1 Kings 11:30 And Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing, tore it into twelve pieces, 31and said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and I will give you ten tribes. 32But one tribe will remain for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel.

Jerusalem is NOT given to Jeroboam.

38 If you listen to all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight in order to keep My statutes and commandments as My servant David did, then I will be with you. I will build you a lasting dynasty just as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you.

How did God expect Jeroboam to obey all His commandments without the territorial control of Jerusalem?

Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the LORD empty-handed:

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    Why would the possession of Yerushalem (יְר֣וּשָׁלַ֔םִ) / Jerusalem - relate to performing mitsvot (מִצְו‍ֹת) / commandments for God? Oct 16, 2020 at 16:07

3 Answers 3


That was the whole point of the central, single, central worship place (Duet 12:13, 14) - a single place of worship unified the nation.

Be careful not to offer your burnt offerings in just any place you see; you must offer them only in the place the LORD will choose in one of your tribal territories, and there you shall do all that I command you. Deut 12:13, 14

It was at this central location that the true priesthood and true articles of furniture existed.

Theoretically, it would have been possible for the norther kingdom to send people to Jerusalem to worship as they had already been doing for many years. However, Jeroboam realized that such a practice would weaken his power and immediately set up a rival temple and priest hood complete with substitute annual festivals.


2 Chronicles 11:13 Moreover, the priests and Levites from all their districts throughout Israel stood with Rehoboam. 14For the Levites left their pasturelands and their possessions and went to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them as priests of the LORD. 15And Jeroboam appointed his own priests for the high places and for the goat demons and calf idols he had made.

Right away, Jeroboam kicked out the Levite from his territory, breaking Moses' law. Also, the loyalists migrated to Judah, leaving their inheritance behind.

16 Those from every tribe of Israel who had set their hearts to seek the LORD their God followed the Levites to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the LORD, the God of their fathers. 17So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam son of Solomon for three years, because they walked for three years in the way of David and Solomon.

Politically, it was impossible for Jeroboam and the people of Jeroboam to obey all the laws of Moses when the kingdom was divided. Jeroboam dynasty was doomed right at the outset because of God's previous promise to David. Abijah, son of Rehoboam pointed this out:

2 Chronicles 13:4 Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim in the hill country of Ephraim and said, “Hear me, O Jeroboam and all Israel! 5 Do you not know that the LORD, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt?

There is only one perpetual dynasty from Isreal.


There was a promise to the Israelites in Exodus 34:

22 “Celebrate the Festival of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the year. 23Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel. 24I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the Lord your God.

How did God expect Jeroboam to obey all His commandments without the territorial control of Jerusalem?

If Jeroboam had been faithful to God, God would have extended this promise to him. He would not have to worry about being invaded by Rehoboam or Judah. Peace between the northern and southern kingdoms was possible and in fact occurred in 2 Kings 3:

5But after the death of Ahab, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. 6So at that time King Jehoram set out from Samaria and mobilized all Israel. 7And he sent a message to Jehoshaphat king of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?”

“I will go,” replied Jehoshaphat. “I am like you, my people are your people, and my horses are your horses.”

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