Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

1 Kings 12

Verses 1-20

The Reign of Jeroboam over Northern Israel (930-909 B.C.) - In 1 Kings 12:1 to 1 Kings 14:20 we have the story of Jeroboam ruling over the northern kingdom of Israel. It is important to draw a parallel account of Jeroboam's reign to that of King David and Solomon. The reigns of both David and Solomon record the judgment of adversaries, the establishment of their thrones, the institution of national worship, God makes a covenant with David and Song of Solomon, the prosperity of their reigns, their sin and judgment, and an epilogue. Jeroboam's rule follows a similar sequence of events.

1. Jereboam Establishes His Throne — 1 Kings 12:1-24

2. Jereboam Institutes National Worship — 1 Kings 12:25-33

3. God Speaks to Jereboam thru a Prophet — 1 Kings 13:1-32

4. Jereboam's Sin and Judgment — 1 Kings 13:33 to 1 Kings 14:18

5. Epilogue to Jereboam's Reign — 1 Kings 14:19-20

Verses 1-33

1 Kings 12:4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.

1 Kings 12:4Comments- We see in 1 Kings 12:4 how the northern tribes came to King Rehoboam when he became king and told him of the oppressive hand of his father Song of Solomon, of how he had overburdened them with his extravagant building projects and lifestyle. It is understood from the context that they were glad to see Solomon die.

Imagine ourselves serving a group of people in our society as a calling or vocation and when we die, those very people we served were glad and relieved. We would not consider such a ministry successful, but this was the case with King Solomon's reign over his people. We know that he has been given the responsibility of building the Temple with all of its splendour. The people of Israel wanted nothing less. But Solomon later indulged in building houses for his wives and in building them a temple for their gods. He built gardens, fortresses and anything his soul delighted in as revealed in the book of Ecclesiastes, but with these God was not so well pleased, for He had not instructed Solomon to do so. Nevertheless, Solomon's indulgences became a heavy burden to his people and it cost his son the northern kingdom. They had served under David because of his love for God's people. But they had endured under Solomon and would do so no longer with Rehoboam. Thus, we see that Solomon's reign was not really successful because of the way he treated his people.

1 Kings 12:7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.

1 Kings 12:7Comments- 1 Kings 12:7 is a perfect illustration of Ephesians 5:21, "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.