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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 10

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Second Chronicles Chapter 10

2 Chronicles 10:1 "And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for to Shechem were all Israel come to make him king."

In the last lesson, we learned that Rehoboam followed Solomon as king, at Solomon’s death. Shechem had been the ancient capital, and he went there to be accepted of all Israel. The mother of Rehoboam was the Ammonite princess, Naamah.

2 Chronicles 10:2 "And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who [was] in Egypt, whither he had fled from the presence of Solomon the king, heard [it], that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt."

It appears, that he heard of the death of Solomon, and also, that Rehoboam was about to be crowned king of all Israel. Jeroboam had fled to Egypt, because he had greatly angered Solomon, and he feared for his life. Jeroboam had been told by Ahijah, that he would be king of ten of the tribes. He was an Ephramite. He, now, returned to claim his kingdom.

2 Chronicles 10:3 "And they sent and called him. So Jeroboam and all Israel came and spake to Rehoboam, saying,"

2 Chronicles 10:4 "Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore ease thou somewhat the grievous servitude of thy father, and his heavy yoke that he put upon us, and we will serve thee."

We see, from this, where much of the wealth of Solomon came from. He heavily taxed the people. We see, also, that many of the people were unhappy with this taxing system. Jeroboam was the leader of the group that rebelled.

2 Chronicles 10:5 "And he said unto them, Come again unto me after three days. And the people departed."

This showed a weakness in Rehoboam. He should have been close enough to God to be able to answer this. The three days he asked for were time enough to get some bad counsel, as well as good. He should have prayed and met with the high priest.

2 Chronicles 10:6 "And king Rehoboam took counsel with the old men that had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give ye [me] to return answer to this people?"

The very next best thing that he could have done, was to have taken counsel of these old wise men that had been with Solomon.

2 Chronicles 10:7 "And they spake unto him, saying, If thou be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be thy servants forever."

A really good king, or a president, is good, because he serves the people, instead of himself. He should have allowed his greatness to show through his kindness to those he ruled over. This was excellent advice the old men gave him.

2 Chronicles 10:8 "But 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."

Rehoboam is like so many of us who seek counsel. If the counsel lined up with what we wanted to do in the first place, it is good. If it is not what we want to hear, we are like Rehoboam, we reject it. He went and found someone who would say what he wanted to hear. These young men did not have even as much experience as Rehoboam, this was a terrible place to go for advice. Seek advice from those who know more than you, not less. Rehoboam was about 41 years old at this time. He should have known better.

2 Chronicles 10:9 "And he said unto them, What advice give ye that we may return answer to this people, which have spoken to me, saying, Ease somewhat the yoke that thy father did put upon us?"

Had these young men not said what Rehoboam wanted to hear, he would have gone elsewhere. Rehoboam had never grown up himself. He had not realized what made David and Solomon great. They sinned, but they always sought God for advice.

2 Chronicles 10:10 "And the young men that were brought up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou answer the people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou [it] somewhat lighter for us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little [finger] shall be thicker than my father’s loins."

2 Chronicles 10:11 "For whereas my father put a heavy yoke upon you, I will put more to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I [will chastise you] with scorpions."

Solomon had been the wealthiest king that had ever lived, but that was not enough, it seemed. Greed for things of the flesh would destroy Rehoboam. Solomon had been fair in his justice. They were telling Rehoboam to tell these people that he would be a tyrant over them. He would not be fair and just. He wanted to put these proud Hebrews into total servitude to him.

2 Chronicles 10:12 "So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come again to me on the third day."

It appears, from this that Jeroboam was sincere in offering to serve Rehoboam as king, if he would be fair, and just, and stop the taxation without representation.

2 Chronicles 10:13 "And the king answered them roughly; and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men,"

Rehoboam had spoken roughly, instead of speaking softly to these people. He felt as if they had no choice. He wanted to be supreme tyrant over his brethren. He had no compassion at all.

2 Chronicles 10:14 "And answered them after the advice of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto: my father chastised you with whips, but I [will chastise you] with scorpions."

This was the worst thing he could have possibly said to a people who were already discontent.

2 Chronicles 10:15 "So the king hearkened not unto the people: for the cause was of God, that the LORD might perform his word, which he spake by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat."

We can see in this, that the LORD was allowing this to happen to break up the twelve tribes into ten and two. God was so angered with the idolatry that was going on in the land of the ten tribes, that He wanted this break to be made. Idolatry had begun in Judah, as well, but had not progressed as far as in the ten tribes. God hardened the heart of Rehoboam, as He had Pharaoh’s, to accomplish His will in this.

2 Chronicles 10:16 "And when all Israel [saw] that the king would not hearken unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? and [we have] none inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to your tents, O Israel: [and] now, David, see to thine own house. So all Israel went to their tents."

This is the same separation there had been in the beginning of David’s reign. David had reigned 7 years over just Judah, before he became king of all Israel. Rehoboam was now king of Judah, again. Bejamin was thought of as part of Judah. Now, Israel would be speaking of the ten tribes, and Judah would be the other two. Ephraim had been always jealous of Judah. Jeroboam, the leader of the ten tribes, was of Ephraim.

2 Chronicles 10:17 "But [as for] the children of Israel that dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them."

Rehoboam continued to reign in Judah and Benjamin. Everyone living in the area, that would be known of as Judah, would be reigned over by Rehoboam. The main reason for this was the lineage God had promised to David on the throne of Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 10:18 "Then king Rehoboam sent Hadoram that [was] over the tribute; and the children of Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. But king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to [his] chariot, to flee to Jerusalem."

2 Chronicles 10:19 "And Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day."

Hadoram and Adoniram are the same, probably. This was a tax revolt. They killed the tax collector and would not pay. Rehoboam found safety in Jerusalem. The house of David was, now, called Judah.

2 Chronicles 10 Questions

1. Which of Solomon’s sons reigned in his stead?

2. Why did he go to Shechem?

3. Why was Jeroboam in Egypt?

4. Who was Jeroboam’s father?

5. Who had told Jeroboam that he would rule ten of the tribes?

6. What would cause Jeroboam to accept Rehoboam, as king over all twelve tribes?

7. Where had the wealth of Solomon come from?

8. How did the people feel about the taxing?

9. What showed a weakness in Rehoboam?

10. How many days did he make Jeroboam wait for an answer?

11. Rehoboam should have sought counsel of whom?

12. What good counsel did he get from the old men?

13. Why did he not accept that counsel?

14. About how old was Rehoboam, when this counsel was taken?

15. If these young men’s counsel had not pleased Rehoboam, what would he have done?

16. What advice did they give Rehoboam?

17. Whose advice did he take?

18. What one word describes the way Rehoboam spoke to them?

19. In 2 Chronicles 10:15, we find that this all happened for what purpose?

20. God hardened the heart of Rehoboam, as he had hardened ___________ heart.

21. Who did Rehoboam send to collect the tribute?

22. What happened to him?

23. Hadoram and ___________ are the same person.

24. This is a ______ revolt.

25. From this time on, who was the house of David?

Verses 1-5

2Ch 10:1-5

2 Chronicles 10:1-5

FROM THE REIGN OF SOLOMON THROUGH THE CAPTIVITY TO CYRUS’ DECREE (2 Chronicles 10-36)

REHOBOAM (922-915 B.C.);

ISRAEL DEMANDS AN EASEMENT OF EXCESSIVE TAXES

"And Rehoboam went to Shechem; for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. And it came to pass when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt, whither he had fled from the presence of king Solomon), that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt. And they went and called him; and Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 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. And he said unto them, Come again unto me after three days. And the people departed."

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 10:1. Chronicles differs from the book of Kings in that the major part of it is the history of the kingdom of Judah, or the two tribes. Incidental references will be made to the ten tribes because of their connection with Judah, but the run of the history will concern Judah only. Jerusalem was the national capital, but the inauguration ceremonies for Solomon’s successor took place at Shechem.

2 Chronicles 10:2. While Solomon lived he heard of some actions of Jeroboam who aspired to be king. Accordingly he threatened him so that Jeroboam fled to Egypt. Hearing of the death of Solomon, Jeroboam came out of his exile and back into the land of Israel. He remembered the favorable predictions that had been made for him (1 Kings 11:31) and came home with that motive in mind.

2 Chronicles 10:3. It would be expected that the people in general would learn about the prediction that had been made to Jeroboam. There had previously been a division of sentiment in the congregation as indicated by such expressions as Israel and Judah. (1 Samuel 11; 1 Samuel 8; 2 Samuel 2:10; 2 Samuel 3:10; 2 Samuel 12:8; 2 Samuel 19:43.) The formal division of the nation, therefore, was about to come, and needed only a spark to set off the blast. Jeroboam was invited to attend the ceremonies at Shechem, where he acted as spokesman for the dissatisfied elements among the congregation.

2 Chronicles 10:4-5. The statement the people made as to the service given to Solomon was true. The two great buildings, the temple and the palace, required 20 years of time and many thousands of man hours of hard labor. All of that was necessary and no criticism was made against Solomon; it was mentioned only as a statement of fact. Now the work was done and there was no call for such service to continue. We might think the people were sincere in their address to Rehoboam, for their statements were true. There was no indication, however, that the new king intended to continue the rigorous services of his father. The whole situation shows the people were seeking a pretext for the break they had already determined upon. Rehoboam took the case "under advisement" for three days.

Verses 6-11

2Ch 10:6-11

2 Chronicles 10:6-11

REHOBOAM SEEKS ADVICE OF TWO GROUPS -

THE OLD COUNSELORS; AND HIS OWN CONTEMPORARIES

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

"The young men that had grown up with him" (2 Chronicles 10:8). This whole chapter is virtually identical with 1 Kings 12:1-20; and in both accounts, mention is made of Rehoboam’s associates, referring to them in these words. This is the only hint in the Bible that Solomon had any other sons besides Rehoboam. Evidently these were other children brought up in Solomon’s godless harem.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 10:6-7. The corresponding passage in 1 Kings 12:7 suggested that Rehoboam "serve" the people. That did not mean that the king was to "divide his authority" with the people, as some persons often teach, but that he would serve the best interests of his people by ruling wisely. The same thought is expressed with different words in the present passage. Rehoboam could have taken the advice of the older men without surrendering one mite of his rightful authority.

2 Chronicles 10:8-9. The influence of association is indicated by the words that were brought up with, him. Many times a boy’s "pals" have more influence over him than do older people, or even his parents. How true are the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:33.

2 Chronicles 10:10-11. These young men had the erroneous idea that threatened severity could take the place of wise directions in regulating a people. They failed to realize that one of the surest ways of acquiring obedience from a subject is to assure him that his best interests will be considered in all government over him. The severe expressions suggested were figurative, of course, and used for comparison only.

Verses 12-15

2Ch 10:12-15

2 Chronicles 10:12-15

REHOBOAM FOLLOWS THE ADVICE OF HIS HAREM ASSOCIATES

"So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come to me again the third day. And the king answered them roughly; and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men, and spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. So the king hearkened not unto the people; but it was brought about of God, that Jehovah might establish his word, which he spake by Abijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat."

"My father chastised you with whips" (2 Chronicles 10:14). This is a somewhat sour note in that sweet symphony of The Glory of Solomon. Furthermore, right here is the contradiction of the opinions of many that Solomon did not enslave any Israelites, but only the foreigners. If Solomon had been whipping only the descendants of the Canaanites, there is hardly any possibility that Jeroboam and the other Israelites would have been at all concerned about it.

(See commentary on 1Kings for further comment on the events of this chapter.)

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 10:12-14. Advice is from the same word as "counsel" in Psalms 1:1, where it is related to the ungodly. The nature of the counsel, however, would not necessarily prove that the ones giving it were ungodly persons. We should be slow in forming that conclusion in this case, for the Lord had a hand in the affair as we shall see in the next verse. However, that would not justify any unwise motive of the acting parties.

2 Chronicles 10:15. God always takes care of his predictions, and in so doing often uses human means in carrying them out. If, in fulfilling God’s plans unconsciously, the agents do unwise things, they are not excusable just because their deeds proved the predictions of God. The Assyrians were fulfilling God’s plans when they subdued the ten tribes. But they were condemned because of their motives in the deal. (Isaiah 10:7.) God has predicted this misfortune for Rehoboam of which we are now learning, hence his every action was to be according to the prediction.

Verses 16-19

2Ch 10:16-19

2 Chronicles 10:16-19

NORTHERN ISRAEL REBELS AGAINST REHOBOAM

"And when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So all Israel departed unto their tents. But as for the children of Israel that dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. Then king Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was over the men subject to task-work; and the children of Israel stoned him to death with stones. And king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel rebelled against the house of David to this day."

"Hadoram ... over the men subject to task-work" (2 Chronicles 10:18). This is merely the Chronicler’s polite word for, "Hadoram ... the slave-driver," the most hated man in Solomon’s kingdom, the same as Adoram in the First Kings narrative. Rehoboam could not possibly have made a more serious mistake than asking Hadoram to accompany him in his negotiations with Israel. Not only did they stone Hadoram, but they would also have stoned Rehoboam if he had not escaped. Thus Rehoboam lost the greater part of his kingdom by one idiotic acceptance of the foolish advice of his harem-born associates.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 10:16-17. All Israel means the ten tribes. They revolted from the inauguration of Rehoboam and went to their homes. The rest of this day’s events is given in 1 Kings 12, showing the formation of the kingdom of Israel. The two kingdoms are afterward referred to as the Kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of Israel. They are sometimes designated simply as Judah and Israel. In secular history they frequently are known as the Northern and the Southern kingdom. David . . . own. house. The 10 tribes recognized David as a prominent head Of the kingdom of Judah. That was true in that he was of the tribe of Judah, as were all the kings who afterward reigned in Jerusalem, the city that contained the important Zion, or "City of David."

2 Chronicles 10:18-19. Rehoboam was rash enough to think he could subdue the revolt. He took his financial officer with him and went among the 10 tribe*, thinking to exact the usual taxes from them. But the people slew the taxgatherer, which caused Rehoboam to hasten back to his own capital city.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Chronicles 10". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-chronicles-10.html.
 
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