Rehoboam's Folly

12 (A)Rehoboam went to (B)Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. And as soon as (C)Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for (D)he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from[a] Egypt. And they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and said to Rehoboam, (E)“Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you.” He said to them, (F)“Go away for three days, then come again to me.” So the people went away.

Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” And they said to him, “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever.” But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. And he said to them, “What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put on us’?” 10 And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Thus shall you speak to this people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us,’ thus shall you say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father's thighs. 11 And now, whereas (G)my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”

12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king said, (H)“Come to me again the third day.” 13 And the king answered the people harshly, and forsaking the counsel that the old men had given him, 14 he spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, (I)“My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for (J)it was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord that he might fulfill his word, which (K)the Lord spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

The Kingdom Divided

16 And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. (L)To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” So Israel went to their tents. 17 But Rehoboam reigned over (M)the people of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent (N)Adoram, who was taskmaster over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death with stones. And King Rehoboam hurried to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19 (O)So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day. 20 And when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. There was none that followed the house of David but (P)the tribe of Judah only.

21 (Q)When Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 chosen warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 22 But the word of God came to (R)Shemaiah the man of God: 23 “Say to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the (S)rest of the people, 24 ‘Thus says the Lord, You shall not go up or fight against your relatives the people of Israel. Every man return to his home, (T)for this thing is from me.’” So they listened to the word of the Lord and went home again, according to the word of the Lord.

Jeroboam's Golden Calves

25 Then Jeroboam (U)built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. And he went out from there and (V)built Penuel. 26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will turn back to the house of David. 27 If this people (W)go up to offer sacrifices in the temple of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28 So the king took counsel and (X)made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. (Y)Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” 29 And he set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 Then (Z)this thing became a sin, for the people went as far as Dan to be before one.[b] 31 He also made (AA)temples on high places and (AB)appointed priests from among all the people, who were not of the Levites. 32 And Jeroboam appointed a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month like (AC)the feast that was in Judah, and he offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he made. And he placed in Bethel (AD)the priests of the high places that he had made. 33 He went up to the altar that he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, in the month that he had devised from his own heart. And he instituted a feast for the people of Israel and went up to the altar (AE)to make offerings.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 12:2 Septuagint, Vulgate (compare 2 Chronicles 10:2); Hebrew lived in
  2. 1 Kings 12:30 Septuagint went to the one at Bethel and to the other as far as Dan

Prophecy Against Jeroboam

14 At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. And Jeroboam said to his wife, “Arise, and disguise yourself, that it not be known that you are the wife of Jeroboam, and go to (A)Shiloh. Behold, Ahijah the prophet is there, (B)who said of me that I should be king over this people. (C)Take with you ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what shall happen to the child.”

Jeroboam's wife did so. She arose and went to (D)Shiloh and came to the house of (E)Ahijah. Now (F)Ahijah could not see, for his eyes were dim because of his age. And the Lord said to (G)Ahijah, “Behold, the wife of Jeroboam is coming to inquire of you concerning her son, for he is sick. Thus and thus shall you say to her.”

When she came, she pretended to be another woman. But when (H)Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another? For I am charged with unbearable news for you. Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: (I)“Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over my people Israel and (J)tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, and yet you have not been (K)like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my eyes, but you have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and (L)made for yourself other gods and (M)metal images, provoking me to anger, and (N)have cast me behind your back, 10 therefore behold, I will bring harm upon the house of Jeroboam and (O)will cut off from Jeroboam every male, (P)both bond and free in Israel, and (Q)will burn up the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone. 11 (R)Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat, for the Lord has spoken it.”’ 12 Arise therefore, go to your house. (S)When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. 13 And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him (T)there is found something pleasing to the Lord, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam. 14 (U)Moreover, the Lord will raise up for himself a king over Israel who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam today. And henceforth, 15 the Lord will strike Israel as a reed is shaken in the water, and (V)root up Israel out of (W)this good land that he gave to their fathers and scatter them (X)beyond the Euphrates,[a] because they have made their (Y)Asherim, provoking the Lord to anger. 16 And he will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, which he sinned and made Israel to sin.”

17 Then Jeroboam's wife arose and departed and came to (Z)Tirzah. And (AA)as she came to the threshold of the house, the child died. 18 And all Israel buried him and mourned for him, (AB)according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Ahijah the prophet.

The Death of Jeroboam

19 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, (AC)how he warred and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. 20 And the time that Jeroboam reigned was twenty-two years. And he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his place.

Rehoboam Reigns in Judah

21 (AD)Now Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, (AE)the city that the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. (AF)His mother's name was Naamah the Ammonite. 22 (AG)And Judah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and they (AH)provoked him to jealousy with their sins that they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. 23 For they also built for themselves (AI)high places (AJ)and pillars and (AK)Asherim on every high hill and (AL)under every green tree, 24 and there were also (AM)male cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations that the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.

25 (AN)In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. 26 He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house. (AO)He took away everything. He also took away all the shields of gold (AP)that Solomon had made, 27 and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze, and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king's house. 28 And as often as the king went into the house of the Lord, the guard carried them and brought them back to the guardroom.

29 (AQ)Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 30 (AR)And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 31 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. (AS)His mother's name was Naamah the Ammonite. And (AT)Abijam his son reigned in his place.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 14:15 Hebrew the River

Bible Gateway Recommends

ESV Student Study Bible, TruTone, Sky Blue with Ivy Design
ESV Student Study Bible, TruTone, Sky Blue with Ivy Design
Retail: $39.99
Our Price: $18.99
Save: $21.00 (53%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
Fire Bible ESV Version, Soft Leather-look, Slate/Charcoal
Fire Bible ESV Version, Soft Leather-look, Slate/Charcoal
Retail: $79.95
Our Price: $53.99
Save: $25.96 (32%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
ESV MacArthur Study Bible, 2nd Edition--hardcover
ESV MacArthur Study Bible, 2nd Edition--hardcover
Retail: $49.99
Our Price: $31.99
Save: $18.00 (36%)
Psalms, ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal
Psalms, ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal
Retail: $11.99
Our Price: $7.99
Save: $4.00 (33%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars