In I Kings 13

And behold a man of God came from Judah, at the command of the Lord, to Beth El, and Jeroboam was standing on the altar offering sacrifices.

We got a story of a prophet that comes to the king Jeroboam.

Hashem told that prophet to come back without resting.

I Kings 13:9

For so has he commanded me by the words of the Lord saying, 'You shall not eat bread nor drink water, neither shall you return by the road by which you have come.'

Yet, another "prophet" claim that the prophet should come and eat.

The prophet ate and later got eaten by a lion.

We have a bunch of scenario here.

  1. The second prophet is not a prophet. He just claim he is. The first prophet told the second prophet too much. So the first prophet can lie. If someone come to me and say, helo, I know you're a programmer and hashem told you to come back home quickly. I would think, how the hell did he know? But if I tell everyone I am a programmer in rush, and someone told me yea I know that. Well, that's not exactly a miracle right?
  2. The second prophet is a real prophet. After all, he can prophecy that the first prophet will get eaten by lion. That's kind of true. Being able to predict something unlikely and have that prophecy true is a miracle. This lead to another question. Why would a prophet lie?
  3. Hashem himself lie. So He told one prophet don't rest. Then he told another prophet tell that original prophet to rest. Why would Hashem do that?
  4. Hashem doesn't lie. An old prophet lied. That's the literal reading. Perhaps for some other motives that's not explained. That is still a problem. Why would Hashem pick such liars to prophets? Why would Hashem even speak to liars? (I am not muslims, but muslims believe, for example, that prophets cannot lie).

So there are so many things that may actually have happened. Most of which don't make sense to me.

There have to be something.

In fact, why would the old prophet lie? What's his motive?


  • why the downvote?
    – user4951
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 11:56
  • btw 1Kings 13 (28) says "He set out and found the corpse lying on the road, with the ass and the lion standing beside the corpse; the lion had not eaten the corpse nor had it mauled the ass." Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 15:52

1 Answer 1


A false prophet lied to him and tricked him

Rashi I Kings 13:11 says

And an elderly prophet: a false prophet.

sojourning in Beth-El: He was not from there but from Samaria. So it is stated in the section dealing with Josiah (II Kings 23:18). And they saved his bones with the bones of the prophet who had come from Samaria.

and 1 Kings 20

to the prophet: the false prophet.

who brought him back: Who brought back the man of God. From here they deduced that offering refreshment is a great thing, for it causes the Shechinah to rest on the prophets of the Baal.

[Mikraos Gedolos](13:20](http://mg.alhatorah.org/Full/Melakhim_I/13.20#e0n6)

Radak says that he should have refused the invitation even though the false prophet lied and said it was the word of Hashem to invite him.

אל הנביא אשר השיבו – בעבור אשר מרה פי ה׳ נביא האמת לא באה אליו הנבואה ובאה אל נביא השקר לצורך להודיע לנביא האמת חטאו וענשו

Since the true prophet denied the word of Hashem, the prophecy [of the punishment] did not come to him and came to the false prophet, since it was required that the true prophet had to be informed of his sin and his punishment.

Malbim points out that the original prophecy of the true prophet had to be certified since otherwise, the punishment would have been thought to prove that he was a false prophet This would have given the impression that the original prophecy to the king had been false.

אל הנביא אשר השיבו לא הודיע זאת אל הנביא עצמו שאז לא היו יודעים למה נענש, והיו חושבים שהיה נביא שקר ושלכן אכלו האריה לכן הוכרח לדבר אל הזקן למען יספר אח״כ אמיתת הדברים.

This was not told to the [true] prophet himself since then other people would not have known why he was punished, they would have thought the he was a false prophet and that was why the lion ate him. Therefore the matter was revealed to the old man (the false prophet) in order that he would explain afterwards the truth of the matter.

  • biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+13&version=NIV says old prophet. Nowhere does the word false shows up in my translation. Let me check
    – user4951
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 11:57
  • biblehub.com/text/1_kings/13-11.htm this is the hebrew transliteration no word that it's false prophet either. Also if he is a false prophet why would Yahweh bother picking such liars as prophets?
    – user4951
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 11:59
  • 1
    @user4951 That is why it is improper to use a nonJewish explanation. I pointed to Rashi and added pointer to Radak and Malbim to show the reason why Hashem used the false prophet to tell the true prophet of his fate. Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 14:37
  • @user4951 "why would [God] bother picking such liars as prophets?" God didn't pick him as a prophet. He picked himself as a prophet, just like a bunch of other people over the centuries. You can probably see some of them on youtube, but I don't suggest wasting your time.
    – Heshy
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 14:55
  • @Heshy I don't understand your comment Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 16:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .