20 And when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. There was none that followed the house of David but vthe tribe of Judah only.
21 wWhen Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 chosen warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 22 But the word of God came to xShemaiah the man of God: 23 “Say to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the yrest of the people, 24 ‘Thus says the Lord, You shall not go up or fight against your relatives the people of Israel. Every man return to his home, zfor this thing is from me.’” So they listened to the word of the Lord and went home again, according to the word of the Lord.
Jeroboam's Golden Calves
25 Then Jeroboam abuilt Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. And he went out from there and bbuilt Penuel. 26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will turn back to the house of David. 27 If this people cgo up to offer sacrifices in the temple of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28 So the king took counsel and dmade two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. eBehold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” 29 And he set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 Then fthis thing became a sin, for the people went as far as Dan to be before one.1 31 He also made gtemples on high places and happointed priests from among all the people, who were not of the Levites. 32 And Jeroboam appointed a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month like ithe feast that was in Judah, and he offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he made. And he placed in Bethel jthe priests of the high places that he had made. 33 He went up to the altar that he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, in the month that he had devised from his own heart. And he instituted a feast for the people of Israel and went up to the altar kto make offerings.
A Man of God Confronts Jeroboam
13 And behold, la man of God came out of Judah by the word of the Lord to Bethel. Jeroboam was standing by the altar mto make offerings. 2 nAnd the man cried against the altar by the word of the Lord and said, “O altar, altar, thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, oJosiah by name, and he shall sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who make offerings on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.’” 3 And he gave pa sign the same day, saying, “This is the sign that the Lord has spoken: ‘Behold, the altar shall be torn down, and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out.’” 4 And when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar at Bethel, Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Seize him.” And his hand, which he stretched out against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back to himself. 5 The altar also was torn down, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign that the man of God had given by the word of the Lord.
33 After this thing Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but made priests for the high places again from among all the people. Any who would, he ordained to be priests of the high places. 34 eAnd this thing became sin to the house of Jeroboam, fso as to cut it off and to destroy it from the face of the earth.
Encouragement to Give Generously
8 We want you to know, brothers,1 about the grace of God that has been hgiven among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and itheir extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave jaccording to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly kfor the favor2 of taking part in lthe relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they mgave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 6 Accordingly, nwe urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you othis act of grace. 7 But as pyou excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you3—qsee that you excel in this act of grace also.
8 rI say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that sthough he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 10 And in this matter tI give my judgment: uthis benefits you, who va year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable waccording to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply xtheir need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, y“Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”
Commendation of Titus
16 But zthanks be to God, awho put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. 17 For bhe not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going4 to you of his own accord. 18 With him we are sending5 cthe brother who is famous among dall the churches for his preaching of the gospel. 19 And not only that, but he has been eappointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of fgrace that is being ministered by us, gfor the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will. 20 We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us, 21 for hwe aim at what is honorable inot only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of man. 22 And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is jmy partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers6 of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 So give proof before the churches of your love and of kour boasting about you to these men.