When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mobilized 180,000 choice warriors from the entire house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin to fight against the house of Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam son of Solomon.
But a revelation from God came to Shemaiah, the man of God:
"Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, to the whole house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people,
'This is what the Lord says: You are not to march up and fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Each of you must return home, for I have done this.' " So they listened to what the Lord said and went back as He had told them.a
Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. From there he went out and built Penuel.
Jeroboam said to himself, "[The way things are going] now, the kingdom might return to the house of David.
If these people regularly go to offer sacrifices in the Lord's temple in Jerusalem, the heart of these people will return to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will murder me and go back to the king of Judah."
So the king sought advice. Then he made two gold calves, and he said to the people, "Going to Jerusalem is too difficult for you. Israel, here is your Godb who brought you out of the land of Egypt."c29
He set up one in Bethel, and put the other in Dan.
This led to sin;d the people walked [in procession] before one of the calves all the way to Dan.
Jeroboam also built shrines on the high places and set up priests from every class of people who were not Levites.