10 Rehoboam traveled to Shechem, for all Israel had gathered in 1 Shechem to make Rehoboam 2 king. 2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard the news, he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon. Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3 They sent for him 3 and Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4 “Your father made us work too hard! 4 Now if you lighten the demands he made and don’t make us work as hard, we will serve you.” 5 5 He said to them, “Go away for three days, then return to me.” So the people went away.
6 King Rehoboam consulted with the older advisers who had served 6 his father Solomon when he had been alive. He asked them, 7 “How do you advise me to answer these people?” 7 They said to him, “If you are fair to these people, grant their request, and are cordial to them, they will be your servants from this time forward.” 8 8 But Rehoboam rejected their advice and consulted the young advisers who served him, with whom he had grown up. 9 9 He asked them, “How do you advise me to respond to these people who said to me, ‘Lessen the demands your father placed on us’?” 10 10 The young advisers with whom Rehoboam 11 had grown up said to him, “Say this to these people who have said to you, ‘Your father made us work hard, but now lighten our burden’ 12 – say this to them: ‘I am a lot harsher than my father! 13 11 My father imposed heavy demands on you; I will make them even heavier. 14 My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.’” 15
12 Jeroboam and all the people reported to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had ordered when he said, “Return to me on the third day.” 13 The king responded to the people harshly. He 16 rejected the advice of the older men 14 and followed the advice of the younger ones. He said, “My father imposed heavy demands on you; 17 I will make them even heavier. 18 My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.” 19 15 The king refused to listen to the people, because God was instigating this turn of events 20 so that he might bring to pass the prophetic announcement he had made 21 through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat.
16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, the people answered the king, “We have no portion in David – no share in the son of Jesse! 22 Return to your homes, O Israel! 23 Now, look after your own dynasty, O David!” 24 So all Israel returned to their homes. 25 17 (Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah.) 18 King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, 26 the supervisor of the work crews, out after them, but the Israelites stoned him to death. King Rehoboam managed to jump into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 27 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the Davidic dynasty to this very day.
11 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he summoned 180,000 skilled warriors from Judah and Benjamin 1 to attack Israel and restore the kingdom to Rehoboam. 2 But the Lord told Shemaiah the prophet, 2 3 “Say this to King Rehoboam son of Solomon of Judah and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin, 4 ‘The Lord says this: “Do not attack and make war with your brothers. Each of you go home, for I have caused this to happen.”’” 3 They obeyed the Lord and called off the attack against Jeroboam. 4
5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem; 5 he built up these fortified cities throughout Judah: 6 Bethlehem, 6 Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These were the fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11 He fortified these cities and placed officers in them, as well as storehouses of food, olive oil, and wine. 12 In each city there were shields and spears; he strongly fortified them. 7 Judah and Benjamin belonged to him.
13 The priests and Levites who lived throughout Israel supported him, no matter where they resided. 8 14 The Levites even left their pasturelands and their property behind and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons prohibited them from serving as the Lord’s priests. 15 Jeroboam 9 appointed his own priests to serve at the worship centers 10 and to lead in the worship of the goat idols and calf idols he had made. 11 16 Those among all the Israelite tribes who were determined to worship the Lord God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem 12 to sacrifice to the Lord God of their ancestors. 13 17 They supported 14 the kingdom of Judah and were loyal to 15 Rehoboam son of Solomon for three years; they followed the edicts of 16 David and Solomon for three years.
18 Rehoboam married 17 Mahalath the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of 18 Abihail, the daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. 19 She bore him sons named Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 He later married Maacah the daughter of Absalom. She bore to him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than his other wives and concubines. 19 He had eighteen wives and sixty concubines; he fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah as the leader over his brothers, for he intended to name him his successor. 20 23 He wisely placed some of his many sons throughout the regions of Judah and Benjamin in the various fortified cities. 21 He supplied them with abundant provisions and acquired many wives for them. 22