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Israel Rebels Against Rehoboam(A)

10 Rehoboam went to Shechem because all Israel journeyed to Shechem to make him king. It happened that Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard this—he was in Egypt, where he fled from King Solomon—so he returned from Egypt. So they sent for him and called him. And Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam saying, “Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore, lighten your father’s labor and heavy yoke that he put on us, and we will serve you.”

He responded, “Return again to me in three days.” So the people left.

Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who stood in the presence of Solomon his father when he was alive saying, “How do you counsel that I should give a response to this people?”

They said to him, “If you are good to this people and please them and speak well to them, then they will be servants to you all your days.”

But he abandoned the counsel of the elders that they gave to him. And he consulted the young men who grew up and stood before him. Rehoboam said to them, “What do you counsel that we give as a response to this people who have spoken to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father placed on us’?”

10 The young men who had grown up with him said, “So you should speak to the people who have spoken to you saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it from us.’ So you will say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! 11 Whereas my father placed a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke. My father chastened you with whips, but I will scourge you with scorpions.’ ”

12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had ordered saying, “Return to me on the third day.” 13 Then the king answered them harshly. King Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders. 14 He spoke to them with the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will increase it. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.” 15 The king did not listen to the people, for the event occurred because of God, that the Lord might establish His word that He spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

16 When all Israel saw that the king would not listen to them, the people answered the king saying,

“What portion do we have in David?
    We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
O Israel, each man to your tent.
    Now look after your own house, O David!”

Then all Israel departed to their tents. 17 The sons of Israel dwelled in the cities of Judah, and Rehoboam reigned over them.

18 Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was over the forced labor, and the sons of Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam hurried to mount his chariot and to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has rebelled against the house of David until this day.