NLTNew Living Translation
1Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel had gathered to make him king. 2When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard of this, he returned from Egypt,#12:2 As in Greek version and Latin Vulgate (see also 2 Chr 10:2); Hebrew reads he lived in Egypt. for he had fled to Egypt to escape from King Solomon. 3The leaders of Israel summoned him, and Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel went to speak with Rehoboam. 4“Your father was a hard master,” they said. “Lighten the harsh labor demands and heavy taxes that your father imposed on us. Then we will be your loyal subjects.”
5Rehoboam replied, “Give me three days to think this over. Then come back for my answer.” So the people went away.
6Then King Rehoboam discussed the matter with the older men who had counseled his father, Solomon. “What is your advice?” he asked. “How should I answer these people?”
7The older counselors replied, “If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”
8But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers. 9“What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?”
10The young men replied, “This is what you should tell those complainers who want a lighter burden: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! 11Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!’”
12Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to hear Rehoboam’s decision, just as the king had ordered. 13But Rehoboam spoke harshly to the people, for he rejected the advice of the older counselors 14and followed the counsel of his younger advisers. He told the people, “My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!”
15So the king paid no attention to the people. This turn of events was the will of the Lord, for it fulfilled the Lord’s message to Jeroboam son of Nebat through the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh.
16When all Israel realized that the king had refused to listen to them, they responded,
“Down with the dynasty of David!
We have no interest in the son of Jesse.
Back to your homes, O Israel!
Look out for your own house, O David!”
So the people of Israel returned home. 17But Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah.
18King Rehoboam sent Adoniram,#12:18 As in some Greek manuscripts and Syriac version (see also 4:6; 5:14); Hebrew reads Adoram. who was in charge of forced labor, to restore order, but the people of Israel stoned him to death. When this news reached King Rehoboam, he quickly jumped into his chariot and fled to Jerusalem. 19And to this day the northern tribes of Israel have refused to be ruled by a descendant of David.
20When the people of Israel learned of Jeroboam’s return from Egypt, they called an assembly and made him king over all Israel. So only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the family of David.
21When Rehoboam arrived at Jerusalem, he mobilized the men of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—180,000 select troops—to fight against the men of Israel and to restore the kingdom to himself.
22But God said to Shemaiah, the man of God, 23“Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the people of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, 24‘This is what the Lord says: Do not fight against your relatives, the Israelites. Go back home, for what has happened is my doing!’” So they obeyed the message of the Lord and went home, as the Lord had commanded.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois, 60188. All rights reserved.