Ahijah the Shilonite was a Levite prophet of Shiloh (1Ki. 11:29; 14:2) in the days of Solomon. The Bible records 2 of his prophecies…
I. Announcing the Division of God’s People into 2 Kingdoms… a N. & S. Kingdom
– Jeroboam & Solomon… 1Ki. 11:26-28
Prior to his rebellion, Jeroboam was a capable Ephraimite serving as one of King Solomon’s workforce leaders.
– Jeroboam & Ahijah… 1Ki. 11:29-40
Ahijah, a “prophet from Shiloh”, predicted that an aspiring common man named Jeroboam would become king over 10 dissenting tribes of Israel.
* Ahijah’s Illustration (1Ki. 11:29,30)
One day, as Jeroboam left Jerusalem, Ahijah took a new cloak and tore it into 12 pieces, giving Jeroboam 10 of the pieces.
* Ahijah’s Interpretation (11:31-40)
The prophet told Jeroboam God would soon make him king over 10 of Israel’s tribes because of King Solomon’s many sins!
So, Jeroboam ran away to escape King Solomon’s anger…
After a 40-yr reign, Solomon died… and was succeeded by his son, Rehoboam. In one of their first leadership meetings, the leaders of the 10 northern tribes urged Rehoboam to lessen the hardships put on them by King Solomon. In his arrogance, Rehoboam decided to follow the advice of his buddies instead… and even increased the workload on the northern tribes!
So, the 10 tribes renounced Rehoboam as their king, and decided to form their own nation… with Jeroboam as king (just as Ahijah had prophesied).
But, Jeroboam must have forgotten the rest of Ahijah’s prophecy, because he:
1) Built 2 gold calf idols and put them in Bethel & Dan, 2 cities of the N.Kingdom… so the people would not have to go to Jerusalem – in the S.Kingdom – to worship.
2) Instituted non-Levites to serve as priests… because there weren’t as many Levites in the N.Kingdom.
3) Instituted his own religious festival… to “legitimize” the N.Kingdom.
II. Announcing the Death of Jeroboam’s Son… and, eventually, Sons
– Jeroboam’s Deception… 1Ki. 14:1-18
* The Plot (14:1-3)
Jeroboam told his wife to disguise herself and find out from Ahijah the prophet whether or not their sick son would recover.
* The Perception (14:4,5)
Before the queen arrived, God told Ahijah, who was old and almost blind, who his coming visitor was.
* The Prophecy (14:6-18)
Ahijah told Jeroboam’s wife of coming judgment for Jeroboam’s evil.
1) Concerning the House of Jeroboam (14:7-14,17,18)
Because Jeroboam promoted idolatry in Israel, his sick son would die along with – eventually – all his other sons! All his male descendants would be killed and left shamefully unburied (1KI. 15:27-30).
2) Concerning the House of Israel (14:15,16)
God would cause the N. Kingdom of Israel to be taken into captivity.
Like all good prophets of God, Ahijah told it like it was… good news or bad.
According to 2Chronicles, Ahijah also authored a book, described as Prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, which contained information about King Solomon’s reign. This text, though, has not survived, and is one of the lost texts mentioned in the Bible. Rabbinic tradition credits Ahijah with having lived a very long life, linking his life-span with that of men such as Methuselah & Noah.
Age was not a factor in Ahijah’s usefulness to God. He spoke for God on 2 distinct occasions, separated by many years… illustrating a lifetime of faithfulness.
Today may – or may not – be a memorable day in your life. The hours will probably just be filled with the small acts of obedience that make up a faithful lifestyle. But, whether or not you are in the spotlight of special service, make this day another for which God can call you a “good and faithful servant”.
* Faithfulness results when Obedience is piled up… small act upon small act.
You can read Ahijah’s story in 1Kings 11; 14.