1Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king.2When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt.3So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him:4“Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”5Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.6Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.7They replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”8But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.9He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”10The young men who had grown up with him replied, “These people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist.11My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’ ”12Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.”13The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders,14he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.”15So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the Lord, to fulfill the word the Lord had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.16When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king: “What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse’s son? To your tents, Israel! Look after your own house, David!” So the Israelites went home.17But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.18King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem.19So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.20When all the Israelites heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David.21When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered all Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—a hundred and eighty thousand able young men—to go to war against Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam son of Solomon.22But this word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God:23“Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah, to all Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people,24‘This is what the Lord says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.’ ” So they obeyed the word of the Lord and went home again, as the Lord had ordered.
Golden Calves at Bethel and Dan
25Then Jeroboam fortified Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. From there he went out and built up Peniel.26Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David.27If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.”28After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”29One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan.30And this thing became a sin; the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other.31Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites.32He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made.33On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make 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)