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The Revolt against Rehoboam
Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3They 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 that he placed on us, and we will serve you.” 5He said to them, “Come to me again in three days.” So the people went away.
6 Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the older men who had attended his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” 7They answered him, “If you will be kind to this people and please them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8But he rejected the advice that the older men gave him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and now attended him. 9He 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’?” 10The young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Thus should you speak to the people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you must lighten it for us’; tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins. 11Now, 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.’ ”
12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had said, “Come to me again the third day.” 13The king answered them harshly. King Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men; 14he spoke to them in accordance with the advice of the young men, “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, because it was a turn of affairs brought about by God so that the Lord might fulfill his word, which he had spoken by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat.
16 When all Israel saw that the king would not listen to them, the people answered the king,
“What share do we have 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, O David.”
So all Israel departed to their tents. 17But Rehoboam reigned over the people of Israel who were living in the cities of Judah. 18When King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was taskmaster over the forced labor, the people of Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam hurriedly mounted his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
2Ch 10:1-15. Rehoboam Refusing the Old Men's Good Counsel.
3. And they sent—rather, "for they had sent," &c. This is stated as the reason of Jeroboam's return from Egypt.
7. If thou be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them—In the Book of Kings [1Ki 12:7], the words are, "If thou wilt be a servant unto this people, and wilt serve them." The meaning in both is the same, namely, If thou wilt make some reasonable concessions, redress their grievances, and restore their abridged liberties, thou wilt secure their strong and lasting attachment to thy person and government.
15-17. the king hearkened not unto the people, for the cause was of God—Rehoboam, in following an evil counsel, and the Hebrew people, in making a revolutionary movement, each acted as free agents, obeying their own will and passions. But God, who permitted the revolt of the northern tribes, intended it as a punishment of the house of David for Solomon's apostasy. That event demonstrates the immediate superintendence of His providence over the revolutions of kingdoms; and thus it affords an instance, similar to many other striking instances that are found in Scripture, of divine predictions, uttered long before, being accomplished by the operation of human passions, and in the natural course of events.