May 24th 2 Chronicles, 10
B The Division of the Kingdom
10v1-19 The northern tribes revolt
1: And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for to Shechem were all Israel come to make him king. 2: And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was in Egypt, whither he had fled from the presence of Solomon the king, heard it, that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt. 3: And they sent and called him. So Jeroboam and all Israel came and spake to Rehoboam, saying, 4: Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore ease thou somewhat the grievous servitude of thy father, and his heavy yoke that he put upon us, and we will serve thee. 5: And he said unto them, Come again unto me after three days. And the people departed. 6: And king Rehoboam took counsel with the old men that had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give ye me to return answer to this people? 7: And they spake unto him, saying, If thou be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be thy servants for ever. 8: But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men that were brought up with him, that stood before him. 9: And he said unto them, What advice give ye that we may return answer to this people, which have spoken to me, saying, Ease somewhat the yoke that thy father did put upon us? 10: And the young men that were brought up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou answer the people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it somewhat lighter for us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins. 11: For whereas my father put a heavy yoke upon you, I will put more to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 12: So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come again to me on the third day. 13: And the king answered them roughly; and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men, 14: And answered them after the advice of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 15: So the king hearkened not unto the people: for the cause was of God, that the LORD might perform his word, which he spake by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 16: And when all Israel saw that the king would not hearken unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? and we have none inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to your tents, O Israel: and now, David, see to thine own house. So all Israel went to their tents. 17: But as for the children of Israel that dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18: Then king Rehoboam sent Hadoram that was over the tribute; and the children of Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. But king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. 19: And Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.
2 Chronicles, 11
11v1-23 Civil war is prevented
1: And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he gathered of the house of Judah and Benjamin an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam. 2: But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 3: Speak unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, 4: Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren: return every man to his house: for this thing is done of me. And they obeyed the words of the LORD, and returned from going against Jeroboam. 5: And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah. 6: He built even Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa, 7: And Beth-zur, and Shoco, and Adullam, 8: And Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph, 9: And Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah, 10: And Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities. 11: And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of victual, and of oil and wine. 12: And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side. 13: And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their coasts. 14: For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest's office unto the LORD: 15: And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made. 16: And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers. 17: So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon. 18: And Rehoboam took him Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David to wife, and Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse; 19: Which bare him children; Jeush, and Shamariah, and Zaham. 20: And after her he took Maachah the daughter of Absalom; which bare him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith. 21: And Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines; and begat twenty and eight sons, and threescore daughters.) 22: And Rehoboam made Abijah the son of Maachah the chief, to be ruler among his brethren: for he thought to make him king. 23: And he dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his children throughout all the countries of Judah and Benjamin, unto every fenced city: and he gave them victual in abundance. And he desired many wives.
2 Chronicles, 12
12v1-12 Rehoboam’s sin and punishment
1: And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him. 2: And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD, 3: With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen: and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt; the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians. 4: And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem. 5: Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak. 6: Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous. 7: And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. 8: Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries. 9: So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 10: Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the entrance of the king's house. 11: And when the king entered into the house of the LORD, the guard came and fetched them, and brought them again into the guard chamber. 12: And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him that he would not destroy him altogether: and also in Judah things went well.
12v13-16 Rehoboam dies
13: So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess. 14: And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD. 15: Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 16: And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.
In Chapters 10 to 12 we read of the division of the Kingdom into two parts. The northern kingdom called Israel and the southern kingdom called Judah. It is the northern 10 tribes that revolt against the southern 2 tribes. Then we have recorded the sins and punishment of Rehoboam’s and of his death. After the heights of glory in the previous chapters it seems almost inconceivable that the kingdom should divide. Yet this is often the story of history. After Alexander’s conquests his empire divided into four parts. After the glory days of the first missionary journey of Paul there came a division between Paul and Barnabas. After the glorious declaration of the Gospel in the days of the evangelical revival there came a division between George Whitefield and John Wesley and after glorious progress of the Brethren revival there came division between JN Darby and George Muller. How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity and what a tragedy it is when division comes. When Paul addressed the believers at Corinth to first and most far reaching issue he had to deal with was party spirit among the people of God. Rehoboam took counsel to decide on his policy in regard to his kingdom and he foolishly took the advice of young inexperienced men who had no thought for unity. The policy of Rehoboam was to create a far heavier burden than they had ever known. Then after three days he called Jeroboam and informed him of his foolish policy. Israel rebelled against Judah for its atrocious policy. Then Rehoboam gathered 180,000 chosen men, all men of war to fight against Israel to subdue them but a Prophet called Shemiah was sent by the Lord to Rehoboam telling him that he was not to go to war against Israel and they listened to the Lord and they all went home. He made a priesthood to serve idols, demons and images. He strengthened the cities and towns. There was great wealth in Israel at this time and he had 18 wives, 60 concubines, 28 sons and 60 daughters. After a while Rehoboam forsook the Lord and he led all Israel in his backslidings. The Lord sent the Egyptian army into the land to bring Rehoboam to his senses. It had the desired effect and humbled the princes and the people. But the Egyptians took away all the wealth of Solomon. So Rehoboam made shields of brass to replace the shields of gold. Rehoboam reigned for 17 years in Jerusalem. He did evil because he did not set his heart to seek after the Lord. He died and Abijah took the throne.