Some of the People Rebel against Rehoboam
(1 Kings 12.1-20)
1Rehoboam went to Shechem where everyone was waiting to crown him king.
2Jeroboam son of Nebat heard what was happening, and he returned from Egypt, where he had gone to hide from Solomon. 3The people from the northern tribes of Israel sent for him. Then together they went to Rehoboam and said, 4“Your father Solomon forced us to work very hard. But if you make our work easier, we will serve you and do whatever you ask.”
5Rehoboam replied, “Come back in three days for my answer.” So the people left.
6Rehoboam went to some leaders who had been his father's senior officials, and he asked them, “What should I tell these people?”
7They answered, “If you want them to serve and obey you, then you should be kind and promise to make their work easier.”
8But Rehoboam refused their advice and went to the younger men who had grown up with him and were now his officials. 9He asked, “What do you think I should say to these people who asked me to make their work easier?”
10His younger advisors said:
Here's what we think you should say to them: “Compared to me, my father was weak. 11He made you work hard, but I'll make you work even harder. He punished you with whips, but I'll use whips with pieces of sharp metal!”
12Three days later, Jeroboam and the others came back. 13Rehoboam ignored the advice of the older advisors. He spoke bluntly 14and told them exactly what his own advisors had suggested. He said: “My father made you work hard, but I'll make you work even harder. He punished you with whips, but I'll use whips with pieces of sharp metal!”
15-19 When the people realized that Rehoboam would not listen to them, they shouted: “We don't have to be loyal to David's family. We can do what we want. Come on, people of Israel, let's go home! Rehoboam can rule his own people.”
Adoniram was in charge of the work force, and Rehoboam sent him to talk to the people. But they stoned him to death. Then Rehoboam ran to his chariot and hurried back to Jerusalem.
Everyone from Israel's northern tribes went home, leaving Rehoboam to rule only the people from Judah. And since that day, the people of Israel have been opposed to David's descendants in Judah. All of this happened just as Ahijah the Lord's prophet from Shiloh had told Jeroboam.