10:1 Rehoboam traveled to Shechem, for all Israel had gathered in 1 Shechem to make Rehoboam 2 king. 10:2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard the news, he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon. Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 10:3 They sent for him 3 and Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 10:4 “Your father made us work too hard! 4 Now if you lighten the demands he made and don’t make us work as hard, we will serve you.” 5 10:5 He said to them, “Go away for three days, then return to me.” So the people went away.
10:6 King Rehoboam consulted with the older advisers who had served 6 his father Solomon when he had been alive. He asked them, 7 “How do you advise me to answer these people?” 10:7 They said to him, “If you are fair to these people, grant their request, and are cordial to them, they will be your servants from this time forward.” 8 10:8 But Rehoboam rejected their advice and consulted the young advisers who served him, with whom he had grown up. 9 10:9 He asked them, “How do you advise me to respond to these people who said to me, ‘Lessen the demands your father placed on us’?” 10 10:10 The young advisers with whom Rehoboam 11 had grown up said to him, “Say this to these people who have said to you, ‘Your father made us work hard, but now lighten our burden’ 12 – say this to them: ‘I am a lot harsher than my father! 13 10:11 My father imposed heavy demands on you; I will make them even heavier. 14 My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.’” 15
10:12 Jeroboam and all the people reported to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had ordered when he said, “Return to me on the third day.” 10:13 The king responded to the people harshly. He 16 rejected the advice of the older men 10:14 and followed the advice of the younger ones. He said, “My father imposed heavy demands on you; 17 I will make them even heavier. 18 My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.” 19 10:15 The king refused to listen to the people, because God was instigating this turn of events 20 so that he might bring to pass the prophetic announcement he had made 21 through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat.
10:16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, the people answered the king, “We have no portion in David – no share in the son of Jesse! 22 Return to your homes, O Israel! 23 Now, look after your own dynasty, O David!” 24 So all Israel returned to their homes. 25 10:17 (Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah.) 10:18 King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, 26 the supervisor of the work crews, out after them, but the Israelites stoned him to death. King Rehoboam managed to jump into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 27 10:19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the Davidic dynasty to this very day.
11:1 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he summoned 180,000 skilled warriors from Judah and Benjamin 28 to attack Israel and restore the kingdom to Rehoboam. 11:2 But the Lord told Shemaiah the prophet, 29 11:3 “Say this to King Rehoboam son of Solomon of Judah and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin, 11:4 ‘The Lord says this: “Do not attack and make war with your brothers. Each of you go home, for I have caused this to happen.”’” 30 They obeyed the Lord and called off the attack against Jeroboam. 31
11:5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem; 32 he built up these fortified cities throughout Judah: 11:6 Bethlehem, 33 Etam, Tekoa, 11:7 Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam, 11:8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 11:9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 11:10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These were the fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11:11 He fortified these cities and placed officers in them, as well as storehouses of food, olive oil, and wine. 11:12 In each city there were shields and spears; he strongly fortified them. 34 Judah and Benjamin belonged to him.
11:13 The priests and Levites who lived throughout Israel supported him, no matter where they resided. 35 11:14 The Levites even left their pasturelands and their property behind and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons prohibited them from serving as the Lord’s priests. 11:15 Jeroboam 36 appointed his own priests to serve at the worship centers 37 and to lead in the worship of the goat idols and calf idols he had made. 38 11:16 Those among all the Israelite tribes who were determined to worship the Lord God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem 39 to sacrifice to the Lord God of their ancestors. 40 11:17 They supported 41 the kingdom of Judah and were loyal to 42 Rehoboam son of Solomon for three years; they followed the edicts of 43 David and Solomon for three years.
11:18 Rehoboam married 44 Mahalath the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of 45 Abihail, the daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. 11:19 She bore him sons named Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 11:20 He later married Maacah the daughter of Absalom. She bore to him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 11:21 Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than his other wives and concubines. 46 He had eighteen wives and sixty concubines; he fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
11:22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah as the leader over his brothers, for he intended to name him his successor. 47 11:23 He wisely placed some of his many sons throughout the regions of Judah and Benjamin in the various fortified cities. 48 He supplied them with abundant provisions and acquired many wives for them. 49
12:1 After Rehoboam’s rule was established and solidified, he and all Israel rejected the law of the Lord. 12:2 Because they were unfaithful to the Lord, in King Rehoboam’s fifth year, King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. 12:3 He had 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen, and an innumerable number of soldiers who accompanied him from Egypt, including Libyans, Sukkites, and Cushites. 12:4 He captured the fortified cities of Judah and marched against Jerusalem.
12:5 Shemaiah the prophet visited Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah who were assembled in Jerusalem because of Shishak. He said to them, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have rejected me, so I have rejected you and will hand you over to Shishak.’” 50 12:6 The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is just.” 51 12:7 When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, he gave this message to Shemaiah: 52 “They have humbled themselves, so I will not destroy them. I will deliver them soon. 53 My anger will not be unleashed against 54 Jerusalem through 55 Shishak. 12:8 Yet they will become his subjects, so they can experience how serving me differs from serving the surrounding nations.” 56
12:9 King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem and took away the treasures of the Lord’s temple and of the royal palace; he took everything, including the gold shields that Solomon had made. 12:10 King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned them to the officers of the royal guard 57 who protected the entrance to the royal palace. 12:11 Whenever the king visited the Lord’s temple, the royal guards carried them and then brought them back to the guardroom. 58
12:12 So when Rehoboam 59 humbled himself, the Lord relented from his anger and did not annihilate him; 60 Judah experienced some good things. 61 12:13 King Rehoboam solidified his rule in Jerusalem; 62 he 63 was forty-one years old when he became king and he ruled for seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lord chose from all the tribes of Israel to be his home. 64 Rehoboam’s 65 mother was an Ammonite named Naamah. 12:14 He did evil because he was not determined to follow the Lord. 66
12:15 The events of Rehoboam’s reign, from start to finish, are recorded 67 in the Annals of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer that include genealogical records. 12:16 Then Rehoboam passed away 68 and was buried in the City of David. 69 His son Abijah replaced him as king.
13:4 Abijah ascended Mount Zemaraim, in the Ephraimite hill country, and said: “Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel! 13:5 Don’t you realize that the Lord God of Israel has given David and his dynasty lasting dominion over Israel by a formal agreement? 74 13:6 Jeroboam son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon son of David, rose up and rebelled against his master. 13:7 Lawless good-for-nothing men 75 gathered around him and conspired 76 against Rehoboam son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was an inexperienced young man 77 and could not resist them. 13:8 Now you are declaring that you will resist the Lord’s rule through the Davidic dynasty. 78 You have a huge army, 79 and bring with you the gold calves that Jeroboam made for you as gods. 13:9 But you banished 80 the Lord’s priests, Aaron’s descendants, and the Levites, and appointed your own priests just as the surrounding nations do! Anyone who comes to consecrate himself with a young bull or seven rams becomes a priest of these fake gods! 81 13:10 But as for us, the Lord is our God and we have not rejected him. Aaron’s descendants serve as the Lord’s priests and the Levites assist them with the work. 82 13:11 They offer burnt sacrifices to the Lord every morning and every evening, along with fragrant incense. They arrange the Bread of the Presence on a ritually clean table and light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. Certainly 83 we are observing the Lord our God’s regulations, but you have rejected him. 13:12 Now look, God is with us as our leader. His priests are ready to blow the trumpets to signal the attack against you. 84 You Israelites, don’t fight against the Lord God of your ancestors, 85 for you will not win!”
13:13 Now Jeroboam had sent some men to ambush the Judahite army from behind. 86 The main army was in front of the Judahite army; 87 the ambushers were behind it. 13:14 The men of Judah turned around and realized they were being attacked from the front and the rear. 88 So they cried out for help to the Lord. The priests blew their trumpets, 13:15 and the men of Judah gave 89 the battle cry. As the men of Judah gave the battle cry, the Lord struck down Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 13:16 The Israelites fled from before the Judahite army, 90 and God handed them over to the men of Judah. 91 13:17 Abijah and his army thoroughly defeated them; 92 500,000 well-trained Israelite men fell dead. 93 13:18 That day 94 the Israelites were defeated; the men of Judah prevailed because they relied on the Lord God of their ancestors.
13:19 Abijah chased Jeroboam; he seized from him these cities: Bethel 95 and its surrounding towns, Jeshanah and its surrounding towns, and Ephron and its surrounding towns. 13:20 Jeroboam did not regain power during the reign of Abijah. 96 The Lord struck him down and he died. 13:21 Abijah’s power grew; he had 97 fourteen wives and fathered twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.
1 tn Heb “come [to].”
2 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Rehoboam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
3 tn Heb “They sent and called for him.”
4 tn Heb “made our yoke burdensome.”
5 tn Heb “but you, now, lighten the burdensome work of your father and the heavy yoke which he placed on us, and we will serve you.” In the Hebrew text the prefixed verbal form with vav (וְנַעַבְדֶךָ, vÿna’avdekha, “and we will serve you”) following the imperative (הָקֵל, haqel, “lighten”) indicates purpose/result. The conditional sentence used in the present translation is an attempt to bring out the logical relationship between these forms.
6 tn Heb “stood before.”
7 tn Heb “saying.”
8 tn Heb “If today you are for good to these people and you are favorable to them and speak to them good words, they will be your servants all the days.”
9 tn Heb “Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders which they advised and he consulted the young men with whom he had grown up, who stood before him.”
10 tn Heb “Lighten the yoke which your father placed on us.”
11 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Rehoboam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
12 tn Heb “Your father made our yoke heavy, but make it lighter upon us.”
13 tn Heb “My little one is thicker than my father’s hips.” The referent of “my little one” is not clear. The traditional view is that it refers to the little finger (so NEB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT). As the following statement makes clear, Rehoboam’s point is that he is more harsh and demanding than his father.
14 tn Heb “and now my father placed upon you a heavy yoke, but I will add to your yoke.”
15 tn Heb “My father punished you with whips, but I [will punish you] with scorpions.” “Scorpions” might allude to some type of torture, but more likely it refers to a type of whip that inflicts an especially biting, painful wound.
16 tn Heb “Rehoboam.” The pronoun “he” has been used in the translation in place of the proper name in keeping with contemporary English style.
17 tc The Hebrew text reads, “I will make heavy your yoke,” but many medieval Hebrew
18 tn Heb “but I will add to your yoke.”
19 tn Heb “My father punished you with whips, but I [will punish you] with scorpions.” “Scorpions” might allude to some type of torture, but more likely it refers to a type of whip that inflicts an especially biting, painful wound.
20 tn Heb “because this turn of events was from God.”
21 tn Heb “so that the
22 sn The people’s point seems to be that they have no familial relationship with David that brings them any benefits or places upon them any obligations. They are being treated like outsiders.
23 tn Heb “each one to your tents, Israel.” The word “return” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
24 tn Heb “Now see your house, David.”
25 tn Heb “went to their tents.”
28 tn Heb “he summoned the house of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men, accomplished in war.”
29 tn Heb “and the word of the
30 tn Heb “for his thing is from me.”
31 tn Heb “and they heard the words of the
34 tn Heb “he strengthened them greatly, very much.”
35 tn Heb “and the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel supported him from all their territory.”
36 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jeroboam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
37 tn Heb “for the high places.”
38 tn Heb “and for the goats and for the calves he had made.”
39 tn Heb “and after them from all the tribes of Israel, the ones giving their heart[s] to seek the
40 tn Heb “fathers.”
41 tn Or “strengthened.”
42 tn Or “strengthened.”
43 tn Heb “they walked in the way of.”
44 tn Heb “took for himself a wife.”
45 tn The words “and of” are supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.
46 sn Concubines were slave women in ancient Near Eastern societies who were the legal property of their master, but who could have legitimate sexual relations with their master. A concubine’s status was more elevated than a mere servant, but she was not free and did not have the legal rights of a free wife. The children of a concubine could, in some instances, become equal heirs with the children of the free wife. After the period of the Judges concubines may have become more of a royal prerogative (2 Sam 21:10-14; 1 Kgs 11:3).
47 tn Heb “and Rehoboam appointed for a head Abijah son of Maacah for ruler among his brothers, indeed to make him king.”
48 tn Heb “and he was discerning and broke up from all his sons to all the lands of Judah and Benjamin, to all the fortified cities.”
49 tn “and he asked for a multitude of wives.”
50 tn Heb “also I have rejected you into the hand of Shishak.”
51 tn Or “fair,” meaning the
52 tn Heb “the word of the
53 tn Heb “and I will give to them soon deliverance.”
54 tn Or “gush forth upon.”
55 tn Heb “by the hand of.”
56 tn Heb “so they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the lands.”
58 tn Heb “to the chamber of the runners.”
59 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Rehoboam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
60 tn Heb “the anger of the
61 tn Heb “and also in Judah there were good things.”
62 tn Heb “and the king, Rehoboam, strengthened himself in Jerusalem and ruled.”
63 tn Heb “Rehoboam.” The recurrence of the proper name here is redundant in terms of contemporary English style, so the pronoun has been used in the translation instead.
64 tn Heb “the city where the
65 tn Heb “his”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.
66 tn Heb “because he did not set his heart to seek the
67 tn Heb “As for the events of Rehoboam, the former and the latter, are they not written?”
68 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”
71 tn The parallel text in 1 Kgs 15:1 identifies his mother as “Maacah, the daughter of Abishalom” [=Absalom, 2 Chr 11:20). Although most English versions identify the mother’s father as Uriel of Gibeah, a number of English versions substitute the name “Maacah” here for the mother (e.g., NIV, NCV, CEV, NLT).
72 tn Heb “and Abijah bound [i.e., began] the battle with a force of warriors, four hundred thousand chosen men.”
73 tn Heb “and Jeroboam arranged with him [for] battle with eight hundred thousand chosen men, strong warrior[s].”
74 tn Heb “Do you not know that the
75 tn Heb “empty men, sons of wickedness.”
76 tn Heb “strengthened themselves.”
77 tn Heb “a young man and tender of heart.”
78 tn Heb “the kingdom of the
79 tn Or “horde”; or “multitude.”
80 tn In the Hebrew text this is phrased as a rhetorical question, “Did you not banish?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “Of course you did,” the force of which is reflected in the translation “But you banished.”
81 tn Heb “whoever comes to fill his hand with a bull of a son of cattle, and seven rams, and he is a priest to no-gods.”
82 tn Heb “and priests serving the
83 tn Or “for.”
84 tn Heb “and his priests and the trumpets of the war alarm [are ready] to sound out against you.”
86 tn Heb “and Jeroboam had caused to circle around an ambush to come from behind them.”
87 tn Heb “Judah.”
88 tn Heb “and Judah turned, and, look, to them [was] the battle in front and behind.”
89 tn Heb “shouted out.”
90 tn Heb “Judah.”
91 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the men of Judah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
92 tn Heb “struck them down with a great striking down.”
93 tn Heb “and [the] slain from Israel fell, five hundred thousand chosen men.”
94 tn Heb “at that time.”
96 tn Heb “and the strength of Jeroboam was not retained again in the days of Abijah.”
97 tn Heb “lifted up for himself.”
98 tn Heb “and his ways and his words.”