12 1REHOBOAM WENT to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2And when Jeroboam son of Nebat heard of it--for he still dwelt in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon--[he] returned from Egypt. 3And they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and said to Rehoboam, 4Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore lighten the hard service and the heavy yoke your father put upon us, and we will serve you. 5He replied, Go away for three days and then return to me. So the people departed. 6And King Rehoboam consulted with the old men who stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived and said, How do you advise me to answer this people? 7And they said to him, If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them and answer them with good words, they will be your servants forever. 8But he forsook the counsel the old men gave him and consulted the young men who grew up with him and stood before him. 9He said to them, What do you advise that we answer this people who have said, Make the yoke your father put on us lighter? 10The young men who grew up with him answered, To the people who told you, Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter for us--say this, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins. 11And now whereas my father loaded 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 on the third day, as the king had appointed. 13And the king answered the people roughly and forsook the counsel the old men had given him, 14And spoke to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; he chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 15So the king did not hearken to the people, for the situation was from the Lord, that He might fulfill His word which He spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat. 16So when all Israel saw that the king did not heed them, they answered the king, What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David! So Israel went to their tents. 17But Rehoboam reigned over the Israelites who dwelt in the cities of Judah. 18Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute [taskmaster over the forced labor], and all Israel stoned him to death with stones. So King Rehoboam hastened to get into his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19So Israel has rebelled against the house of David to this day. 20When all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. None followed the house of David except the tribe of Judah only. 21And when Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 chosen warriors, to fight against the house of Israel to bring the kingdom back to Rehoboam son of Solomon. 22But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 23Tell Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah and all the house of Judah and Benjamin and the remnant of the people, 24Thus says the Lord, You shall not go up or fight against your brethren, the Israelites. Return every man to his house, for this thing is from Me. So they hearkened to the Lord’s word and returned home, according to the Lord’s word. 25Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. He went out from there and built Penuel. 26Jeroboam said in his heart, Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. 27If this people goes up to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem to sacrifice, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah. 28So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, It is too much for you to go [all the way] up to Jerusalem. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. 29And he set the one golden calf in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30And this thing became a sin; for the people went to worship each of them even as far as Dan. 31Jeroboam also made houses on high places and made priests of people who were not Levites. 32And Jeroboam appointed a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the feast kept in Judah, and he offered sacrifices upon the altar. So he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places he had made. 33So he offered upon the altar he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a date which he chose individually; and he appointed a feast for the Israelites and he went up to the altar to burn incense [in defiance of God’s law.]
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