Splendor To Splinter
The Divided Kingdom
2 Chronicles 10
After the death of King Solomon, Israel became two distinctive political states which eventually led to the destruction of Israel as a nation for more 2000 years.
The Northern kingdom was known as Israel and the Southern kingdom was known as Judah and they operated as two separate countries from about 924 BC until 722 BC about 200 years.
Sometimes they would war with each other and sometimes they were friendly enough to aide each other.
The Northern kingdom came to an end in 722 BC at the hands of the Assyrians when the capitol city of Samaria was destroyed.
The Southern Kingdom fell to to the Babylonians in 587 BC when Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple were destroyed.
It was the Assyrians who caused the mixed breed, called the Samaritans to come about, when all the Jewish men were removed and Gentile men were brought into the Jewish women.
The Jews of Judah hated the Samaritans from that time forward.
2Ki 17:23 Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.
2Ki 17:24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.
We can see that God had His hand in all these things by allowing them to happen.
The Jewish remnant in Samaria made Mount Gerizim their own chosen place of God and adhered to only the Books of Moses called the Pentateuch.
Jerusalem and Mount Moriah, where the Temple once stood, will always be the place chosen by the Jew as the capitol city and God’s chosen place for them to worship.
But Jesus had these words for all Jews, all mixed cultures and all Gentiles as he taught the woman at that well in Samaria:
Joh 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Joh 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, “when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him”.
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
The place of worship is not near as important as knowing the truth of God!
And the Lord Jesus adds that “where two or three are gathered in His name, He will gather with them”,
King Solomon was the wisest man to have ever lived!
King Solomon was the richest of all Monarchy to have ever lived!
SO, What else does history give the most credit to King Solomon?
It was King Solomon that cause the downfall of the nation of Israel and he late in life realized this himself!
Ecc 2:18 Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
Ecc 2:19 And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.
Ecc 2:20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.
It was these actions of King Solomon in his sin that brought the wrath of God upon Israel!
1Ki 11:9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,
America has fallen away from the truth of God and our own leaders and government have contributed greatly to this but there is never any excuse for God’s people to lose their faith and trust in things other than our true God Jehovah, the Lord Jesus Christ!
So lets see how these things came about:
*****2Ch 10:1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for to Shechem were all Israel come to make him king.
Rehoboam was the first born son of Solomon from Naamah the princess daughter of the King of Ammon.
The Ammonites worshipped Milcom, the false fire god of the Ammonites which required human sacrifices.
Shechem was the place where Abraham had pitched a tent and built his first altar in the Promised Land and the very place where Abraham received the covenant of God.
In fact Shechem has a great history in the writings of other nations including Egypt.
Gen 12:6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
Gen 12:7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
Shechem was well remembered by the children of Israel and had a great history and it was at Shechem where Rehoboam decide to give his inauguration speech.
Unlike Solomon who was a teenager, Rehoboam was 41 years old when he became King of Israel.
*****2Ch 10:2 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.
Jeroboam had once been a supervisor over a large work force for King Solomon.
1Ki 11:28 And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.
Jeroboam evidently disagreed with King Solomon in the duties of his job and how the people were treated and King Solomon removed Jeroboam from service and Jeroboam fled for his life to Egypt but only after a meeting with a prophet of God named Ahijah.
These things happened in the years when Solomon had forsaken the Lord and had fallen into idolatry!
1Ki 11:40 Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
Upon the death of King Solomon, Jeroboam had returned to Israel and sought to fulfill the prophecies of God.
It is important for us to know that God does not need our help to fulfill the things He has said He will cause to happen!
Many in Israel knew the truth of Jeroboam and they sent for him to be present to hear the words of Rehoboam in Shechem.
*****2Ch 10:3 And they sent and called him. So Jeroboam and all Israel came and spake to Rehoboam, saying,
2Ch 10:4 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.
It is also important to consider that it was the people of Israel who had made Saul and David kings of Israel.
It had been David who had caused Solomon to be king and he had been accepted by the people.
Rehoboam had just assumed that he would be the next King because he was the first born son of Solomon and without any input from the people.
It is the people who should always have a say in who will lead their nation!
God had already set the standard for selecting the kings of Israel.
1) God must appoint him.
2) The people in a proper assembly must approve him!
Israel did not have an absolute monarchy but Israel was intended to have a monarchy with a democracy, until the true King of Kings returned!
Jeroboam had been selected by Jehovah to be king of 10 of the tribes of Israel, leaving Rehoboam to be king of Judah which included the tribe of Benjamin at that time and all those that refused to follow Jeroboam.
1Ki 11:29 And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field:
1Ki 11:30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces:
1Ki 11:31 And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:
1Ki 11:32 (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:)
1Ki 11:33 Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.
1Ki 11:34 Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant’s sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes:
1Ki 11:35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.
God had also given Jeroboam a standard that he was to keep as the new King of Israel:
1Ki 11:38 And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.
1Ki 11:39 And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever.
This is the real reason that Solomon had decided to kill Jeroboam!
The first twenty years of Solomon’s rule were as they should have been, but the last twenty years were Solomon’s downfall and he had financed the building of many false places of worship to suit his many wives and by taxing and causing the servitude of all of Israel, he had all of Israel his personal servants.
Not so much different than what is happening in our own nation today!
This is something that David had not done nor Solomon at the first.
Even King Saul had not sank to this level of sin!
If Rehoboam had addressed this issue he could have remained king of all of Israel and he first sought the counsel of the same men who had advised his father Solomon.
*****2Ch 10:5 And he said unto them, Come again unto me after three days. And the people departed.
2Ch 10:6 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?
2Ch 10:7 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.
Rehoboam showed some wisdom in seeking the counsel of these men.
SO, What are the facts?
People will not submit quietly to a tyrant!
This is a problem we have in America today. Men become president and forget they are there to serve the people and become tyrants seeking to impose their own will on all people.
There are already 26 states who have refused to allow this to happen along with more than 50 percent of the people in America.
Rehoboam got some real good advise from these experienced statesmen.
1Ki 12:7 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.
If Rehoboam had a servants heart and not the heart of a tyrant, all of Israel would have remained united!
This is the same advice that every national leader needs to hear!
1) Leaders are put in place to serve the people!
2) Leaders are put in place to do the good things they say they will do!
3) Leaders are put in place to benefit the entire nation and not just a select few!
4) Leaders are put in place must believe that God has placed them in that position, and for His own reasons and it is not to suit themselves!
Any leader in any position whether it be president, king, governor, judge or legislator who does not serve the people they were elected to serve, are not entitled to the respect of the people and they will not have it!
What these wise old men said still hold true throughout time!
Rehoboam could have solved all his problems if he had just listened to this good advice but instead these were words that did not suit him.
*****2Ch 10:8 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.
2Ch 10:9 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?
2Ch 10:10 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.
2Ch 10:11 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.
Rehoboam had been raised in the riches of royalty that had been provided by his father Solomon.
For twenty years he had witnessed his father’s luxurious life style.
Rehoboam discussed these things with others who had also lived in the luxury of royalty and had not seen the real world of ordinary people.
Note: Most of our own government are lifetime politicians who have never known the trials and the tribulations of ordinary people!
What is a despot?
A despot is a tyrant who craves absolute power and who seeks to rule without any control of people, any control of laws, or by any constitution decided on by the people.
Rehoboam became a despot.
Our own President has also become a despot!
Wake up America!
Our leaders do not own us nor are they to rewrite our constitution on a whim!
Nor is that the job of our judicial system.
It is the God fearing people who are to make the laws they want to be governed by!
These young inexperienced men advised Rehoboam by saying “Do not begin your reign as king by giving in to the people” which might be interpreted as weakness on your part!
They advised King Rehoboam to tell these people that only he, Rehoboam, knew how best to deal with the affairs of state and he did not need their input.
All of Israel just needed to accept that he knew what was best for all of Israel.
Where have we heard all these things before? We hear this from our own government!
The meaning of being chastised with scorpions can only mean one thing.
Chastisement came by the whip in those days.
There were two types of whips in that day.
1) One had a handle attached to twisted leather or in some cases a rod similar to a thin cane.
2) Then the other one, similar to that used on Jesus, had a handle with several leather thongs that had attachments of wire, such as fish hooks and pieces of bone known as the “cat-o-nine tails”.
If the whipping by King Solomon as by the first whip, then the whipping of King Rehoboam would be as the whipping of the “cat-o-nine tails”, “the whip of the scorpion”.
What does God teach us about these things?
Eze 2:6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
And Jesus added these words:
Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Luk 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Luk 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Any leader that adheres to such a policy, is an enemy to the nation they were put in place to serve!
The people of Israel had come to this same conclusion about Rehoboam!
And many today feel this same way about our own president!
When a people cannot trust their government they will also refuse his policies.
*****2Ch 10:15 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.
2Ch 10:16 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.
God had not caused these things to happen. God just knew these things were going to happen and God gave Israel a means to escape this tyrant, while also showing this tyrant Rehoboam that it was not he that was in charge.
Both these men Rehoboam and Jeroboam were given great opportunities to do a good work for God and we will see that they both failed.
Rehoboam was to remain King of Judah only because of the covenant God had made with his grandfather King David.
1) David was to have a child named Solomon that would establish his kingdom.
2) Solomon would build the Temple.
3) The throne of David would be established forever.
4) The throne would not be taken away from Solomon even if his sin required it.
5) It was David’s house that would be established forever. “House” here means the royal dynasty of King David!
The ultimate fulfillment of these things would be in King Jesus who was the legal descendant to the throne of David by his adoptive father Joseph, and not only through a continual blood line passed down through Solomon but also through another of David’s son named Nathan, from whom came the blood line of Mary the mother of Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the direct heir to the throne of Israel and He can never die!
God always does what He says He will do!
Psa 89:3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,
Psa 89:4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.
Jeroboam was also given a great opportunity to restore the glory of Israel, if he had just followed the Word of God!
The nation of Israel abandoned Rehoboam and chose Jeroboam as their King.
If we just look back on our own history we would see that the 13 colonies had exhausted every method of seeking relief from the heavy burden that came from England, but to no avail, and the only thing left was open rebellion to the throne of England.
We can also see that America is again reaching that same point of rebellion with an administration that intentionally and continuously tries to destroy the truth of American freedom!
So Israel departed from the government of Rehoboam and prepared to defend their own homes by their own means as many in America are doing today.
This one of the reasons that there more than 8 billion arms in the hands of the American citizen making them the most armed army in the entire world and the true reason our government insist on gun control!
*****2Ch 10:17 But as for the children of Israel that dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.
For many years those that had lived in the days of the united kingdom would remember these days the nation of Israel was divided, as the most tragic days in the history of Israel, though Isaiah had prophesied of a future time period that would be even worst than this one.
Isa 7:17 The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father’s house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.
***The pure truth is, that it is “the sin of every nation” that will bring with it an invasion from foreign lands along with all kinds of trouble on the home front!
This is the fact of all sinful generations and history has proven this to be true!
The Lord allowed Assyria to take down Israel but it was the Lord Himself who caused the downfall of Judah who was held to an even higher standard.
Isa 8:7 Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks:
Isa 8:8 And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.
***God also said that every other nation that has turned against Him would be treated the exact same way
Isa 8:9 Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.
Isa 8:10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.
Isa 8:11 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,
Rehoboam decided to force the issues of his government by first forcefully collecting taxes.
Does it not seem that our own IRS has been given powers that it was never intended to have!
The IRS has now become just another arm of a tyrannical government!
*****2Ch 10:18 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.
***A people who have lost their trust in and have given up on their government will not be brought under control by force!
Rehoboam first tried to forcefully collect the taxes and the tribute.
The reply of the people was death to the tax collector!
Hadoram had been at that job since the time he was appointed by King David but this made no difference to the people of Israel and they hated the tax collector all through the time of Jesus.
To be quiet honest we all detest the tax collector!
So the Israelites of that day rebelled against the house of David, meaning Israel no longer acknowledged the line of the royal family of King David!
*****2Ch 10:19 And Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.
The period of the divided kingdom lasted about 253 years.
The line of David continue to reign in Judah and there were never any changes to this royal line!
In all there were 9 dynastes in Israel.
The leadership of Israel was always changing for one reason or another, without the input of the people.
***There was never a settled government of those ten tribes in all those years!
***There was not one good king of Israel in all those years!
***BUT, God never stopped sending to them the Word of God.
God sent Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Hosea, and Amos just to name a few and many of these have their Holy Ghost inspired words preserved forever for us to learn from Israel mistakes.
There was even a school for the prophets located in this area called Israel so God kept the Word of God alive during all this time.
These prophets of God, always prophesied against the kings of the Northern Kingdom, because they all had one thing in common.
2Ki 15:24 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: “he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin”.
Not one king of the Northern Tribes ever sought to serve the Lord!
Jeroboam realized that Judah still had some advantages over his new government.
1. The Temple was located in Jerusalem and all of Israel were required to go there on at least 3 occasions each year.
2. It would be the Temple where the priests and the Levites and the scholars and the teachers of the Word of God were located.
3) It was Judah and the line of David that had those marvelous promises of God and even in that day, they knew God had kept every promise He had ever made to them!
And Jeroboam decided he needed to create a religion that was enticing enough to be in direct competition with the truth of God, as so many still do today!
We will expand on these things as we go along.