1 Kings 12

1 Rehoboʹam went to Sheʹchem, for all Israel had come to Sheʹchem to make him king.

2 As soon as Jeroboʹam the son of Neʹbat heard of it (he was still in Egypt because he had run off on account of King Solʹomon and was living in Egypt),

3 they sent for him. After that Jeroboʹam and all the congregation of Israel came to Rehoboʹam and said:

4 “Your father made our yoke harsh. But if you make the harsh service of your father easier and you lighten the heavy yoke he put on us, we will serve you.”

5 At this he said to them: “Go away for three days; then return to me.” So the people went away.

6 King Rehoboʹam then consulted with the older men who had served his father Solʹomon while he was alive, saying: “What advice would you give on how to reply to this people?”

7 They answered him: “If today you would become a servant to this people and submit to their request and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”

8 However, he rejected the advice that the older men gave him, and he consulted with the young men who had grown up with him and who were now his attendants.

9 He asked them: “What advice do you offer on how we should reply to this people who have said to me, ‘Make the yoke your father put on us lighter’?”

10 The young men who had grown up with him said to him: “This is what you should say to this people who have said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you should make it lighter for us’; this is what you should tell them, ‘My little finger will be thicker than my father’s hips.

11 My father imposed a heavy yoke on you, but I will add to your yoke. My father punished you with whips, but I will punish you with scourges.’”

12 Jeroboʹam and all the people came to Rehoboʹam on the third day, just as the king had said: “Return to me on the third day.”

13 But the king answered the people harshly, rejecting the advice that the older men had given him.

14 He spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying: “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father punished you with whips, but I will punish you with scourges.”

15 So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was caused by Jehovah, in order to carry out the word that Jehovah had spoken through Ahiʹjah the Shiʹlonite to Jeroboʹam the son of Neʹbat.

16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, the people replied to the king: “What share do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesʹse. To your gods, O Israel. Now look after your own house, O David!” With that Israel returned to their homes.

17 But Rehoboʹam continued to reign over the Israelites living in the cities of Judah.

18 Then King Rehoboʹam sent Adoʹram, who was in charge of those conscripted for forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboʹam managed to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem.

19 And the Israelites have been in revolt against the house of David down to this day.

20 As soon as all Israel heard that Jeroboʹam had returned, they summoned him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. None of the people followed the house of David except the tribe of Judah.

21 When Rehoboʹam arrived in Jerusalem, he immediately congregated all the house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 trained warriors, to fight against the house of Israel in order to restore the kingship to Rehoboʹam the son of Solʹomon.

22 Then the word of the true God came to Shemaiʹah the man of the true God, saying:

23 “Say to Rehoboʹam the son of Solʹomon the king of Judah and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin and the rest of the people,

24 ‘This is what Jehovah says: “You must not go up and fight against your Israelite brothers. Each one of you must return to his house, for I have caused this to happen.”’” So they obeyed the word of Jehovah and went back home, as Jehovah had told them.

25 Jeroboʹam then built up Sheʹchem in the mountainous region of Eʹphraim and lived there. From there he went out and built up Penuʹel.

26 Jeroboʹam said in his heart: “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David.

27 If this people continues to go up to offer sacrifices at the house of Jehovah in Jerusalem, the heart of this people will also return to their lord, King Rehoboʹam of Judah. Yes, they will kill me and return to King Rehoboʹam of Judah.”

28 After consultation, the king made two golden calves and said to the people: “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here is your God, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”

29 Then he placed one in Bethʹel, and the other he put in Dan.

30 And this caused them to sin, and the people went as far as Dan to worship the one there.

31 And he made houses of worship on the high places and appointed priests from the people in general, those who were not Levites.

32 Jeroboʹam also established a festival in the eighth month, on the 15th day of the month, like the festival in Judah. On the altar that he made at Bethʹel, he sacrificed to the calves he had made, and at Bethʹel he assigned priests for the high places that he had made.

33 And he began to make offerings on the altar that he had made at Bethʹel on the 15th day in the eighth month, in the month that he had devised on his own; and he established a festival for the people of Israel, and he ascended the altar to make offerings and sacrificial smoke.