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Bible Lookup Guide: 1 Kings

Book of 1 Kings from Old Testament (Book # 11)

Chapter Sequence #13-Chapter 13, Title: Prophecy about King Josiah of Judah and death of Man of God

Time Range: BC 980 to BC 978


The timing of the events of 1 Kings 13 would be between 980 BC and 978 BC because they correspond with the time of migration of Levites and the establishment of pagan worship in Israel by Jeroboam.

The key events of this chapter are:

  1. The arrival of Man of God from Judah: An unnamed man of God from Judah arrived at Bethel in Israel to prophecy against Jeroboam and the idol worship going on at the altar at Bethel.
  2. Prophecy about King Josiah of Judah: This man of God issues a prophecy about the future King Josiah who would rule Judah from 640 to 609 BC. This prophecy which is issued nearly about 340 years before King Josiah of Judah was born. The Man of God prophecies that King Josiah would burn the bones of the pagan priests on the altar at Bethel as punishment against idol worship. 
  3. Prophecy about Altar at Bethel: This is a same-day prophecy that was fulfilled on the same day it was issued. The Man of God told Jeroboam that as a sign that the prophecy was true, the altar would split apart and the ashes would fall to the ground.  
  4. Punishment for Jeroboam: When the Man of God prophecies against the altar at Bethel, King Jeroboam asks for the Prophet to be arrested and points his hand at the prophet. God makes the hand become paralyzed. Immediately the altar splits and the ashes fall to the ground, fulfilling the same-day-prophecy issued by the man of God that was given as a sign. King Jeroboam asks the Man of God to plead with God for a restoration of his hand. The Man of God prays and the Jeroboam's hand is restored. 
  5. Death of Man of God: An old prophet of Israel hears of the above events from his sons and searches out the man of God who was returning to Judah. The old prophet lies about an angel of God having asked him to take the man of God home for taking food. This was against god's word to the man of God prohibiting him from eating anything from Israel. The Man of God believes the old prophet and ate food from the home of the old prophet. God prophecizes through the old prophet that because the Man of God disobeyed, he would die on his way back to Judah.

    The old prophet then gave his own donkey to the Man of God, and sent him back to Judah. But a lion attacked the Man of God and killed him. As a sign that this was God's work, both the lion and donkey guarded the Man of God's dead body. All who saw this were stunned and the news spread fast. The old prophet collected the dead body of this Man of God, and buried him in Israel. The old prophet then instructed his sons that upon his death, his body too should be buried in the same grave as that of the Man of God.