1 Kings 12

Rebellion Against Rehoboam

Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone [there] to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard about this, he was still
Or he remained
in Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon and had been living ever since.
So they sent for [Jeroboam] , and [he] and the whole assembly of Israel came to Rehoboam and said, “Your father put a heavy yoke on us. But now you should lighten the burden of your father’s service and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.” Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then return to me.” So the people departed. Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How do you advise me to respond to these people?” he asked. They replied, “If you will be a servant to these people and serve them this day, and if you will respond by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever.” But [Rehoboam] rejected the advice of the elders ; instead, he consulted the young men who had grown up with him and served him. He asked them, “What message do you advise that we send back to these people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?” 10  The young men who had grown up with him replied, “This is how you should answer these people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you should make it lighter.’ This is what you should tell them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! 11  Although my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. Although my father scourged you with whips, I will scourge you with scorpions.’” 12  After three days, Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, since the king had said, “Come back to me on the third day.” 13  And the king answered the people harshly. He rejected the advice of the elders 14  and spoke to them as the young men had advised, saying, “Although my father made your yoke heavy, I will add to your yoke. Although my father scourged you with whips, I will scourge you with scorpions!” 15  So the king did not listen to the people, and indeed this turn of events was from the LORD, to fulfill the word [He] had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.

The Kingdom Divided

16  When all Israel saw that the king had refused to listen to them, [they] answered the king : “What portion do we have in David, and what inheritance in the son of Jesse? To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, O David!” So the Israelites went home, 17  but Rehoboam still reigned over the Israelites living in the cities of Judah. 18  Then King Rehoboam sent out Adoram,
Hebrew; Some LXX manuscripts and Syriac (see also 1 Kings 4:6 and 5:14) Adoniram
who was in charge of the labor force, but all Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam mounted his chariot in haste and escaped to Jerusalem.
19  So to this day Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David.

Shemaiah's Prophecy

20  When all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they summoned him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah followed the house of David. 21  And when Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mobilized the whole house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin— 180,000 {} choice warriors— to fight against the house of Israel and restore the kingdom to Rehoboam son of Solomon. 22  But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God: 23  “Tell Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah, all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and the rest of the people 24  that this is what the LORD says: ‘You are not to go up and fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Each of you must return home, for this word is from Me.’” So they listened to the word of the LORD and turned back according to the word of the LORD.

Jeroboam's Idolatry

25  Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. And from there he went out and built Penuel.
Penuel is a variant of Peniel
26  Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now, the kingdom might revert to the house of David. 27  If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, their hearts will return to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah; then they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28  After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves and said to the people, “Going to Jerusalem is too much for you. Here, O Israel, are your gods, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” 29  One [calf] he set up in Bethel, [and] the other in Dan. 30  And this thing became a sin; the people walked as far as Dan [to worship] before one [of the calves] .
Likely reading of the original Hebrew text; MT people walked to the one as far as Dan; LXX went to the one at Bethel and to the other as far as Dan
31  Jeroboam also built shrines on the high places and appointed from every class of people priests who were not Levites. 32  And Jeroboam ordained a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival that [was] in Judah, and he offered sacrifices on the altar; he made this offering in Bethel to sacrifice to the calves he had set up, and he installed priests in Bethel for the high places he had set up. 33  On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing , [Jeroboam] offered sacrifices on the altar he had set up in Bethel. So he ordained a festival for the Israelites, offered sacrifices on the altar, and burned incense.
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