2 Chronicles 10
The Israelites ask Rehoboam to give them less work
1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all the Israelites had gone. They thought that he would become their king there. 2 Jeroboam, son of Nebat was in Egypt when people told him about this. He had run there from King Solomon. But he returned from Egypt when people told him this news. 3 So the Israelites asked Jeroboam to meet with them. All the Israelites went to Rehoboam and they said to him, 4 ‘Your father made our work very difficult, but will you make it easier? If you do that, we will be your servants.’
10:1Shechem was about 30 miles (48 kilometres) north of Jerusalem.
10:4Rehoboam was already king over Judah (2 Chronicles 9:31). But he went to the city called Shechem for all the Israelites to accept him as king.
5 Rehoboam answered, ‘Come to me again after three days.’ So the people went away.
Rehoboam asks the old men and the young men what they think
6 Then King Rehoboam asked the older men what they thought. Those men had been servants of his father Solomon when he was alive. ‘What should I say to these people?’ he asked.
7 They replied, ‘Be kind to these people. Give to them what they want. And speak good words to them. If you do that, they will always be your servants.’
8 But Rehoboam did not do what the older men had said. He asked the young men who had been children with him. They were standing in front of him. 9 ‘What answer should I give to these people who have spoken to me?’ he said. ‘They have said to me, “Your father made our work very difficult, but will you make it easier?” ’
10 The young men who had been children with him replied, ‘Say this to the people who said, “Your father made our work very difficult, but will you make it easier?” Say, “I am much greater than my father was. 11 My father made your work difficult but I will make your work more difficult. He hurt you a little, but I will hurt you badly.” ’
Rehoboam refuses to do what the people want
12 Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam after three days as King Rehoboam had said. He had said, ‘Come to me again on the third day after this.’ 13 The king did not speak to them in a kind way. King Rehoboam did not do what the older men had said. 14 He did what the young men had said. He said, ‘My father caused your work to be difficult but I will make your work more difficult. He hurt you a little, but I will hurt you badly.’ 15 So the king did not listen to the people. But this was what God had decided. This was what the Lord had told Jeroboam, Nebat's son, by Ahijah from Shiloh.
Israel and Judah become separate countries
16 All the Israelites saw that the king did not listen to them. Then they answered him, ‘We have no part in David, no part in Jesse's son. Israelites, we should return to our tents. David's people can be separate from us.’ So all the Israelites went to their homes. 17 But Rehoboam still ruled over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah.
18 Hadoram was the officer who caused the people to do very difficult work. King Rehoboam sent him to the Israelites. But the Israelites threw stones at him until he died. Then King Rehoboam got in his chariot and he went away to Jerusalem.
19 So Israel has refused to obey David's descendants to this day.