Summary of 1 Kings

Summary of 1 Kings

Chapter by Chapter:

1 Kings 1-2: Adonijah Fails to Be King/Solomon; King of Israel
1 Kings 3-4: Solomon’s Judgment/Solomon Reigns with Wisdom
1 Kings 5-6: Stones and Timber for the Temple/Solomon Builds the Temple
1 Kings 7-8: Solomon Builds Himself a House/The Ark of the Temple
1 Kings 9-10: Promises of Blessings/Queen of Sheba Visits King Solomon
1 Kings 11-12: Solomon Worships False Gods/The 10 Tribes Revolt
1 Kings 13-14:  Jeroboam is Healed by a Prophet from Judah/Prophecy of Ahijah and Jeroboam
1 Kings 15-16: Abijam Reigns in Wickedness/Elah, Zimi, Omri and Ahas Reign in Wickedness
1 Kings 17-18: Elijah Raises a Little Child from Death/Elijah Challenges the Prophets of Baal
1 Kings 19-20: A Still Small Voice/Ben-hadad Makes War with Israel
1 Kings 21-22: Ahab Kills Naboth for His Vineyard/Micaiah Foretells the Death of Ahab

The book of 1st Kings is Narrative History and Prophecy. The author is anonymous; whoever, some suggest the prophet Jeremiah had his hand in writing the book. It was written about 560-538 B.C. The people mentioned most are David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Elijah, Ahab and Jezebel.

If you had to categorize and figure out what 1 Kings is teaching, I would say that the purpose is to learn and contrast between those who obey and those who disobey God, and the consequences good and bad that follow that decision. The book describes the rule of Solomon as the last king of Israel and then the dividing of the kingdom after his death. It includes a great prayer to the Lord in chapter 8. The writer of the books of the Kings describes the events of the Northern and Southern kingdoms after the division.

In chapters 1-11: Solomon becomes kings, through violent means. After his father David dies, David instructs Solomon to “walk in His (God’s) ways” (1st Kings 2:3). Solomon asks God for wisdom an God is pleased at this request and approves. Solomon begins a building, which includes the construction of the Temple, which his father desired and prepared him to do. He began building the Temple 480 years after the Exodus from Egypt started. Seven years later, the Ark was brought to the temple, and the Glory of the Lord descended upon it, Solomon prays a powerful prayer and then offers sacrifices to the Lord. Solomon, although the wisest king ever, starts to do things that are not so wise and begins to worship false gods of his wives and is subdued by his lust for women, his downfall was looming and his death followed shortly after.

In chapters 12-22: show the beginning of the end of the united kingdom of Israel, the nation, with difficult decisions, ends up making the wrong decision. Around 931 B.C. the kingdom splits in two: North and South. Rehoboam inherits the kingdom and is persistent about enforcing high taxes. The Northern tribes begin a revolt and Jeroboam is crowned king of Israel. Ten tribes became the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin became the Southern Kingdom of Judah. God rises up his prophet Elijah to warn the evil king Ahab to turn from idol worship and to return to God.

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1 Kings 21-22

1 Kings 21-22

Chapter 21: Ahab Kills Naboth for His Vineyard

Ahab goes to Naboth and asks him for his vineyard. He wants his vineyard, because it is close to his house and he wants a garden of herbs close to his house. In trade he promises to give him a vineyard that is better or give him money for the piece of land. However Naboth tells him that he cannot do that, because it is his inheritance and he cannot simply give away his inheritance for something else. Ahab is upset by this and goes to his house and essentially from the text it sounds like he is crying on his bed. (see verse 4).

Jezebel comes into Ahab and asks him why is spirit is drained (I can imagine that his eyes are all puffed up from crying), and Ahab explains the situation. Jezebel then tells Ahab that he is over all of Israel and that this should not stop him from getting what he wants. So Jezebel tells him to eat, drink and be merry and that she would get him his land. So Jezebel writes letters in Ahab’s hand telling the Elders that Naboth had blasphemed God and the king and that he must be stoned to death.

The Elders take heed to the request and send two men, who were children of Belial and they witnessed against him and carried him out of the city to be stoned to death. Jezebel received word of the death and she told Ahab to arise and go take possession of the land that Naboth would not give to him for money or trade and he arose and went down to the vineyard to take possession of it.

The Lord goes to Elijah and tells him what Ahab has done and commands him to go down to the vineyard and meet Ahab, there is commanded to tell Ahab of the curse that will be put on him and his wife for working iniquity and evil before the Lord. Ahab and Jezebel will be killed and eaten by dogs in the same place that Naboth was stoned to death. When Ahab hears about this, he rents him clothes and humbles himself before the Lord. The Lord then tells Elijah that because Ahab humbled himself, that he will not cause anything to happen to him, but to happen to his house later on.

Chapter 22: Micaiah Foretells the Death of Ahab

Three years had passed without any war between Syria and Israel.  In the third year the king of Judah, Jehoshaphat went down to visit the king of Israel. While there, the King of Israel tells Jehosophat that Ramoth in Gilead is theirs, but they are hesitant to take it out of the hands of the King of Syria, so he aks the king of Judah (Jehosophat) for his help. Jehosophat tells him that his people and horses are as his. Kind of like the “mi casa es tu casa” saying. Jehosophat is ok with helping Ahab, but he suggests that they first consult God in the matter. Ahab asks his men and they all tell him to go up to take Ramoth Gilead, because the Lord will deliver it in to his hands. It seems that Jehosophat is not comfortable with that, and asks if there is anyone else that they can ask to get a second opinion. Ahab tells him that there is someone, but he hates him… because the prophet named Micaiah always says evil things of him.

But Ahab calls his officer to brink Micaiah the son of Imlah in unto them. While waiting for him to come, both Ahab and Jehosophat are waiting in the entrance of the city and all around them they hear people telling them to go to Ramoth Gilead and fight!

Micaiah arrives… and is asked whether or not they should go to battle against and take Ramoth Gilead. Micaiah tells him the same thing as the rest of the prophets… to go to Ramoth Gilead, because the Lord will deliver it into his hands. But Ahab aks him if he is telling the truth…

So, Micaiah tells of the true prophecy; “…I saw all of Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep wthat have not a shepherd: and the Lord said, These have not master let them return every man to his house in peace.” (1 Kings 22:17).

This must of angered Ahab, because he turns to Jehosophat and says; (I am paraphrasing) “See, I told you he never will say anything good about me!” Micaiah explains that the other 400 prophets were decieved by a lying spirit who told them things, so that Ahab would go up to battle, fight and die.

Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah was upset and struck Micaiah on the cheek and Ahab commanded that he was to be put into prison. But as an ultimate call of warning, he tells them that they will understand his prophecy once they are backed up into an inner chamber (cave) to hide themselves.

Ahab goes to battle and disguises himself, but tells Jehosophat to put on his robes. Ahab must have thought that by being disquised he would not be a huge target as the king, thus thwarting the doom that was prophesied of him.

The King of Syria tells all his men to only fight with the king of Israel, once they see Jehosophat with the robes, they immediately pursue after him, but once he screamed and ran, they realized that he was not the king of Israel. However, out of chance a random arrow from a bow struck Ahab inbetween the joints of his armor, and he was propped up in the back of his chariot… dying a brave man to keep the spirits of his men high. When the battle was over, everyone found out that Ahab was dead.

Ahab was brought to Samaria and buried there. When they took the chariot back and washed the blood from it, the dogs licked up his blood.

Jehosophat became king when he was 35 years old. His mother was Azubah and his father was Asa. Jehosophat reigned over Judah with righteousness.

Here are a few of the accomplishments of Jehosophat;

  • He sent teachers of God’s Word out to his entire kingdom (2 Chronicles 17:7-9).
  • He established a permanent military garrison along the northern frontier (2 Chronicles 17:1-2, 12).
  • He trained and equipping a sizeable army (2 Chronicles 17:14-19) that was able to quell a Transjordan invasion (2 Chronicles 20:1-30).
  • He placed Edom under Judean control, controlling an important caravan route to the south (2 Kings 3:8-27; 2 Chronicles 20:36).
  • God blessed his reign so much that the fear of the Lord came upon neighboring nations so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17:10).
  • Jehoshaphat was also an able administrator, implementing judicial reforms (2 Chronicles 19:5-11) and religious reforms (2 Chronicles 17:3-9).
  • Jehoshaphat was also the king connected to the famous incident when the army of Judah saw a great victory won as the Levites led the battle with praise (2 Chronicles 20:15-23).

 

Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the 17th years of the reign of Jehosophat in Judah. Ahaziah reigned for two years and did much evil in the sight of the Lord. He served Baal and worshiped him, provoking God to anger.

1 Kings 19-20

1 Kings 19-20

Chapter 19: A Still Small Voice

Ahab comes in and tells Jezebel all that Elijah had done; how he had executed the prophets. So Jezebel sends a messenger to Elijah telling him; that if he were to expose the lie of worshiping Baal and expose the glory of God that he would be killed.

So, Elijah makes a run for it! Elijah heads off to Judah to get away and there is met by an angel of the Lord, who tells him to eat and drink for his strength… strength for a 40 day journey. The food and water here, basically appeared out of nowhere! Elijah eats and drinks and then travels for forty days and forty nights on that food, while he traveled to Mount Horeb (verse 8). Elijah gets to the mount and goes into lodge in a cave. There in the cave the Lord asks; “…what doest thou here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9), and Elijah responds by saying “…I have been very jealous for the Lord God of Hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:10).

So the Lord tells him to go stand upon the mount and stand before him (the Lord) and a great wind passed by him which did rent the mountains breaking the pieces of rock, followed by an earthquake and a fire… but we learn that the Lord was not in any of those… but after all the power… there was a “still small voice” that the Lord was in. (see verse 12). Here we learn that the Spirit of the Lord can be felt in a quiet, reverant manner. We don’t need to scream to God… believe me, He can hear us! He also won’t scream down at us… if we want to hear him… we must be careful to listen, patiently and humbly and we WILL hear HIM!

The Lord then gives Elijah a mission, to anoint Hazael to be king over Syriaand Jehu to be anointed as king over Israel to replace the corrup Ahab and his wife Jezebel. Elisha is to be a friend and a succesor to Elijah.

Chapter 20: Ben-hadad makes War with Israel

Ben-hadad the King of Syria goes up tp war against Samaria. Ben-hadad also sends a message to Ahab in Israel that he will be coming to take everything he has. So Ahab gathered the elders of the land together and they all tell him to not listen or consent to the messages of Ben-hadad. But at the same time a prophet came to Israel and tells Ahab that he essentially cannot win against Ben-hadad, but makes him a promise that he would be able to deliver Ben-hadad into his hands if Ahab followed the Lord and allowed the Lord to show his great power.

So Ahab organizes his army and goes in on a surprise attack to Ben-hadad (who at the time was actually drunk), the Israelites pursue the Syrians until the king (Ben-hadad) has to escape with his leaders on horseback. The Israelites have a victory! But the King of Syria and his leaders are convinced that the God of the Israelites is the god of the hills, whereas their god is the god of the valley. They decide that they should have the battle again, and because it is in the valley they will win. They fight a second time and even though the Israelites were outnumbered… they still have a second victory against Syria! Ahab, probably out of fear of other threats around him makes a treaty with the now humble Ben-hadad and sends him on his way.

1 Kings 17-18

1 Kings 17-18

Chapter 17: Elijah Raises a Little Child from Death

Elijah prays for a drought. Elijah came as a prophet of the Lord at a very crucial time int he wicked times of Israel. Elijah tells everyone that the heavens will be sealed and will not rain again, until the words are spoken from his mouth. Elijah tells everyone where the source of his power comes from… God!

Elijah is instructed of the Lord to leave the current city “Cherith” and go to the Brook of Cherith, which flows into Jordan, there he would be met by ravens that would feed him. There, the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening… and he drank from the brook. After a short while, the brook that he was at slowly dried up until there was no more water. There was no water, because it had not rained… this is exactly what Elijah had prayed for and he got it! Now he had to trust in the Lord to stay alive during this drought.

The Lord speaks to Elijah again and tells him to go to Zarephath where he has a widow lined up to provide for him. Elijah does as the Lord commands, even though this probably made no sense to him at all. When he arrives at the gate of the city, he finds a widow gathering sticks and he calls to her and asks her to bring a little water in a cup. He also asks her for a little bit of bread too.

The widow responds to Elijah by telling him that she has no bread, but a little flour and oil and with her gathering of sticks was going to go home to her son and there she was going to make her last meal (because she had probably run out of food) to die. Elijah responds back and makes a promise to her, that if she makes him bread first and then makes them both bread… that the flour and oil shall not go down until the day that the Lord makes it rain. So the lady does as Elijah had request and she ends up NOT running out of bread!

After a few days the woman and her son become sick. She then indirectly blames Elijah for what has happened; “…art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?” (1 Kings 17:18). Elijah comes in and takes her son in his arms and cries to the Lord and begs God to let the spirit of her son come back into his body. Elijah stretched himself out over the sons body and continued to plead, until the Lord listened and restored the sons soul to his body.

Chapter 18: Elijah Challenges the Prophets of Baal

The Lord comes again to Elijah and he tells him to go present himself to Ahab, because he was going to end the drought. When he went to present himself to Ahab, there was a sever famine in Samaria. The drought (after 3 years) finally came to an end.

Elijah meets Obadiah, who was in charge of the house of Ahab.But he meets him in an unexpected manner… Ahab was worried about the livestock dying of hunger so he commands Obadiah and others to search out pasture land with grass. On the search, Obadiah meets Elijah and immediately recognizes him and falls to the earth in fear (because he feared the Lord). Elijah tells Obadiah that he will see Ahad and that he would make sure he doesn’t get into trouble on his behalf.

When Ahad meets Elijah he blames a prophet of God for the problems of Israel, instead of seeing that his wickedness has actually led them into the problems that they now face. This is where the story and chapter get really interesting, Elijah challenges King Ahab to gather the idol prophets of Ball and Asherah for a meeting at Mount Carmel. So all the prophets gathered on Mount Carmel, the prophets HATED Elijah and their loyalty was to King Ahad and Queen Jezebel.

Elijah asks a question; “…How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him….” (1 Kings 18:21). The people were silent to his question. He tells everyone there that he is a prophet of God, the only one there. But the prophets of Baal number more than 450 men! Elijah proposes a test. In this test each side will pick out a bullock, kill it, cut it up and then put it on the altar with wood, but no fire underneath.

Then Elijah proposed a test; “…call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God…” (1 Kings 18:24). So the prophets of Baal start to pray to Baal and ask for fire to cook the meat. But after some time, there is no success… so Elijah tries to mock them a bit…. “…Cry aloud: for he is a god (Baal); either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or preadventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked” (1 Kings 18:27). So Elijah calls the people’s attention over to him (now that Baal’s people have failed).

Elijah takes 12 stones (to represent the 12 tribes of Israel), he built an altar out of the rocks and around the altar a trench. Elijah then commanded the people to drench his altar with water so much that it filled the trench that he had dug. Elijah then called out to the Lord in prayer; “…Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou  art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done  ball these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” (1 Kings 18:36-38). Then when the people saw this, they fell to their faces and they knew that he was God. Then he commanded the people to grab the prophets of Baal who were trying to evade and he had them taken to the brook of Kishon, and there he killed them.

Elijah prays for the rain to come back, by praying on the top of Mount Carmel.

1 Kings 15-16

1 Kings 15-16

Chapter 15: Abijam Reigns in Wickedness

After 18 years of Jeroboam becoming king, his son Abijam became king over all of Judah and he reigned three years in Jerusalem and he walked in all the sins and ways of his father.

Abijam did not have his heart turned toward the Lord, but for the sake of David and his dynasty the Lord gave Abijam a lamp and preserved the kingship, but not because of the quality exhibited by Abijam.

Shortly after Abijam, a man named Asa became the king of Judah, the great-grandson of Solomon took over the thrown. Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David. Asa came in to do some housecleaning by banishing the perverted people, or those who perverted the truths of the Lord. Asa also moved his grandmother from the role of being queen, because she had made an idol to worship. Asa removed all places of worship that did not worship the Lord, but instead worshipped idols.

Baasha, the king of Israel came up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might let none go out or come in to Judah. Asa, with the Lord on his side empties the treasuries of the temple and buys favor with the Syrians, who were backing Israel. Without the Syrians, Israel is unable to put this “blockade” on Judah.

This chapter once again mentions the “other” books of the Bible that don’t exist in the Bible. This to me proves that the Bible is not complete. Don’t get me wrong, the Bible is very much true, but without more, the Bible will always be incomplete and therefore (at times) difficult to understand and interpret, thus the reason for so many religions in the world today.

Asa in his old age, was diseased in his feet. Asa however starts to go downhill and starts to become bitter against God. His last years were not some of his best years!

Following Asa, Nadab, the son of Jeroboam takes control of the kingdom. He however continued what his father did not finish… by not following the Lord, he ruled in wickedness. Baasha assasinated him and killed all of the family of Jeroboam, effectively destroying that dynasty. If they would have listened and obeyed the Lord, they would have been promised a lasting kingdom!

Baasha, through assassination becomes the ruler over all of Israel, and of course he rules in wickedness. He did evil in the sight of the Lord.

Chapter 16: Elah, Zimi, Omri and Ahas Reign in Wickedness

The word of the Lord came to Jahu, the son of Hanani against Bassha telling him that he lifted him from the dust and made him ruler and he has walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made his people (Israel) to sin causing the Lord to be provoked with anger for the sins of Israel. The Lord promises him that he will take away all of the posterity of Baasha and hsi house and will make, the dogs shall eat them and the birds of the air shall eat anything that dies in the fields. Because Baasha (who was not a blood relative of Jeroboam) would follow in the same footsteps… he too would be destroyed as Jeroboam was destroyed.

Baasha is killed and the new 2 year reign of Elah steps in. Elah was the son of Baasha, and because God did not bless his kingship, he only ruled for 2 years. Zimri came and struck Elah, killing him. As Baasha claimed the thrown, someone else too claimed the thrown through assassination. Zimri, upon taking the thrown had all of the family of Baasha killed.

Zimri reigned for a whopping 7 days! All of Israel put Omri (who was the commander of the army) to be the king. Zimri decided (once he found out that he was done for), burned the kings house down, causing it to fall upon him, killing him.

Israel was now divided into two parts… half followed Omri, and the other half followed Tibni. Omri however put the revolution down and caused Tibni to die, making him king. Omri immediately began construction on a hill, making the capital city of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Samaria). Omri also followed after the wicked ways of Jeroboam.

Ahab the son of Omri becomes king and does evil in the sight of the Lord. Ahab was worse than Jeroboam! He took Jezebel of the Sidonians as his wife and worshiped Baal. Ahab decides to try and rebuild Jericho (even after Joshua had said that anyone who attempts doing it would lose their firstborn), it was a curse and Ahab thought he was immune to this curse.

1 Kings 13-14

1 Kings 13-14

Chapter 13: Jeroboam is healed by a Prophet from Judah

A man of God came out of Judah to see Jeroboam and to prophesy of the evil that the altar of the false gods would bring, by saying; “…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.” (1 Kings 13:2).This is an important prophesy that would be fulfilled some 400 years later in 2 Kings 23:15 that the kingdom of Israel would be broken up, mainly because of the sin that they were lead into, by Jeroboam. Jeroboam was outraged and raised his hand pointing at the anonymous man of God and called for his arrest, but when he tried to pull his hand back to himself and out of the outstretched motion, his hand turned to dust. The altar that was there with them, also split in half. This should have shown Jeroboam or anyone else for that matter of the dangers that idolatry can bring.

Jeroboam calls out to the man of God and asks him to ask God for the restoration of his hand, which God through the man of God was able to restore completely. Jeroboam invites the man of God back to his house and offers to give him a reward, but the man refuses. An old prophet of Bethel finds out about this man of God and rides up after him, hoping to catch him. They meet him sitting under a tree and ask him to come back home and eat with them, but the man refuses. So the old prophet tells him that an angel had instructed him to catch up with him and invite him back to his house (this was a lie), but the man of God comes back with the old prophet.

While sitting at the table, the prophet who had lied receives a revelation from God, that basically tells the man of God that he will be cursed for having disobeyed the commandment he had been given, by going back to eat with the old prophet.

The man of God leaves and on his journeys, he is met by a lion on the road and is killed. The Lion then stands over the corpse, while a donkey and some other men on the roadway also stop to look over the corpse. Obviously this was something from God, because the Lion did not attack the Donkey or any of the other passerby’s.

The old prophet comes down to the city to mourn and to bury the man of God. He laid the man’s body in his own grave, he then commands that when he dies, his body is to be buried right next to the man of God.

Despite all that has happened, Jeroboam still continues in his ways.

Chapter 14: Prophecy of Ahijah and Jeroboam

Abijah, the son of Jeroboam becomes sick and Jeroboam sends his wife on a mission to go to Shiloh and speak with Ahijah the prophet to get help in healing his son. So, Jeroboam’s wife goes to see Ahijah, and Ahijah hears of the concerns and matters troubling Jeroboam and his house. Ahijah delivers a message from God, by declaring that God is upset; Jeroboam has done more evil than the entire leader before him! God declares a disaster upon his house and his people, destroying them all.

Jeroboam dies and Rehoboam who is ruling over Judah also dies. Shishak, the king of Egypt comes up against Jerusalem and takes away the treasures of the house of the Lord, taking everything including gold shields that Solomon had made. Nadab reigns in the place of Jeroboam and Abijam reigns in the place of Rehoboam.

It is interesting that this chapter (along with many other chapters) includes references to books that do not exist in the Bible or anywhere else for that matter. Verses; 19 and 29.

These books are rumored to be the official records that are no longer in existence that were the source books used by the authors of the Bible, to bring all of the stories together.

1 Kings 11-12

1 Kings 11-12

Chapter 11: Solomon Worships False Gods

Solomon loved many different women; altogether Solomon has 700 wives and 300 concubines. Because of his many wives and from many different lands, his wives start to bring him over to their teachings and gods. Solomon in his older years did not pursue the Lord in his heart, but instead went after gods like; Ashtoreth, Milcom, Chemosh, Molech and other false gods.

Because of this, the Lord decides to send Solomon some adversaries. The Lord sends Jeroboam, who decides he wants to be king of the 10 tribes. When King Solomon dies, Jeroboam reigns in his stead.

An interesting verse in this chapter is verse 41; “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?” (1 Kings 11:41). This is one more book that can be added to the “Lost Books” list. Some people say that the Bible as we know it today is the word of God and no more can be had. I would argue that anyone who would so confidently state that the Bible is complete and no more “bible” is to be added, really does not understand the works contained therein and are unaware of the true meaning behind God and his teachings. In that single verse we learn that there are more books than the Bible! God reveals his words through prophets, who then write down the teachings, spread and teach them. So if God did this in old days, why has he ceased to communicate with us now? He hasn’t. That is why we must not have our minds closed and realize that the Bible is not the complete work of God. If so, God is only giving us a summary of the cliff notes of what really is intended for us (his children) to learn!

Chapter 12: The 10 Tribes Revolt

Rehoboam went to Shechem to make him King, because Rehoboam was the son of Solomon. The 10 tribes tell Rehoboam that he would become their next king, but he would have to change a few things that his father had done to them… mainly heavy taxation and other burdens that the people did not like. Rehoboam goes to his father’s advisors and asks them what they think about that. His advisors tell him that if he becomes a servant to them, then they will in turn become his servants forever. This was some very fitting advice and something that all leaders (no matter how big or small) need to show that example and show that kindness so that they may receive that same support and love back.

Rehoboam listened to his father’s elders, but quickly after hearing them, he decided to reject the advice and seek the counsel of younger advisors… who were his age. The younger advisors tell Rehoboam to go at it a completely opposite way… their approach is a fear tactic.

“…Now wheras 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 Kings 12:11).

Rehoboam was simply shopping for the advice that he wanted to hear. He wasn’t interested in any sort of counsel, except to look good and convince himself that what he was doing was the right thing.

Naturally, Rehoboam is not very welcomed and the 10 northern tribes reject him as king! Rehoboam not only lost his chance at being a king, but also ruined it for the Dynasty of David, who was one of the greatest kings over Israel. Rehoboam decides to rule over the people anyways, and send out his tax collector, who the people stone to death. Rehoboam decides that Israel is serious and decides to make a break for it… grabs his chariot and rides out of Jerusalem.

Rehboboam nevertheless decides to reunite Israel by force and a man of God came to Shemaiah and tells Rehoboam that he was sent of God to tell him that he must not attack the seceding nations. Rehoboam (probably out of fear) actually listens and decides to not attack the seceding nations.

Because of this, Jeroboam is called in and is declared the new king. Jeroboam gets off to a quick start and works on building his new capital city; Shechem. Which he built in the mountains of Ephraim, this became the capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel. Jeroboam was now worried that having his people travel once a year to Jerusalem to worship, could cause some political backlash and in his eyes, could even mean the loss of his kingdom to Rehoboam. So Jeroboam decides to start a new state religion. He incorporates the same religious ideas that they all preserved, but by making it more convenient to them and him, by having them worship idols in his city and not to travel to Jerusalem. Jeroboam was slowly leading himself and his people into sin.