Some say King Solomon’s consequence for worshiping idols and collecting horses was a divided country.
A man named Jeroboam helped King Solomon construct a lot of his building projects. A prophet (someone who delivers God’s messages) spoke to Jeroboam and told him that Solomon’s crown would pass from him to Jeroboam. Solomon wanted to have Jeroboam killed, but he fled and hid in Egypt until Solomon died.
When King Solomon died, his son, Rehoboam, became king.
The Israelites wanted a reprieve from all the hard labor his father had required of them, so they relayed their request to King Rehoboam. The young king went and consulted his own advisors who said: “You are the king! Show them who’s boss!!” King Rehoboam went to his father’s old advisors and consulted them. They replied: “Lay off. Listen to the people and give them a break.”
King Rehoboam decided to listen to his own advisors. He told the people of Israel: “You think my dad worked you hard? Wait till you see how hard I’m going to make you work!”
The Israelites didn’t appreciate their new king’s response, so they made Jeroboam their king—just like the prophet had said.
The Pharaoh Shoshenq had begun summoning an army against Israel. As you may recall, the Israelites had just escaped slavery a few decades previously. Pharaoh intended on enslaving the chosen people again.
Jeroboam spoke of a way to defeat the Pharaoh without intense labor. He was a Prince of Egypt who married a Princess of Egypt named Ano. He could use his position to help the Israelites escape slavery, and ultimately did.
Instead of intensive labor Jeroboam lead the people to “sin” by worshipping the bull, partner to the dairy cow, and the ball in the sky. The bull is depicted with a ball on his head which is the sun.
A bull is vegetarian and pretty much only turns to violence when his females are threatened. The bull is an animal which makes for a great idol – if you’re into idols.
The divine characteristics of the bull lead to the divine characteristics of the dairy cow (which is worshipped somewhat globally). The dairy cow is able to produce an endless supply of milk. In order to produce the milk the dairy cow must be impregnated by a bull. If the calf that is born is a male then he is not alive long before being sacrificed and turned into veal. If the calf is a female then she is raised to be another dairy cow and sold.
This sacrifice the male calves make is similar to the one the Israelites would need to make. It was important for them to summon an army in order to save themselves from enslavement. As it turns out, the same bastard army Jeroboam summons ends up being his undoing 22 years later.
Jeroboam leads the people to defeat the Pharaoh an easier way. This is through worshipping the physical form of the man, the bull, and having lots of children.
All of this going on was tough for Jeroboam to deal with. The straw that broke the camel’s back for him was the new children. They rose up and spoke on behalf of god and killed Jeroboam’s family except for the youngest boy as is ancient custom. It was declared by G-d that Jeroboam would have a House as great as any in the world second only to David’s. This passage is later outdone by the angry mob hateful of Jeroboam’s “sin” who mostly eradicate him.
Jeroboam was part of an ancient freedom movement. His surviving loyalists traveled to Babylon and spread the worship of ball, but most of all the need for freedom. Freedom of thought, speech and religion spread to Babylon which became a democracy in a greater freedom movement.
Rome had formed only a couple decades before Jeroboam’s reign. The freedom movement spread to Rome and to Greece as well.
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