B³ z 1. Rehoboam. Accession to kingdom. a c 2-4. Petition of Jeroboam. Made. d 5. Dismissal. b 6-11. Answer considered. a d 12. Return. c 13,14. Petition of Rehoboam. Answered. z 15. Rehoboam. Tearing of kingdom.
1 Kings 12)
1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem (= back, or shoulder. A national sanctuary [Josh.24:1]. Now Nablous, corruption of Neapolis, the [New town] of Vespasian. The site of Abraham's first altar. Jacob's first home. Here the tribes met. Here Joseph was buried. All this before Jebus became Jerusalem. Hence the envy of Ephraim for Judah [Isa.11:13]. Degraded by new name, Sychar = drunkenness [Isa. 28:1-7]. Yet here alone in all the world is the Paschal lamb still slain): for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.
2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard [of it], }for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;}
3 That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came, and spoke to Rehoboam, saying,
4 “Your father made our yoke grievous (made by Jeroboam himself owing to opportunity afforded by Solomon's action [11:28]): now therefore make you the grievous service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve you.”
5 And he said to them, “Depart yet [for] three days, then come again to me.” And the People departed.
6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, “How do you all advise that I may answer this People?”
7 And they spake to him, saying, “If thou will be a servant to this people this day, and will serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants for ever” (Heb. all the days: i.e. always).
8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, [and] which stood before him:
9 And he said to them, “What counsel give you all that we may answer this People, who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Make the yoke which your father did put upon us lighter?’ ”
10 And the young men that were grown up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus shall you speak to this People that spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but make you [it] lighter to us;’ thus shall you say to them, ‘My little [finger] shall be thicker than my father's loins.
11 And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father has chastised you with whips (the badge of the taskmaster on the Egyptian monuments. Cp. Ex.1:10,14; 15:13,14 ["beaten"]), but I will chastise you with scorpions.’ ” (a knotted whip, so called; as we well another kind of whip the "cat")
12 So Jeroboam (= whose people are many) and all the People came to Rehoboam (= enlarger of the people) the third day, according as the king had appointed, saying, “Come to me again the third day.”
13 And the king answered the People roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they counseled him;
14 And spoke to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father [also] chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.”
15 Wherefore the king listened not to the People; for the turning [of events] (or, overruling) was from the Lord (Yehovah), that He might perform His saying, which the Lord spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat (cp. 11:31).
E¹ K 12:20. Jeroboam. Accession. L 12:21-24. Reign. Assured. L 12:25-14:18. Reign. Events. K 14:18,20. Jeroboam. Record.
20 And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him to the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only (see "one tribe", 11:32).
21 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men (180,000. In David's time there were 470,000. See 2 Sam.24:9), which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
22 But the word of God came to Shemaiah (= heard by Yehovah) the man of God (= prophet. 1st occ, Deut. 33:1), saying,
23 “Speak to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the People, saying,
24 ‘Thus says the Lord, “You all shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the sons of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from Me.” ’ ” (i.e. the division of the kingdom. Not the rebellion of Jeroboam. Cp. 2 Chron. 13:4-14) They listened therefore to the word of the Lord, and returned to depart, according to the word of the Lord.
L M 12:25. Reign. Beginning. N e 12:26-33. Idolatry. Commenced. f 13:1-32. Warning. Prophet from Judah. N e 13:33,34. Idolatry. Persistence. f 14:1-17. Warning. Ahijah. M 14:18. Reign. End.
880 to 858 B.C.
25 Then Jeroboam rebuilt Shechem in the hill-country of Ephraim (or repaired. This doubtless included increased fortification [2 Chron. 11:11]. Mesha uses the word [on Moabite stone] of cities he took), and dwelt therein; and went out from that place, and built Penuel (= face of God. On east of Jordan [Gen. 32:30. Judg. 8:9).
26 And Jeroboam said in his heart (or better translated "mind"), “Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:
27 If this People go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem (his apostasy was willful, designed, and deliberate), then shall the mind of this People turn again to their lord, [even] to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.”
28 Whereupon the king took counsel ("but not of Yahaveh" [Isa.30:1]), and made two calves [of] gold, and said to them, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold your gods (cp. Ex. 32:4. Hos. 8:5,6; 10:5), O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”
29 And he set the one in Beth-el (was desecrated by Josiah [2 Kings 23:15]), and the other put he in Dan (see Gen.49:17. Carried away by Tiglath-pileser [2 Kings 15:29]. The sons of Jonathan, the grandson of Moses [see Judg. 18:30], were ready to act as priests).
30 And this thing became a sin (hence the repeated stigma who "made Israel to sin". Cp. 13:34; 14:16; 15:26,30,34; 16:2,19,26, &c.): for the People went [to worship] before the one, [even] to Dan.
31 And he made a house of high places (not merely "high places"), and made priests of the lowest of the People, which were not of the sons of Levi.
32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that [is] in Judah, and he offered up upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made: and he placed in Beth-el the priests of the high places which he had made.
33 So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Beth-el the fifteenth day of the eighth month, [even] in the month which he had devised of his own mind (Heb. text reads "by himself". Man-made feast go with man-made priests [v.31]); and ordained a feast to the sons of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.