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Rehoboam and Jeroboam: The Kingdom divides

Ten tribes rebel against Rehoboam and want Jeroboam.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Simplified Chinese
King Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem for people to worship God. However, although God had told His people not to marry people from other nations who worshipped idols, Solomon married many foreign women (700 of royal birth and 300 concubines). – Slide 1
As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to God. On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the god of Moab, and for Molek the god of the Ammonites. – Slide 2
He allowed altars to be built for the gods of his wives including Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians. – Slide 3
The Lord became angry with Solomon for turning away from Him and offering sacrifices to idols. – Slide 4
God told the Solomon, ‘Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my commands, I will tear the kingdom away from you and give it to someone else. For the sake of your father David, this won’t happen in your lifetime but when your son takes to the throne.’ – Slide 5
When Solomon was rebuilding Fort Millo, he put a very able and hard working man called Jeroboam in charge of the workers. – Slide 6
One day as Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah, who had put on a new robe, met him and spoke to him alone in a field. – Slide 7
Ahijah tore his new robe into twelve pieces and said to Jeroboam, ‘Take ten of these pieces, for God is going to tear the kingdom from Solomon and give ten of the tribes to you! – Slide 8
‘God will let Solomon reign for the rest of his life but He will take away the kingdom from his son and give ten of the tribes to you. – Slide 9
‘Solomon has disobeyed God’s laws and worshipped other gods. His son will rule in Jerusalem but you will have power over the rest of Israel. If you obey God He will bless you.’ – Slide 10
Solomon saw Jeroboam as a threat and tried to assassinate him. But Jeroboam escaped and fled to Egypt where King Shishak protected him. – Slide 11
After a reign of 40 years, Solomon died and his son Rehoboam became king. – Slide 12
Friends of Jeroboam got a message to him in Egypt to let him know that Solomon was dead. He returned in time for the coronation of King Rehoboam. He immediately became the ringleader of those wanting to make demands on the new king. – Slide 13
‘Your father was a hard master,’ the protesters told Rehoboam. ‘We don’t want you as our king unless you promise to treat us better than Solomon did.’ ‘Give me three days to think this over,’ Rehoboam replied. ‘Then, come back for my answer.’ So the people left. – Slide 14
Rehoboam went to the old men who had advised his father Solomon. ‘What do you think I should do?’ he asked them.‘If you agree to be good to them and serve them well, you can be their king forever,’ they replied. But Rehoboam ignored their advice. – Slide 15
Instead he turned to the young men he had grown up with for their views. They said, ‘Tell them, “If you think my father was harsh on you, well, I’ll be hasher! My father used whips on you, but I’ll use scorpions!’” – Slide 16
So when Jeroboam and the people returned three days later, Rehoboam threatened them with even harder work and harsher treatment. – Slide 17
When the people realised that the king was refusing to listen to them, they began shouting, ‘Down with David and all his relatives! Rehoboam can be king of his own family! Let’s go home!’ As the prophet had foretold, ten tribes deserted the king and only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained loyal. – Slide 18
King Rehoboam sent an official called Hadoram to force the ten rebellious tribes of Israel to work for him. But they responded by stoning Hadoram to death. When this news reached King Rehoboam, he jumped into his chariot and fled to Jerusalem. – Slide 19
The ten tribes summoned Jeroboam and made him their king. – Slide 20
The nation of Israel was now divided with King Rehoboam ruling over the tribe of Judah and Benjamin in Jerusalem and Jeroboam ruling the ten remaining tribes of Israel from Shechem. – Slide 21
King Rehoboam gathered an army of 180,000 fighters from Judah and Benjamin, to force the rest of Israel to acknowledge him as their king. But God sent the prophet Shemaiah with the following message: ‘Tell Rehoboam and the people of Judah and Benjamin that they must not fight against their brothers. Tell them to disband and go home, for what has happened to Rehoboam is according to my wish.’ So the army went home as the Lord had commanded. – Slide 22
Jeroboam thought, ‘Unless I’m careful, the people will want a descendant of David as their king. When they go to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the Temple, they will become friendly with King Rehoboam. Then they will kill me and ask him to be their king instead.’ So on the advice of his counselors, the king had two golden calf idols made. He told the people, ‘Don’t go to Jerusalem to worship. From now these will be your gods.’ – Slide 23
One of these calf idols was placed in Bethel and the other in Dan. It was a very disobedient act that greatly displeased God. Jeroboam offered sacrifices on the altar to the calves at Bethel. He also made shrines on the hills and ordained priests who were not from the priestly tribe of Levi. Neither Jeroboam, or any of the Kings of Israel that followed him, trusted in God or obeyed Him. Eventually, many years later, God allowed the Assyrians to invade and take the ten tribes away as captives in punishment for their constant disobedience. – Slide 24
Slide 25