Abstract: Rehoboam Misleads Judah (1 K 14:21-31)
21 Now Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen from all the tribes of Israel to put His name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 22 Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked Him to jealousy more than all that their fathers had done, with the sins which they committed. 23 For they also built for themselves high places and sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and beneath every luxuriant tree. 24 There were also male cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD dispossessed before the sons of Israel. 25 Now it happened in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, that Shishak the 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, and he took everything, even taking all the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 27 So King Rehoboam made shields of bronze in their place, and committed them to the care of the commanders of the guard who guarded the doorway of the king’s house. 28 Then it happened as often as the king entered the house of the LORD, that the guards would carry them and would bring them back into the guards’ room. 29 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 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; and his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. And Abijam his son became king in his place.
Rehoboam’s Reign of Folly; King Rehoboam Acts Foolishly (2 Chr 10; 1 K 12:1-20)
1 Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2 Now when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it, he was living in Egypt, for he was yet in Egypt where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon, Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3 So then they sent and summoned him. When Jeroboam and all Israel came, they spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4 “Your father made our yoke hard ; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” 5 Then he said to them, “Depart…then return to me again in three days.” So the people departed. 6 Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you counsel me to answer this people?” 7 Then they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a kind servant to this people today and please them and will serve them and grant them their petition and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8 But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him. 9 So he said to them, “What counsel do you give that we may answer this 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 spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall say to this people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter for us!’ Thus you shall say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! 11 ‘Whereas my father loaded you with 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 on the third day as the king had directed, saying, “Return to me on the third day.” 13 The king answered them harshly, for King Rehoboam forsook the counsel which the elders had given him. 14 He spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “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 it was a turn of events from the LORD God that the LORD might establish His word, which the LORD spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
The Kingdom Divided; Jeroboam Rules Israel
16 When all Israel saw that the king did 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. Every man to your tents, O Israel; Now look after your own house, David.” So all Israel departed to their tents. 17 But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, 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 made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day. 20 It came about when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, that they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. None but the tribe of Judah followed the house of David.
(1 K 12:21-24; 2 Chr 11:1-4)
21 Now when Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men who were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 22 But the word of the LORD God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 23 “Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in the house of Judah and Benjamin and to the rest of the people, saying, 24 ‘Thus says the LORD, “You must not go up or fight against your relatives the sons of Israel; return every man to his house, for this thing has come from Me.””‘ So they listened to the words of the LORD, and returned from going against Jeroboam and went their way according to the word of the LORD.
Rehoboam Reigns over Judah and Builds Cities (2 Chr 11: 5-17)
5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built cities for defense in Judah. 6 Thus he built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron, which are fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin. 11 He also strengthened the fortresses and put officers in them and stores of food, oil and wine. 12 He put shields and spears in every city and strengthened them greatly. So he held Judah and Benjamin. 13 Moreover, the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel stood with him 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, for Jeroboam and his sons had excluded them from serving as priests to the LORD. 15 He set up priests of his own for the high places, for the satyrs and for the calves which he had made. 16 Those from all the tribes of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the LORD God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem, to sacrifice to the LORD God of their fathers. 17 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 (2 Chr 11:18-23)
18 Then Rehoboam took as a wife Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse, 19 and she bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham. 20 After her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom, and she bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom more than all his other wives and concubines. For he had taken eighteen wives and sixty concubines and fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. 22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah as head and leader among his brothers, for he intended to make him king. 23 He acted wisely and distributed some of his sons through all the territories of Judah and Benjamin to all the fortified cities, and he gave them food in abundance. And he sought many wives for them.
Scripture taken or blended from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (R), Copyright (C) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.