1 Kings 12:7
Parallel Verses
New International Version
They replied, "If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants."

New Living Translation
The older counselors replied, "If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects."

English Standard Version
And they said to him, “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever.”

New American Standard Bible
Then they spoke to him, saying, "If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever."

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They replied, "Today if you will be a servant to these people and serve them, and if you respond to them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever."

International Standard Version
They advised him, "If today you are a servant, you will serve this people by answering them and speaking kindly to them. Then they will serve you forever."

NET Bible
They said to him, "Today if you show a willingness to help these people and grant their request, they will be your servants from this time forward."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They told him, "If you will serve these people today, humble yourself, and speak gently, then they will always be your servants."

Jubilee Bible 2000
And they spoke unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a slave unto this people this day and wilt serve them and answer them by speaking good words unto them, then they will be thy slaves for ever.

King James 2000 Bible
And they spoke unto him, saying, If you will be a servant unto this people this day, and will serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.

American King James Version
And they spoke to him, saying, If you will be a servant to this people this day, and will serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants for ever.

American Standard Version
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
They said to him: If thou wilt yield to this people to day, and condescend to them, and grant their petition, and wilt speak gentle words to them, they will be thy servants always.

Darby Bible Translation
And they spoke to him saying, If this day thou wilt be a servant to this people, and wilt serve them and answer them and speak good words to them, they will be thy servants for ever.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
And they spoke to him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant to 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.

World English Bible
They spoke to him, saying, "If you will be a servant to this people this day, and will serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever."

Young's Literal Translation
And they speak unto him, saying, 'If, to-day, thou art servant to this people, and hast served them, and answered them, and spoken unto them good words, then they have been to thee servants all the days.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:1-15 The tribes complained not to Rehoboam of his father's idolatry, and revolt from God. That which was the greatest grievance, was none to them; so careless were they in matters of religion, if they might live at case, and pay no taxes. Factious spirits will never want something to complain of. And when we see the Scripture account of Solomon's reign; the peace, wealth, and prosperity Israel then enjoyed; we cannot doubt but that their charges were false, or far beyond the truth. Rehoboam answered the people according to the counsel of the young men. Never was man more blinded by pride, and desire of arbitrary power, than which nothing is more fatal. God's counsels were hereby fulfilled. He left Rehoboam to his own folly, and hid from his eyes the things which belonged to his peace, that the kingdom might be rent from him. God serves his own wise and righteous purposes by the imprudences and sins of men. Those that lose the kingdom of heaven, throw it away, as Rehoboam, by wilfulness and folly.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 7. - And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them [Keil questions the propriety and expediency of this advice. He says, "The king could not become the עֶבֶד of the people without prejudicing the authority entrusted to him by God." But they do not propose that he should become their servant, except for one clay, and then only in the sense of making reasonable concessions. What they mean is this: "If thou wilt brook for once to accede to their terms instead of dictating thine own," etc. The form of their answer was probably suggested by the temper of the king. They saw what was passing in his mind, viz., that he would fain play the autocrat, and that he resented it exceedingly that his subjects, just as he had begun to taste the sweets of royalty, should presume to parley with him; and they say in effect, "You think that they are reversing your relations, that they are making you, their sovereign, their servant. Be it so. It is but for one day. Then they will be your slaves forever"], and answer them [i.e., favourably; grant their request; cf. Psalm 22:22; Psalm 65:6], and speak good words to them, then will they be thy servants forever. ["Thy servants," in opposition to "a servant" above; "forever" in opposition to "this day."]

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And they spake unto him, saying,.... They gave their advice as follows:

if thou wilt be servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them; condescend to them, behave in an humble manner towards them, for this day however, and gratify and oblige them; though indeed a king is but a servant to his people, and his administration of government a doing service to them; hence Antigonus (f), a king, mild, humble, and gentle, perceiving his son to behave in a fierce and violent manner towards his subjects, said to him, my son, dost thou not know that our glorious kingdom is a servitude?

and answer them, and speak good words unto them; give them a soft answer, and speak kindly and gently to them, and make them fair promises, and give them reason to expect that their requests will be granted:

then they will be thy servants for ever; such conduct would so win upon them, and make such an impressions upon them, that they would for ever after entertain high opinion of him, and be strongly affected and attached to him, and readily serve him.

(f) Apud Aelian. Var. Hist. l. 2. c. 20.



1 Kings 12:7 Additional Commentaries
Context
Rebellion against Rehoboam
6King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, "How do you counsel me to answer this people?" 7Then they spoke to him, saying, "If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever." 8But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him.…
Cross References
1 Kings 12:8
But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.

2 Chronicles 10:7
They replied, "If you will be kind to these people and please them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants."

Proverbs 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Treasury of Scripture

And they spoke to him, saying, If you will be a servant to this people this day, and will serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants for ever.

If thou wilt

2 Chronicles 10:6,7 And king Rehoboam took counsel with the old men that had stood before …

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Mark 10:43,44 But so shall it not be among you: but whoever will be great among …

Philippians 2:7-11 But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a …

speak good

1 Kings 12:13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's …

2 Samuel 15:3-6 And Absalom said to him, See, your matters are good and right; but …

Ecclesiastes 10:4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against you, leave not your place; …

Zechariah 1:13 And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words …

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