"Your father made us carry a heavy burden. Reduce the hard work and lighten the heavy burden he put on us, and we will serve you."
He said to them, "Leave and come back the day after tomorrow." So the people left.
King Rehoboam sought advice from the older leaders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive. He asked, "What do you advise? How should I respond to these people?"
They told him, "If you will serve these people today, humble yourself, and speak gently, then they will always be your servants."
But he ignored the advice the older leaders gave him. He sought advice from the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.
He asked them, "What is your advice? How should we respond to these people who are asking me to lighten the burden my father put on them?"
The young men who had grown up with him answered, "This is what you should tell them: 'My little finger is heavier than my father's whole body.
If my father put a heavy burden on you, I will add to it. If my father punished you with whips, I will punish you with scorpions.'"
So Jeroboam and all the people came back to Rehoboam two days later, as the king had instructed them.
The king answered the people harshly. He ignored the advice the older leaders gave him.
He spoke to them as the young men advised. He said, "If my father made your burden heavy, I will add to it. If my father punished you with whips, I will punish you with scorpions."