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!” ’