Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to acclaim him as king.
Jeroboam son of Nebat learned of it while he was still in Egypt; for Jeroboam had fled from King Solomon, a2 Chron. 10.2 reads “So Jeroboam returned from Egypt.”and had settled in Egypt.-a
They sent for him; and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam as follows:
“Your father made our yoke heavy. Now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke which your father laid on us, and we will serve you.”
He answered them, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.
King Rehoboam took counsel with the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. He said, “What answer do you advise [me] to give to this people?”
They answered him, “If you will be a servant to those people today and serve them, and if you respond to them with kind words, they will be your servants always.”
But he ignored the advice that the elders gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.
“What,” he asked, “do you advise that we reply to the people who said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father placed upon us’?”
And the young men who had grown up with him answered, “Speak thus to the people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us.’ Say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins.
My father imposed a heavy yoke on you, and I will add to your yoke; my father flogged you with whips, but I will flog you with scorpions.’”
Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, since the king had told them: “Come back on the third day.”
The king answered the people harshly, ignoring the advice that the elders had given him.
He spoke to them in accordance with the advice of the young men, and said, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father flogged you with whips, but I will flog you with scorpions.”
(The king did not listen to the people; for the LORD had brought it about in order to fulfill the promise that the LORD had made through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat.)
When all Israel saw that the king had not listened to them, the people answered the king:
“We have no portion in David,
No share in Jesse’s son!
To your tents, O Israel!
Now look to your own House, O David.”
So the Israelites returned to their homes.bLit. “tents.”
But Rehoboam continued to reign over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah.
King Rehoboam sent Adoram,cElsewhere called Adoniram; cf. 2 Sam. 20.24 and note. who was in charge of the forced labor, but all Israel pelted him to death with stones. Thereupon King Rehoboam hurriedly mounted his chariot and fled to Jerusalem.
Thus Israel revolted against the House of David, as is still the case.
When all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent messengers and summoned him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the House of David.
On his return to Jerusalem, Rehoboam mustered all the House of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 picked warriors, to fight against the House of Israel, in order to restore the kingship to Rehoboam son of Solomon.
But the word of God came to Shemaiah, the man of God:
“Say to King Rehoboam son of Solomon of Judah, and to all the House of Judah and Benjamin and the rest of the people:
Thus said the LORD: You shall not set out to make war on your kinsmen the Israelites. Let every man return to his home, for this thing has been brought about by Me.” They heeded the word of the LORD and turned back, in accordance with the word of the LORD.
Jeroboam fortified Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and resided there; he moved out from there and fortified Penuel.
Jeroboam said to himself, “Now the kingdom may well return to the House of David.
If these people still go up to offer sacrifices at the House of the LORD in Jerusalem, the heart of these people will turn back to their master, King Rehoboam of Judah; they will kill me and go back to King Rehoboam of Judah.”
So the king took counsel and made two golden calves. He said to dHeb. “them.”the people,-d “You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough. This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”
He set up one in Bethel and placed the other in Dan.
That proved to be a cause of guilt, for the people went to worship [the calf at Bethel and] the one at Dan.
He also made cult places and appointed priests from the ranks of the people who were not of Levite descent.
He stationed at Bethel the priests of the shrines that he had appointed to sacrifice to the calves that he had made. And Jeroboam established a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month; in imitation of the festival in Judah, he established one at Bethel, and he ascended the altar [there].
On the fifteenth day of the eighth month—the month in which he had contrived of his own mind to establish a festival for the Israelites—Jeroboam ascended the altar that he had made in Bethel.
As he ascended the altar to present an offering,