Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all the Israelites had gone there to make him king.
When Jeroboam1 son of Nebat heard this (he was in Egypt, where he had fled2 from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt.
So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and all Israel3 went to Rehoboam and said to him:
"Your father put a heavy yoke on us,4 but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you."
Rehoboam answered, "Come back to me in three days." So the people went away.
Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders5 who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. "How would you advise me to answer these people?" he asked.
They replied, "If you will be kind to these people and please them and give them a favorable answer,6 they will always be your servants."
But Rehoboam rejected7 the advice the elders8 gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.
He asked them, "What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, 'Lighten the yoke your father put on us'?"
The young men who had grown up with him replied, "Tell the people who have said to you, 'Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter'--tell them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's waist.
My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.' "
Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, "Come back to me in three days."
The king answered them harshly. Rejecting the advice of the elders,
he followed the advice of the young men and said, "My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions."
So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from God,9 to fulfill the word the LORD had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.10