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World English Bible
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Chapter 12

1Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. 2It happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was yet in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam lived in Egypt, 3and they sent and called him), that Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came, and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4Your father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make you the grievous service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, lighter, and we will serve you. 5He said to them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. The people departed. 6King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give you me to return answer to this people? 7They 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. 8But he forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him. 9He said to them, What counsel do you give, that we may return answer to this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke that your father did put on us lighter? 10The young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, Thus shall you tell this people who spoke to you, saying, Your father made our yoke heavy, but make you it lighter to us; thus shall you speak to them, My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11Now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 12So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come to me again the third day. 13The king answered the people roughly, and forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him, 14and spoke to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 15So the king didn’t listen to the people; for it was a thing brought about of Yahweh, that he might establish his word, which Yahweh spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 16When all Israel saw that the king didn’t listen to them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, Israel: now see to your own house, David. So Israel departed to their tents. 17But as for the children of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the men subject to forced labor; and all Israel stoned him to death with stones. King Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. 19So Israel rebelled against the house of David to this day. 20It happened, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was returned, that they sent and called him to the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none who followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only. 21When Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, and the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand chosen men, who were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 22But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 23Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, saying, 24Thus says Yahweh, You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is of me. So they listened to the word of Yahweh, and returned and went their way, according to the word of Yahweh. 25Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived therein; and he went out from there, and built Penuel. 26Jeroboam said in his heart, Now will the kingdom return to the house of David: 27if this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of Yahweh at Jerusalem, then will the heart of this people turn again to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me, and return to Rehoboam king of Judah. 28Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold; and he said to them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: see your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt. 29He set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. 30This thing became a sin; for the people went to worship before the one, even to Dan. 31He made houses of high places, and made priests from among all the people, who were not of the sons of Levi. 32Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast that is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; so did he in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places that he had made. 33He went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart: and he ordained a feast for the children of Israel, and went up to the altar, to burn incense.

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