Division of the Kingdom. 1a Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel* had come to make him king. 2When Jeroboam, son of Nebat, heard about it, he was in Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon; and he returned from Egypt. 3They sent for him; Jeroboam and all Israel came and said to Rehoboam: 4“Your father put on us a heavy yoke. If you now lighten the harsh servitude and the heavy yoke your father imposed on us, we will be your servants.” 5He answered them, “Come back to me in three days,” and the people went away.
6King Rehoboam asked advice of the elders who had been in his father Solomon’s service while he was still alive, and asked, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” 7They replied, “If you will deal kindly with this people and please them, giving them a favorable reply, they will be your servants forever.” 8But he ignored the advice the elders had given him and asked advice of the young men who had grown up with him and were in his service. 9He said to them, “What answer do you advise us to give this people, who have told me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father imposed on us’?” 10The young men who had grown up with him replied: “This is what you must say to this people who have told you, ‘Your father laid a heavy yoke on us; lighten it for us.’ You must say, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins. 11My father put a heavy yoke on you; I will make it heavier. My father beat you with whips; I will use scorpions!’”
12On the third day, Jeroboam and the whole people came back to King Rehoboam as the king had instructed them: “Come back to me in three days.” 13Ignoring the advice the elders had given him, King Rehoboam gave the people a harsh answer. 14He spoke to them as the young men had advised: “My father laid a heavy yoke on you; I will make it heavier. My father beat you with whips; I will use scorpions.” 15The king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from God: the LORD fulfilled the word he had spoken through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam, the son of Nebat.b
16c When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king:
“What share have we in David?
We have no heritage in the son of Jesse.
Everyone to your tents, Israel!
Now look to your own house, David!”
So all Israel went off to their tents, 17but the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah had Rehoboam as their king. 18King Rehoboam then sent out Hadoram, who was in charge of the forced labor, but the Israelites stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to mount his chariot and flee to Jerusalem. 19And so Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
* [10:1] All Israel: as in the source (1 Kgs 12:1), this term designates the northern tribes, as distinct from Judah and Benjamin. Elsewhere the Chronicler, writing on his own, speaks comprehensively of “those Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah” (10:17), and “all the Israelites [lit., all Israel] in Judah and Benjamin” (11:3).
a. [10:1–14] 1 Kgs 12:1–14.
b. [10:15] 1 Kgs 11:29–39; 12:15.
c. [10:16–19] 1 Kgs 12:16–19.