The Revolt Against Rehoboam
1Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2And as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3And they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all Israel came and said to Rehoboam, 4“Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you.” 5He said to them, “Come to me again in three days.” So the people went away.
6Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men,1 who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” 7And they said to him, “If you will be good to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. 9And he said to them, “What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put on us’?” 10And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Thus shall you speak to the people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us’; thus shall you say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father's thighs. 11And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, 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 said, “Come to me again the third day.” 13And the king answered them harshly; and forsaking the counsel of the old men, 14King Rehoboam spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” 15So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by God that the Lord might fulfill his word, which he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Each of you to your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” So all Israel went to their tents. 17But Rehoboam reigned over the people of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah. 18Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram,2 who was taskmaster over the forced labor, and the people of Israel stoned him to death with stones. And King Rehoboam quickly mounted his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.