Chapter 4

  1. And Rehoboam went to Shechem, for to Shechem had all Israel come to make him king. And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat — who was in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of Solomon the king — heard it, that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt. And they sent and called him. So Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, Your father made our yoke grievous. Now therefore ease somewhat the grievous servitude of your father and his heavy yoke that he put upon us, and we will serve you. And he said unto them, Come again unto me after three days. And the people departed.
  2. And king Rehoboam took counsel with the old men that had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel do you give me to return answer to this people? And they spoke unto him, saying, If you be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be your servants for ever. 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.
  3. And he said unto them, What advice do you give that we may return answer to this people who have spoken to me, saying, Ease somewhat the yoke that your father did put upon us? And the young men that were brought up with him spoke unto him, saying, Thus shall you answer the people that spoke unto you, saying, Your father made our yoke heavy, but make it somewhat lighter for us — thus shall you say unto them: My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins, 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.
  4. So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king bid, saying, Come again to me on the third day. And the king answered them roughly. And king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men and answered them after the advice of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add unto it. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. So the king listened not unto the people; for the cause was of God, that the Lord might perform his word which he spoke by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
  5. And when all Israel saw that the king would not listen unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? And we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Every man to your tents, O Israel. And now, David, see to your own house. So all Israel went to their tents.
  6. But as for the children of Israel that dwelled in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 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. And Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.
  7. And when Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he gathered of the house of Judah and Benjamin a hundred eighty thousand chosen men who were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam. But the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, Speak unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, Thus says the Lord: You shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren. Return every man to his house, for this thing is done of me. And they obeyed the words of the Lord and returned from going against Jeroboam.
  8. And Rehoboam dwelled in Jerusalem, and built cities for defense in Judah. He built even Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa, and Bethzur, and Soco, and Adullam, and Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph, and Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah, and Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron which are in Judah and in Benjamin, fortified cities. And he fortified the strongholds and put captains in them, and store of provisions, and of oil and wine. And in every single city he put shields and spears and made them exceedingly strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side.
  9. And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel gathered to him out of all their regions; for the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem (for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest’s office unto the Lord, and he ordained himself priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made). And after them, out of all the tribes of Israel, such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers. So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong three years; for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon.
  10. And Rehoboam took him Mahalath, the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, to wife, and Abihail, the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse, who bore him children: Jeush, and Shamariah, and Zaham. And after her, he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith. And Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines (for he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and begot twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters).
  11. And Rehoboam made Abijah the son of Maacah the chief, to be ruler among his brethren, for he thought to make him king. And he dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his children throughout all the countries of Judah and Benjamin, unto every fortified city; and he gave them provisions in abundance. And he desired many wives.
  12. And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. And it came to pass that in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem (because they had transgressed against the Lord) with twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen. And the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt — the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Ethiopians. And he took the fortified cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem.
  13. Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus says the Lord: You have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak — whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves, and they said, The Lord is righteous.
  14. And when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves, therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance. And my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak; nevertheless, they shall be his servants, that they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.
  15. So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem and took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house; he took all. He carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made, instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard that kept the entrance of the king’s house. And when the king entered into the house of the Lord, the guard came and fetched them, and brought them again into the guard chamber.
  16. And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the Lord turned from him, that he would not destroy him altogether. And also in Judah things went well.
  17. So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem and reigned. For Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah, an Ammonitess. And he did evil because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord.
  18. Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet? And of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. And Abijah his son reigned in his stead.