King Rehoboam Foolishly Rejects Israel’s Request—1
Kings 12:1–19
1 Rehoboam went to Shechem because all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. 2 Jer o boam (Nebat’s son) was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon. When he heard ⌊about Rehoboam⌋, he returned from Egypt. 3 ⌊Israel⌋ sent for Jer o boam and invited him back. Jer o boam and all Israel went to speak to Rehoboam. They said, 4 “Your father made us carry a heavy burden. Reduce the hard work and lighten the heavy burden he put on us, and we will serve you.”
5 He said to them, “Come back the day after tomorrow.” So the people left.
6 King Rehoboam sought advice from the older leaders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive. He asked, “What do you advise? How should I respond to these people?”
7 They told him, “If you are good to these people and try to please them by speaking gently to them, then they will always be your servants.”
8 But he ignored the advice the older leaders gave him. He sought advice from the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. 9 He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we respond to these people who are asking me to lighten the burden my father put on them?”
10 The young men who had grown up with him answered, “This is what you should tell them: ‘My little finger is heavier than my father’s whole body.#Hebrew meaning uncertain.11 If my father put a heavy burden on you, I will add to it. If my father punished you with whips, I will punish you with scorpions.’ ”
12 So Jer o boam and all the people came back to Rehoboam two days later, as the king had instructed them. 13 The king answered them harshly. He ignored the older leaders’ advice. 14 He spoke to them as the young men advised. He said, “If my father made your burden heavy, I will add to it. If my father punished you with whips, I will use scorpions.” 15 The king refused to listen to the people because the Lord was directing these events to carry out the promise he had made to Jer o boam (Nebat’s son) through Ahijah from Shiloh.
16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, the people answered the king,
“What share do we have in David’s kingdom?
We won’t receive an inheritance from Jesse’s son.
Everyone to his own tent, Israel!
Now look after your own house, David!”
So all Israel went home to their own tents. 17 But Rehoboam ruled the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah.
18 Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram to the Israelites. He was in charge of forced labor, but they stoned him to death. So King Rehoboam got on his chariot as fast as he could and fled to Jerusalem. 19 Israel has rebelled against David’s dynasty to this day.