1 Kings 12:1-5

Israel Rebels Against Rehoboam

1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king.
2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from[a] Egypt.
3 So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him:
4 “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”
5 Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.

1 Kings 12:1-5 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 KINGS 12

This chapter relates Rehoboam's going to Shechem to be made king, and Jeroboam's return from Egypt, 1Ki 12:1,2, the people's request to Rehoboam to be eased of their taxes, as the condition of making him king, 1Ki 12:3,4, his answer to them, after three days, having had the advice both of the old and young men, which latter he followed, and gave in a rough answer, 1Ki 12:5-15, upon which ten tribes revolted from him, and two abode by him, 1Ki 12:16-20, wherefore he meditated a war against the ten tribes, but was forbid by the Lord to engage in it, 1Ki 12:21-24 and Jeroboam, in order to establish his kingdom, and preserve the people from a revolt to the house of David, because of the temple worship at Jerusalem, devised a scheme of idolatrous worship in his own territories, 1Ki 12:25-33.

1 Kings 12:1-5 In-Context

1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king.
2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt.
3 So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him:
4 “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”
5 Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.
6 Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.
7 They replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”
8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.
9 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’?”

Cross References 3

  • 1. ver 25; S Genesis 12:6; Joshua 24:32
  • 2. S 1 Kings 11:40
  • 3. S 1 Samuel 8:11-18; 1 Kings 4:20-28

Footnotes 1