It is a common if natural failing among people who attain success to pride themselves on their achievements. And whilst a small amount of "patting oneself on the back" might be excusable, if the success makes one "swelled-headed", that is altogether inexcusable, and only leads to corruption.

And so it was with King Jereboam. For, after he had been acclaimed by the ten tribes, Jereboam the son of Nebat became terribly conceited and proud. He acquired such a high opinion of himself that he decided he was answerable to no one but himself, and could do exactly as he pleased without considering anybody or anything.

He went in for every kind of sinful pleasure and led his people in his own wicked ways. He erected golden calves and urged the Jewish people to worship them. He himself often acted as "High Priest" to minister to his people the abominable idol worship.

"I am indeed a great man," he said to himself with satisfaction. "I can do as I like, take what I like, and do whatever I will to make me happy! There is no one who can compare himself to me and to the greatness that I have attained! Almost the whole Jewish land now belongs to me and I can do with it whatever pleases me. How sweet is my life with my pleasures increasing from day to day! The only possible thing I lack to make my happiness complete, is that I get the chance to walk through the Garden of Eden, eat of its fruits, and live for ever!"

Thus soliloquizing, he fell into a deep sleep and dreamed. In his dream he suddenly found himself floating upon a white and fleecy cloud, high up in the sky, far, far away from his palace. He reached a place where all was light; not a vestige of darkness, only bright light and sunshine. Sweet odors reached his nostrils and quickened his spirit. A high gate stood in his line of vision, made up entirely of exquisitely cut precious stones, which flashed forth in flaming letters, forming the words, "THIS IS THE GATE OF G-D. ONLY THE RIGHTEOUS MAY ENTER HERE."

"Ah, this is surely the Garden of Eden for which I have been longing so," Jereboam said to himself, and felt a great urge to enter. "What a pity that I am excluded from being admitted, on account of my past misdeeds!" And so, sighing regretfully, he floated onwards.

Suddenly, without warning a terrific storm broke out, blotting out all the stars and plunging everything into complete darkness! Then out of this darkness there suddenly flashed the fiery flames of Hell, from which emerged the sorry and tortured souls of sinful humans.

Before Jereboam's very eyes, there floated out towards him, the awful images of two golden calf-idols which he had had erected - one in Dan, and the other in Beth-El.

These images now floated about, causing death and desolation all around them, so that Jereboam shuddered in fright and horror! He began to scream for his servants, but his voice became choked and muffled; his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth, and his feet to the ground.

"Jereboam!" he heard himself being called. "You have led the people on the downward path; taught them to worship idols! Yet you still have time to repent of your wickedness; it is never too late. Return to the true worship of the Almighty G‑d, and lead your people back to the path of righteousness. You have the power and might to bring them back to the true faith. Your reward would be that you would enter Paradise and walk there together with David, the son of Jesse!"

"And who would be the first?" asked Jereboam.

"David the son of Jesse would be the first, and you, Jereboam the son of Nebat would be the second." came the heavenly reply.

"Indeed I shall do no such thing." roared Jereboam in angry protest. "I shall certainly not walk behind the son of Jesse! Am I inferior to him that I shall lower myself thus? I will not repent, neither will I attempt to bring the people back to G‑d. I refuse to allow my dignity to be trampled upon!" he shouted jealousy, and awoke.

And so the proud, conceited, and foolish Jereboam, because of his jealousy, envy, and vanity, lost his chance of eternal life, and his place, in the world to come.