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Patrick Christian posted a status
Jan 13
Who am I?

My name means, "may the people increase" in Hebrew. I was born to Nebat and Zeruah. My mother, Zeruah, was a leper. Even her name translated as such. At one point, my father had died and my mother was widowed. My name translates as "the people contend" in Hebrew. I grew up in the town of Zeredah, located in the Tribe of Ephraim.

When I was a young man, I was recruited along with thousands of other Israelites to work on Solomon's numerous and colossal construction projects, including part of the walls surrounding Jerusalem. I was one of those young men who truly applied myself to the work at hand. I always did what I was told as a worker, and was quite good at the work. I was so dedicated that King Solomon, himself, had taken notice of me. And for my hard work and capabilities, I was promoted to managing the labour force over the entire Tribe of Joseph for Solomon's projects.

I was in charge of a lot of people in my new position. There were many workers. I was one of about 550 overseers who were managing the others. However, I was finding the new position to be far too tedious.

One day, after completing a huge project, I had headed toward home to rest for some time. On my way, I was confronted by a prophet who called himself Ahijah the Shilonite. What a handle, I had thought. As we were talking alone in the wilderness this guy hands me ten torn pieces of clothing. While this was not an everyday type of tradition people did when meeting someone, I still decided to hear him out. After all, I had considered myself to be a fair-minded Yahwist. He said the ten torn pieces of cloth were symbolic, and had represented ten of the twelve tribes of Israel that I was about to rule over as king. This guy promised me a prosperous kingdom. All I had to do was just obey God.

After the interesting conversation with my new friend, I proceeded toward home again. Not long before Solomon's death another prophet named Iddo had some visions about me. From what I understood, the visions were pertaining to me and Solomon somehow. Apparently, by that time, the whole town was talking about these prophecies.

Solomon died, but then his son had taken over as king. During this time, I was hiding out in Egypt because shortly before Solomon had passed he had caught wind of the prophecies and had threatened to kill me. Talk about a demotion! I went from a high ranking position with the man to becoming a target.

While Solomon's son, the new king, was in power he had decided to drastically increase the workload of the Israelites. By that time, I had quietly returned to Israel from Egypt. I had joined the many Israelites in protest against Solomon's son. When the people discovered I was back they had illegally instated me as the "new king" of Israel. Solomon's son became so angry that he commanded his army to kill me. But God had my back. He sent a prophet to tell the king that this was all part of God's plan. So, he called off the hunt.

After becoming the official king of the ten tribes the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite had promised, I started out rebuilding things and repairing other things. All seemed good until I became worried I could lose it all. I had become concerned that Israelites needing to sacrifice to God were traveling to the Temple in Jerusalem in the nation of Judah. My thinking was that by traveling to Judah the Israelites would become loyal to the House of David and Solomon's son, then they would conspire against him and assassinate me. I was not about to let that happen. No waya Hosea!

So, after consulting with my advisers I had decided to bring back an old style ... ancient Golden Calf worship! I told the people that trips to Jerusalem were no longer necessary, and all they had to do was bow to the cow. I even quoted some fancy saying that Aaron had said many years ago in order to make the people understand. I got them to believe the Golden Calf idol was the image of the "Deliverer from Egypt" and they bought it. I was so paranoid of losing my reign as king that I even doubled up on the Golden Calf idols. I placed one in Bethel and the other in Dan to cover geographical boundaries.

I even had workers construct temples and put a new priest in each new temple. I gave the old Levite priests the boot and they fled to Egypt. I switched out the Feast of Booths for my own new feast.

On the new feast day, I had gone to one of the temples to make a sacrifice. All of the sudden, I was confronted by a man who prophesied, telling me God was not happy with me and I was about to meet my demise. I stretched out my arm to tell the man to leave or be apprehended. When I tried to put my arm back down it would not move. It was stuck! I knew life would get difficult if it stayed that way so I asked the prophet to ask God to restore my arm to my side again. He did.

I still refused to repent, but I did reinstate some of the old Levite priests to their temples.

Later, my son had fallen ill. I sent my wife to go talk to the prophet Ahijah. He was my favourite prophet. After all, he was the one who had originally told me I would become king. As I said, he WAS my favourite prophet. That is, until he told my wife about a prophecy I was not happy with. He said that everyone loyal to me would either desert me, or die without burial due to my evil pagan idolatry. Furthermore, my son would die, but would be buried, for God was pleased with him. After this Jeroboam's wife returned home and my son died and was mourned by Israel just as foretold.

A while later, Solomon's son had died. A new king had taken his place. His name was Abijam. He had decided to take it upon himself to confront me about how I had turned my back on God and started my own religion. I made an attempt to destroy him with my army via an ambush. My attempts at an ambush became known, then God had led my army into the hands of my enemy, resulting in the deaths of over 500,000 Israelites.

After the remaining members of my army fled, I had as well. Abijam had made attempts to track me down but I had continued my reign for almost three more years before my life had ended.

My reign thought to be important enough for God to have it recorded in the first book of Kings and the second book of Chronicles that are found in the Hebrew scriptures. A little more than a century after my death another man sharing the same name as myself had become ruler over Israel. He was an evil king as well.

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