Jeroboam refused to follow King Solomon. He was one of Solomon's officials. He was from Zeredah in the territory of Ephraim. His father was Nebat. His mother was a widow named Zeruah.
Here is the story of how Jeroboam refused to follow the king. Solomon had filled in the low places near the palace. He had also repaired the wall of the city of his father David.
Jeroboam was a very important young man. Solomon saw how well he did his work. So he put him in charge of all of the workers in northern Israel.
About that time Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem. The prophet Ahijah met him on the road. Ahijah was from Shiloh. He was wearing a new coat. The two of them were all alone out in the country.
Ahijah grabbed hold of the new coat he had on. He tore it up into 12 pieces.
Then he said to Jeroboam, "Take ten pieces for yourself. The LORD is the God of Israel. He says, 'I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon's hand. I will give you ten of its tribes.
Solomon will have one of its tribes. I will let him keep it because of my servant David and because of Jerusalem. I have chosen that city out of all of the cities in the tribes of Israel.
" 'I will do those things because the tribes have deserted me. They have worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the people of Sidon. They have worshiped Chemosh, the god of the people of Moab. And they have worshiped Molech, the god of the people of Ammon. They have not lived the way I wanted them to. They have not done what is right in my eyes. They have not obeyed my rules and laws as Solomon's father David did.
" 'But I will not take the whole kingdom out of Solomon's hand. I have made him ruler all the days of his life. I have done it because of my servant David. I chose him. He obeyed my commands and rules.
" 'I will take the kingdom out of his son's hands. And I will give you ten of the tribes.
" 'I will give one of the tribes to David's son. Then my servant David will always have a son on his throne in Jerusalem. The lamp of David's kingdom will always burn brightly in my sight. Jerusalem is the city I chose for my Name.
" 'But I will make you king over Israel. You will rule over everything your heart longs for. So you will be the king of Israel.
Do everything I command you to do. Live the way I want you to. Do what is right in my eyes. Obey my rules and commands. That is what my servant David did. If you do those things, I will be with you. I will build you a kingdom. It will last as long as the one I built for David. I will give Israel to you.
" 'I will punish David's family because of what Solomon has done. But I will not punish them forever.' "
Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam ran away to Egypt. He went to Shishak, the king of Egypt. He stayed there until Solomon died.