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Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

12:28 behold thy gods. Earlier in his career, Jeroboam had been a man of great promise (I Kings 11:28), and God had chosen him to lead the ten northern tribes. He became overly ambitious and presumptuous, however, thinking he could best retain the loyalty of his subjects by establishing for them a more convenient religion. Jeroboam led the people to still profess to worship the God of their fathers, but not worship at Jerusalem. This led to the blurring of the true religion’s distinctiveness in relation to the pagan religions. He even established a new priesthood and new religious festivals (I Kings 12:31-33), with new altars and new sacrifices. Already conditioned to such changes by the apostasies of Solomon, the people largely went along with this accommodationist religion, but God rebuked and repudiated Jeroboam because of it (I Kings 13).

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