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2 Chronicles 10:1-15

Context
The Northern Tribes Rebel

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.

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, vÿnaavdekha, “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 mss and other ancient textual witnesses have, “my father made heavy your yoke.”

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 Lord might bring to pass his word which he spoke.”



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