Jeroboam son of Nebat was still in Egypt where he had run away from Solomon. When he heard about Solomon’s death, he returned to his city, Zeredah, in the hills of Ephraim. Rehoboam and all the Israelites went to Shechem to make him the king. The people said to Rehoboam,
Jeroboam, who was still in Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon, heard about the plans from his friends. They urged him to attend, so he joined the rest of Israel at Shechem and was the ringleader in getting the people to make certain demands upon Rehoboam. “Your father was a hard master,” they told Rehoboam. “We don’t want you as our king unless you promise to treat us better than he did.”
Rehoboam assembled Jeroboam and all the people. They said to Rehoboam, “Your father made life hard for us—worked our fingers to the bone. Give us a break; lighten up on us and we’ll willingly serve you.”
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