Melachim 1/Kings 1-Chapter 13: The prophecy of Ido to Yeravam, and his death

Chapter 13: The prophecy of Ido to Yeravam, and his death

1.      The prophecy of Ido of the downfall of Yeravam:

  • Ido prophesies to Yeravam of his downfall: A prophet of God [named Ido[1]] arrived from Yehuda to Beth El, per the instructions of Hashem. In Beis Eil he met Yeravam who was standing on the altar offering sacrifices. He then said the following prophecy to Yeravam, as commanded by G-d, regarding the altar: “Altar, altar [of both Beis Eil and Dan[2]], so said Hashem, “Behold a son will be born to the house of David, Yoshiyahu will be his name, and upon you [i.e. the altar] he will slaughter all the priests of the Bamos who offer sacrifices on you, and he will burn upon you the human bones [of Yeravam[3]].”
  • A heavenly sign is given and Yeravam’s hand becomes paralyzed: [Ido] gave the following sign to show that his words are true and from God: “This is the sign that Hashem has spoken [with me and told me to inform you of all the above]. Behold, the altar will split open and the ashes that are upon it will spill below.” As soon as king Yeravam heard the prophecy that was said over the altar in Beth El, he stretched out his hand from over the altar, commanding that the prophet be seized. The moment he did so, his outstretched hand became paralyzed, and he could not draw his hand back to him. After this, the altar split, and the ashes fell from the altar just as the prophet had said.
  • Yeravam gets his arm back after the prophet prays for him: The King then turned to Ido and asked him to pray on his behalf to God so that he may once again be able to move his arm. So it was, that he prayed to God for him, and the king was once again able to move his arm and bring it back to himself. [Nonetheless, he did not change his ways and immediately continued with his offerings to idolatry on the altar.[4]]
  • The prophet is invited to eat by the home of the king, but refuses: The king then invited the prophet [Ido] to come to his house and dine with him, and receive presents from him. However, the prophet refused to come telling the king that even if he offers him half of his kingdom he will not come to his home to eat bread or drink water, as God has explicitly instructed him not to eat bread or drink water and not to return the same road that he came.

2.      Ido dies a tragic death after mistakenly listening to a false prophet:

  • Ido makes his journey back to Judah: Ido began his journey back home on a different road, and not the original road that he took on his original journey to Beth El.
  • A false prophet is informed of the event with Ido and Yeravam: There was an elderly prophet who lived in Beth El, and his son arrived and related to him all everything that happened with the prophet Ido and king Yeravam in Beth El, and the words that he had spoken to the king. The father then asked his son as to which direction the prophet Ido was traveling, and his son showed him the road that he was traveling. The father then asked his son to saddle the donkey for him, and so his son saddled the donkey and he rode on it.
  • The false prophet lures Ido to his home: The [false] prophet went after Ido and he found him sitting under a tree, and he asked him as to whether he is the man who arrived from Judah, and he replied in the affirmative. The man then offered him to come back with him to his home to eat a meal. Ido replied that he cannot return with him back to his home, and he cannot eat or drink with him in this place, as God had instructed him that he should not eat bread or drink water in this place, and that he should not return home on the same road. However, the man replied to him that he too is a prophet, and that an angel spoke to him in the name of Hashem, instructing him that he should bring the prophet back to his house and eat and drink with him. This was a lie. So, he returned with him, and he ate bread in his house, and he drank water.
  • During the meal Ido is told by G-d that he will be punished for disobeying Him: While they were sitting on the table eating, Hashem appeared to the [false[5]] prophet who had lured Ido back to his home. The [false prophet[6]] then the Man of God who had come from Yehuda [i.e. Ido], the following prophecy: “So Hashem told me to tell you: Because you have rebelled against My instructions that I commanded you and you returned and ate bread and drank in the area that I instructed you not to do so, therefore, you will not be buried in the grave of your ancestors.”
  • Ido is killed by a lion on his return journey and his corpse remains on the road: After they finished eating and drinking, the false prophet prepared the saddle of the donkey for Ido. On Ido’s return journey, he met up with a lion who attacked him and killed him. His corpse was laying in middle of the road and his donkey remained standing next to him, while the lion remained standing next to the corpse.
  • Ido’s body is discovered and finally buried: There were people who were passing by and they saw the corpse thrown on the road, and the lion standing next to it [and could not come near him to bury him]. They came to the city where the old [false] prophet was residing and informed him of the corpse they saw on the road. The false prophet replied that the corpse is of Ido, the prophet of G-d, who rebelled against Hashem’s instructions, and therefore Hashem punished him by giving him to the lion. Hashem had the lion attack him and tear him and kill him, exactly as Hashem had told me that would happen to him, and as I had informed Ido of Hashem’s words. The false prophet then instructed his sons to saddle the donkey for him so he can retrieve the body and bring it to burial. And so he went and he discovered Ido’s corpse thrown on the road with the donkey and the lion standing next to the corpse. The lion had not eaten the corpse and had not attacked the donkey. The [false] prophet carried the corpse of Ido the prophet, and he placed it on his donkey and brought it back with him to his city to eulogize him and bury him. He placed the corpse in his grave [in the cemetery of the city of the false prophet[7]] and they eulogized him, saying, “Woe, my brother [i.e. I pain for you[8]]!”

3.      The false prophet asks to be buried with next to Ido:

  • After Ido was buried, the false prophet said to his children that he requests from them that when he passes away, they should bury his bones near the bones of the prophet [in order to give him atonement[9], and so his bones be saved at the time that all the bones will be burned, as he stated in the prophecy[10]]. He then said to the children, that all the prophecies that Ido mentioned that would occur to the altar that is in Beth El and in the cities of the Shamron will come true.

4.      Yeravam does not repent from his ways:

  • After the above event, Yeravam did not return from his evil way, and he in appointing priests to worship on the altars that he made. Anyone who wished to become a priest for the altars was appointed to the position.

Because of this matter, the house of Yeravam was guilty of sin and became liable to be destroyed from the face of the earth

[1] Rashi 13:1

[2] Rashi 13:2

[3] Rashi 13:2

[4] See Rashi 13:6

[5] Rashi 13:20

[6] Rashi 13:21

[7] Rashi 13:30

[8] Metzudos Dovid 13:30

[9] Rashi 13:32

[10] See Radak 13:32

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