Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

1 Kings 12

Introduction

1The Israelites, assembled at Shechem to crown Rehoboam, by Jeroboam make a suit of relaxation unto him.
6Rehoboam, refusing the old men's counsel, answers them roughly.
16Ten tribes revolting, kill Adoram, and make Rehoboam flee.
21Rehoboam, raising an army, is forbidden by Shemaiah.
25Jeroboam strengthens himself by cities;
26and by the idolatry of the two calves.

Verse 1

And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.
Rehoboam
11:43; 2 Chronicles 10:1-19
Shechem
Genesis 12:6
Sichem
Genesis 33:18,19; Joshua 20:7; 24:1,32; Judges 9:1; Psalms 60:6; Acts 7:16
Sychem
Reciprocal: Joshua 17:7 - Shechem;  Joshua 21:21 - Shechem;  Judges 9:6 - plain;  1 Kings 12:25 - Shechem;  2 Kings 21:24 - made Josiah;  Proverbs 11:14 - GeneralJeremiah 41:5 - Shechem;  Matthew 1:7 - Roboam;  Matthew 2:20 - for

Verse 2

And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;)
Jeroboam the son of Nebat
11:26-31,40; 2 Chronicles 10:2,3
Reciprocal: Proverbs 26:21 - General

Verse 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.
our yoke
4:7,20,22,23,25; 9:15,22,23; 1 Samuel 8:11-18; 2 Chronicles 10:4,5; Matthew 11:29,30; Matthew 23:4; 1 John 5:3

Verse 6

And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?
consulted
2 Samuel 16:20; 17:5; Job 12:12; 32:7; Proverbs 27:10; Jeremiah 42:2-5; 43:2
Reciprocal: Genesis 41:46 - he stood;  1 Samuel 8:3 - his sons;  1 Kings 12:23 - General1 Chronicles 6:32 - and then;  Psalm 119:100 - understand

Verse 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.
If thou wilt
2 Chronicles 10:6,7; Proverbs 15:1; Mark 10:43,44; Philippians 2:7-11
speak good
13; 2 Samuel 15:3-6; Ecclesiastes 10:4; Zechariah 1:13
Reciprocal: Exodus 21:6 - for ever;  1 Chronicles 13:2 - If it seem

Verse 8

But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:
2 Chronicles 10:8; 25:15,16; Proverbs 1:2-5,25,30; 19:20; 25:12; Ecclesiastes 10:2,3
Reciprocal: Genesis 41:46 - he stood;  1 Kings 12:28 - took counsel;  1 Chronicles 6:32 - and then;  1 Chronicles 19:3 - but the princes;  Proverbs 13:20 - but;  Hosea 6:10 - there

Verse 9

And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?
22:6-8; 2 Samuel 17:5,6; 2 Chronicles 10:9; 18:5-7
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 12:28 - took counsel

Verse 10

And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins.
Thus shalt thou
2 Samuel 17:7-13
My little finger
A proverbial mode of expression: "My little finger is thicker than my father's thigh." As much as the thigh surpasses the little finger in thickness, so much does my power exceed that of my father; and the use I shall make of it to oppress and tax you shall be in proportion.
2 Chronicles 10:10,11; Proverbs 10:14; 18:6,7; 28:25; 29:23; Isaiah 47:6
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 8:11 - He will take;  1 Kings 12:14 - My father made;  Proverbs 13:10 - Only;  Proverbs 13:20 - but;  Proverbs 28:16 - prince;  Ecclesiastes 4:16 - no end

Verse 11

And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
I will add
Exodus 1:13,14; 5:5-9,18; 1 Samuel 8:18; 2 Chronicles 16:10; Isaiah 58:6; Jeremiah 27:11; Jeremiah 28:13,14
but I will chastise
Should you rebel or become disaffected, my father's whip shall be a scorpion in my hand. His was chastisement, mine shall be punishment. Celsius and Hiller conjecture that âkrabbim denotes a thorny kind of shrub, whose prickles are of a venomous nature, called by the Arabs scorpion thorns, from the exquisite pain which they inflict. But the Chaldee renders it margenin, and the Syriac moragyai, i.e., [maragnai] scourges; and in the parallel place of Chronicles the Arabic has saut, a scourge. Isidore, and after him Calmet and others, assert that the scorpion was a sort of severe whip, the lashes of which were armed with knots or points that sunk into and tore the flesh.
scorpions
14; Ezekiel 2:6; Revelation 9:3-10
Reciprocal: 2 Chronicles 10:10 - My little finger;  Proverbs 13:10 - Only

Verse 12

So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day.
Come to me again
5; 2 Chronicles 10:12-14
Reciprocal: Luke 2:46 - after

Verse 13

And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they gave him;
answered
20:6-11; Genesis 42:7,30; Exodus 5:2; 10:28; Judges 12:1-6; 1 Samuel 20:10,30,31; 1 Samuel 25:10,11; 2 Samuel 19:43; Proverbs 10:11,32; 15:1; 18:23; Ecclesiastes 10:12; James 3:17
roughly
Heb. hardly.
Genesis 16:6
forsook
Proverbs 13:20
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 12:7 - speak good;  Ecclesiastes 10:6 - Folly

Verse 14

And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
the counsel
2 Chronicles 22:4,5; Esther 1:16-21; 2:2-4; Proverbs 12:5; Isaiah 19:11-13; Daniel 6:7
My father made
10,11; Proverbs 13:10; 16:18; 17:14; Ecclesiastes 7:8; James 3:14-18; 4:1,2
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 23:5 - Although;  Proverbs 26:4 - GeneralProverbs 28:16 - prince;  Ecclesiastes 2:19 - who knoweth;  Ecclesiastes 10:6 - Folly

Verse 15

Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
the cause
The cause of all this confusion and anarchy was Rehoboam's folly, cruelty, and despotic tyranny, and this was certainly not "from the Lord," nor does the original text speak this doctrine. See an elucidation of a similar passage at 2 Sa 24:1. It says, sibbah, (from savav, to turn, change,) "the change or Revolution was from the Lord;" which is consistent with all the preceding declarations. God stirred up the people to revolt from a man who had neither skill nor humanity to govern them. God serves his own wise and righteous purpose by the imprudences and iniquities of men, and snares sinners in the work of their own hands. "He maketh the wrath of man to praise him."
24; 22:23; Deuteronomy 2:30; Judges 14:4; 2 Chronicles 10:15; 22:7; 25:16,20; Psalms 5:10; Amos 3:6; Acts 2:23; 4:28
that he might
11:11,29-38; 1 Samuel 15:29; 2 Samuel 17:14; 2 Kings 9:36; 10:10; Isaiah 14:13-17; Isaiah 46:10,11; Daniel 4:35; John 19:23,24,28,29,32-37; Acts 3:17; Acts 13:27-29
Reciprocal: Joshua 11:20 - it was;  Judges 9:23 - God;  1 Kings 11:14 - the Lord;  1 Kings 11:35 - will give;  Job 1:21 - taken away;  Hosea 13:11 - General

Verse 16

So 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: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.
What portion
2 Samuel 20:1; 2 Chronicles 10:16
to your tents
22:17,36
now see
11:13,34,36,39; 2 Samuel 7:15,16; Psalms 2:1-6; 76:10; 89:29-37; 132:17; Isaiah 7:2,6,7; 9:6,7; Jeremiah 23:5,6; 33:15,16,21; Luke 19:14,27
So Israel
Judges 8:35; 2 Samuel 15:13; 16:11
Reciprocal: Joshua 22:25 - ye have;  Judges 9:28 - Who is Abimelech;  1 Samuel 4:10 - every man;  1 Samuel 22:7 - the son of Jesse;  1 Samuel 25:10 - Who is David;  2 Samuel 19:43 - We have;  1 Kings 11:11 - I will surely;  Psalm 89:44 - Thou;  Proverbs 13:10 - Only;  Proverbs 18:19 - brother;  Proverbs 24:21 - meddle;  Proverbs 26:4 - GeneralIsaiah 7:17 - the day;  Ezekiel 37:16 - For Joseph;  Hosea 3:5 - and David their king;  Hosea 8:4 - set;  Hosea 13:11 - GeneralMark 3:24 - GeneralLuke 3:32 - was the son of Jesse;  Acts 15:16 - build again the tabernacle;  Hebrews 12:25 - See;  2 Peter 2:10 - despise

Verse 17

But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.
the children
11:13,36; 2 Chronicles 10:17; 11:13-17
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 12:20 - none that followed;  2 Chronicles 10:16 - What portion;  2 Chronicles 12:1 - all Israel

Verse 18

Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.
Adoram
4:6; 5:14
Adoniram
2 Samuel 20:24; 2 Chronicles 10:18
Hadoram
all Israel.
Exodus 17:4; Numbers 14:10; 2 Chronicles 24:21; Acts 5:26; 7:57,58
made speed
Heb. strengthened himself. flee to Jerusalem.
20:18-20; Proverbs 28:1,2; Amos 2:16

Verse 19

So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.
Israel
1 Samuel 10:19; 2 Kings 17:21; 2 Chronicles 10:19; 13:5-7,17; Isaiah 7:17
rebelled
or, fell away.
Hebrews 6:6
unto this day
Joshua 4:9
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 4:1 - over all Israel;  2 Chronicles 15:9 - they fell

Verse 20

And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.
and made him
1 Samuel 10:24; Hosea 8:4
none that followed
17; 11:13,32; Hosea 11:12
Reciprocal: Judges 9:1 - communed;  Judges 9:6 - plain;  2 Samuel 19:20 - Joseph;  1 Kings 4:1 - over all Israel;  1 Kings 11:11 - I will surely;  1 Kings 11:26 - Jeroboam;  1 Kings 11:35 - will give;  2 Kings 10:3 - Look even;  2 Kings 17:18 - the tribe;  2 Kings 17:21 - they made;  2 Kings 21:24 - made Josiah;  2 Chronicles 10:19 - Israel;  2 Chronicles 13:6 - rebelled;  Proverbs 12:24 - hand;  Proverbs 26:21 - GeneralEzekiel 23:4 - the elder;  Hosea 13:10 - thy judges

Verse 21

And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
when Rehoboam
2 Chronicles 11:1-3
an hundred
1 Chronicles 21:5; 2 Chronicles 14:8,11; 17:14-19; Proverbs 21:30,31
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 33:12 - The beloved;  2 Kings 10:3 - fight for

Verse 22

But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
Shemaiah
2 Chronicles 11:2; 12:5,7
the man
13:1,4,5,11; 17:18,24; Deuteronomy 33:1; 2 Kings 4:16,22,25,27; 1 Timothy 6:11
Reciprocal: 2 Chronicles 12:15 - Shemaiah;  Jeremiah 35:4 - a man

Verse 23

1Kings href="/desk/?q=1ki+12:6&sr=1">1 Kings 12:6

Verse 24

Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the word of the LORD.
Ye shall not go up
Numbers 14:42; 2 Chronicles 11:4; 25:7,8; 28:9-13
for this thing
15; 11:29-38; Hosea 8:4
They hearkened
2 Chronicles 25:10; 28:13-15
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 14:7 - Forasmuch;  1 Kings 14:30 - General1 Kings 22:36 - Every man;  2 Chronicles 10:15 - the cause;  Acts 5:39 - if

Verse 25

Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel.
built
9:15,17,18; 15:17; 16:24; 2 Chronicles 11:5-12
Shechem
1; Judges 9:1,45-49
Penuel
Genesis 32:30,31; Judges 8:8,17
Reciprocal: Joshua 17:7 - Shechem;  Judges 9:6 - plain;  2 Samuel 19:20 - Joseph;  Jeremiah 41:5 - Shechem;  Hosea 6:9 - by consent;  Hosea 13:1 - exalted

Verse 26

And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:
said in his heart
Psalms 14:1; Mark 2:6-8; Luke 7:39
Now shall
11:38; 1 Samuel 27:1; 2 Chronicles 20:20; Isaiah 7:9; Jeremiah 38:18-21; John 11:47-50; John 12:10,11,19; Acts 4:16,17
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 13:12 - said I:1 Samuel 16:6 - Surely;  1 Kings 13:34 - to cut it off;  1 Kings 16:26 - he walked;  2 Kings 3:3 - he departed;  2 Kings 13:2 - followed;  Psalm 53:1 - said;  Ezekiel 23:4 - Aholah;  Hosea 5:3 - thou;  Hosea 5:11 - he willingly;  Hosea 13:11 - General

Verse 27

If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.
go up
8:29,30,44; 11:32; Deuteronomy 12:5-7,14; 16:2,6
and they shall
Genesis 12:12,13; 26:7; Proverbs 29:25; 1 Corinthians 1:19,20
Reciprocal: Joshua 22:25 - make;  1 Samuel 13:12 - said I:1 Kings 15:17 - he might not suffer;  2 Chronicles 13:6 - rebelled;  2 Chronicles 16:1 - to the intent

Verse 28

Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
took counsel
8,9; Exodus 1:10; Isaiah 30:1
two calves of gold
He invented a political religion, and instituted feasts in his own times, different from those appointed by Jehovah; gave the people certain objects of adoration, and pretended to think that it would be both inconvenient and oppressive to them to go up to Jerusalem to worship. These calves were doubtless of the same kind as the calf which was set up by Aaron; and it is remarkable, that in pointing them out to the people he should use the same words that Aaron used on that occasion, when they must have heard what terrible judgments fell upon their forefathers for this idolatry. Solomon's idolatry, however, had prepared the people for Jeroboam's abominations.
Exodus 20:4; Deuteronomy 4:14-18; 2 Kings 10:29; 17:16; 2 Chronicles 11:15; Hosea 8:4-7; 10:5,6
It is too much
Isaiah 30:10; 2 Peter 2:19
behold
Exodus 32:4,8
Reciprocal: Leviticus 13:29 - GeneralDeuteronomy 12:13 - General1 Kings 14:9 - hast done;  1 Kings 15:26 - walked;  1 Kings 15:34 - walked;  1 Kings 16:19 - in his;  1 Kings 22:52 - and in the way;  2 Kings 2:23 - Bethel;  2 Kings 3:3 - General2 Kings 14:24 - he departed;  2 Kings 16:3 - he walked;  2 Kings 17:8 - walked;  2 Kings 17:21 - Jeroboam drave;  2 Kings 23:15 - the altar;  2 Chronicles 11:14 - Jeroboam;  2 Chronicles 13:8 - with you golden;  2 Chronicles 15:3 - a long;  2 Chronicles 17:4 - not after;  2 Chronicles 25:7 - for the Lord;  Job 34:30 - GeneralIsaiah 31:7 - for a sin;  Isaiah 44:10 - GeneralIsaiah 46:6 - lavish;  Jeremiah 48:13 - as the;  Ezekiel 16:15 - and playedst;  Ezekiel 23:8 - whoredoms;  Ezekiel 48:1 - Dan;  Daniel 3:1 - made;  Hosea 4:15 - Bethaven;  Hosea 10:8 - the sin;  Amos 8:14 - sin

Verse 29

And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.
Beth-el
Genesis 12:8; 28:19; 35:1; Hosea 4:15
Dan
Genesis 14:14; Deuteronomy 34:1; Judges 18:29-31; 20:1; 2 Kings 10:29; Jeremiah 8:16; Amos 8:14
Reciprocal: Joshua 18:22 - Bethel;  1 Samuel 30:27 - Bethel;  1 Kings 13:32 - the houses;  1 Kings 15:20 - Dan;  1 Kings 15:34 - walked;  2 Kings 2:2 - Bethel;  2 Kings 17:28 - in Bethel;  2 Kings 23:4 - Bethel;  Jeremiah 48:13 - as the;  Ezekiel 48:1 - Dan;  Hosea 5:8 - Bethaven;  Amos 7:13 - for

Verse 30

And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
became a sin
13:34; 2 Kings 10:31; 17:21
Reciprocal: Judges 18:29 - Dan;  1 Kings 14:16 - who did sin;  2 Chronicles 17:4 - not after;  Acts 4:19 - to hearken

Verse 31

And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.
an house
13:24,32; Deuteronomy 24:15; Ezekiel 16:25; Hosea 12:11
priests
13:33; Numbers 3:10; 2 Kings 17:32; 2 Chronicles 11:14,15; 13:9; Ezekiel 44:6-8
Reciprocal: Judges 17:5 - consecrated;  Judges 17:12 - his priest;  2 Kings 17:27 - one of the priests;  2 Kings 23:19 - the houses;  Psalm 78:58 - with;  Hosea 8:14 - and buildeth;  Amos 7:10 - the priest

Verse 32

And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.
like unto
8:2,5; Leviticus 23:33,34-44; Numbers 29:12-40; Ezekiel 43:8; Matthew 15:8,9
offered upon the altar
or, went up to the altar. sacrificing. or, to sacrifice. he placed.
Amos 7:10-13
Reciprocal: Exodus 32:4 - calf;  Exodus 32:5 - a feast;  1 Kings 12:33 - offered upon the altar;  1 Kings 13:1 - Jeroboam;  Psalm 94:20 - frameth;  Jeremiah 2:20 - when upon;  Daniel 3:2 - sent;  Hosea 2:11 - her feast;  Amos 7:13 - for;  Amos 8:14 - sin

Verse 33

So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.
offered upon the altar
or, went up to the altar, etc.
in the month
Numbers 15:39; Psalms 106:39; Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:6; Mark 7:13
he offered
13:1; 1 Samuel 13:12; 2 Chronicles 26:6
and burnt incense
Heb. to burn incense. Reciprocal: Exodus 32:5 - a feast;  2 Kings 2:2 - Bethel;  2 Chronicles 17:4 - not after;  2 Chronicles 26:16 - to burn;  Ezekiel 4:5 - three;  Hosea 11:2 - burned

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsk/1-kings-12.html.