1 Kings Chapter 12  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Kng 12
Rehoboam Chooses Poorly

1Rehoboam went to Shechem, because all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king.
  2And when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was still in Egypt where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon, and Jeroboam lived in Egypt,
  3so they sent and called him), that Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying,
  4“Your father made our yoke hard, but now lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke that he put on us, and we will serve you.”

5And he said to them, “Depart for three days, then come back to me.” So the people departed.
  6Then King Rehoboam sought advice from the old men who had stood before Solomon his father while he was still alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?”

7They spoke to him, saying, “If today you will be a servant to this people and will serve them, then answer them and speak good words to them, and they will always be your servants.”

8But he rejected the advice that the old men had given him, and he asked the advice of the young men who had grown up with him and who stood before him.
  9He said to them, “How do you advise that we should answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put on us’?”

10The young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, “This is what you should tell this people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but lighten it for us.’” You should say to them, ‘My little thing is thicker than my father’s waist.
  11And now, although my father loaded a heavy yoke upon you, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”

12So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day as the king had spoken, saying, “Come back to me on the third day.”
  13And the king answered the people harshly and rejected the advice of the old men that they had advised him,
  14and spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.”

The Kingdom Divided

15So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of events brought about from Yahweh in order to establish his word that Yahweh spoke by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
  16When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king a word, saying, “What portion do we have in David? And there is no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Now see to your own house, David.” So Israel departed to their tents.

17But as for the children of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.

18Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was in charge of the forced labor, but all Israel pelted him with stones so that he died. But King Rehoboam managed to get up into his chariot to flee to Jerusalem.
  19So Israel rebelled against the house of David to this day.

20And when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel; there was none that followed the house of David except the tribe of Judah only.
  21When Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men who were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingship again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
  22But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
  23“Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin and to the rest of the people, saying,
  24‘This is what Yahweh says: “You are not to go up, nor fight against your brothers the children of Israel. Everyone return to his house, because this thing is from me.”’” So they listened to the word of Yahweh and returned and went home, according to the word of Yahweh.

Jeroboam’s Idolatry

25Then Jeroboam built up Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived in it. And he went out from there and built up Penuel.
  26And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David.
  27If this people goes up to offer sacrifices in the house of Yahweh at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.”

28So the king sought advice and made two calves of gold, and he said to them, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, that brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”
  29He set the one in Bethel and the other put he in Dan.
  30This thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one, even to Dan.

31He made temple shrines, and he made priests from all sorts of the people of Israel who were not of the sons of Levi.
  32Jeroboam made a pilgrimage festival in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast that is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; thus he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And he placed in Bethel the priests of the shrines that he had made.
  33He went up to the altar that he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, in the month that he had devised in his own heart, and he made a festival for the children of Israel and went up on the altar to burn incense.

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