1 Kings 12Expanded Bible (EXB)
Israel Turns Against Rehoboam
12 Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all the Israelites had ·gone [gathered] to make him king. 2 Jeroboam son of Nebat was still in Egypt, where he had ·gone to escape [fled] from Solomon. When Jeroboam heard about Rehoboam being made king, he was living in Egypt. 3 After ·the people [or the leaders; L they] sent for him, he and ·the people [L all the assembly/crowd of Israel] went to Rehoboam and said to him, 4 “Your father ·forced us to work [L made our yoke] very hard. Now, ·make it easier for us [lighten the harsh labor], and ·don’t make us work as hard as he did [L the heavy yoke he put on us]. Then we will serve you.”
5 Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days, and then come back to me.” So the people left.
6 King Rehoboam asked the elders who had ·advised [served; attended] Solomon during his lifetime, “How do you ·think I should [advise/counsel me to] answer these people?”
7 They said, “You should be like a servant to them today. If you serve them and ·give them a kind answer [L speak good words], they will serve you always.”
8 But Rehoboam ·rejected this advice [L disregarded/forsook the counsel given by the elders]. Instead, he asked the young men who had grown up with him and who served ·as his advisers [L him]. 9 Rehoboam asked them, “What is your ·advice [counsel]? How should we answer these people who said, ‘·Don’t make us work as hard as your father did’ [L Lighten the yoke that your father put on us]?”
10 The young men who had grown up with him answered, “Those people said to you, ‘Your father ·forced us to work very hard [L made our yoke heavy]. Now make our work ·easier [lighter].’ You should tell them, ‘My little finger is ·bigger [thicker] than my father’s ·legs [L loins; C more manly]. 11 ·He forced you to work hard [L My father loaded/burdened you with a heavy yoke], but I will ·make you work even harder [L add to your yoke]. My father ·beat [scourged; disciplined; controlled] you with whips, but I will ·beat [scourge; discipline; control] you with ·whips that have sharp points [or scorpions].’”
12 After three days Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam as the king had ordered. 13 King Rehoboam spoke ·cruel [harsh] words to them, because he had ·rejected the advice [disregarded the counsel] the elders had given him. 14 He followed the ·advice [counsel] of the young men and said to the people, “My father ·forced you to work hard [L loaded/burdened you with a heavy yoke], but I will ·make you work even harder [L add to your yoke]. My father ·beat [scourged; disciplined; controlled] you with whips, but I will ·beat [scourge; discipline; control] you with ·whips that have sharp points [or scorpions].” 15 So the king did not listen to the people. The Lord caused this ·to happen [L turn (of events)] to ·keep the promise [L fulfill/establish the word/message] he had made to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah, a prophet from Shiloh [11:11–12, 29–31].
16 When all ·the Israelites [L Israel] saw that the new king refused to listen to them, they said to the king,
“·We have no share [L What portion do we have…?] in David!
So the Israelites went ·home [L to their tents]. 17 But Rehoboam still ruled over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah.
18 ·Adoniram[a] [C Hebrew: Adoram] was in charge of the ·forced labor [or labor force; 2 Sam. 20:24; 1 Kin. 4:6]. When Rehoboam sent him to the people of Israel, they ·threw stones at him until he died [stoned him to death]. But King Rehoboam ran to his chariot and ·escaped [fled] to Jerusalem. 19 Since then, Israel has ·been against [refused to be ruled by; been in rebellion against] the family of David.
20 When all ·the Israelites [L Israel] heard that Jeroboam had returned, they called ·him to a meeting [an assembly] and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah ·continued to follow [stayed loyal to] the ·family [L house] of David.
21 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he ·gathered [mobilized; assembled] one hundred eighty thousand of the ·best [elite; select] soldiers from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. As son of Solomon, Rehoboam wanted to fight the ·people [L house] of Israel to ·take back [restore] his kingdom.
22 But ·God spoke his word [L the word of God came] to Shemaiah, ·a [or the] man of God [C a prophet], saying, 23 “·Speak [Say] to Solomon’s son Rehoboam, the king of Judah, and to all the ·people [L house] of Judah and Benjamin and the rest of the people. Say to them, 24 ‘·The Lord says [T Thus says the Lord,] you must not go to war against your ·brothers [relatives], the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel]. Every one of you should go home, because ·I made all these things happen [this has come from me; this is my doing].’” So they ·obeyed the Lord’s command [L listened to the word of the Lord] and went home ·as the Lord had commanded [in accordance with his word].
25 Then Jeroboam ·built up [fortified] Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim, and he lived there. He also went out and ·built up [fortified] the city of Peniel.
Jeroboam Builds Golden Calves
26 Jeroboam said ·to himself [L in his heart], “The kingdom will probably ·go back [revert] to David’s ·family [L house]. 27 If the people continue going to the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord in Jerusalem to offer sacrifices, ·they will want to be ruled again by [L the heart of the people will return to] Rehoboam king of Judah. Then they will kill me and ·follow [return to] Rehoboam king of Judah.”
28 King Jeroboam asked for advice. Then he made two golden calves [C on the model of Aaron’s calf; Ex. 32]. “It is too ·long a journey [much] for you to go to Jerusalem [C to worship],” he said to the people. “Israel, here are your gods [or this is your God; C it is possible that the image was associated with the false worship of the true God] who brought you out of Egypt.” 29 Jeroboam put one golden calf in the city of Bethel and the other in the city of Dan [C at opposite ends of his kingdom]. 30 This became a very great sin, because the people traveled as far as Dan[b] [C in the north] to worship the calf there.
31 Jeroboam built ·temples [L houses] on the ·places of worship [L high places; 3:2]. He also chose priests from all the people, not just from the tribe of Levi [C a violation of God’s command; cf. Num. 3:10]. 32 And he started a new festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, just like the festival in Judah [C the Feast of Shelters; he was trying to imitate Israel’s way of worship]. During that time the king ·offered sacrifices on [went up to] the altar, along with sacrifices to the calves in Bethel he had made. He also chose priests in Bethel to serve at the ·places of worship [L high places; 3:2] he had made. 33 So Jeroboam ·chose his own time [devised in his own heart the month] for a festival for the Israelites—the fifteenth day of the eighth month. During that time he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built in Bethel. He ·set up [instituted] a festival for the Israelites and ·offered sacrifices [burned incense] on the altar.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
You've successfully created your account! For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.