The people of Israel rebelled against Rehoboam
1 All the people of Israel went to Shechem city in order to appoint Rehoboam to be their king. So Rehoboam also went there. 2 Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, had fled to Egypt to escape from King Solomon. But when he heard about the people wanting to appoint Rehoboam to be their king, he returned to Israel from Egypt 3 So the leaders of the northern tribes summoned him, and he went with them to talk to Rehoboam. They said to Rehoboam, 4 “Your father Solomon forced us to work very hard for him. If you do not force us to work that hard, and if you charge us less taxes than we were paying to him, we will serve you faithfully.”
5 He replied, “Come back three days from now and I will give you my answer.” So those leaders and Jeroboam left.
6 Then King Rehoboam consulted his older men who had advised his father Solomon while he was still alive. He asked them, “What shall I say to answer these men?”
7 They replied, “If you will be kind to these people and do things that will please them, and if you say kind things to them when you answer them, they will always serve you.”
8 But he ignored what the older men advised him to do. Instead, he consulted the younger men who had grown up with him, who were now his advisors. 9 He said to them, “How should I answer the men who are asking me to reduce the work and taxes that my father required from them?”
10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, “Those men have said that your father forced them to work very hard for him, so they want you to reduce the work and taxes that your father required from them. But this is what you should tell them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11 What I mean is that my father required you to work hard and pay high taxes. But I will make those loads heavier. It was as though my father whipped you, but I will whip you with whips that have pieces of metal in them.’ ”
12 Three days later, Jeroboam and all the leaders came to King Rehoboam again, which is what he had told them to do. 13 The king ignored the advice of the older men and spoke harshly to the Israeli leaders. 14 He told them what the younger men had advised. He said, “My father put heavy burdens of work and taxes on you, but I will put heavier burdens on you. It was as though he beat you with whips, but I will beat you with whips that have pieces of metal in them!” 15 So the king did not pay any attention to the Israeli leaders. But this happened in order that what Yahweh had told the prophet Ahijah about Jeroboam would happen.
16 When the Israeli leaders realized that the king did not pay any attention to what they said, they shouted,
“We do not want anything to do with this descendant of King David!
We will not pay attention to what this grandson of Jesse says!
You people of Israel, let’s go home!
As for this descendant of David, he can rule his own kingdom!”
So the Israeli leaders returned to their homes.
17 And after that, the only Israeli people whom Rehoboam ruled over were those who lived in the territory of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
18 Then King Rehoboam went with Adoniram to talk to the Israeli people. Adoniram was the man who supervised all the men who were forced to work for Rehoboam. But the Israeli people killed him by throwing stones at him. When that happened, King Rehoboam quickly got in his chariot and escaped to Jerusalem. 19 Ever since that time, the people of the northern tribes of Israel have been rebelling against the descendants of King David.