• Rehoboam and the division of Israel.
  • (1Ki_12:1-5) The elders of Israel offer Rehoboam the throne of Israel.

1 Kings. 12:1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.
And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;)
That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying,
Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.
And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed.

  • This was a logical continuation of the Davidic dynasty.
  • This was a logical continuation of the Davidic dynasty. David was succeeded by his son Solomon, and now Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, was assumed to be the next king.
  • Rehoboam was the only son of Solomon that we know by name.
  • Solomon had 1000 wives and concubines, yet we read of one son he had to bear up his name.
  • Rehoboam was in a position of weakness, having to meet the ten northern tribes on their territory, instead of demanding that representatives come to Jerusalem.
  • When Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard it.
  • Yah told him through a prophet that he would rule over a portion of a divided Israel.
  • He was specifically part of the group of elders that addressed Rehoboam.
  • The people of Israel wanted relief from the heavy taxation and forced service of Solomon’s reign, and they offered allegiance to Rehoboam if he agreed to this.
  • The elders of Israel made no spiritual demand or request
  • Seemingly, the gross idolatry and apostasy of Solomon didn’t bother them at all.
  • Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father Solomon while he still lived.
  • Then the young men who had grown up with him spoke to him.
  • I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!’“
  • This breaking up of the kingdom of Solomon into two parts was the result of Solomon’s sin and Rehoboam’s folly; yet Yah was in it.
  • Rehoboam is rejected as king over the 10 northern tribes.
  • Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was in charge of the revenue; but all Israel stoned him with stones, and he died.
  • Therefore King Rehoboam mounted his chariot in haste to flee to Jerusalem.
  • Now it came to pass when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had come back, they sent for him and called him to the congregation, and made him king over all Israel.
  • Jeroboam makes a religion to serve the state.
  • And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom may return to the house of David: If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of Yahweh at Jerusalem.
  • He made two calves of gold.
  • It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem.
  • Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!
  • And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.
  • Jeroboam becomes an example of a political leader who shapes religion for his own purpose.
  • The issue of true religion was unimportant to Jeroboam; he was interested in useful religion.
  • He made shrines on the high places, and made priests from every class of people.
  • Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month.
  • So he made offerings on the altar which he had made at Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month.
  • The legitimate priests and Levites who lived in the northern ten tribes did not like this. They, along with others who set their hearts to seek Yahweh Elohim of Israel, moved from the northern kingdom of Israel to the southern kingdom of Judah during this period (2Ch_11:13-16).
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