Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for to Shechem were all Israel come to make him king.Ch. 2 Chronicles 10:1-15 (= 1 Kings 12:1-15). The Conference at Shechem
1. Shechem] Chosen for its central position, for it is in the heart of Western Palestine.
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.2. Jeroboam] For his antecedents (which are not given by the Chronicler) see 1 Kings 11:26 ff.
that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt] So we should read also in 1 Kings 12:2 for “and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt.” The difference in Heb. between the two readings when written without the vowels is confined to one letter.
And they sent and called him. So Jeroboam and all Israel came and spake to Rehoboam, saying,
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.4. ease thou somewhat … put upon us] R.V. make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter (as in 1 Kin.). The “service” complained of is described (in part) in 1 Kings 5:13-14 (no parallel in Chron.). Cp. 2 Chronicles 8:9 (= 1 Kings 9:22), note.
and we will serve thee] The people claim their ancient right to a voice in the appointment of a king; cp. 1 Samuel 11:14-15 (Saul) and 2 Samuel 5:1-3 (David).
And he said unto them, Come again unto me after three days. And the people departed.
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?6. stood before] Cp. Deuteronomy 1:38; 1 Kings 17:1. The phrase is used to express service, whether rendered to God or to man.
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 for ever.7. if thou be kind to this people, and please them] The Chronicler has softened the forcible words of the parallel passage (1 Kings 12:7), “If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them.” The words which were too blunt for Rehoboam were also too blunt for the Chronicler.
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.8. were brought up with him] R.V. were grown up with him.
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?9. What advice] R.V. What counsel (as in 2 Chronicles 10:6).
Ease somewhat the yoke that thy father did put upon us] R.V. Make the yoke that thy father did put upon us lighter.
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.10. were brought up with him] R.V. were grown up with him (as in 2 Chronicles 10:8).
somewhat lighter for us] R.V. omits “somewhat”.
shall be thicker] R.V. is thicker.
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.11. For whereas … to your yoke] R.V. And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke (as 1 Kin.).
with whips] A whip or flail was among the insignia of an Egyptian (and perhaps also of an Israelite) king. Cp. Erman, Ancient Egypt, Eng. Tr. p. 60 (where an illustration is given) and p. 63.
with scorpions] The expression is most probably proverbial and metaphorical, but some authorities (e.g. Pesh.) take “scorpion” to be the name of a particular kind of scourge, the lash of which was provided with thorns or hooks.
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.
And the king answered them roughly; and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men,13. answered them roughly] It was difficult for the son of so powerful a king as Solomon to realise that there was any necessity for a soft answer. Solomon had put down Israelite discontent by driving Jeroboam into exile in Egypt, and David had put down somewhat easily the movement under Sheba son of Bichri (2 Samuel 20:1-22). Could the good fortune of the House of David fail at this third crisis?
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.14. and answered them after the advice] R.V. and spake to them after the counsel (as 1 Kin.).
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.15. the cause was of God] R.V. it was brought about of God.
might perform] R.V. might establish.
Ahijah] Cp. 1 Kings 11:29-39. The incident referred to is not narrated in Chron., being assumed to be known.
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.16–19 (= 1 Kings 12:16-19). The Revolt
16. And we have none inheritance] R.V. neither have we inheritance. Contrast the language of the ten tribes after the collapse of Absalom’s rebellion: We have ten parts in the king (2 Samuel 19:43).
to your tents] See note on 2 Chronicles 7:10.
And now, David, see to thine own house] R.V. now see to thine own house, David.
went] R.V. departed.
But as for the children of Israel that dwelt 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.18. Hadoram] Called “Adoram” in the parallel passage (1 Kings 12:18) and “Adoniram” (1 Kings 4:6; 1 Kings 5:14; [28 Heb.]).
over the tribute] R.V. over the levy.
And Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.