2 Chronicles 10

The Israelites ask Rehoboam to make their work easier

1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, because all the Israelites had gone there to make him king. 2 At this time, Nebat's son Jeroboam was in Egypt. He had been living there since he ran away from King Solomon. When he heard the news about Rehoboam, he returned from Egypt. 3 The Israelites sent a message to Jeroboam to meet with them. Then Jeroboam and all the Israelites went to speak to Rehoboam. They said to him, 4 ‘Your father caused us to work too hard. Please make the work easier for us. If you do that, we will serve you as our king.’ 5 Rehoboam answered them, ‘Go away for three days. Then come back to me.’ So the people went away.

10:1Rehoboam became king when his father Solomon died. See 2 Chronicles 9:31. He went to Shechem for all the Israelites to accept him as king. Shechem was about 50 kilometres north of Jerusalem.

6 Then King Rehoboam went to talk to the older advisors who had served his father Solomon. He asked them, ‘What answer should I give to these people?’

7 They replied, ‘If you agree to be kind to these people and help them, they will always serve you as their king. So do what they are asking you to do.’

8 But Rehoboam did not agree with their advice. Instead he talked to some younger men. They had been his friends since they were young and now they were his advisors. 9 He asked them, ‘What do you think that I should say to these people? They want me to make their work easier.’

10 Rehoboam's young advisors said, ‘The people said to you, “Your father made us work too hard. Please make our work easier.” You should tell them, “Even my little finger is thicker than my father's whole body! 11 My father made you work hard. I will make you work even harder! My father punished you with little whips. I will punish you with whips that bite your skin!” ’

Rehoboam refuses to do what the people want

12 Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam after three days. That was because the king had said, ‘Return to me in three days.’

13 King Rehoboam spoke cruel words to the people. He did not agree to say what the older men had told him to say. 14 Instead, he did what the young men had suggested. He said to the people, ‘My father gave you work that was too hard for you. I will make it even worse! My father punished you with little whips. I will punish you with whips that bite!’

15 So the king did not agree to do what the people wanted him to do. It was God who caused this to happen. He had already given his message about this to Nebat's son Jeroboam. The prophet Ahijah who came from Shiloh had spoken the Lord's message to Jeroboam.

Israel and Judah become separate kingdoms

16 All the Israelites realized that the king refused to listen to them. So they said to the king,

‘We can no longer serve the family of Jesse's son, David!

Israelites, go back to your homes!

You descendant of David, take care of your own family!’

So the Israelites went to their homes. 17 But Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah.

10:17Rehoboam was now king over only two Israelite tribes, Judah and Benjamin. This was the kingdom in the south. Jeroboam became king over the other 10 tribes in the north.

18 King Rehoboam sent a man called Adoniram to talk to the Israelite people. Adoniram had authority over the men who had to work for Rehoboam. But the Israelites threw stones at Adoniram and they killed him. So King Rehoboam quickly got into his chariot and he escaped to Jerusalem.

10:18Adoniram was also called Hadoram.

19 Since that time, the tribes in the north of Israel have not accepted the authority of King David's descendants.