Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for to Shechem were all Israel come to make him king.II. THE REBELLION OF THE TEN TRIBES
1. Rehoboam made king (2Chronicles 10:1)
2. Jeroboam’s return from Egypt and his request (2Chronicles 10:2-5)
3. Rehoboam’s answer (2Chronicles 10:6-15)
4. The revolt and Rehoboam’s flight (2Chronicles 10:16-19)
What followed Solomon’s fall when he turned away from the Lord, who so graciously had appeared unto him twice, is unrecorded in the Chronicles. 1Kings 11:9-43 contains these events. Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, had lifted up his hand against Solomon (1Kings 11:27). He planned secretly a revolt against the king, and when he went out of Jerusalem, most likely to carry out his plans, the prophet Ahijah met him, and in renting his own garment into ten pieces announced that God would take the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and give to Jeroboam the ten tribes. Then Solomon sought to kill Jeroboam and he fled into Egypt, and was in Egypt until Solomon died. It is here where the account in Chronicles comes in. Rehoboam (enlarger of the people), the only son of Solomon mentioned in the Bible, went to Shechem, where all Israel had come together to make him king. Jeroboam had returned from Egypt and appeared on the scene, sent by the people to conduct negotiations in their behalf. Jeroboam demanded a lightening of the heavy burden of forced labor and taxation which Solomon had put upon them. If this request would be granted they were ready to serve Jeroboam. The King asked for three days to consider the demand. He first turned to the aged men and consulted those who had been closely associated with his father. They advised him to use kindness to avert the threatening rebellion. “A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). If Rehoboam had heeded this inspired saying of his father, he would have followed the advice which had been given. But instead he turned to the young men, “the young men (Hebrew: children) that had grown up with him.” They readily gave advice how the peoples’ demand, “Ease somewhat the yoke that thy father did put upon us,” should be answered. It was foolish advice. The threat to increase their burdens, and that while his father had used whips he would use scorpions (a cruel whip to which pieces of sharp metal were attached) was to overawe the people and bring them into submission. It seems almost impossible that Rehoboam should follow such advice. If Ecclesiastes 2:18-19 applies to this son of Solomon, the father’s fears were well founded. He certainly showed that he was not a wise man, but a fool. Yet there was another reason why Rehoboam listened to the foolish counsel. “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 Ahijah, the Shilonite, to Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. And the offended people answered the king with the same spirit and declared their independence. In contempt they said, “And now David see to thine own house.” Then foolishly Rehoboam sent one of the officials who were hated on account of their office, Hadoram, who was over the tribute. The people became infuriated and stoned him to death. King Rehoboam had to make haste to escape a similar fate. The revolt had come. “And Israel rebelled against the house of David.” The words spoken to Solomon (1Kings 11:11-13) were now fulfilled.