Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for to Shechem were all Israel come to make him king.
2Ch 10:1-15. Rehoboam Refusing the Old Men's Good Counsel.
1. Rehoboam went to Shechem—(See on 1Ki 12:1). This chapter is, with a few verbal alterations, the same as in 1Ki 12:1-19.
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.
And they sent and called him. So Jeroboam and all Israel came and spake to Rehoboam, saying,
3. And they sent—rather, "for they had sent," &c. This is stated as the reason of Jeroboam's return from Egypt.
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.
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?
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, and speak good words to them—In the Book of Kings [1Ki 12:7], the words are, "If thou wilt be a servant unto this people, and wilt serve them." The meaning in both is the same, namely, If thou wilt make some reasonable concessions, redress their grievances, and restore their abridged liberties, thou wilt secure their strong and lasting attachment to thy person and government.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
15-17. the king hearkened not unto the people, for the cause was of God—Rehoboam, in following an evil counsel, and the Hebrew people, in making a revolutionary movement, each acted as free agents, obeying their own will and passions. But God, who permitted the revolt of the northern tribes, intended it as a punishment of the house of David for Solomon's apostasy. That event demonstrates the immediate superintendence of His providence over the revolutions of kingdoms; and thus it affords an instance, similar to many other striking instances that are found in Scripture, of divine predictions, uttered long before, being accomplished by the operation of human passions, and in the natural course of events.
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.
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.
And Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.