Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 11

Jeroboam meets Ahijah, the prophet from Shiloh

1 Kings 11:29

For several hundred years, Shiloh was the most important place in Israel for prayer. Here, the tabernacle, the sacred tent that Moses had made, formerly stood. Here, Israel’s chief priests had served God. This was where God first spoke to Samuel.

By the time of Solomon, Shiloh had lost almost all its importance. God’s house, the temple, was now in Jerusalem and the priests served God there. However, at least one holy man remained in Shiloh; he was called Ahijah.

For the young man Jeroboam, these facts may have mattered much. Shiloh was in the region called Ephraim, to which Jeroboam also belonged. To Jeroboam, it may have seemed as if Ephraim was now an unimportant part of Israel. Jerusalem had become greatly important; Ephraim’s people had to serve the king, and to build up Jerusalem even more, with hard physical work (11:27-28).

In fact, the best products in all of Israel had to go to Jerusalem for the king (4:7-19). Jerusalem had become richer than anyone could have imagined (10:27) – but Israel’s people still had to work hard for their king.

That was the situation when God sent Ahijah, the holy man, to Jeroboam. The two men seemed to meet by chance on the road – however, this meeting did not really happen by chance. God had given to Ahijah a message for Jeroboam – and that message changed Jeroboam’s life.

Next part: Ahijah tears his coat into 12 pieces (1 Kings 11:30-31)


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