The Abiding Gift of Prophecy


Chapter 8—Ministry of Prophets to Israel

Before the death of King Solomon, the prophet Ahijah was given a message to convey to Jeroboam, one of Solomon’s officers, “a mighty man of valor.” The message was ominous: “Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee…. Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: … I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.” 1 Kings 11:31-35. AGP 82.1

It appears that this message became known to Solomon, for he sought “to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.” 1 Kings 11:40. AGP 82.2

This experience must have seemed very strange to Jeroboam. Assured by the prophet that he would be made king over ten tribes of what was then Solomon’s kingdom, he was immediately compelled to flee from Solomon to Egypt, beyond that great southern desert, to save his life. While these circumstances made it seem impossible for him ever to rule over a large part of Solomon’s kingdom, in due time the prediction was fulfilled. God had promised him a kingdom, and there could be no failure. It is interesting here, as frequently, to trace the changes and movements that culminate in the complete fulfillment of a promise conveyed through the spirit of prophecy. AGP 82.3

“And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.” 1 Kings 11:43. AGP 82.4

When Jeroboam heard of the death of Solomon, he returned to Palestine. “And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.” 1 Kings 12:3, 4. AGP 82.5

Rehoboam asked for three days in which to seek counsel and make a decision. The old men in council advised him to “speak good words to them,” assuring them of considerate and just treatment. But the young men counseled Rehoboam to say to the people, “My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins…. My father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.” 1 Kings 12:10, 11. AGP 83.1