And Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel had come together to make him king,
And, hearing of it, Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who was still in Egypt, where he had gone in flight from Solomon, and was living there, came back to his town Zeredah, in the hill-country of Ephraim;
And all the men of Israel came to Rehoboam and said,
Your father put a hard yoke on us: if you will make the conditions under which your father kept us down less cruel, and the weight of the yoke he put on us less hard, then we will be your servants.
And he said to them, Go away for three days and then come back to me again. So the people went away.
Then King Rehoboam took the opinion of the old men who had been with Solomon his father when he was living, and said, In your opinion, what answer am I to give to this people?
And they said to him, If you will be a servant to this people today, caring for them and giving them a gentle answer, then they will be your servants for ever.
But he gave no attention to the opinion of the old men, and went to the young men of his generation who were waiting before him:
And said to them, What is your opinion? What answer are we to give to this people who have said to me, Make less the weight of the yoke which your father put on us?
And the young men of his generation said to him, This is the answer to give to the people who came to you saying, Your father put a hard yoke on us; will you make it less? say to them, My little finger is thicker than my father's body;
If my father put a hard yoke on you, I will make it harder: my father gave you punishment with whips, but I will give you blows with snakes.