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Damascus. And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did.

And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, the son of a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king. And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built the Millo, and repaired the breach of the city of David his father. And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.

And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way and turned him aside; and Ahijah had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field and Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: and he said to Jeroboam: "Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee."


Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.

And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon? And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.

1 charge. Forced labor.

2 Shishak. See note, p. 382.

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Manasseh pays tribute to Assyria: (1) under Esarhaddon (d. 668)
(2) under Ashurbanipal

Religious reaction against the pro- (Assyrians conquer Egypt)
phetic party


The great reformation



639 Josiah




of Egypt



600 597


(Nineveh taken by the Babylonians 607 and Medes)

608 Jehoiakim, vassal to Necho II

Nebuchadrezzar defeats Necho at Carchemish and makes Judah trib

Jehoiachin, Zedekiah. First
Captivity of Judah

586 Destruction of Jerusalem: Final

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Revolt of the Northern Tribes (1 Kings xii. 1–24). And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it [Solomon's death] - for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and dwelt in Egypt he returned and went to his city Zereda which is in mount Ephraim.

And Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. And they spake unto Rehoboam, saying: "Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore ease thou somewhat the grievous servitude of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, and we will serve thee." And he said unto them: "Depart for three days, then come again to me." And the people departed.

And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said: "How do ye advise that I may answer this people?" And they spake unto him, saying: "If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever." But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him: and he said unto them: "What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?" And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying: "Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins. For whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions."1

So all Israel came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying: "Come to me again the third day." And

1 scorpions. Scourges.

the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they gave him; and spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying: "My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions." So the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the Lord, that he might perform his saying, which the Lord spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat. So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying: "What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David!"

So Israel departed unto their tents. Then king Rehoboam sent Adoniram, who was over the tribute;1 and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day. And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.

And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying: "Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me." They hearkened therefore to the word of the Lord, and returned and went their way, according to the word of the Lord.

Jeroboam's Religious Innovations (1 Kings xii. 25-32). Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel. And Jeroboam said in his heart: "Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: if this people go up to do sacrifice

1 the tribute. The forced labor.

in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me." Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold,' and said unto the people: "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before each of them, even unto Dan.

And he made houses upon high places, and made priests from among all the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Beth-el, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Beth-el the priests of the high places which he had made.

The Prophecy against the Altar of Beth-el (1 Kings xii. 33; xiii.). And he went up unto the altar which he had made in Beth-el on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.

And behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord unto Beth-el: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord, and said: "O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee." And he gave a sign the same day, saying: "This is the sign which the Lord hath spoken; Behold the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out."

1 calves of gold. Probably bulls, here called "calves "slightingly, because of their small size. The bull had been an emblem of divinity among Semitic peoples from early times, and Jeroboam seems to have set up these images simply as symbols of Jehovah, not as substitutes for His worship.

2 feast. This was the "Feast of Tabernacles" or "Feast of Booths," the popular annual festival known also as the "Feast of Ingathering." As prescribed in Lev. xxiii. 40-43, the Israelites celebrate it for seven days, dwelling in improvised rustic booths as a reminder of their ancestors' tent-dwelling in the wilderness.

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