The Kingdom Divided
10 Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. 2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard about it—for he was in Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon’s presence—Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3 So they summoned him. Then Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam: 4 “Your father made our yoke harsh. Therefore, lighten your father’s harsh service and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”
5 Rehoboam replied, “Return to me in three days.” So the people left.
6 Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had attended his father Solomon when he was alive, asking, “How do you advise me to respond to this people?”
7 They replied, “If you will be kind to this people and please them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever.”
8 But he rejected the advice of the elders who had advised him, and he consulted with the young men who had grown up with him, the ones attending him. 9 He asked them, “What message do you advise we send back to this people who said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”
10 Then the young men who had grown up with him told him, “This is what you should say to the people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you, make it lighter on us!’ This is what you should say to them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! 11 Now therefore, my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I, with barbed whips.’”[a]
12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had ordered, saying, “Return to me on the third day.” 13 Then the king answered them harshly. King Rehoboam rejected the elders’ advice 14 and spoke to them according to the young men’s advice, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy,[b] but I will add to it; my father disciplined you with whips, but I, with barbed whips.”
15 The king did not listen to the people because the turn of events came from God, in order that the Lord might carry out his word that he had spoken through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat.
16 When all Israel saw[c] that the king had not listened to them, the people answered the king:
What portion do we have in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
Israel, each to your tent;
David, look after your own house now!
So all Israel went to their tents. 17 But as for the Israelites living in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.
18 Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram,[d] who was in charge of the forced labor, but the Israelites stoned him to death. However, King Rehoboam managed to get into his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19 Israel is in rebellion against the house of David until today.
Rehoboam in Jerusalem
11 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mobilized the house of Judah and Benjamin—one hundred eighty thousand fit young soldiers—to fight against Israel to restore the reign to Rehoboam. 2 But the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, the man of God: 3 “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, 4 ‘This is what the Lordsays: You are not to march up and fight against your brothers. Each of you return home, for this incident has come from me.’”
So they listened to what the Lord said and turned back from going against Jeroboam.
Judah’s King Rehoboam
5 Rehoboam stayed in Jerusalem, and he fortified cities[e] in Judah. 6 He built up 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 strengthened their fortifications and put leaders in them with supplies of food, oil, and wine. 12 He also put large shields and spears in each and every city to make them very strong. So Judah and Benjamin were his.
13 The priests and Levites from all their regions throughout Israel took their stand with Rehoboam, 14 for the Levites left their pasturelands and their possessions and went to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons refused to let them serve as priests of the Lord. 15 Jeroboam appointed his own priests for the high places, the goat-demons, and the golden calves he had made.16 Those from every tribe of Israel who had determined in their hearts to seek the Lordtheir God followed the Levites to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam son of Solomon for three years, because they walked in the ways of David and Solomon for three years.
18 Rehoboam married Mahalath, daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of Abihail daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. 19 She bore sons to him: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 After her, he married Maacah daughter[f] of Absalom. She bore Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith to him. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than all his wives and concubines. He acquired eighteen wives and sixty concubines and was the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah as chief, leader among his brothers, intending to make him king. 23 Rehoboam also showed discernment by dispersing some of his sons to all the regions of Judah and Benjamin and to all the fortified cities. He gave them plenty of provisions and sought many wives for them.
12 When Rehoboam had established his sovereignty and royal power, he abandoned the law of the Lord—he and all Israel with him. 2 Because they were unfaithful to the Lord, in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, King Shishakof Egypt went to war against Jerusalem 3 with 1,200 chariots, 60,000 cavalrymen, and countless people who came with him from Egypt—Libyans, Sukkiim, and Cushites. 4 He captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem.
5 Then the prophet Shemaiah went to Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah who were gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak. He said to them, “This is what the Lord says: You have abandoned me; therefore, I have abandoned you to Shishak.”
6 So the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is righteous.”
7 When the Lord saw that they had humbled themselves, the Lord’s message came to Shemaiah: “They have humbled themselves; I will not destroy them but will grant them a little deliverance. My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak. 8 However, they will become his servants so that they may recognize the difference between serving me and serving the kingdoms of other lands.”
9 So King Shishak of Egypt went to war against Jerusalem. He seized the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and the treasuries of the royal palace. He took everything. He took the gold shields that Solomon had made. 10 King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and committed them into the care of the captains of the guards[g] who protected the entrance to the king’s palace. 11 Whenever the king entered the Lord’s temple, the guards would carry the shields and take them back to the armory.[h] 12 When Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger turned away from him, and he did not destroy him completely.Besides that, conditions were good in Judah.
Rehoboam’s Last Days
13 King Rehoboam established his royal power in Jerusalem. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lordhad chosen from all the tribes of Israel to put his name. Rehoboam’s mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonite. 14 Rehoboam did what was evil, because he did not determine in his heart to seek the Lord.
15 The events of Rehoboam’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the Events of the Prophet Shemaiah and of the Seer Iddo concerning genealogies. There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam throughout their reigns. 16 Rehoboam rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David. His son Abijah[i] became king in his place.