1 Kings 12:1-19International Standard Version (ISV)
Secession of the Northern Tribes
12 Rehoboam traveled to Shechem because all of Israel went there to install him as king. 2 Nebat’s son Jeroboam heard about it while he was still in Egypt, where he had fled to get away from King Solomon. Jeroboam returned from Egypt 3 after being summoned. When Jeroboam and the entire assembly of Israel arrived, they spoke to Rehoboam, 4 “Your father made our burdens unbearable.[a] Therefore lighten your father’s requirements and his heavy burdens that he placed on us, and we’ll serve you.”
5 “Come again in three days,” Rehoboam[b] told them. So the people left 6 while King Rehoboam conferred with his advisors who had worked for his father Solomon during his administration. He asked them, “What is your advice as to how I should respond to these people?”
7 They advised him, “If today you are a servant, you will serve this people by answering them and speaking kindly to them. Then they will serve you forever.”
8 But Rehoboam[c] ignored the counsel that his elder advisors had given him. Instead, he consulted the younger men who had grown up with him and who worked for[d] him. 9 As a result, he asked them, “What’s your advice so that we can give an answer to these people who have asked me, ‘Please lighten the burden that your father put on us.’?”
10 “This is what you should tell these people who asked you ‘Your father made our burden heavy, but you must make it lighter for us!’” the young men who grew up with Rehoboam[e] replied. “Tell them, ‘My little finger will be thicker than my father’s whole body![f]11 Not only that, but since my father loaded you down heavily, I’m going to add to that burden. My father disciplined you with whips, but I’m going to discipline you with scorpions!’”
12 So Jeroboam and all the people went back to Rehoboam on the third day, just as they had been directed when the king said, “Come back again in three days.” 13 But the king gave the people a harsh response, because he was ignoring the counsel that his elders had given him. 14 Instead, Rehoboam[g] spoke to them along the lines of what the younger men suggested. He told them, “My father burdened you heavily, but I will add to that burden. If my father disciplined you with whips, I’m going to discipline you with scorpions!”
15 The king would not listen to the people, because the turn of events was from the Lord, to fulfill his prediction that the Lord spoke by means of Ahijah the Shilonite to Nebat’s son Jeroboam. 16 When all of Israel saw that the king wasn’t listening to them, the people responded to the king’s message, “What’s the point in following David? We have no inheritance in the descendants of Jesse. Let’s go home,[h] Israel! David, take care of your own household!’ So Israel left for home.[i]17 And so Rehoboam ruled over the Israelis who lived in the cities of Judah.
18 King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was in charge of conscripted labor, but all of Israel stoned him to death, and King Rehoboam had to jump in his chariot and flee back in a hurry to Jerusalem. 19 That’s how Israel came to be in rebellion against David’s dynasty to this day.
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