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CHAPTER 10 Oct. 19 
The Division of the Kingdom
Rehoboam went to Shechem; for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2When Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of king Solomon), then Jeroboam returned out of Egypt. 3They sent and called him; and Jeroboam and all Israel came, and they spoke to Rehoboam saying, 4Your father made our yoke grievous. Now therefore make lighter the grievous service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you. 5He said to them, Come again to me after three days. The people departed. 6King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men who had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What advice do you give me to return answer to this people? 7They spoke to him saying, ‘If you are kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever’. 8But he forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him. 9He said to them, What advice do you give, that we may return answer to this people who have spoken to me saying, ‘Make the yoke that your father put on us lighter?’ 10The young men who had grown up with him spoke to him saying, Thus you shall tell the people who spoke to you saying, Your father made our yoke heavy, but make it lighter on us; thus you shall say to them, My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11Now whereas my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 12So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king asked, saying, Come to me again the third day. 13The king answered them roughly; and king Rehoboam forsook the advice of the old men, 14and spoke to them after the advice of the young men saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 15So the king didn’t listen to the people; for it was brought about of God, that Yahweh might establish His word, which He spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 16When all Israel saw that the king didn’t listen to them, the people answered the king saying, What portion have we in David? Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse! Every man to your tents, Israel! Now see to your own house, David. So all Israel departed to their tents. 17But as for the children of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18Then king Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was over the men subject to forced labour; and the children of Israel stoned him to death with stones. King Rehoboam made speed to get himself up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. 19So Israel rebelled against the house of David to this day.

Commentary


10:4 The temple project became an obsession with Solomon; after his death, his people complained at the “grievous service” which Solomon had subjected them to. But the Hebrew word translated “service” is that repeatedly used to describe the “service” of the temple by the people (1 Chron. 25:6; 26:8,30; 27:26; 28:13-15,20,21; 29:7; 2 Chron. 8:14).Solomon became obsessed with making others ‘serve God’ when it was effectively serving¬†him; he came to be abusive to God’s people, when the initial idea of the temple was that it was to be built in order to help God’s people serve Him. And such obsession, turning well motivated projects into means of personal ego tripping, with all the resultant abuse, has sadly damaged so many within the body of Christ. Jesus invited people who were heavy burdened under a hard yoke to come to Him and have that yoke made lighter (Mt. 11:29,30). He was clearly alluding to this incident, where heavily burdened people ‘came’ seeking a lighter yoke.
10:10 Younger people are often harsher than older ones, and therefore make good soldiers in wars of aggression, both literal and figurative. As we grow older we ought to become softer and the more influenced by God’s grace, rather than growing hard and gnarled as some do.
10:15¬†It was brought about of God- Rehoboam’s response to the people seems obviously wrong and unwise. Yet this error of judgment was worked through by God to fulfil His prophetic word. Whilst we have freewill, God confirms us in the attitudes and choices which we make.