2 Chronicles 10
New English Translation
The Northern Tribes Rebel
10 Rehoboam traveled to Shechem, for all Israel had gathered in[a] Shechem to make Rehoboam[b] king. 2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard the news, he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon. Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3 They sent for him,[c] and Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4 “Your father made us work too hard![d] Now if you lighten the demands he made and don’t make us work as hard, we will serve you.”[e] 5 He said to them, “Go away for three days, then return to me.” So the people went away.
6 King Rehoboam consulted with the older advisers who had served[f] his father Solomon when he had been alive. He asked them,[g] “How do you advise me to answer these people?” 7 They said to him, “If you are fair to these people, grant their request, and are cordial to them, they will be your servants from this time forward.”[h] 8 But Rehoboam rejected their advice and consulted the young advisers who served him, with whom he had grown up.[i] 9 He asked them, “How do you advise me to respond to these people who said to me, ‘Lessen the demands your father placed on us’?”[j] 10 The young advisers with whom Rehoboam[k] had grown up said to him, “Say this to these people who have said to you, ‘Your father made us work hard, but now lighten our burden’[l]—say this to them: ‘I am a lot harsher than my father![m] 11 My father imposed heavy demands on you; I will make them even heavier.[n] My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.’”[o]
12 Jeroboam and all the people reported to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had ordered when he said, “Return to me on the third day.” 13 The king responded to the people harshly. He[p] rejected the advice of the older men 14 and followed the advice of the younger ones. He said, “My father imposed heavy demands on you;[q] I will make them even heavier.[r] My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.”[s] 15 The king refused to listen to the people, because God was instigating this turn of events[t] so that he might bring to pass the prophetic announcement he had made[u] through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat.
16 When all Israel saw[v] that the king refused to listen to them, the people answered the king, “We have no portion in David—no share in the son of Jesse![w] Return to your homes, O Israel![x] Now, look after your own dynasty, O David!”[y] So all Israel returned to their homes.[z] 17 (Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah.) 18 King Rehoboam sent Hadoram,[aa] the supervisor of the work crews, out after them, but the Israelites stoned him to death. King Rehoboam managed to jump into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the Davidic dynasty to this very day.
- 2 Chronicles 10:1 tn Heb “come [to].”
- 2 Chronicles 10:1 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Rehoboam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- 2 Chronicles 10:3 tn Heb “They sent and called for him.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:4 tn Heb “made our yoke burdensome.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:4 tn Heb “but you, now, lighten the burdensome work of your father and the heavy yoke which he placed on us, and we will serve you.” In the Hebrew text the prefixed verbal form with vav (וְנַעַבְדֶךָ, venaʿavedekha, “and we will serve you”) following the imperative (הָקֵל, haqel, “lighten”) indicates purpose/result. The conditional sentence used in the present translation is an attempt to bring out the logical relationship between these forms.
- 2 Chronicles 10:6 tn Heb “stood before.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:6 tn Heb “saying.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:7 tn Heb “If you are for good to these people and you are favorable to them and speak to them good words, they will be your servants all the days.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:8 tn Heb “Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders which they advised and he consulted the young men with whom he had grown up, who stood before him.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:9 tn Heb “Lighten the yoke which your father placed on us.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:10 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Rehoboam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- 2 Chronicles 10:10 tn Heb “Your father made our yoke heavy, but make it lighter upon us.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:10 tn Heb “My little one is thicker than my father’s hips.” The referent of “my little one” is not clear. The traditional view is that it refers to the little finger (so NEB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT). As the following statement makes clear, Rehoboam’s point is that he is more harsh and demanding than his father.
- 2 Chronicles 10:11 tn Heb “and now my father placed upon you a heavy yoke, but I will add to your yoke.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:11 tn Heb “My father punished you with whips, but I [will punish you] with scorpions.” “Scorpions” might allude to some type of torture, but more likely it refers to a type of whip that inflicts an especially biting, painful wound.
- 2 Chronicles 10:13 tn Heb “King Rehoboam.” The pronoun “he” has been used in the translation in place of the proper name in keeping with contemporary English style.
- 2 Chronicles 10:14 tc The Hebrew text reads, “I will make heavy your yoke,” but many medieval Hebrew mss and other ancient textual witnesses have, “my father made heavy your yoke.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:14 tn Heb “but I will add to your yoke.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:14 tn Heb “My father punished you with whips, but I [will punish you] with scorpions.” “Scorpions” might allude to some type of torture, but more likely it refers to a type of whip that inflicts an especially biting, painful wound.
- 2 Chronicles 10:15 tn Heb “because this turn of events was from God.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:15 tn Heb “so that the Lord might bring to pass his word which he spoke.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:16 tc The MT does not include the word “saw,” but many medieval Hebrew mss as well as several ancient versions have it. See the parallel text of 1 Kings 12:16, which has the verb וַיַּרְא (from רָאָה, raʾah, “to see”).
- 2 Chronicles 10:16 sn The people’s point seems to be that they have no familial relationship with David that brings them any benefits or places upon them any obligations. They are being treated like outsiders.
- 2 Chronicles 10:16 tn Heb “each one to your tents, Israel.” The word “return” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- 2 Chronicles 10:16 tn Heb “Now see your house, David.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:16 tn Heb “went to their tents.”
- 2 Chronicles 10:18 sn In the parallel account in 1 Kgs 12:18 this name appears as “Adoniram.”