Rehoboam went to Shechem where all Israel had come to make him king.
When Jeroboam, Nebat's son, heard the news, he returned from Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon.
The people sent and called for Jeroboam, who along with the entire Israelite assembly went and said to Rehoboam,
"Your father made our workload very hard for us. If you will lessen the demands your father made of us and lighten the heavy workload he demanded from us, then we will serve you."
He answered them, "Come back in three days." So the people left.
King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon when he was alive. "What do you advise?" Rehoboam asked. "How should I respond to these people?"
"If you will be a servant to this people by answering them and speaking good words today," they replied, "then they will be your servants forever."
But Rehoboam ignored the advice the elders gave him and instead sought the counsel of the young advisors who had grown up with him and now served him.
"What do you advise?" he asked them. "How should we respond to these people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the workload your father demanded of us'?"
The young people who had grown up with him said to him, "This people said to you, ‘Your father made our workload heavy; lighten it for us!' Now this is what you should say to them: ‘My baby finger is thicker than my father's entire waist!
So if my father made your workload heavy, I'll make it even heavier! If my father disciplined you with whips, I'll do it with scorpions!'"
Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had specified when he said, "Come back to me in three days."
The king then answered the people harshly. He ignored the elders' advice
and instead followed the young people's advice. He said, "My father made your workload heavy, but I'll make it even heavier! My father disciplined you with whips, but I'll do it with scorpions!"
The king didn't listen to the people because this turn of events came from the LORD so that he might keep the promise he delivered through Ahijah from Shiloh concerning Jeroboam, Nebat's son.
When all Israel saw that the king wouldn't listen to them, the people answered the king: "Why should we care about David? We have no stake in Jesse's son! Go back to your homes, Israel! You better look after your own house now, David!" Then the Israelites went back to their homes,
and Rehoboam ruled over only the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah.