3) Flight Into Egypt. He began to form plots and conspiracies, the discovery of which constrained him to flee to Egypt to escape condign punishment. King Shishak was but too ready to encourage one whose success must necessarily weaken the kingdom which had become great and formidable under David and Solomon, and which had already pushed it's frontier to the Red Sea 0 Kings xi:4o).
(4) Revolt of the Ten Tribes. When Solo mon died (ver. 4o) B. C. 934, the ten tribes sent to call Jeroboam from Egypt; and he appears to have headed the deputation which came be fore the son of Solomon with a demand of new securities for the rights which the measures of the late king had compromised. It may some what excuse the harsh answer of Rehoboam, that the demand was urged by a body of men headed by one whose pretensions were so well known and so odious to the house of David.
(5) King of Israel. The imprudent answer of Rehoboam rendered a revolution inevitable, and Jeroboam was then called to reign over the ten tribes, by the style of 'King of Israel' 0 Kings x11:1-2o). The general course of his conduct on. the throne has already been indicated in the article Isanet, and need not be repeated in this place. The leading object of his policy was to widen the breach between the two kingdoms, and to rend asunder those common interests among all the descendants of Jacob which it was one great object of the Law to combine and interlace.
(6) Golden Calves.. To this end he scrupled not to sacrifice the most sacred and inviolable interests and obligations of the covenant people, by forbidding his subjects to resort to the one temple and altar of Jehovah at Jerusalem, and by establishing shrines at Dan and Bethel-the extremities of his kingdom-where 'golden calves' were set up as the symbols of Jehovah 0 Kings xii :26,- 28), to which the people were enjoined to resort and bring their offerings.
(7) Acting as Priest. The pontificate of the new establishment he united to his crown, in imitation of the Egyptian kings. He 3,vas officiat ing in that capacity at Bethel, offering incense, when a prophet appeared, and in the name of the Lord announced a coming time, as yet far off, in which a king of the house of David, Josiah by name, should burn upon that unholy altar the bones of its ministers.
(8) Smitten with Palsy. He was then pre paring to verify, by a commissioned prodigy, the truth of the oracle he had delivered, when the king attempted to arrest him, but was smitten with palsy in the arm he stretched forth. Later, in answer to prayer, it was healed 0 Kings xiii : 1-1o). At the same moment the threatened prod igy took place, the altar was rent asunder, and the ashes strewed far around. This measure had, however, no abiding effect. The policy on which he acted lay too deep in what he deemed the vital interests of his separaie kingdom, to be even thus abandoned ; and the force of the considerations which determined his conduct may in part be ap preciated from the fact that no subsequent king of Israel, however well disposed in other respects. ever ventured to lay a finger on this schismatical establishment. Hence The sin of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, wherewith he sinned and made Israel. to sin,' became a standing phrase in de scribing that iniquity from which no king of Israel departed Kings xii :25-33; xiii).