Add parallel Print Page Options

Rehoboam’s Reign of Folly

10 Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, because all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. When Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard about the new king (for he was in [a]Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon), Jeroboam returned from Egypt.(A) And the people sent messengers and summoned him. So when Jeroboam and all Israel came, they spoke to Rehoboam, saying, “Your father [King Solomon] made our yoke hard (heavy, difficult); so now lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” Rehoboam replied, “Come back to me again in three days.” So the people departed.

Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon [as advisers] while he was alive, asking, “What advice do you give me in answer to these people?” They answered him, saying, “If you are kind to these people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” But the king rejected the advice which the elders gave him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him [as advisers]. He asked them, “What advice do you give to us regarding the answer to these people, who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?” 10 The young men who grew up with him told him, “Tell the people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter for us’: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s [b]loins! 11 Now my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, but I will add [more weight] to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions (extremely painful scourges).’”

12 So on the third day Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam just as the king had directed, saying, “Return to me on the third day.” 13 The king answered them harshly, for King Rehoboam rejected the counsel of the elders. 14 He spoke to them in accordance with the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for the [c]turn of events was from God that the Lord might fulfill His word, which He had spoken through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.(B)

16 When all Israel saw that the king did not listen and pay attention to them, the people answered him,

“What portion do we have in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
Every man to your tents, O Israel;
Now, [Rehoboam, descendant of] David, see to your own house.”

So all Israel went to their tents. 17 But as for the Israelites who lived in Judah’s cities, Rehoboam ruled over them. 18 Then King Rehoboam [d]sent Hadoram, who was over the forced labor, and the Israelites stoned him and he died. And King Rehoboam hurried to mount his [royal] chariot to escape to Jerusalem. 19 And Israel has rebelled against the house of David to this day.

Rehoboam Reigns over Judah and Builds Cities

11 Now when Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 chosen warriors to fight against [the ten tribes of] Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam. But the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, “Say to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, ‘Thus says the Lord: “You shall not go up nor fight against your brothers (countrymen); return, every man to his house, for this thing is from Me.”’” And they listened to and obeyed the words of the Lord and turned back from going against Jeroboam.

Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built [fortified] cities for defense in Judah. He [e]built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron, which are fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11 He strengthened the fortresses and put officers in them, with supplies of food, [olive] oil, and wine. 12 And in each city he put [large] shields and spears, and made them very strong. So he held Judah and Benjamin.

13 Further, the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel took their stand with Rehoboam from all their districts.

Jeroboam Appoints False Priests

14 For the Levites left their pasture lands and their property and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons had excluded them from serving as priests to the Lord. 15 Jeroboam appointed his own priests for the high places, for the satyrs (goat demons) and calves (idols) which he had made.(C) 16 Those from all the tribes of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the Lord God of Israel followed [f]them to Jerusalem, to sacrifice to the Lord God of their fathers. 17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam the son of Solomon for three years; for they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.

Rehoboam’s Family

18 Rehoboam took as his wife Mahalath, the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse. 19 She bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 After her he took Maacah the daughter (granddaughter) of Absalom, and she bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter (granddaughter) of Absalom more than all his wives and [g]concubines—for he had taken eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and he fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. 22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah the chief leader among his brothers, because he intended to make him king. 23 He acted wisely and distributed some of his sons throughout the territories of Judah and Benjamin to all the fortified cities. He gave them abundant provisions, and he sought many wives for them.

Shishak of Egypt Invades Judah

12 When the kingdom of Rehoboam was established and strong, he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the Lord. And it came about in King Rehoboam’s fifth year, because they had been unfaithful to the Lord, that [h]Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem with 1,200 chariots and 60,000 horsemen. The people who came with him from Egypt were beyond counting—the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the [i]Ethiopians. Shishak took the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says the Lord: ‘You have abandoned (turned away from) Me, so I have abandoned you into the hands of Shishak.’” Then the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is righteous.”

When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, “They have humbled themselves so I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some measure of a remnant [that escapes]; and My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by means of Shishak. Nevertheless they will become his slaves, so that they may know [the difference between] My service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”

Plunder Impoverishes Judah

So Shishak king of Egypt went up against Jerusalem; he took the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house (palace). He took everything. He even took the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 10 In their place King Rehoboam made shields of bronze and entrusted them to the care of the officers of the guard who guarded the door of the king’s house. 11 And whenever the king entered the house of the Lord, the guards came and carried the shields and then brought them back into the guards’ room. 12 When Rehoboam humbled himself, the wrath of the Lord turned away from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and also conditions were good in Judah.

13 So King Rehoboam established himself in Jerusalem and reigned. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city in which the Lord had chosen from all the tribes of Israel to put His Name. And his mother was Naamah the Ammonitess. 14 He did evil because he did not set his heart to seek and worship and honor the Lord.

15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, from the first to the last, are they not written in the records of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, according to genealogical enrollment? There were wars between Rehoboam [of Judah] and Jeroboam [of Israel] continually. 16 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers [in death] and was buried in the City of David; and Abijah his son became king in his place.


  1. 2 Chronicles 10:2 Jeroboam had been living in Egypt under the protection of the pharaoh, Shishak.
  2. 2 Chronicles 10:10 The midsection of the body between the lower ribs and the hips.
  3. 2 Chronicles 10:15 God brought about the revolt of the northern tribes, intending it as a punishment of the house of David for Solomon’s apostasy.
  4. 2 Chronicles 10:18 This evidently was a last-resort effort by Rehoboam to assert control over the Israelites.
  5. 2 Chronicles 11:6 Or rebuilt.
  6. 2 Chronicles 11:16 I.e. the Levites.
  7. 2 Chronicles 11:21 See note Gen 22:24.
  8. 2 Chronicles 12:2 Shishak established the 22nd dynasty and ruled Egypt from 945-924 b.c. His invasion of the kingdom of Judah is recorded at the temple complex of Karnak (Thebes), near Luxor, Egypt. Shishak was the pharaoh who had given refuge to Jeroboam during the final years of Solomon’s reign.
  9. 2 Chronicles 12:3 Ancient Ethiopia was south of Egypt and included portions of modern Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia.

Bible Gateway Recommends