|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
IntraText - Text
1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to proclaim him king.
When Jeroboam, son of Nebat, heard of this in Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon, he returned from Egypt.
Jeroboam was summoned to the assembly, and he and all Israel said to Rehoboam:
"Your father laid a heavy yoke upon us. If you now lighten the harsh service and the heavy yoke that your father imposed on us, we will serve you."
"In three days," he answered them, "come back to me." When the people had departed,
King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had been in the service of his father during Solomon's lifetime, asking, "What answer do you advise me to give this people?"
They replied, "If you will deal kindly with this people and give in to them, acceding to their request, they will be your servants forever."
But he ignored the advice the elders had given him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were in his service.
He said to them, "What answer do you advise me to give this people, who have asked me to lighten the yoke my father imposed on them?"
The young men who had grown up with him replied: "This is the answer you should give to this people who have said to you, 'Your father laid a heavy yoke upon us, but do you lighten our yoke'; this you should say to them: 'My little finger is thicker than my father's body.
Whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will make it heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!'"
On the third day, Jeroboam and all the people came back to King Rehoboam as he had instructed them to do.
Ignoring the advice the elders had given him, the king gave them a harsh answer,
speaking to them according to the advice of the young men: "My father laid a heavy yoke on you, but I will make it heavier. My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions."
The king would not listen to the people, for this turn of events was divinely ordained to fulfill the prophecy the LORD had uttered to Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, through Ahijah the Shilonite.
When all Israel saw that the king would not listen to them, the people answered the king. "What share have we in David? We have no heritage in the son of Jesse. Everyone to your tents, O Israel! Now look to your own house, David!" So all Israel went off to their tents.
Rehoboam, therefore, reigned over only those Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah.
King Rehoboam then sent out Hadoram, who was superintendent of the forced labor, but the Israelites stoned him to death. Rehoboam himself managed to mount his chariot and flee to Jerusalem.
Thus Israel has been in rebellion against David's house to this day.