So strong was Jeroboam's desire to keep the ten tribes away from Jerusalem that he lost sight of the fundamental weakness of his plan. He failed to take into consideration the great peril to which he was exposing the Israelites by setting before them the idolatrous symbol of the deity with which their ancestors had been so familiar during the centuries of Egyptian bondage. Jeroboam's recent residence in Egypt should have taught him the folly of placing before the people such heathen representations. But his set purpose of inducing the northern tribes to discontinue their annual visits to the Holy City led him to adopt the most imprudent of measures. "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem," he urged; "behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." 1 Kings 12:28. 101 Thus they were invited to bow down before the golden images and adopt strange forms of worship.
|Profeter og konger kapitel 7. 52. Fra side 100 i den engelske udgave.
I forbindelse med gennemførelsen af denne plan besluttede Jeroboam at appellere til israelitternes fantasi. Han ville opstille to billeder, som skulle symbolisere den usynlige Guds nærværelse. Han fremstillede derfor to guldkalve, som blev opstillet i en bygning på de steder, som var valgt til afgudsdyrkelsen. De bestræbelser, som Jeroboam her udfoldede for at fremstille et billede af guddommen, var en overtrædelse af Guds udtrykkelige bud: "Du må ikke gøre dig noget udskåret billede; ..... du må ikke tilbede eller dyrke det." 2Mos. 20,4-5.