1Rehoboam went to Shechem. All of the people of Israel had gone there to make him king.2Jeroboam heard about it. He was the son of Nebat. Jeroboam was still in Egypt at that time. He had gone there for safety. He wanted to get away from King Solomon. But now he returned from Egypt.3So the people sent for Jeroboam. He and the whole community of Israel went to Rehoboam. They said to him,4“Your father put a heavy load on our shoulders. But now make our hard work easier. Make the heavy load on us lighter. Then we'll serve you.”5Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days. Then come back to me.” So the people went away.6King Rehoboam asked the elders for advice. They had served his father Solomon while he was still living. Rehoboam asked them, “What advice can you give me? How should I answer these people?”7They replied, “Serve them today. Give them what they are asking for. Then they'll always serve you.”8But Rehoboam didn't accept the advice the elders gave him. Instead, he asked for advice from the young men who had grown up with him and were now serving him.9He asked them, “What's your advice? How should I answer these people? They say to me, ‘Make the load your father put on our shoulders lighter.’ ”10The young men who had grown up with him gave their answer. They replied, “These people say to you, ‘Your father put a heavy load on our shoulders. Make it lighter.’ Tell them, ‘My little finger is stronger than my father's legs.11My father put a heavy load on your shoulders. But I'll make it even heavier. My father beat you with whips. But I'll beat you with bigger whips.’ ”12Three days later Jeroboam and all of the people returned to Rehoboam. That's because the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.”13The king answered the people in a mean way. He didn't accept the advice the elders had given him.14Instead, he followed the advice of the young men. He said, “My father put a heavy load on your shoulders. But I'll make it even heavier. My father beat you with whips. But I'll beat you with bigger whips.”15So the king didn't listen to the people. That's because the Lord had planned it that way. What he had said through Ahijah came true. Ahijah had spoken the Lord's message to Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. Ahijah was from Shiloh.16All of the people of Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them. So they answered the king. They said, “We don't have any share in David's royal family. We don't have any share in Jesse's son. People of Israel, let's go back to our homes. David's royal family, take care of your own kingdom!” So the people of Israel went home.17But Rehoboam still ruled over the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah.18Adoniram was in charge of those who were forced to work hard for King Rehoboam. The king sent him out among all of the Israelites. But they killed him by throwing stones at him. King Rehoboam was able to get away in his chariot. He escaped to Jerusalem.19Israel has refused to follow the royal family of David to this very day.20All of the people of Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned. They sent for him. They wanted him to meet with the whole community. Then they made him king over the entire nation of Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained true to David's royal family.21Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem. He brought together 180,000 fighting men from the royal house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin. He had decided to make war against the royal house of Israel. Solomon's son Rehoboam wanted his fighting men to get the kingdom of Israel back for him.22But a message from God came to Shemaiah. He was a man of God. God said to him,23“Speak to Solomon's son Rehoboam, the king of Judah. Speak to the royal house of Judah and Benjamin. Also speak to the rest of the people. Tell all of them,24‘The Lord says, “Do not go up to fight against the Israelites. They are your relatives. I want every one of you to go back home. Things have happened exactly the way I planned them.” ’ ” So the fighting men obeyed the Lord's message. They went home again, just as he had ordered.
Jeroboam Sets Up Golden Calves at Bethel and Dan
25Jeroboam built up the walls of Shechem. It was in the hill country of Ephraim. Jeroboam made Shechem his home. From there he went out and built up Peniel.26Jeroboam thought, “My kingdom still isn't secure. It could very easily go back to the royal family of David.27Suppose the people of Israel go up to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the Lord's temple. If they do, they will again decide to follow Rehoboam as their master. Then they'll kill me. They'll return to King Rehoboam. He is king of Judah.”28So King Jeroboam asked for advice. Then he made two golden statues that looked like calves. He said to the people, “It's too hard for you to go up to Jerusalem. Israel, here are your gods who brought you up out of Egypt.”29He set up one statue in Bethel. He set up the other one in Dan.30What Jeroboam did was sinful. And it caused Israel to sin. The people even went all the way to Dan to worship the statue that was there.31Jeroboam built temples for worshiping gods on high places. He appointed all kinds of people as priests. They didn't even have to be Levites.32He established a feast. It was on the 15th day of the eighth month. He wanted to make it like the Feast of Booths that was held in Judah. Jeroboam built an altar at Bethel. He offered sacrifices on it. He sacrificed to the calves he had made. He also put priests in Bethel. He did it at the high places he had made.33He offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. It was on the 15th day of the eighth month. That's the month he had chosen for it. So he established the feast for the people of Israel. And he went up to the altar to sacrifice offerings.
1 Kings 12
English Standard Version
1Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. (Jud 9:6; 2Ch 10:1)2And as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from Egypt. (1Ki 11:26; 1Ki 11:40)3And they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and said to Rehoboam,4“Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you.” (1Sa 8:11; 1Ki 4:7; 1Ki 4:22; 1Ki 9:15)5He said to them, “Go away for three days, then come again to me.” So the people went away. (1Ki 12:12)6Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?”7And they said to him, “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever.”8But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him.9And he said to them, “What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put on us’?”10And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Thus shall you speak to this people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us,’ thus shall you say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s thighs.11And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’” (1Ki 12:4)12So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king said, “Come to me again the third day.” (1Ki 12:5)13And the king answered the people harshly, and forsaking the counsel that the old men had given him,14he spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” (1Ki 12:4)15So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord that he might fulfill his word, which the Lord spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. (1Ki 11:11; 1Ki 11:31; 1Ki 12:24)
The Kingdom Divided
16And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” So Israel went to their tents. (2Sa 20:1)17But Rehoboam reigned over the people of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah. (1Ki 11:13; 1Ki 11:36)18Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was taskmaster over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death with stones. And King Rehoboam hurried to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. (1Ki 4:6; 1Ki 5:14)19So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day. (2Ki 17:21)20And when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. There was none that followed the house of David but the tribe of Judah only. (1Ki 11:13; 1Ki 11:32; 1Ki 11:36)21When Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 chosen warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. (2Ch 11:1)22But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God: (2Ch 12:5; 2Ch 12:7; 2Ch 12:15)23“Say to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, (1Ki 12:17)24‘Thus says the Lord, You shall not go up or fight against your relatives the people of Israel. Every man return to his home, for this thing is from me.’” So they listened to the word of the Lord and went home again, according to the word of the Lord. (1Ki 12:15)
Jeroboam’s Golden Calves
25Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. And he went out from there and built Penuel. (Jud 8:17; Jud 9:45)26And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will turn back to the house of David.27If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the temple of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” (De 12:5)28So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” (Ex 32:4; Ex 32:8; 1Ki 14:9; 2Ki 10:29; 2Ki 17:16; 2Ch 11:15; 2Ch 13:8; Ho 8:5; Ho 10:5; Ho 13:2)29And he set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.30Then this thing became a sin, for the people went as far as Dan to be before one. (1Ki 13:34; 2Ki 17:21)31He also made temples on high places and appointed priests from among all the people, who were not of the Levites. (1Ki 13:32; 1Ki 13:33; 2Ki 17:32; 2Ch 11:14; 2Ch 13:9)32And Jeroboam appointed a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month like the feast that was in Judah, and he offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he made. And he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places that he had made. (Le 23:33; Nu 29:12; 1Ki 13:2; Am 7:13)33He went up to the altar that he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, in the month that he had devised from his own heart. And he instituted a feast for the people of Israel and went up to the altar to make offerings. (1Ki 13:1)