1 A man of God from Judah went to Bethel. He arrived there while Jeroboam was at the altar ready to offer a sacrifice.
2 He actually spoke against the altar: »O altar, altar, this is what Jehovah says: A child, whose name will be Josiah, will be born to the family of David. He will slaughter the priests serving at the pagan altars who offer sacrifices on you. He will burn human bones on you.«
3 The prophet went on to say: »This altar will fall apart. The ashes on it will be scattered. Then you will know that Jehovah has spoken through me.«
4 King Jeroboam heard this. He pointed his outstretched hand at him and ordered: »Seize that man!« At once the king's arm became paralyzed so that he could not pull it back.
5 The altar suddenly fell apart and the ashes spilled to the ground. This is what the prophet predicted in the name of Jehovah.
6 King Jeroboam said to the prophet: »Please pray to Jehovah your God for me, and ask him to heal my arm!« The prophet prayed to Jehovah and the king's arm was healed.
7 Then the king said to the prophet: »Come home with me and have something to eat. I will reward you for what you have done.«
8 The prophet answered: Even if you gave me half of your wealth, I would not go with you or eat or drink anything with you.
9 I was ordered by the word of Jehovah, he said: »You are not to take food or a drink of water, and you are not to go back the way you came.«
10 So he went another way, and not by the way he came to Bethel.
11 There was an old prophet living in Bethel. His sons told him what the man of God had done that day in Bethel. They reported what he said to the king.
12 Their father asked: »Which way did he go?« His sons saw which way the man of God went.
13 So the prophet said to his sons: »Saddle the donkey for me.« So they saddled the donkey and he mounted it.
14 He rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree. »Are you the man of God who came from Judah?» He asked. « I am.« Came his reply.
15 He said: »Come back to the house with me and have a meal.«
16 But the man of God from Judah replied: »I may not go back with you or go into your house. I will not take food or a drink of water with you in this place.
17 »Jehovah said to me: You are not to take food or water there, or go back again by the way you came.«
18 Then he said: »I am a prophet like you. An angel said to me by the word of Jehovah, Take him back with you and give him food and water.« But he lied to him.
19 So he went back with him, and had a meal in his house and a drink of water.
20 But while they were seated at the table, the word of Jehovah came to the old prophet who had brought him back.
21 Crying out to the man of God who came from Judah, he said: »Jehovah says, because you have gone against the voice of Jehovah, and have not done as Jehovah ordered you,
22 but have come back, and have taken food and water in this place where he said you were to take no food or water; your dead body will not be put to rest with your fathers.«
23 After the meal he made the donkey ready for the prophet whom he had taken back.
24 He went on his way. A lion met him on the road and jumped him and killed him. His dead body was stretched in the road with the donkey by its side. The lion was by the body.
25 Some people who passed by saw the body stretched out in the road with the lion by its side. They brought the news to the town where the old prophet lived.
26 The old prophet heard about it and said: »That is the prophet who disobeyed Jehovahs command! Jehovah sent the lion to attack and kill him, just as Jehovah said he would.«
27 He said to his sons: »Saddle my donkey for me.« They did so.
28 He rode away to find the prophet's body lying on the road. The donkey and the lion were still standing by it. The lion had not eaten the body or attacked the donkey.
29 The old prophet picked up the body and brought it back to Bethel on the donkey. There he mourned over it and buried it.
30 He buried it in his own family grave. He and his sons mourned over it, saying: »Oh my brother, my brother!«
31 After the burial the prophet said to his sons: »When I die, bury me in this grave and lay my body next to his.
32 »The words that he spoke at Jehovahs command against the altar in Bethel and against all the places of worship in the towns of Samaria will surely come true.«
33 King Jeroboam of Israel still did not turn from his evil ways. He continued to choose priests from ordinary families to serve at the altars he had built. He ordained as priest anyone who wanted to be one.
34 This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam. It brought about its ruin and total destruction from the face of the earth.