2 Chronicles 10 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

The Kingdom of Israel
From Splendor to Disaster
Splendor Disaster
King Solomon
of Judah
2 Chronicles 1-9
Successive Kings
of Judah
2Chr 10-36
2Chr 10:1-19
Rulers of the Southern
Kingdom of Judah
After the Split
The Exile
of Judah
2Chr 36:17-23

2Chr 1:1-17

2Chr 2:1-7:22
2Chr 8:1-9:31
of the Temple
Decline & Destruction
of the Temple
~40 Years ~393 Years

Click chart to enlarge
Chart from Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Click Chart from Charles Swindoll









1Samuel 2 Samuel 1Kings 1Kings 2 Kings


1-4 5-10 11-20 21-24 1-11 12-22 1-17 18-25

1 Chronicles 10



2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

Legend: B.C. dates at top of timeline are approximate. Note that 931BC marks the division of the Kingdom into Southern Tribes (Judah and Benjamin) and Ten Northern Tribes. To avoid confusion be aware that after the division of the Kingdom in 931BC, the Southern Kingdom is most often designated in Scripture as "Judah" and the Northern Kingdom as "Israel." Finally, note that 1 Chronicles 1-9 is not identified on the timeline because these chapters are records of genealogy.



2 Chronicles 10:1 Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king.

Introduction Frederick Mabie: Chapters 10-36 of 2 Chronicles constitute the final major section of the Chronicler’s work: the account of the kingdom of Judah following the division of the kingdom in the 930s B.C. This division created two political states, with Jeroboam as king of a new dynasty consisting of the northern tribes and Rehoboam as king of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. In subsequent biblical literature, the northern kingdom is typically called “Israel” whereas the southern kingdom is typically called “Judah,” after the most prominent tribe. . . The division of the Israelite kingdom also entailed a variety of social, religious, and economic repercussions. In the religious realm, Jeroboam established new religious shrines at Dan and Bethel (1Ki 12:26-33; 2Ch 11:15), while Jerusalem remained the religious capital of the southern kingdom. The golden calf shrines established by Jeroboam effectively nationalized covenantal unfaithfulness and pushed the northern tribes further from seeking God. Economically, both Israel and Judah were affected by a loss of tribute, trade revenue, and production in the aftermath of the division. These challenges were exacerbated by the frequent conflict between Israel and Judah, as noted at 12:15: “There was continual warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam” (cf. 1Ki 14:30; 15:6, 16).

Martin Selman: This chapter deals with the reasons for Israel’s division after Solomon’s death (cf. v. 19), setting the scene not only for the rest of Rehoboam’s reign but for the rest of 2 Chronicles. The key phrase “turn of events” (v. 15; “turn of affairs,” NRSV, RSV; “to bring about,” GNB) translates a rare word in Hebrew which is to be interpreted alongside the related verb “turn” in 1 Chronicles 10:14 (cf. 12:23). These two verses describe two great turning points, pivotal events which usher in new eras concerning the setting up and downfall of David’s dynasty. The first era opens with the transfer of Saul’s kingdom to David (1 Ch. 10:14) and results in the dynasty of David and Solomon (1 Ch. 10 – 2 Ch. 9). This incident introduces a much sadder story, beginning with the division of Solomon’s kingdom and culminating in the collapse of Israel and its monarchy (2 Ch. 10-36).

Andrew Hill: The story of Rehoboam’s foolish decision documents the shattering of the ideal of “all Israel” and concludes with the thought that the people of Israel now exist as a house divided. Sadly, this state of affairs will remain as such until both northern and southern kingdoms are swallowed up by the ancient superpowers of Assyria and Babylonia respectively. . . The historical story tends to demonstrate considerable literary sophistication, including the development of a plot (the continuation of the Davidic monarchy), conflict (the threat to the unity of Israel), characterization or character development (as seen in Rehoboam’s interaction with the two groups of advisers), and even subplots (the intervention by prophets of God, e.g., Ahijah [10:15] and Shemaiah [11:1–4]). At the risk of oversimplifying a complex sociopolitical situation, a combination of interrelated factors make taxation an issue. The loss of revenue from satellite states that regained their autonomy during the latter years of Solomon’s decline deplete the royal treasuries (1 Kings 11:14–25). The support of the multilayered bureaucracy of Solomon’s administration suck vast amounts of resources from the general populace (4:20–28). Finally, all this is compounded by the extravagance and waste characteristic of Solomon’s social and economic policies (10:14–22).

Mark Boda: Second Chronicles 10 shatters the idyllic picture the Chronicler has created in his depiction of the united kingdom to this point (1 Chr 10 – 2 Chr 9). This negative information represents a significant shift in tone, which will continue for the remainder of the work (chs 10 – 36). While the Chronicler’s narrative has highlighted the glorious foundation of the dynasty by David and Solomon and the positive benefits of obedience to the Lord, the remaining account will supplement this by recounting both the positive benefits of obedience to Yahweh as well as the negative consequences of disobedience. The striking difference can be discerned in terms of both the narrative flow and the theological analysis of the accounts.

Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king - Rehoboam is the only son of Solomon mentioned (1Chr 3:10), but surely he had others since he had 1000 wives and concubines! 

Ron Daniel - Rehoboam Goes To Shechem - You may wonder why Israel gathered at Shechem to make Rehoboam king, rather than going to Jerusalem. It may have simply been because Shechem was centrally located in the middle of Israel, between the northern region of Galilee and Jerusalem in the south. However, it would seem that although the Davidic dynasty was being honored, the people had some issues that they wanted discussed before they unilaterally affirmed their new king

David Guzik: Rehoboam was the only son of Solomon that we know by name. Solomon had 1000 wives and concubines, yet we read of one son he had to bear up his name, and he was a fool. This demonstrates that sin is a bad way of building up a family. . . Shechem was also the geographical center of the northern tribes. All in all, it showed that Rehoboam was in a position of weakness, having to meet the ten northern tribes on their territory, instead of demanding that representatives come to Jerusalem.

Warren Wiersbe: Rehoboam represented the third generation of the Davidic dynasty, and so often it's the third generation that starts to tear down what the previous generations have built up. The people of Israel served the Lord during Joshua's days and during the days of the elders he had trained, but when the third generation came along, they turned to idols, and the nation fell apart (Judg. 2:7-10). I've seen this same phenomenon in businesses and local churches.

Raymond Dillard on Shechem -  Strategically located at the eastern mouth of the pass between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, with an ample water supply and fertile plain, Shechem was a military, political, and religious center for ancient Israel from the time of the patriarchs. Abraham and Jacob both worshiped there (Gen 12:6–7; 33:18–20). Jacob’s sons Simeon and Levi attacked the city after the rape of their sister Dinah (Gen 34). Joseph searched there for his brothers (Gen 37:12–14), and his bones were eventually interred there (Josh 24:26; Acts 7:16). Shechem was a site of covenant renewal under Joshua (Josh 24), and it was one of the designated cities of refuge (Josh 21:21). The abortive kingdom of Abimelech failed there (Judg 9). The fate of the city during the invasions of the Assyrians and Babylonians is not mentioned; during the intertestamental period it became the religious center of the Samaritans (John 4). Rehoboam journeys to this ancient site of politics, worship, and covenanting; though no covenant is specifically mentioned, the procedure appears quite analogous to that followed with David (2 Sam 3:6–21; 5:1–3; cf. 2 Chr 23:3).

Iain Duguid on Then Rehoboam went to Shechem - Rehoboam’s going to “Shechem” is a hint of tensions. David had been made king at Hebron (1 Chron. 11:3) and Solomon at Jerusalem (1 Chron. 29:22), but Shechem was an ancient center, associated with the ancestor Jacob/Israel (Gen. 33:18– 20; 35:10) and the covenant renewal ceremony under Joshua (Joshua 24). Identity as “Israel” was deeper than allegiance to a Davidic king in Jerusalem.

Ryrie - This chapter describes the division of the kingdom of Judah from the majority of Israel. Because the northern division (Israel) was apostate from the beginning, the chronicler does not mention Jeroboam's being made king (1 Kings 12:20). See 1 Kings 12:1-33. 

Adam Clarke: - The people apply to Rehoboam to ease them of their burdens,

  • 1-4. - Rejecting the advice of the aged counsellors, and following that of the young men, he gives them an ungracious answer,
  • 5-14. - The people are discouraged, and ten tribes revolt,
  • 15-17. - They stone Hadoram, who went to collect the tribute; and Rehoboam but barely escapes,
  • 18, 19. - Rehoboam raises an army, purposing to reduce the ten tribes; but is prevented by Shemaiah the prophet, 1-4.

Matthew Henry Notes: Chapter: 11

We are here going on with the history of Rehoboam.

I. His attempt to recover the ten tribes he has lost, and the letting fall of that attempt in obedience to the divine command (2Ch 10:1-4).

II. His successful endeavours to preserve the two tribes that remained (2Ch 10:5-12).

III. The resort of the priests and Levites to him (2Ch 10:13-17).

IV. An account of his wives and children (2Ch 10:18-23).

How the ten tribes deserted the house of David we read in the foregoing chapter. They had formerly sat loose to that family (2 Sa. 20:1, 2), and now they quite threw it off, not considering how much it would weaken the common interest and take Israel down from that pitch of glory at which it had arrived in the last reign. But thus the kingdom must be corrected as well as the house of David.

1. Rehoboam at length, like a bold man, raises an army, with a design to reduce the revolters, v. 1. Judah and Benjamin were not only resolved to continue their allegiance to him, but ready to give him the best assistance they could for the recovery of his right. Judah was his own tribe, that owned him some years before the rest did; Benjamin was the tribe in which Jerusalem, or the greatest part of it, stood, which perhaps was one reason why that tribe clave to him.

2. Yet, like a conscientious man, when God forbade him to prosecute this design, in obedience to him he let it fall, either because he reverenced the divine authority or because he knew that he should not prosper if he should go contrary to God's command, but instead of retrieving what was lost would be in danger of losing what he had. It is dangerous undertaking any thing, but especially undertaking a war, contrary to the will of God. God calls him (v. 3), Rehoboam the son of Solomon, to intimate that this was determined for the sin of Solomon, and it would be to no purpose to oppose a decree that had gone forth. They obeyed the words of the Lord; and though it looked mean, and would turn to their reproach among their neighbours, yet, because God would have it so, they laid down their arms.

3. Like a discreet man, he fortified his own country. He saw it was to no purpose to think of reducing those that had revolted. A few good words might have prevented their defection, but now all the forces of his kingdom cannot bring them back. The think is done, and so it must rest; it is his wisdom to make the best of it. Perhaps the same young counsellors that had advised him to answer them roughly urged him to fight them, notwithstanding the divine inhibition; but he had paid dearly enough for being advised by them, and therefore now, we may suppose, his aged and experienced counsellors were hearkened to, and they advised him to submit to the will of God concerning what was lost, and to make it his business to keep what he had. It was probably by their advice that,

(1.) He fortified his frontiers, and many of the principal cities of his kingdom, which, in Solomon's peaceable reign, no care had been taken for the defence of.

(2.) He furnished them with good stores of victuals and arms, 2Ch 10:11, 12. Because God forbade him to fight, he did not therefore sit down sullenly, and say that he would do nothing for the public safety if he might not do that, but prudently provided against an attack. Those that may not be conquerors, yet may be builders.

QUESTION - Who was King Rehoboam in the Bible?

ANSWER - Rehoboam was the son of King Solomon and king of Judah for seventeen years (931–913 BC). Solomon had turned away from God, and God told Solomon that He would tear the kingdom from him yet leave him one tribe. God also promised, for the sake of David, not to tear the kingdom away during Solomon’s lifetime but during that of his son (1 Kings 11:9–13). Shortly after Rehoboam became king, a rebellion placed the ten northern tribes under the rule of Jeroboam and left Rehoboam with his own tribe (Judah) and the tribe of Benjamin.

Jeroboam started out as a servant of Solomon in charge of forced labor (1 Kings 11:28). A prophet told Jeroboam that he would be king over Israel (1 Kings 11:26–40). At some point, Jeroboam fled from Solomon to Egypt. But when Rehoboam went to Shechem to be installed as king of Israel, Jeroboam returned. The people sent Jeroboam to the new king to ask him to lighten the heavy load of labor and taxes that Solomon had laid on them (1 Kings 12:1–4; 2 Chronicles 10:3–4). The older advisers gave King Rehoboam the wise counsel to honor the people’s request and thus win their loyalty (1 Kings 12:6–7; 2 Chronicles 10:6–7). King Rehoboam asked the young men who had grown up with him for advice as well. They foolishly told the new king to threaten even harsher conditions. Rehoboam took the young men’s advice, and the people rebelled, abandoning the house of David and ultimately making Jeroboam their king (1 Kings 12:8–20; 2 Chronicles 10:8–19). Rehoboam fled to Jerusalem (1 Kings 12:18; 2 Chronicles 10:18), where he mustered 180,000 warriors from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to mount an attack. But Shemaiah, a prophet of God, delivered God’s message to Rehoboam: the troops should go home because the divided kingdom had come from the Lord. The people of Judah wisely listened and did not invade Israel (1 Kings 12:21–24; 2 Chronicles 11:1–4). However, there continued to be warfare between Jeroboam and Rehoboam throughout Rehoboam’s reign (1 Kings 14:30; 2 Chronicles 12:15).

In the northern kingdom, Jeroboam promoted idolatry and removed the Levites from service, so the priests and Levites came to Rehoboam and served at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 11:13–15), along with all those who wanted to seek the one true God (2 Chronicles 11:16). Second Chronicles 11:17 says, “They strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and for three years they made Rehoboam the son of Solomon secure, for they walked for three years in the way of David and Solomon.” Rehoboam also built multiple cities for defense, with strong fortresses, commanders, and supplies (2 Chronicles 11:5–12). King Rehoboam “acted wisely” by placing his sons throughout the districts of Judah and Benjamin, supplied ample provisions, and found them wives (2 Chronicles 11:23).

Unfortunately, after King Rehoboam became established in the southern kingdom, he abandoned the ways of God (2 Chronicles 12:1). In the fifth year of Rehoboam’s reign, Shishak king of Egypt captured the fortified cities in Judah and set out against Jerusalem. Shemaiah the prophet told Rehoboam, “This is what the Lord says, ‘You have abandoned me; therefore, I now abandon you to Shishak” (2 Chronicles 12:5). “The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, ‘The Lord is just’” (verse 6). Seeing their humility, God said He would not destroy them but would allow them to become subjects of Shishak. The Pharaoh attacked Jerusalem and removed all the treasures from the temple and the palace (1 Kings 14:26; 2 Chronicles 12:9). Rehoboam did make bronze shields to replace the gold ones his father had made (1 Kings 14:27; 2 Chronicles 12:10–11).

Second Chronicles 12:12 says, “Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger turned from him, and he was not totally destroyed. Indeed, there was some good in Judah.” “Some good in Judah” seems a fitting way to characterize the reign of Rehoboam. He was unwise and perhaps brash in his treatment of the forced laborers, thus leading to his loss of the kingdom. However, that loss was God-ordained, and Rehoboam proceeded to follow the ways of the Lord for some time. But then he turned from God, and the nation slid into moral and spiritual decay. “Judah did evil in the eyes of the LORD. By the sins they committed they stirred up his jealous anger more than those who were before them had done” (1 Kings 14:22). They set up high places and had male shrine prostitutes in the land, which King Asa, Rehoboam’s grandson, would later remove.

From King Rehoboam we learn the importance of wise counselors and maintaining faithfulness to God. When Rehoboam went his own way, things did not go well for his kingdom. When he listened to God, Judah was secure. GotQuestions.org

QUESTION -  What is the importance of Shechem in the Bible?

ANSWER - Shechem was an ancient biblical city in Israel. Today, the area of Shechem is known as Tell Balata, an archaeological site near Nablus in the West Bank. The town was located between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim in central Israel, just southeast of Samaria. The name Shechem means “shoulder” in Hebrew, which is appropriate considering its location as a pass between two mountains.

Shechem was a place of promise. First mentioned in Genesis 12:6–7, Shechem was the location where Abram stopped at the tree of Moreh and received God’s promise of the land. Shechem became part of the Promised Land of Israel, was given to the Kohathites, and served as a Levitical city of refuge (Joshua 21:20–21). Shechem was the place where Joseph’s remains were buried (Joshua 24:32). During the time of the divided kingdom of Israel, Shechem was the capital of the northern kingdom for a while (1 Kings 12:1).

Shechem was a place of commitment. In the area of Shechem, the Israelites were reminded of God’s covenantal relationship to them, which He had first made to Abraham. Before they entered Canaan, the Israelites had been instructed to pronounce the blessings and the curses of the law on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, respectively (Deuteronomy 11:26–30). They did this under Joshua’s leadership after the battle of Ai (Joshua 8:33). Later, a renewal of the covenant also occurred at Shechem, when Joshua gathered the Israelites to challenge them to follow the Lord (Joshua 24:1, 14–15).

Shechem was a place of worship. When the Lord appeared to him at Shechem, Abram built an altar to God at the site (Genesis 12:7). Abram’s grandson, Jacob, also built an altar at Shechem, calling it “El Elohe Israel,” or “mighty God of Israel” (Genesis 33:18–20). Even in the time of Joshua, the altar at Shechem was a holy site of the Lord (Joshua 24:26).

Shechem was a place of man’s sin. A Hivite chieftain named Hamor was the father of a man named Shechem, who lived in the city that bore his name. Shechem raped Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, and two of Jacob’s sons avenged their sister by slaughtering all the men in the city, including Shechem and Hamor (Genesis 34:1–29).

In the time of the judges, the Shechemites sided with Abimelek, a son of one of Gideon’s concubines (Judges 9:1–6). Abimelek positioned himself as king among the Shechemites, killing all but one of Gideon’s other sons. Jotham, the surviving son, pronounced a curse on Abimelek and the Shechemites, and after three years the city of Shechem turned against the would-be king (Judges 9:16–20). In response to Shechem’s rejection, Abimelek attacked the city and killed a thousand men and women (Judges 9:48–49; 57).

Shechem is only mentioned in the New Testament in Stephen’s sermon (Acts 7:16). Some scholars identify Sychar in Samaria as the ancient city of Shechem (John 4:5–6), but most believe that Sychar was a distinct place.

Shechem is important in the Bible because the city displayed man’s sinfulness and failure to properly honor God, while at the same time revealing God’s faithfulness.GotQuestions.org

2 Chronicles 10:2 When Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon), Jeroboam returned from Egypt.

  • Jeroboam (KJV): 1Ki 11:26,28,40 12:2 

When Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon), Jeroboam returned from Egypt.

J Vernon McGee - The Book of 2 Chronicles does not tell us this, but back in Kings we were told that this man Jeroboam had attempted to lead a rebellion even before the death of Solomon. He was forced to flee for his life and had gone down into the land of Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Solomon. Now he has returned with the intent of raising up a rebellion in the kingdom.

Guzik - Jeroboam was mentioned previously in 1 Kings 11:26-40. God told him through a prophet that he would rule over a portion of a divided Israel. Naturally, Jeroboam was interested in Solomon’s successor. He was specifically part of the group of elders that addressed Rehoboam.

Ron Daniel - Jeroboam - There were political storms brewing behind the scenes. Taking advantage of the situation was a man named Jeroboam. The Chronicler has only briefly mentioned Jeroboam in his book (1Chron. 5:17), clearly making the assumption that you know who this guy is. But since most of us aren't as familiar with him as the Chronicler's audience, let's refresh our memory.

1Kings 11 tells us the story of Jeroboam, the son of a widow woman from the tribe of Ephraim. He had rebelled against King Solomon because of the building projects that Solomon was undertaking. Why?

1Kings 11:28 Now the man Jeroboam was a valiant warrior, and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious, he appointed him over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph.

The house of Joseph consisted of Manasseh and Ephraim, Jeroboam's own people. While Solomon had not enslaved these Israelites (2Chr. 8:9), they were being forced to work. Apparantly, Jeroboam opposed this policy vehemently.

When word got around that the prophet Ahijah had said that ten tribes of Israel would be given into Jeroboam's hand as king of Israel,

1Kings 11:40 Solomon sought therefore to put Jeroboam to death; but Jeroboam arose and fled to Egypt to Shishak king of Egypt, and he was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.

Jeroboam was still living in Egypt when he heard the news of Solomon's death. He decided it was time to return to Israel. When the Israelites heard that he had returned, it seems that they thought he would be a good spokesman for their cause, and sent for him.

ISBE on Shechem - In the time of the kings we find that the city was once more a gathering-place of the nation. It was evidently the center, especially for the northern tribes; and hither Rehoboam came in the hope of getting his succession to the throne confirmed (1 Ki 12:1; 2 Ch 10:1). At the disruption Jeroboam fortified the city and made it his residence (2 Ch 10:25; Ant, VIII, viii, 4). The capital of the Northern Kingdom was moved, however, first to Tirzah and then to Samaria, and Shechem declined in political importance. Indeed it is not named again in the history of the monarchy. Apparently there were Israelites in it after the captivity, some of whom on their way to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem met a tragic fate at the hands of Ishmael ben Nethaniah (Jer 41:5 ff). It became the central city of the Samaritans, whose shrine was built on Mt. Gerizim (Sirach 50:26; Ant, XI, viii, 6; XII, i, 1; XIII, iii, 4). Shechem was captured by John Hyrcanus in 132 BC (Ant., XIII, ix, 1; BJ, I, ii, 6). It appears in the New Testament only in the speech of Stephen (Acts 7:16, King James Version "Sychem"). Some (e.g. Smith, DB, under the word) would identify it with Sychar of Jn 4:5; but see SYCHAR. Under the Romans it became Flavia Neapolis. In later times it was the seat of a bishopric; the names of five occupants of the see are known.

QUESTION - What is the story of Rehoboam and Jeroboam?

ANSWERRehoboam and Jeroboam were both kings reigning in Israel’s divided kingdom. Rehoboam was one of Solomon’s sons and king of Judah in the south (1 Kings 11:43). Jeroboam was one of Solomon’s former officials, an Ephraimite, and king of Israel in the north (1 Kings 11:26).

While Solomon was still alive and Jeroboam was working for him, a prophet named Ahijah told Jeroboam that God would take ten of the twelve tribes of Israel away from Solomon’s son Rehoboam and give them to Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:29–31). This judgment against Solomon’s house came because they had forsaken God and worshiped idols (verse 33). Along with the announcement that Jeroboam would be king, God gave him a conditional promise: “If you do whatever I command you and walk in obedience to me and do what is right in my eyes by obeying my decrees and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you” (verse 38). When Solomon heard that God had chosen Jeroboam to rule, the king tried to kill Jeroboam, who fled to Egypt (verse 40).

After Solomon died, his son Rehoboam became king, and Jeroboam returned from Egypt (1 Kings 12:1–2). But Rehoboam was a vain and foolish man. Jeroboam, a “mighty man of valor,” warned Rehoboam not to make the same mistake his father had made by taxing them heavily to finance a luxurious lifestyle (verses 3–4). Rehoboam defied the advice to lighten the yoke of oppression: “My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions!” (1 Kings 12:14).

The people responded to Rehoboam’s harshness by rebelling against the new king and making Jeroboam king over Israel (1 Kings 12:16–20). Only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin followed Rehoboam, son of Solomon. The other ten tribes sided with Jeroboam. King Rehoboam gathered 180,000 warriors in an attempt to take back the ten tribes, but God prevented it, saying, “This is my doing” (1 Kings 12:24). So King Rehoboam returned to Jerusalem, the capital of Judah. Jeroboam reigned from Shechem and later from Tirzah in Israel.

Once established in the northern kingdom, King Jeroboam feared that, if the people traveled to the temple in Jerusalem to worship, they would return to Rehoboam. So he set up centers of worship in Bethel and Dan, building golden calves and telling the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt” (1 Kings 12:28). Jeroboam made shrines on the high places, installed priests who were not of the tribe of Levi, appointed a festival, and sacrificed at the altars (1 Kings 12:31–33). In spite of God’s offer to establish his dynasty in Israel, Jeroboam chose idolatry, and the prophet Ahijah told Jeroboam that his family would not endure (1 Kings 14).

As Jeroboam was turning people away from God in the northern kingdom, Rehoboam was turning people away from God in the southern kingdom. Rehoboam reigned in Jerusalem for seventeen years, but “he did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord” (2 Chronicles 12:14). After Rehoboam there were good kings and bad kings over Judah. Every other generation or so, a great king stepped forward and turned the people back to the true God. That never happened among the kings of the northern kingdom. They all followed the mold of Jeroboam. Jeroboam reigned over the ten tribes of Israel for twenty-two years and was succeeded by his son Nadab. But then Nadab was murdered after two years on the throne, and the assassin killed all of Jeroboam’s family, fulfilling Ahijah’s prophecy (1 Kings 15:25–30). All subsequent monarchs of the kingdom of Israel followed Jeroboam’s lead. Not one of them was faithful to Israel’s God.

The schism that occurred during the days of Rehoboam and Jeroboam was the end of a united Israel. This division continued during their reigns: “There was continual warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam” (2 Chronicles 12:15) and for centuries afterward.GotQuestions.org

QUESTION - Who was King Jeroboam in the Bible?

ANSWER - Jeroboam was from the tribe of Ephraim, a servant of King Solomon’s, and the son of a widow. He later became the first king of the divided northern kingdom of Israel. He is first mentioned in 1 Kings 11:26: “Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, a servant of Solomon, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also lifted up his hand against the king.”

Jeroboam was a skilled worker, and, “when Solomon saw how well the young man did his work,” he placed Jeroboam over the labor force of the tribes of Joseph (1 Kings 11:28). One day, the prophet Ahijah approached Jeroboam with a prophecy. The prophet tore a new cloak into 12 pieces and said, “Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and give you ten tribes’” (1 Kings 11:31). The idol worship of the Israelites caused God to divide the kingdom (verse 33). The house of David would retain a remnant of the kingdom, including Jerusalem, because of God’s covenant with David (verse 32).

After this, “Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to Egypt . . . and stayed there until Solomon’s death” (1 Kings 11:40). Following Solomon’s death, Solomon’s son Rehoboam became king and foolishly threatened to make life more difficult for the people of the land (1 Kings 12:14). This led to a rebellion against Rehoboam, and the ten northern tribes crowned Jeroboam as their king (1 Kings 12:20). The division predicted by Ahijah came to pass (1 Kings 12:15).

Jeroboam had been promised great blessings and a continuing dynasty if he would follow the Lord (1 Kings 11:38). However, Jeroboam did not obey the Lord. Instead, he had two golden calves made for the people to worship in the northern kingdom and made priests and celebrations for them. This idolatry is often referred to as “the sins of Jeroboam” in later chapters of 1 and 2 Kings.

King Jeroboam was confronted by an unnamed prophet from Judah (1 Kings 13:1–10). Later, the prophet Ahijah pronounced a severe judgment on Jeroboam and his family because of Jeroboam’s blatant rejection of the Lord: “I am going to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns dung, until it is all gone. Dogs will eat those belonging to Jeroboam who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country. The Lord has spoken!” (1 Kings 14:10–11).

In total, Jeroboam reigned over the northern kingdom of Israel for 22 years, and then “he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his place.” Nadab reigned over Israel for Israel two years, continuing his father’s idolatry. Then Baasha plotted against Nadab, assassinated him in Philistine territory, and usurped the throne (1 Kings 15:27–28). “As soon as [Baasha] began to reign, he killed Jeroboam’s whole family. He did not leave Jeroboam anyone that breathed, but destroyed them all, according to the word of the Lord given through his servant Ahijah the Shilonite.” The dire prophecy against the house of Jeroboam came true.

Though Jeroboam began well, he did not end well. God raised him up as a king, yet as king he plunged the entire nation into sin. His life offers an example of the powerful influence a person can have over others in a negative way. His judgment shows the truth of Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”

A little over a century after Jeroboam’s death, another king named Jeroboam ruled over Israel. King Jeroboam II came to power in 793 BC. He also did evil in the eyes of the Lord (2 Kings 14:24). However, the Lord granted Jeroboam II military victories against the Syrians and used Jeroboam II to preserve His people (2 Kings 14:27–28). GotQuestions.org

Related Resources:

2 Chronicles 10:3 So they sent and summoned him. When Jeroboam and all Israel came, they spoke to Rehoboam, saying,

  • they sent (KJV): 1Ki 12:3 

So they sent and summoned him. When Jeroboam and all Israel came, they spoke to Rehoboam, saying,

John Mayer: Because Jeroboam was a man of great note among the people—having been made a prince over them by Solomon in the past—the people sent for him as the most capable man to speak on their behalf to Rehoboam concerning their grievance. For he made it clear that he and the people would revolt if no redress of errors was promised, and that he would be set up as the king of the people. And it is to be assumed that the people had heard of the prophecy given to Jeroboam by Ahijah, who was of the same tribe. That is, the people were aware of God’s purpose in advancing Jeroboam, which is why the people sought his help above others. And that’s how Jeroboam came to be the spokesman for the people.

Peter Wallace: Notice that Jeroboam is placed at the head of the petitioners in verse 3 and again in verse 12. This is a very defiant move on the part of the people. They have called the one person whom Rehoboam most hates as their spokesman. And they are saying to the crown prince, “Lighten our yoke or else we will not serve you.” This is plainly not a group of people who believe in the Divine Right of Kings. You may be the son of David, but remember that we didn’t always follow David! What makes you think that we will follow you! Give us the wrong answer – and we’ll follow Jeroboam!

2 Chronicles 10:4 “Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.”

  • Thy father (KJV): 1Sa 8:11-18 1Ki 12:4 Isa 47:6 Mt 11:29,30 23:4 1Jn 5:3 
  • grievous (KJV): Ex 1:13,14 2:23 1Ki 4:20,25 9:22 


Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you - This is exactly what Samuel had warned Israel about when they wanted a king (1Sa 8:10-19+), but they did not listen and now over a century later the "chickens would come home to roost!"

Guzik makes an excellent point - Sadly, the elders of Israel made no spiritual demand or request on Rehoboam. Seemingly, the gross idolatry and apostasy of Solomon didn’t bother them at all.

Ron Daniel - 10:3-5 Lighten Our Load - As magnificent as Solomon's reign was regarding wealth and buildings, these wonders had come at a costly price on the people. There was too much forced labor, heavy taxation, and unrelenting pressure put on the people. Solomon had been wise, but he hadn't been gentle or caring about his citizens. They had put up with enough. They hoped that Rehoboam's reign would bring about a change in public policy. Rehoboam told them that he would give his answer to their request in three days' time.

Raymond Dillard: The issues were heavy taxation and forced labor, and the delegates from the Northern tribes were negotiating reductions as a condition of recognizing Rehoboam’s sovereignty. . . Both Kings and Chronicles avow that forced labor was not imposed on the Israelites by Solomon (2:17–18; 8:7–10; 1 Kgs 9:15, 20–22), yet both record what appear to be instances of the practice. The hatred of the corvée (10:4) and the dispatch of Hadoram (10:18) both presume its application to Israelites. The practice continued under subsequent kings and was denounced (1 Kgs 15:22 // 2 Chr 16:6; Jer 22:13–14)

Andrew Hill: God had built the release of debt and servitude into the calendar through his law (the sabbatical and Jubilee years, cf. Lev. 25). Curiously, however, the number of years decreed for the “Sabbath rest” of the land suggests that neither of these were ever practiced by the kings of Israel or Judah (cf. 2 Chron. 36:21; i.e., the seventy years of Hebrew exile from the land of covenant promise implies that sabbatical year had not been kept for nearly five centuries—coinciding roughly with the beginning of the monarchy in Israel).

2 Chronicles 10:5 He said to them, “Return to me again in three days.” So the people departed.  

  • Come again (KJV): 1Ki 12:5 Pr 3:28 


He said to them, “Return to me again in three days.” So the people departed.  

Andrew Hill: The northern tribes demand some modification of the king’s forced labor requirements and a reduction in taxes as a condition for fealty to the Davidic monarchy. The conditional nature of the proposal from the tribal representatives indicates they are looking for more than words—they seek a diplomatic solution resulting in a pact. The three-day delay (10:5) buys time for Rehoboam to consider his options and provides a “cooling off” period for the party bringing the grievance.

2 Chronicles 10:6 Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you counsel me to answer this people?”

  • took counsel (KJV): Job 12:12,13 32:7 Pr 12:15 19:20 27:10 Jer 42:2-5,20 
  • What counsel (KJV): 2Sa 16:20 17:5,6 

Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you counsel me to answer this people

J.A. Thompson: The elders were important in Israel's earlier patriarchal and tribal society (2 Sam 3:17; 5:3; 17:4, 15; 1 Kgs 20:7–8; 1 Chr 11:3). It would have been a wise and gracious decision by Rehoboam to follow the elders' advice.

John Schultz: The first thing that strikes us in this section is the existence of a generational gap that resembles a modern day mentality in which younger people hold the older generation as unreliable and blame them for all the evils in the world. The famous expression “Don’t trust anyone over thirty!” is, evidently, an age-old phenomenon.

Ron Daniel - 10:6-7 Counsel Of The Elders The first counsellors Rehoboam sought out were the ones that his father Solomon had used. They had seen the oppression of the people during Solomon's reign, and agreed that it was time to show kindness to them. If Rehoboam was known as a gentle ruler, the Jews would serve him faithfully.

2 Chronicles 10:7 They spoke to him, saying, “If you will be kind to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”

  • If thou be kind (KJV): 1Ki 12:7 Pr 15:1 
  • speak good (KJV): Ge 49:21 2Sa 15:2-6 

They spoke to him, saying, “If you will be kind to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever - They basically tell him to practice Pr 15:1 "A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. "

John Mayer: A Gentle Response Turns Away Wrath. The book of Proverbs says: “A fool gives vent to his spirit.” Yet in this case the people had already become exasperated with the new king. But it certainly would have aided Rehoboam to have been lenient and to have replied gently at this time. For this is a general principle among kings: By no means should they show rigor in the beginning of their reign. Rather they should seek to win the hearts of the subjects of their kingdom.

Peter Wallace: The old men understood the situation. They knew that if Rehoboam humbles himself, the people will follow him. But the young men think that humility is a sign of weakness. They confuse servant leadership with wimpiness. Humility is not wimpiness! It takes courage and strength to be humble.

2 Chronicles 10:8 But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him.

  • he forsook (KJV): 2Ch 25:15,16 2Sa 17:14 Pr 1:25 9:9 19:20 25:12 Ec 10:2,3,16 Isa 30:1 
  • the young men (KJV): It was a custom in different countries to educate with the heir to the throne, young noblemen of nearly the same age. This, as Calmet observes, answered two great and important ends:  1.  It excited the prince to emulation; that he might, as far as possible, surpass in all manly exercises, and in all acts of prudence and virtue, those whom one day he was to surpass in the elevation and dignity of his station.  2.  That he might acquire a correct knowledge of the disposition and views of those who were likely to be, under him, the highest officers of the state, and consequently know the better how to trust and employ them.


But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him

Raymond Dillard: Rehoboam was forty-one at the time of his accession (2Ch 12:13; 1 Kgs 14:21); neither he nor those who had grown up with him were “striplings,” though they were short of the status and wisdom of the elders.

J.A. Thompson on the young men - They may have been royal princes, half-brothers of Rehoboam, or civil servants. They had grown up with him and were contemporaries.

David Guzik: This is a common phenomenon today – what some call “advice shopping.” The idea is that you keep asking different people for advice until you find someone who will tell you what you want to hear. This is an unwise and ungodly way to get counsel. It is better to have a few trusted counselors you will listen to – even when they tell you what you don’t want to hear.

Ron Daniel - 2Ch 10:8-15 Counsel Of The Young Men - Rehoboam didn't like the idea of a kinder, gentler king. This would mean that he could never be as productive and prosperous as his father had been.

And so, as many people are prone to do, when he didn't get advice he liked, he simple sought another bunch who would tell him what he wanted to hear. It wasn't hard to find them, he simply consulted his high school yearbook! The young men who'd grown up with him and served him were the ones he asked next. Not surprisingly, they told him what he wanted to hear.

Not only would things not be changing for the better in Israel, they would change for the worse. "You thought my father King Solomon was mean? Just wait'll you get a load of me!"

Solomon had wondered what his son's kingdom would be like. He said that everything he'd worked for would be left...

Eccl. 2:18-19 ...to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool?

Solomon died before finding out the answer, but I think it is clear to us now. It really is hard to believe that this was the man whose father had written,

Prov. 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

From God

And yet, we must not forget that

2Chr. 10:15 ...it was a turn of events from God that the LORD might establish His word...

Even when the king is acting wickedly and unjustly, we need to remember,

Prov. 21:1 The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.

The destiny of nations is ultimately in the hands of the Lord.

G Campbell Morgan - The old men had counselled Rehoboam to conciliate the people by yielding to their appeal for relief from burdens imposed upon them by Solomon. His folly was manifested in his allowing himself to be influenced by the advice of the hot-headed youth of his court, who counselled him to rule autocratically, and to impose still heavier burdens on the people. The advice of the elders was inspired by desire for true national well-being. The advice of the young men was inspired by selfish passion for place and power. The whole situation was a difficult one. There is no doubt that Solomon had been an autocrat, and had ruled with a hand of iron under the velvet. Some of the worst tyrants the world has ever had have- robbed the people of their rights, and kept them passive by the drug of gorgeous display. So did Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence, and so did Charles I. With the death of Solomon men breathed anew, and discovered their chains. Now was the time for a bid for freedom. Jeroboam returned from Egypt to be the spokesman of this movement. Here was Rehoboam's chance, and he missed it by taking wrongly motived advice. The result was immediate. Ten tribes revolted. The nation was rent in twain, and, judging by human calculation, Judah was on the verge of a war which would have ended in her defeat and subjugation. Then God interfered. No human folly has ever been permitted to continue long enough to thwart His purposes. Shemaiah, a prophet of God, declared to Rehoboam that the revolt was in the Divine plan. He immediately submitted; and the period of the two kingdoms commenced.


2 Chronicles 10:8 “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” (2 Chronicles 10:8).

When Rehoboam followed his father Solomon to the throne, he made a colossal mistake. The people had asked him to ease up on the oppressive conditions which Solomon had imposed upon the people in the latter years of his reign. Rehoboam sought counsel to know how to respond to the people. Our text tells of the poor choice which Rehoboam made which eventually resulted in the kingdom splitting. Rehoboam acts much like many of our politicians. He had no heart for the people but only for himself. It ruined the government. Self-aggrandizement never built a strong nation of character. When politicians are more concerned about their privileges than their responsibilities, it bodes ill for the people over whom they govern. So it was when Rehoboam came to the throne and showed which counsel he preferred.


“He forsook the counsel which the old men gave him.” These old men had experience and wisdom. Their counsel was both compassionate and courageous.

• Compassionate counsel. These older men told Rehoboam to ease up on the oppressive rules of the government. A ruler’s power is not to hurt the people but to help them. But too often rulers use their power to fleece the people rather than “feed” them (1 Chronicles 11:2). The older counsellors were compassionate for the people.

• Courageous counsel. The old men could not help but know that their counsel was not popular with the king. Seldom is right popular. Wrong usually is the popular philosophy of mankind. But these older men were brave and spoke what was right anyway. It takes courage to speak the truth especially in places where the truth is not acceptable.


“Took counsel with the young men that were brought up with him, that stood before him.” These were not good men, for they knew nothing but luxury and ease having been brought up with Rehoboam. Their counsel, not unexpectantly, was cruel and cowardly.

• Cruel counsel. These young men counseled Rehoboam to be even harder on the people than Solomon. Raise the taxes, oppress the people was their advice. This was extremely cruel to the Israelites but the young counsellors were thinking of themselves and wanted to be sure their income was not reduced. Selfishness is cruel.

• Cowardly counsel. These young men had their finger in the air and knew what sort of counsel Rehoboam wanted. These young men thought of their position and wanted to be in favor with Rehoboam. So like many preachers today, they told Rehoboam what he wanted to hear, not what he needed to hear. It takes much courage to speak and live the truth and these young men did not have such character.

2 Chronicles 10:9 So he said to them, “What counsel do you give that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?”

  • What advice (KJV): 2Ch 10:6 2Sa 17:5,6 1Ki 22:6-8 
  • Ease (KJV): 2Ch 10:4

So he said to them, “What counsel do you give that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us

2 Chronicles 10:10 The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall say to the people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter for us.’ Thus you shall say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins!

  • Thus shalt (KJV): 2Sa 17:7-13 Pr 21:30 Isa 19:11-13 
  • My little finger (KJV): "My weakness," says the Targumist, "shall be stronger than the might of my father." 1Ki 12:10,11 Pr 10:14 13:16 14:16 18:6,7 28:25 29:23 

The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall say to the people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter for us.’ Thus you shall say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins!

2 Chronicles 10:11 ‘Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”  

  • my father (KJV): 2Ch 10:4 
  • put (KJV): Heb. laded
  • I will put (KJV): Ex 1:13,14 5:5-9,18 1Sa 8:18 Isa 47:6 58:6 Jer 28:13,14 Mt 11:29 
  • scorpions (KJV): Lu 10:19 Rev 9:3,5,10 

‘Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”  The "scorpions" probably referred to particularly painful multi-tailed lashes with barbed hooks, although it may be possible that the threatened punishment involved actual scorpion stings.

2 Chronicles 10:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had directed, saying, “Return to me on the third day.”

  • Come (KJV): 2Ch 10:5 1Ki 12:12-15 

So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had directed, saying, “Return to me on the third day.”

2 Chronicles 10:13 The king answered them harshly, and King Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the elders.

  • answered (KJV): Ge 42:7,30 Ex 10:28 1Sa 25:10,11 1Ki 20:6-11 Pr 15:1 
  • forsook (KJV): 2Ch 10:8 Pr 19:27 

The king answered them harshly, and King Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the elders - Two mistakes (1) harsh words and (2) forsaking older, wiser mens counsel. Have you ever done this? How did it work out for you? 

Matthew Henry Notes: Verses: 2Ch 10:13-23
I. How Rehoboam was strengthened by the accession of the priests and Levites, and all the devout and pious Israelites, to him, even all that were true to their God and their religion.

1. Jeroboam cast them off, that is, he set up such a way of worship as he knew they could not in conscience comply with, which obliged them to withdraw from his altar, and at the same time he would not allow them to go up to Jerusalem to worship at the altar there; so that he totally cast them off from executing the priest's office, 2Ch 10:14. And very willing he was that they should turn themselves out of their places, that room might be made for those mean and scandalous persons whom he ordained priests for the high places, 2Ch 10:15. Compare 1 Ki. 12:31. No marvel if he that cast off God cast off his ministers; they were not for his purpose, would not do whatever he might bid them do, would not serve his gods, nor worship the golden image which he had set up.

2. They thereupon left their suburbs and possessions, 2Ch 10:14. Out of the lot of each tribe the Levites had cities allowed them, where they were comfortable provided for and had opportunity of doing much good. But now they were driven out of all their cities except those in Judah and Benjamin. One would think their maintenance well settled, and yet they lost it. It was a comfort to them that the law so often reminded them that the Lord was their inheritance, and so they should find him when they were turned out of their house and possessions. But why did they leave their possessions?

(1.) Because they saw they could do no good among their neighbours, in whom (now that Jeroboam set up his calves) the old proneness to idolatry revived.

(2.) Because they themselves would be in continual temptation to some base compliances, and in danger of being drawn insensibly to that which was evil. If we pray, in sincerity, not to be led into temptation, we shall get and keep as far as we can out of the way of it.

(3.) Because, if they retained their integrity, they had reason to expect persecution from Jeroboam and his sons. The priests they made for the devils would not let the Lord's priests be long among them. No secular advantages whatsoever should draw us thither, or detain us there, where we are in danger of making shipwreck of faith and a good conscience.

3. They came to Judah and Jerusalem (2Ch 10:14) and presented themselves to Rehoboam, 2Ch 10:13, margin. Where should God's priests and Levites be, but where his altar was? Thither they came because it was their business to attend at the times appointed.

(1.) It was a mercy to them that they had a place of refuge to flee to, and that when Jeroboam cast them off there were those so near that would entertain them, and bid them welcome, and they were not forced into the lands of the heathen.

(2.) It was an evidence that they loved their work better than their maintenance, in that they left their suburbs and possessions in the country (where they might have lived at ease upon their own), because they were restrained from serving God there, and cast themselves upon God's providence and the charity of their brethren in coming to a place where they might have the free enjoyment of God's ordinances, according to his institution. Poverty in the way of duty is to be chosen rather than plenty in the way of sin. Better live upon alms, or die in a prison, with a good conscience, than roll in wealth and pleasure with a prostituted one.

(3.) It was the wisdom and praise of Rehoboam and his people that they bade them welcome, though they crowded themselves perhaps to make room for them. Conscientious refugees will bring a blessing along with them to the countries that entertain them, as they leave a curse behind them with those that expel them. Open the gates, that the righteous nation, which keepeth truth, may enter in; it will be good policy. See Isa. 26:1, 2.

4. When the priests and Levites came to Jerusalem all the devout pious Israelites of every tribe followed them. Such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel, that made conscience of their duty to God and were sincere and resolute in it, left the inheritance of their fathers and went and took houses in Jerusalem, that they might have free access to the altar of God and be out of the temptation to worship the calves, 2Ch 10:16. Note,

(1.) That is best for us which is best for our souls; and, in all our choices, advantages for religion must take place of all outward conveniences.

(2.) Where God's faithful priests are his faithful people should be. If Jeroboam cast off God's ministers, every true-born Israelite will think himself obliged to own them and stand by them. Forsake not the Levite, the out-cast Levite, as long as thou livest. When the ark removes do you remove and go after it, Jos. 3:3.

5. They strengthened the kingdom of Judah (2Ch 10:17), not only by the addition of so many persons to it, who, it is likely, brought what they could of their effects with them, but by their piety and their prayers they procured a blessing upon the kingdom which was a sanctuary to them. See Zec. 12:5. It is the interest of a nation to protect and encourage religion and religious people, and adds more than any thing to its strength. They made him and his people strong three years; for so long they walked in the way of David and Solomon, their good way. But when they forsook that, and so threw themselves out of God's favour and protection, the best friends they had could no longer help to strengthen them. We retain our strength while we cleave to God and our duty, and no longer.

II. How Rehoboam was weakened by indulging himself in his pleasures. He desired many wives, as his father did (2Ch 10:23), yet,

1. In this he was more wise than his father, that he does not appear to have married strange wives. The wives mentioned here were not only daughters of Israel, but of the family of David; one was a descendant from Eliab, David's brother (2Ch 10:18), another from Absalom, probably that Absalom who was David's son (2Ch 10:20), another from Jerimoth, David's son.

2. In this he was more happy than his father, that he had many sons and daughters; whereas we read not of more than one son that his father had. One can scarcely imagine that he had no more; but, if he had, they were not worth mentioning; whereas several of Rehoboam's sons are here named (2Ch 10:19, 20) as men of note, and such active men that he thought it his wisdom to disperse them throughout the countries of Judah and Benjamin (2Ch 10:23), either,

(1.) That they might not be rivals with his son Abijah, whom he designed for his successor, or rather,

(2.) Because he could repose a confidence in them for the preserving of the public peace and safety, could trust them with fenced cities, which he took care to have well victualled, that they might stand him in stead in case of an invasion. After-wisdom is better than none at all; nay, they say, "Wit is never good till it is bought;'' though he was dearly bought with the loss of a kingdom.

2 Chronicles 10:14 He spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.”

  • the advice (KJV): 2Ch 22:4,5 Pr 12:5 Da 6:7 
  • My father (KJV): 2Ch 10:10,11 Pr 17:14 Ec 2:19 7:8 10:16 Jas 3:14-18 4:1,2 


He spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions - Oh, how we need to watch our words, for these harsh words cause a rift that would last for the next 400 years and eventually led to destruction of the entire nation. I don't know if this psalm was written but it is one Rheoboam would have been advised to pray and practice 

Ps 141:3-4 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.  4 Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, To practice deeds of wickedness With men who do iniquity; And do not let me eat of their delicacies.  

THOUGHT - This is a great passage to memorize and then to practice! 

Andrew Hill: Nothing in chapter 10 suggests that he is especially malicious or cruel— only foolish. Whether out of fear that he may appear weak or for the sake of pragmatism, given the need to keep the machinery of the bureaucracy humming, he rejects the good advice of the elders and follows the bad advice (10:14). Thus, he answers his northern kinsmen harshly (10:13). The yoke, a symbol of servitude, will be made heavier (10:14a); the scourge or whip, a goad for lazy animals and a symbol of punishment for stubbornness and rebellion, will inflict even greater pain (10:14b). The representatives of the northern tribes need to hear no more.

2 Chronicles 10:15 So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of events from God that the LORD might establish His word, which He spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.  

  • the king (KJV): Isa 30:12,13 
  • the cause (KJV): 2Ch 25:16-20 De 2:30 Jud 14:4 1Sa 2:25 1Ki 12:15,24 22:20 Isa 19:14 Ac 2:23 4:28 
  • that the Lord (KJV): 1Ki 11:29-39 Joh 12:37-39 19:24,32-36 
  • Ahijah (KJV): 2Ch 9:29 1Ki 11:31 


So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of events from God that the LORD might establish His word, which He spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Just as God had said, the ten nations in the north had been torn from the descendant of David. Only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were left to Rehoboam.

Spurgeon: Notice also, dear friends, that God is in events which are produced by the sin and the stupidity of men. This breaking up of the kingdom of Solomon into two parts was the result of Solomon’s sin and Rehoboam’s folly; yet God was in it: “This thing is from me, saith the Lord.” God had nothing to do with the sin or the folly, but in some way which we can never explain, in a mysterious way in which we are to believe without hesitation, God was in it all.

Andrew Hill: A key theological interpretation of developments resulting in the “meltdown” of the united monarchy is found in the Kings’ parallel and is repeated by the Chronicler. The biblical historians note that this “turn of events was from God” (2Ch 10:15a; cf. 1 Kings 12:15). The Chronicler connects his commentary to Ahijah’s prophecy predicting the split of Solomon’s kingdom as punishment for his sin of idolatry—thus assuming his audience’s knowledge of the story (2 Chron. 10:15b; cf. 1 Kings 11:29–40). This approach fits a pattern in Chronicles that associates crucial moments in Israel’s history with what God has said through his prophets in an effort to demonstrate his absolute sovereignty as the Lord of history (cf. 1 Chron. 11:2; 17:13– 15; 2 Chron. 36:22–23). In light of theological review provided by the biblical historian, we can rightly conclude that the northern tribes are not reprehensible in their role in splitting the united monarchy. Rather, they become odious to God and the biblical historians because of their subsequent sin—idol worship. In view of Ahijah’s prophecy to Jeroboam, the division of Solomon’s kingdom may be inevitable, but it is certainly not irreversible— the rival kingdom is designed to punish the house of David only temporarily (cf. 1 Kings 11:39).

David Guzik - Rehoboam was a fool. Ironically, his father Solomon worried about losing all he worked for under a foolish successor: Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 2:18–19)

Adam Clarke adds "Rehoboam was a fool; and through his folly he lost his kingdom. He is not the only example on record: the Stuarts lost the realm of England much in the same way.”

F B Meyer - This revolt must have seemed to be the result of an unfortunate mistake on the part of the ill-advised young king. He and the young men that gathered around him thought that the best way of ruling people was by showing a strong hand, and adopting a policy of non-compliance; with their very natural requests. But as the result, the Ten Tribes, never very closely bound to David’s line, sprang away from it, leaving, as Ahijah had foretold, only two out of the twelve pieces of the rent garment. Here, however, a deeper explanation is given: “It was brought about of God.” It seemed to be altogether a piece of human folly and passion; but now we are suddenly brought into the presence of God, and told that beneath the plottings and plannings of man He was carrying out His eternal purpose.

To detect this Divine purpose lying beneath the cross-currents of human affairs is the prerogative of the saints. In a recent book, the Duke of Argyll has argued from the purpose-iveness of nature. With as much certainty we may apply that word to history, politics, the course of current events. All is under law. God doeth according to His will among the armies of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Without contravening the action of man’s free choice He carries out His great designs and works His sovereign will. Let us trust in this Almighty Providence, which underlies all events and catastrophes, and pursues its beneficent objects undeterred by our sins. He makes the wrath of man to praise Him, and weaves the malignant work of Satan into His plans.

2 Chronicles 10:16 When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them the people answered the king, saying, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Every man to your tents, O Israel; Now look after your own house, David.” So all Israel departed to their tents.

  • What portion (KJV): 2Sa 20:1 1Ki 12:16,17 
  • the son (KJV): 1Sa 20:27,30,31 22:7,9,13 
  • David (KJV): 2Sa 7:15,16 1Ki 11:13,34-39 1Ch 17:14 Ps 2:1-6 76:10 89:29-37 Ps 132:17 Isa 9:6,7 11:1 Jer 33:20,21,25,26 Eze 37:24,25 Am 9:11 Lu 1:32,33 19:14,27 Ac 2:30 1Co 15:25 Rev 22:16 
  • So all Israel (KJV): 2Ch 10:19 Jud 8:35 2Sa 15:13 16:11  Joh 6:66 7:53 


When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them the people answered the king, saying, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Every man to your tents, O Israel; Now look after your own house, David.” So all Israel departed to their tents - Then tribes headed north and two split off to the south, fulfilling the prophecy the LORD spoke to Solomon in 1 Kings 11:11-13.

Iain Duguid: The people’s response expressed rejection of the whole house of David: each was to worry about his own family (cf. 1 Sam. 20:1; contrast 1 Chron. 12:18). Rehoboam made an attempt to show his strength in sending the “taskmaster” but had to escape himself to Jerusalem in fear. The lasting effect of the whole interaction was that the northern kingdom continued “in rebellion against the house of David.”

Andrew Hill: The clause “so all the Israelites went home” signifies both the rejection of Rehoboam in the act of dismissal and also the finality of the decision—the negotiations are over (10:16d). The identification of both the northern and the southern tribes as “Israelites” is significant (10:16–17). They are all still the “one people” of God despite the rift between the “house of David” and the “house of Israel” (i.e., the northern tribes). This fact is important to the Chronicler’s message of hope for God’s restoration of postexilic Judah because it is dependent on the unity of all the Israelites living in the land.

J.A. Thompson: The rejection formula is a poetic statement, the antithesis of the acceptance formula declared by “all Israel” when they accepted David as king. Israel's response to David in 1 Chr 12:19 was:

We are yours, O David!
We are with you, O son of Jesse!

The rejection formula used by the northern tribes in this verse is:

What share do we have in David,
What part in Jesse's Son?

QUESTION - Why was Israel divided into the Southern Kingdom and Northern Kingdom?

ANSWER - Throughout their history in the Promised Land, the children of Israel struggled with conflict among the tribes. The disunity went back all the way to the patriarch Jacob, who presided over a house divided. The sons of Leah and the sons of Rachel had their share of contention even in Jacob’s lifetime (Genesis 37:1-11).

The enmity among the half-brothers continued in the time of the judges. Benjamin (one of Rachel’s tribes) took up arms against the other tribes (Judges 20). Israel’s first king, Saul, was of the tribe of Benjamin. When David was crowned king—David was from the tribe of Judah (one of Leah’s tribes)—the Benjamites rebelled (2 Samuel 2–3). After a long war (2 Samuel 3:1), David succeeded in uniting all twelve tribes (2Sa 5:1-5).

The frailty of the union was exposed, however, when David’s son Absalom promoted himself as the new king and drew many Israelites away from their allegiance to David (2 Samuel 15). Significantly, Absalom set up his throne in Hebron, the site of the former capital (v. 10). A later revolt was led by a man named Sheba against David and the tribe of Judah (2Sa 20:1-2).

The reign of David’s son Solomon saw more unrest when one of the king’s servants, Jeroboam, rebelled. Jeroboam was on the king’s errand when he met the prophet Ahijah, who told him that God was going to give him authority over ten of the twelve tribes of Israel. God’s reason for the division of the kingdom was definitive: “Because they have forsaken me . . . and have not walked in my ways.” However, God promised that David’s dynasty would continue, albeit over a much smaller kingdom, for the sake of God’s covenant with David and for the sake of Jerusalem, God’s chosen city. When Solomon learned of the prophecy, he sought to kill Jeroboam, who fled to Egypt for sanctuary (1 Kings 11:26-40).

After Solomon’s death, his son Rehoboam was set to become the next king. Jeroboam returned from Egypt and led a group of people to confront Rehoboam with a demand for a lighter tax burden. When Rehoboam refused the demand, ten of the tribes rejected Rehoboam and David’s dynasty (1 Kings 12:16), and Ahijah’s prophecy was fulfilled. Only Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to King Rehoboam. The northern tribes crowned Jeroboam as their king. Rehoboam made plans to mount an assault on the rebel tribes, but the Lord prevented him from taking that action (vv. 21-24). Meanwhile, Jeroboam further consolidated his power by instituting a form of calf worship unique to his kingdom and declaring that pilgrimages to Jerusalem were unnecessary. Thus, the people of the northern tribes would have no contact with the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

“So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day” (1 Kings 12:19). The northern kingdom is called “Israel” (or sometimes “Ephraim”) in Scripture, and the southern kingdom is called “Judah.” From the divine viewpoint, the division was a judgment on not keeping God’s commands, specifically the commands prohibiting idolatry. From a human viewpoint, the division was the result of tribal discord and political unrest. The principle is that sin brings division (1 Corinthians 1:13, 11:18; James 4:1).

The good news is that God, in His mercy, has promised a reuniting of the northern and southern kingdoms. “He will raise a banner for the nations / and gather the exiles of Israel; / he will assemble the scattered people of Judah / from the four quarters of the earth. / Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish, / and Judah’s enemies will be destroyed; / Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, / nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim” (Isaiah 11:12-13). When the Prince of Peace—Jesus Christ—reigns in His millennial kingdom, all hostility, jealousy, and conflict among the tribes will be put to rest. GotQuestions.org

Submissive Leadership

. . . submitting to one another in the fear of God. —Ephesians 5:21

Today's Scripture: 2 Chronicles 10

A mild-mannered man was reading a book on being self-assertive and decided to start at home. So he stormed into his house, pointed a finger in his wife’s face, and said, “From now on I’m boss around here and my word is law! I want you to prepare me a gourmet meal and draw my bath. Then, when I’ve eaten and finished my bath, guess who’s going to dress me and comb my hair.” “The mortician,” replied his wife.

King Rehoboam tried that kind of self-assertiveness and it turned Israel against him. When he came to the throne, the people pleaded for less oppressive taxation. His older advisors urged him to heed their request, but his young friends told him to be even more demanding than his father. As a result of listening to his peers, 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel seceded and formed a new kingdom (2 Chronicles 10:16-17).

Good leaders don’t rely on domineering self-assertion—not at home, nor in church, nor in business. Rather, they balance self-assertiveness (which isn’t wrong in itself) with the principle of submitting to one another (Ephesians 5:21). They listen respectfully, admit when they’re wrong, show a willingness to change, and mix gentleness with firmness. That’s submissive leadership—and it works! By:  Herbert Vander Lugt (Reprinted by permission from Our Daily Bread Ministries. Please do not repost the full devotional without their permission.)

Submissive leadership requires
A kind and gentle honesty
That will attend to others' needs
And win their love and loyalty.
—D. De Haan

The only leaders qualified to lead are those who have learned to serve.

2 Chronicles 10:17 But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.

  • But as for (KJV): 2Ch 11:1 1Ki 11:36 12:17 

But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.

2 Chronicles 10:18 Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was over the forced labor, and the sons of Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem.

  • Hadoram (KJV): 1Ki 4:6 5:14, Adoniram, 2Ch 10:18, Adoram
  • stoned him (KJV): 2Ch 24:21 Ac 7:57,58 


Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was over the forced labor, and the sons of Israel stoned him to death Hadoram = Adoram (Adoniram). Rehoboam's first inclination was to ignore the rebellion. Pretending like it hadn't happened, he sent Hadoram in to do his job of supervising the forced labor. This was quite a mistake. In a crystal clear message of rejection, they stoned Hadoram to death.

Martin Selman: Rehoboam makes one pathetic effort to restore unity, perfectly illustrating the poverty of his policy. Knowing that the people’s tolerance had been exhausted by their experience of the forced labor system, it seems inconceivable that the sending of “Hadoram” (also known as Adoram,. 1 Ki. 12:18; cf. JB; Adoniram, 1 Ki. 4:6; 5:14; cf. NIV, GNB) one of Jeroboam successors, could end in anything but disaster. In the end, Rehoboam himself only just managed to escape, inn ironic contrast to Jeroboam’s flight from Solomon (v. 2).

And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 10:19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

  • Israel (KJV): 2Ch 10:16 13:5-7 1Ki 12:19,20 2Ki 17:21-23 Ps 89:30 
  • unto this day (KJV): 2Ch 5:9 Jos 4:9 Ezr 9:7 

So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day



Archer, Gleason L. Jr. A survey of Old Testament introduction (BORROW). Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1964.

Baxter, J. Sidlow. Explore the Book Vol. 2 Judges to Esther . Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1960.

Boda, Mark J. Cornerstone Biblical Commentary – 1-2 Chronicles. (Digital version) Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2010.

Braun, Roddy. Word Biblical Commentary – Volume 14 –1 Chronicles (BORROW). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2018.

Cooper, Derek. Reformation Commentary on Scripture – Old Testament V – 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles. (Digital version) Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2016.

Constable, Thomas - 1&2 Chronicles (ONLINE)

Daniel, Ron - Teaching Notes -  1 Chronicles;  2 Chronicles (ONLINE)

Dillard, Raymond B. Word Biblical Commentary – Volume 15 – 2 Chronicles  (BORROW) Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2018.

Ellison, H. L. The New Bible commentary, revised – 1 & 2 Chronicles (BORROW). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1970.

Guzik, David. Enduring Word Bible Commentary  1 Chronicles; 2 Chronicles   (ONLINE)

Hill, Andrew E. The NIV Application Commentary – 1 & 2 Chronicles. (Digital version) Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003.

Keil, C. F. and Delitzsch, F. Commentary on the Old Testament – 1 Chronicles & 2 Chronicles. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1975.

Konkel, August H. Believers Church Bible Commentary – 1 & 2 Chronicles. (Multipart video series also available) Harrisonburg, VA: Herald Press, 2016.

Mabie, Frederick J. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Revised Edition – 1 & 2 Chronicles. (Digital Version) Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010.

MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Study Bible (BORROW). Nelson Bibles, 2006.

Olley, John W. (ED: IAIN DUGUID) ESV Expository Commentary, Vol. III – 1 Samuel – 2 Chronicles. (Digital Version) Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019.

Payne, J. Barton. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary – 1 & 2 Chronicles. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1988.

Schultz, John. - 1 Chronicles (177 pages), 2 Chronicles (239 pages) (ONLINE)

Selman, Martin J. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries – 1 Chronicles. (BORROW)Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994.

Selman, Martin J. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries – 2 Chronicles. (BORROW) Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994.

Sherwin, Simon & Mabie, Frederick J. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary -- 1 & 2 Chronicles. (Digital Version) Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009.

Thompson, J.A. The New American Commentary – Volume 9 – 1, 2 Chronicles.  (Digital Version) Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 1994.

Utley, Bob. 1 Chronicles Table of Contents; 2 Chronicles Table of Contents


Walton, John, et al - The IVP Bible Background Commentary Old Testament  IVP - InterVarsity Press 2000.

Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Restored – Trusting God to See Us Through – OT Commentary – 2 Samuel & 1 Chronicles. (BORROW) Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010.

Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Distinct – Standing Firmly Against the World’s Tides – OT Commentary – 2 Kings & 2 Chronicles. (BORROW) Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010.

Williamson, H.G.M. New Century Bible Commentary – 1 and 2 Chronicles. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers 1982.

Wood, Leon. A Survey of Israel’s History. (BORROW) Grand Rapids: MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1970.