6 Sept. 1 Kings 11:42-12:20

6 Sept.  Israel rebels and the kingdom is divided

“Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for 40 years. Then he died and was buried in Jerusalem, the city of David, his father. And his son Rehoboam became king in his place. Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all the Israelites had gone to make him king.”

“Jeroboam son of Nebat was still in Egypt, where he had gone to escape from Solomon… After the people sent for him, he and the people went to Rehoboam and said to him, ‘Your father forced us to work very hard. Now, make it easier for us, and don’t make us work as hard as he did. Then we will serve you…’”

“King Rehoboam asked the elders who had advised Solomon during his lifetime, ‘How do you think I should answer these people?’ They said, ‘You should be like a servant to them today. If you serve them and give them a kind answer, they will serve you always.’”

“But Rehoboam rejected this advice. Instead, he asked the young men who had grown up with him and who served as his advisors. Rehoboam asked them, ‘What is your advice?’ … The young men who had grown up with him answered… ‘You should tell them, “My little finger is bigger than my father’s legs. He forced you to work hard, but I will make you work even harder. My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with whips that have sharp points.”…’”

“So after three days Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam. King Rehoboam spoke cruel words to them, because he had rejected the advice the elders had given him. He followed the advice of the young men and said to the people, ‘My father forced you to work hard, but I will make you work even harder.’… The LORD caused this to happen to keep the promise he had made to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah, a prophet from Shiloh.”

“When all the Israelites saw that the new king [Rehoboam] refused to listen to them, they said to the king, ‘We have no share in David! We have no part in the son of Jesse! People of Israel, let’s go to our own homes! Let David’s son rule his own people!’ So the Israelites went home. But Rehoboam still ruled over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah…”

“When all the Israelites heard that Jeroboam had returned [from Egypt], they called him to a meeting and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah continued to follow the family of David….”

          (1 Kings 11:42–12:20)

 

 

Solomon died in 931BC and was buried in the City of David (Mount Zion) in Jerusalem. He was succeeded by his unpopular son Rehoboam.

Rehoboam met the elders of Israel at Shechem where he was asked to make the burden of taxation lighter than under his father. Rehoboam refused, and following the advice of the young men who had gained his favour, responded that he would make the burden even heavier.

As a result, the people of Israel rebelled against Rehoboam and appointed Solomon’s former official Jeroboam - who had returned to Israel with Egyptian support after Solomon’s death - as King of Israel.

When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he gathered 180,000 of the best soldiers from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin as he wanted to fight the people of Israel to take back his kingdom. But God spoke to Rehoboam through the prophet Shemaiah saying, “You must not go to war against your brothers, the Israelites… because I made all these things happen.” (1Kings 12:24)

So Rehoboam obeyed the LORD’s command and went home. Rehoboam was left as King of Judah, with the Temple and the royal palace in Jerusalem, while Jeroboam fortified Shechem (modern-day Nablus) and made it his base to rule the northern tribes of Israel.

The photo (by TrickyH) shows remains of the wall and the city gate of ancient Shechem (Tel Balata at Nablus).

You can read more about the division of the kingdom of Israel and Judah @  https://thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/31-the-golden-age-of-israel-under-king-solomon/solomon-dies-and-the-kingdom-is-divided/


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