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[219] When therefore Jeroboam had built him a palace in the city Shechem, he dwelt there. He also built him another at Penuel, a city so called. And now the feast of tabernacles was approaching in a little time, Jeroboam considered, that if he should permit the multitude to go to worship God at Jerusalem, and there to celebrate the festival, they would probably repent of what they had done, and be enticed by the temple, and by the worship of God there performed, and would leave him, and return to their first kings; and if so, he should run the risk of losing his own life; so he invented this contrivance; He made two golden heifers, and built two little temples for them, the one in the city Bethel, and the other in Dan, which last was at the fountains of the Lesser Jordan 1 and he put the heifers into both the little temples, in the forementioned cities. And when he had called those ten tribes together over whom he ruled, he made a speech to the people in these words: "I suppose, my countrymen, that you know this, that every place hath God in it; nor is there any one determinate place in which he is, but he every where hears and sees those that worship him; on which account I do not think it right for you to go so long a journey to Jerusalem, which is an enemy's city, to worship him. It was a man that built the temple: I have also made two golden heifers, dedicated to the same God; and the one of them I have consecrated in the city Bethel, and the other in Dan, to the end that those of you that dwell nearest those cities may go to them, and worship God there; and I will ordain for you certain priests and Levites from among yourselves, that you may have no want of the tribe of Levi, or of the sons of Aaron; but let him that is desirous among you of being a priest, bring to God a bullock and a ram, which they say Aaron the first priest brought also." When Jeroboam had said this, he deluded the people, and made them to revolt from the worship of their forefathers, and to transgress their laws. This was the beginning of miseries to the Hebrews, and the cause why they were overcome in war by foreigners, and so fell into captivity. But we shall relate those things in their proper places hereafter.

1 Whether these "fountains of the Lesser Jordan" were near a place called Dan, and the fountains of the Greater near a place called Jor, before their conjunction; or whether there was only one fountain, arising at the lake Phiala, at first sinking under ground, and then arising near the mountain Paneum, and thence running through the lake Scmochonitis to the Sea of Galilee, and so far called the Lesser Jordan; is hardly certain, even in Josephus himself, though the latter account be the most probable. However, the northern idolatrous calf, set up by Jeroboam, was where Little Jordan fell into Great Jordan, near a place called Daphnae, as Josephus elsewhere informs us, Of the War, B. IV. ch. 1. sect. 1: see the note there.

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