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II Chronicles 10-12 Listen
The struggle of the BOAM boys (II Chronicles 10:1-19)
(The parallel passage to this chapter is I Kings 12:1-15)
II Chronicles 10
I Kings 12
|1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for to Shechem were all Israel come to make him king.
2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was in Egypt, whither he had fled from the presence of Solomon the king, heard it, that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt.
3 And they sent and called him. So Jeroboam and all Israel came and spake to Rehoboam, saying,
4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore ease thou somewhat the grievous servitude of thy father, and his heavy yoke that he put upon us, and we will serve thee.
5 And he said unto them, Come again unto me after three days. And the people departed.
6 And king Rehoboam took counsel with the old men that had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give ye me to return answer to this people?
7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be thy servants for ever.
8 But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men that were brought up with him, that stood before him.
9 And he said unto them, What advice give ye that we may return answer to this people, which have spoken to me, saying, Ease somewhat the yoke that thy father did put upon us?
10 And the young men that were brought up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou answer the people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it somewhat lighter for us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins.
11 For whereas my father put a heavy yoke upon you, I will put more to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come again to me on the third day.
13 And the king answered them roughly; and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men,
14 And answered them after the advice of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
15 So the king hearkened not unto the people: for the cause was of God, that the LORD might perform his word, which he spake by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16 And when all Israel saw that the king would not hearken unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? and we have none inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to your tents, O Israel: and now, David, see to thine own house. So all Israel went to their tents.
17 But as for the children of Israel that dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.
18 Then king Rehoboam sent Hadoram that was over the tribute; and the children of Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. But king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.
19 And Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.
|1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.
2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;)
3 That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying,
4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.
5 And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed.
6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?
7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.
8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:
9 And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?
10 And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins.
11 And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day.
13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him;
14 And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
15 Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
In our II Chronicles account, we'll see a little more detail about the Southern Kingdom, but almost nothing about the Northern Kingdom of Israel and Jeroboam. That's because II Chronicles was written for the exiles as a recap of the activities of the Southern Kingdom and the lineage of King David. The activities of the Northern Kingdom only get treatment in Chronicles when it has a bearing on the Southern Kingdom.
Well...Rehoboam never had a chance...really. He was Solomon's son and rightful heir to the throne, but Solomon's streak of stubbornness caused God's decree to be passed upon his kingdom after his death back in I Kings 11:11 (see notes), "Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant." God told Solomon his kingdom would be split in two after his death because he entertained the pagan gods of his many wives and concubines. When Rehoboam gets the reins of the kingdom, prophetically the split of Solomon's kingdom is a done deal.
It's ironic that the man Solomon had placed in charge of his forced labor, Jeroboam, returns from exile in Egypt and becomes the king of choice for the rebel Northern Kingdom. I Kings 12:1-15 (see notes) is our parallel account to these events. The fact that Rehoboam rejects the counsel of the older, wiser men and opts rather for the counsel of the younger men really is incidental to the results; God had already said that the nation would split. Notice verse 15, "So the king hearkened not unto the people: for the cause was of God, that the LORD might perform his word, which he spake by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat." Rehoboam made a mistake, but God knew he would make that mistake - a mistake that simply facilitated the prophecy against his Dad which had to be fulfilled anyway. Now...two Israel's and two BOAMS - not related, of course.
1 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he gathered of the house of Judah and Benjamin an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam.
2 But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
3 Speak unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying,
4 Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren: return every man to his house: for this thing is done of me. And they obeyed the words of the LORD, and returned from going against Jeroboam.
5 And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah.
6 He built even Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa,
7 And Bethzur, and Shoco, and Adullam,
8 And Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph,
9 And Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah,
10 And Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities.
11 And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of victual, and of oil and wine.
12 And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side.
I mean it's got to be very disappointing to find a significant portion of your kingdom has slipped away. Rehoboam determines to go to war to get them back - gets together his army of 180,000. God says to him through the prophet Shemaiah, "Don't fight your relatives!" He abandons the war idea. He does, however, determine to fortify his main cities as strongholds against his potential enemies, an action detailed here in II Chronicles 11, but only mentioned in passing in I Kings 12 (see notes).
Incidentally, verse 12 mentions the participation with Judah of the Tribe of Benjamin. Since Judah was the lone tribe that became the Southern Kingdom, it is deducted that part of Benjamin (nearest Jerusalem) integrated into Judah while the remainder went with the Northern Kingdom. See notes on I Kings 12:16-24 for more details.
Incidentally, building projects completed were considered benchmarks for a king's success during his tenure. Those are mentioned here, undoubtedly, as an indicator that Rehoboam did have some accomplishments during his reign.
Some new priests are in town (II Chronicles 11:13-17)
(The parallel passage is I Kings 12:25-33)
II Chronicles 11
I Kings 12
|13 And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their coasts.
14 For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest’s office unto the LORD:
15 And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made.
16 And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers.
17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon.
|25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel.
26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:
27 If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.
28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.
30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
31 And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.
32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.
33 So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.
Jeroboam ran all the priests out of the Northern Kingdom (hereafter called Israel); they fled to the Southern Kingdom (hereafter called Judah). Jeroboam is no idiot. He conjectures in I Kings 12:27 (see notes), "If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah." So, I Kings 12 gives us the solution Jeroboam came up with - resurrect Aaron's golden calf idea; but, for convenience of worship, let's make it two golden calves this time! II Chronicles leaves out the episodes of the evil doings of Israel from this point forward and will follow only the events that take place in Judah, but Israel stuck with their calves and never served the One True God of David after this point.
Jeroboam put a stop to worship according to the Law of Moses. He ordained his own set of pagan priests to implement the worship of the golden calves.
With the priests leaving the tribes of the Northern Kingdom and coming to Jerusalem, we see in verse 17 that they contributed to Rehoboam's Southern Kingdom a measure of godliness toward Jehovah. However, as the verse indicates, that only lasted for the first three years...then religious corruption. By the fifth year of his reign, Rehoboam has turned against the One True God and we see him being punished by God accordingly in II Chronicles 12:2 (see below).
Rehoboam follows Dad's example: Marry often and father many (II Chronicles 11:18-23)
18 And Rehoboam took him Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David to wife, and Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse;
19 Which bare him children; Jeush, and Shamariah, and Zaham.
20 And after her he took Maachah the daughter of Absalom; which bare him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith.
21 And Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines; and begat twenty and eight sons, and threescore daughters.)
22 And Rehoboam made Abijah the son of Maachah the chief, to be ruler among his brethren: for he thought to make him king.
23 And he dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his children throughout all the countries of Judah and Benjamin, unto every fenced city: and he gave them victual in abundance. And he desired many wives.
In marrying, Rehoboam was no contest for Dad - a distant second at best compared to Solomon's combined 1,000 wives and concubines - who knows how many children! So, here's the count: 18 wives, 60 concubines, 28 sons and 60 daughters. So, what exactly was a concubine anyway? (Click here to see information regarding concubines.) In short, a concubine was a second-class wife. She lacked some of the privileges and rights of a full-fledged wife. After Solomon's abuse, it hardly seems worth mentioning again Rehoboam's violation of Deuteronomy 17:17 (see notes), "Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold." The fact is, excessive wives was probably one of Rehoboam's lesser blatant offenses before God during his reign.
It was a tough 17 years (II Chronicles 12:1-16)
(The parallel passage is I Kings 14:21-31)
II Chronicles 12
I Kings 14
|1 And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him.
2 And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD,
3 With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen: and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt; the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians.
4 And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem.
5 Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak.
6 Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous.
7 And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.
8 Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.
9 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made.
10 Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the entrance of the king’s house.
11 And when the king entered into the house of the LORD, the guard came and fetched them, and brought them again into the guard chamber.
12 And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, that he would not destroy him altogether: and also in Judah things went well.
13 So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess.
14 And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.
15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually.
16 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.
|21 And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess.
22 And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done.
23 For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.
24 And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
25 And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem:
26 And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made.
27 And king Rehoboam made in their stead brasen shields, and committed them unto the hands of the chief of the guard, which kept the door of the king’s house.
28 And it was so, when the king went into the house of the LORD, that the guard bare them, and brought them back into the guard chamber.
29 Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
30 And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days.
31 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead.
At some point in his fifth year of reign, Rehoboam turns against God. What's up with that? Shishak, the King of Egypt, heads up a coalition against Judah. God delivers Judah into their hands. After the initial defeat, Rehoboam repents and turns to the One True God for help. Enter: the prophet, Shemaiah; he tells Rehoboam that God will spare Jerusalem...minus the riches his Dad and Grandfather had amassed; Shishak took the riches. It was also Shemaiah back in I Kings 12:22-23 (see notes) that had told Rehoboam not to attack Jeroboam. This passage concludes by indicating that the BOAM boys (Jeroboam and Rehoboam) fought and fought and fought during their simultaneous reigns.
Let's pay close attention to the chastening hand of God in this passage as a result of Rehoboam's disobedience. Notice the wording of verse 1, "And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him." Now notice verse 2, "...Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD." After their defeat, Shemaiah proclaims in verse 5, "...Thus saith the LORD, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak." The results of the chastisement were reduced after Rehoboam "humbled himself" in verse 12, but it was too late for complete restoration to the circumstances that existed before Rehoboam turned his back on God.
A Summary of King #1 over Judah from 931 to 913 B.C.: Rehoboam
|References||The Good||The Bad|
I Kings 14:21-31
II Chronicles 12:1 And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him.
II Chronicles 12:14 And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.
There's a lesson here that is still applicable today regarding chastisement from God. When God intercedes in one's life through chastisement, repentance from disobedience often follows. However, a complete restoration to pre-disobedience status is not always achieved, as was the case with Rehoboam in this passage. For more information on this subject, click here to read the article entitled, "Trial versus Chastisement."