1 Kings Chapter 12
Verses 12:1 – 14:31: This section describes the disruption of the Kingdom (12:1-24), plus the establishment and royal sanctioning of idolatry in Israel (12:25 – 14:20), and Judah (14:21-31). The reigns of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, in the south (931-913 B.C.), and Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam, in the north (931-910 B.C.), are discussed (see 2 Chron. 10:1 – 12:16).
1 Kings 12:1 “And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.”
“All Israel” refers to the representatives of the northern tribes that were assembled to accept Rehoboam as king (2 Sam. 5:3). The fact that “Rehoboam went to Shechem” for recognition by all the tribes; underscores the insecurity of his position. Shechem had a longstanding tradition of importance for the Hebrews that stretched back to the times of the patriarchs (Gen. 12:6-7).
Shechem” was an ancient rallying place for the tribes and the scene of periodic covenant renewal ceremonies, thus it was a fitting site for the coronation (Gen. 12:6-7; 33:18-20; Josh. 24:1:27, 32). This sacred spot reminded “all Israel” of God’s faithfulness and their destiny as His people.
“Rehoboam” means “he who enlarges the people”. The name given him by Solomon was what Solomon wanted for him, not what he became. Shechem was a city which was on or near Mount Ephraim. This would have been a central gathering place for all of Israel.
Verses 2-15: By the counsel he heeded, “Rehoboam” demonstrated his lack of political acumen and wisdom. The heavy-handed approach advised by the “young men” was quite the opposite of what Solomon had taught about a soft answer turning away wrath (Prov. 15:1), and the opposite of what Solomon’s “elders” recommended.
1 Kings 12:2 “And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard [of it], (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;)”
“Heard of it”: Jeroboam, in Egypt (11:40), learned about the death of Solomon (11:43).
We read in another lesson how Jeroboam was opposed to Solomon. He had been afraid of Solomon and fled to Egypt. Egypt, throughout the ages, has been a place of refuge. Even though he had been afraid of Solomon, he would not be afraid of Rehoboam. The news of Solomon’s death had reached him in Egypt.
1 Kings 12:3 “That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying,”
“Jeroboam … spake”: The northern tribes summoned Jeroboam for Egypt to become their representative and spokesman in their dealings with Rehoboam.
1 Kings 12:4 “Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.”
The forced labor and heavy taxation needed to support the splendor of Solomon’s vast enterprises were loathsome to the northern tribes (see the note on 5:13-14).
“Yoke”: The hardships that resulted from Solomon’s policy of compulsory labor service (5:13; 9:22; 11:28), and excessive taxes (4:7), came because the splendor of his courts, the magnitude of his wealth, and the profits of his enterprises were not enough to sustain his demands.
This shows us that Solomon had taxed the people heavily to support his lavish way of life. The people had not been satisfied with this heavy tax levied upon them, and they have an opportunity now to revolt. They were still willing to be part of the larger nation, if he will reduce their taxes. The nation is ready for change. The people can stand no more extremely high taxation. They are about to revolt. They will serve Rehoboam, if he reduces their taxes.
1 Kings 12:5 “And he said unto them, Depart yet [for] three days, then come again to me. And the people departed.”
Suggesting that he would consider of their proposal and inquire into the merits of it and as things should appear to him he would give them an answer in three days’ time. That at first sight may seem a point of prudence in him, to take time for deliberation and counsel in this affair. But in his case and circumstance it was very imprudent; for he might easily see there was discontent among the people, and a faction forming against him. And, by taking time to himself, he gave them time to take their measures, and hasten and ripen them for a revolt. For, by giving them such an answer, they might plainly perceive he was not inclined to give them satisfaction. It would have been the most advisable in him to have promised them at once that he would make them easy.
“And the people departed”: To their quarters, and there remained to the third day.
Verses 6-7: These were older, experienced counselors and administrators who had served Solomon, they counseled Rehoboam to give concessions to the 10 tribes.
1 Kings 12:6 “And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?”
Which was very prudently done; for as these were men in years, and had been his father’s counsellors, from whom, do doubt, they had learnt much wisdom. Being often in cabinet council with him, they were capable of giving him the best advice.
“And said, how do you advise, that I may answer this people?” What answer would you advise me to give to them, and in what manner?
We will see that the gift of wisdom that his father, Solomon, possessed would not be his son’s, Rehoboam. First of all, he asked for 3 days to decide this matter. Notice also, that he does not consult with the LORD about what he is to do. The consulting of the old men is the very next best thing to do. These old men are filled with the knowledge that experience brings. Since he has not prayed and asked God what to do, he should listen to these old men.
1 Kings 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.”
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 a humble manner towards them, and gratify and oblige them. Though indeed a king is but a servant to his people, and his administration of government is doing service to them.
“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 impression upon them, that they would forever after entertain high opinion of him, and be strongly affected and attached to him, and readily serve him.
A really good leader is a servant to the people he leads. It is a great honor to be king, but with that honor goes great responsibility to the people.
Verses 8-10: The young men”: The contemporaries of Rehoboam, about 40 years of age (14:21), who were acquainted only with the royal court life of Solomon, recommended that Rehoboam be even harsher on the 10 tribes than was Solomon.
1 Kings 12:8 “But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, [and] which stood before him:”
He did not rightly relish it, nor cordially receive it. It did not suit with his haughty temper, he could not accept it, to stoop to his people; he thought it a lessening of his dignity to do anything that looked like courting their favor. Therefore, he was determined not to take the advice given him by the old men, but to seek for another.
“And consulted with the men, that were grown up with him, and which stood before him”: The sons of nobles, with whom he had his education, and who were his companions from his youth upwards. And who were now officers in his court, and of his privy council, being his favorites, and those he consulted on this occasion. Although they are called young men, as they were in comparison of the old men, yet since they were contemporary with Rehoboam, who was now forty one years of age. They must be about forty, or not much under, and at an age to be wiser than they appeared to be.
Rehoboam did not like the answer they gave, so he sought someone else’s advice, who would give him advice he wanted to hear. These young men have no experience and should really not have been consulted. They wanted to be the next leaders in Rehoboam’s cabinet, so they tell him what he wants to hear.
1 Kings 12:9 “And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?”
(See 1 Kings 12:4).
1 Kings 12:10 “And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou [it] lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little [finger] shall be thicker than my father’s loins.”
“My little finger … my father’s loins”: A proverbial manner of saying he was going to come at them with greater force than Solomon had exhibited (verses 11-14).
This is an egotistical remark to the people. A king is as strong as the people will allow him to be. He has been advised to turn against the people who had made Solomon great in the land. This is terrible advice. His strength lies in the LORD first, and then in the people of his kingdom. If he loses this, he has no power.
1 Kings 12:11 “And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.”
“Scorpions” means the multi-tailed whips to which barbed points or hooks were attached. Their sting was as severe as that of a scorpion.
Rehoboam was to threaten them. He would use his army to enforce the taxes.
1 Kings 12:12 “So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day.”
For the importance of the “third day” (see the note on 2 Kings 20:8).
1 Kings 12:13 “And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him;”
In a blustering manner, gave them hard words and severe menaces, being worked up to such a spirit by his young counsellors.
“And forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him”: To give them good words and kind promises.
Rehoboam was puffed up with pride. He took the advice of his friends, which was terrible advice, and spoke to the people as if he did not need their support. He counted them as nothing. He felt he could take the army, and force them to do what he wanted them to do. He had forgotten that even the army was made up of the people.
1 Kings 12:14 “And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father [also] chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.”
And in the very language in which they gave it.
“Saying, my father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke”: My father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions (see 1 Kings 12:11).
He had decided to be even rougher on them than Solomon had been. He would whip them into submission to him. He not only will not reduce the taxes, he will take more.
1 Kings 12:15 “Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.”
“From the Lord”: God sovereignly used the foolishness of Rehoboam to fulfill Ahijah’s prophecy (11:29-39).
This angry reply to the people by Rehoboam was the tool the LORD used to bring Jeroboam to lead the 10 tribes into revolt. We remember the statement that the prophet Ahijah had said to Jeroboam.
1 Kings 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:”
Verses 16-19: It takes years to build unity, but only a moment to tear it apart. No wonder God’s design is for church leaders to be gentle rather than quarrelsome (1 Tim. 3:3). Tragically, Rehoboam’s answer alienated the people, causing them to rebel “against the house of David”. Despite the words of Rehoboam’s own grandfather, King David (Psalm 131:1). The Lord used these events to fulfill His word to Jeroboam.
1 Kings 12:16 “So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto 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, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.”
“David”: These words of Israel (verse 16), expressed deliberate, willful rebellion against the dynasty of David (verse 19). Defiantly, the Israelites quoted the rallying cry used in Sheba’s failed rebellion against David (2 Sam. 20:1). The northern tribes declared that they had no legal tie with David and went their way.
They are not represented fairly, so why should they follow Solomon’s son? They are not receiving anything from the kingdom of Solomon, so why should they serve him? They feel they are giving and not receiving anything in return. The ten tribes left and went to their tents. They would not be ruled by such a tyrant.
1 Kings 12:17 “But [as for] the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.”
“Children of Israel”: People from the northern tribes who had migrated south and settled in Judah.
Rehoboam was actually over Benjamin and Judah, which were spoken of as Judah. Jerusalem was located here.
1 Kings 12:18 “Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who [was] over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died.
“Adoram”: Sending the chief of taxation and forced labor (Adoniram in 4:6; 5:14), to negotiate with the northern tribes was foolish (verse 4).
Therefore, king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.”
1 Kings 12:19 “So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.”
“Unto this day” (see note on 8:8).
This is the first true revolt, when they refused to pay the tribute and killed the tax collector. Rehoboam fled for fear of his own life. He would set up his kingdom in Jerusalem. Actually, from that very day to this, there has been a separation of these people.
Verses 20-21: The people “made” Jeroboam “king”, there is no mention of God’s anointing or even a seeking after God’s will. Only “Judah” (and Benjamin), remained loyal to Rehoboam (see note on 11:26-40).
The kingdom was divided at that point. Israel (the northern 10 tribes), had its own king.
1 Kings 12:20 “And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.”
Some scholars suggest that Simeon is subsumed under “Judah,” hence “only” one “tribe” (11:36), remained loyal to Rehoboam. Others suggest that Simeon had migrated northward like Dan and that although Benjamin existed as a buffer state, its loyalties were divided and it soon came under the jurisdiction of Judah. This arrangement was to remain throughout the history of the divided kingdom (verses 21-23 with 2 Chron. 11:1-23; 14:8; 15:2, 8-9). Judah and Benjamin are consistently counted as the two southern tribes (2 Chron. 11:3; 14:8).
The ten tribes that now made up Israel, sent to Egypt for Jeroboam, and he became the first king of the separated ten tribes. He would be an evil king. He would cause Israel to sin against God. He was in fact, the beginning of a series of evil kings.
1 Kings 12:21 “And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.”
“The tribe of Benjamin”: The tribe of Benjamin had split loyalty and land during the divided-kingdom era. According (to verse 20), only the tribe of Judah remained completely loyal to the house of David, but (in verses 21, 23), it is said that Benjamin was associated with “all the house of Judah,” the emphasis being on the tribe of Judah. Certain towns of northern Benjamin, most notably Beth-el (verse 29), were included in the northern kingdom. Simeon, the tribe originally given land in the southern section of Judah’s territory (Joshua 19:1-9), had apparently migrated north and was counted with the10 northern tribes (1 Chron. 12:23-25; 2 Chron. 15:9; 34:6). Thus, the 10 northern tribes were Reuben, Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, and Ephraim. The southern kingdom was the tribe of Judah only. The 12th tribe, Benjamin, was split between the two kingdoms. The tribe of Levi, originally scattered throughout both kingdoms (Joshua 21:1-42), resided in Judah during the divided kingdom (see 2 Chron. 11:13-16).
I really believe that Benjamin came to the side of Judah, because their land divided Jerusalem. God wanted Jerusalem to remain the holy city. He did not want confusion in Jerusalem at this time. The 180,000 fighting men would have great war tools, like the chariots and horses. The strange thing is, so will the ten tribes, because many of the outposts were in those areas.
Verses 22-24: Rehoboam’s plans to subdue the rebels by force were interrupted by the prophet “Shemaiah”, who announced that civil war was not God’s will. To his credit, Rehoboam “obeyed the word of the Lord” and did not go to war. The phrase “this thing is from Me” declares that God is the Lord of history who uses even disastrous rebellion to accomplish His purposes.
1 Kings 12:22 “But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying,”
According to the Septuagint, “Shemaiah” was the prophet who had met Jeroboam and prophesied of the division of the kingdom (11:29-40). Some suggest that he is to be identified with the man who coauthored a history of Rehoboam’s reign (2 Chron. 12:15).
“The man of God”: A common Old Testament expression designating a man with a message from God who would speak authoritatively on the Lord’s behalf (Deut. 33:1; 2 Tim. 3:17).
This man of God could or could not, be a prophet. We do know that the message he brought was the Word of God. He was probably, a son of one of the prophets and had been trained in the school for the prophets.
1 Kings 12:23 “Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying,”
He is called king before, but of what tribe or tribes is not expressly said, only it is implied (in 1 Kings 12:17), and he is only acknowledged king of Judah by the Lord himself.
“And unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin”: Which made but one house, as before but one tribe (1 Kings 11:36).
“And to the remnant of the people”: Of the other tribes that might dwell among them at Jerusalem, and especially Simeon, whose inheritance was within the tribe of Judah (Joshua 19:1).
1 Kings 12:24 “Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the word of the LORD.”
“For this thing is from me”: Through the prophet Shemaiah, the Lord commanded Rehoboam and his army not to invade Israel. God, in judgment, had ordained the north-south split (verse 15; 11:29-39), so to attack Israel was to oppose God Himself.
This warning from God was enough to stop them. They would not go into battles against their brothers. This is the plan of God for taking the ten tribes away from the family of Solomon. God had warned him of this very thing, because he worshipped false gods. They are still listening to the Word of the Lord through the prophets at this time. There would be no war now.
1 Kings 12:25 “Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel.”
“Shechem” apparently served provisionally as the capital of the northern kingdom (verse 1). Jeroboam fortified the city of Shechem and made it into his royal residence (Judges 9:1-47).
Penuel”: Jeroboam also fortified Penuel, a city about 10 miles east of the Jordan River on the River Jabbok, asserting his sovereignty over the Israelites east of the Jordan.
We have left the study of Judah, and are now to the other ten tribes. Jeroboam had taken over as king and is now, building up the cities. Jeroboam will quickly build fortifications to ward against attack from Judah. He would headquarter in Shechem.
1 Kings 12:26 “And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:”
“Return to the house of David”: The Lord had ordained a political, not a religious, division of Solomon’s kingdom. The Lord had promised Jeroboam political control of the 10 northern tribes (11:31, 35, and 37). However, Jeroboam was to religiously follow the Mosaic law, which demanded that he follow the Lord’s sacrificial system at the temple in Jerusalem (11:38). Having received the kingdom from God, he should have relied on divine protection, but he did not. Seeking to keep his subjects from being influenced by Rehoboam when they went to Jerusalem to worship, he set up worship in the north (verses 27-28).
Verses 27-29: The two new cult centers in the northern kingdom were designed to make Israel’s religious experience convenient. The “calves of gold” probably reflect a syncretism between past Israelite symbolism and Canaanite religious practices. A hybrid religious symbol, the gold calf symbolized an animal on whose back God stood invisibly, as reflected in the early pagan literature of Canaan.
1 Kings 12:27 “If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, [even] unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.”
In the temple there, three times in the year, which all the males were obliged to, besides other times, when they had occasion to offer sacrifice, which they can’t do anywhere else.
“Then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their Lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah”: Being drawn by the magnificence of the temple, the beauty and order of worship in it, the holiness of the place, and the grandeur of the royal court. And the persuasions of the priests and prophets of the Lord, to keep the service of the Lord and to obey their lawful sovereign. And besides, they might be in fear they should be taken up and punished as traitors, and therefore would choose to submit to Rehoboam, that they might have the liberty of sacrificing without fear. Jeroboam seems conscious himself that Rehoboam was their liege lord and lawful king.
“And they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah”: His fears ran so high, that he should not only lose his kingdom, but his life, unless some step was taken to make an alteration in religious worship.
These people were devoted to their LORD. They would still want to sacrifice. At present, the place set aside for worship was in Jerusalem. Jeroboam knew that if the people went to Jerusalem to worship in the temple, they would not have broken ties with them. He really was afraid the people would be so attached to the temple that they would eventually re-attach themselves with Judah, and over-throw him as king.
Verses 28-33: Jeroboam’s system of idolatry included installing his own priests, “not” of the tribe “of Levi” as God had commanded (Num. 3:10), and instituting his own festival to replace the Feast of Tabernacles. The chosen idol, the bull, was associated with the Canaanite gods El and Baal.
1 Kings 12:28 “Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves [of] gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”
By separating the places of worship (“Dan” and “Bethel”), Jeroboam separated the people. He even claimed the idols had delivered Israel from “Egypt!” Thus, began the process of decline that would culminate in Israel’s exile to Assyria (2 Kings 17:20-23).
“Two calves of gold”: These two calves, probably made of wood overlaid with gold, were presented to Israel as pedestals on which the Lord supposedly sat or stood. He publicly presented them with the very words with which idolatrous Israel had welcomed Aaron’s golden calf. He repeated Aaron’s destructive sin of trying to make an earthly image of God (see note on Exodus 32:4).
These two golden calves were just as sinful to make as the golden calf that Aaron made. The calf worship was not intended to be idolatry, but in fact, was. Perhaps Jeroboam’s stay in Egypt had affected his spiritual being to this extent. He is trying to give them a god they can look at with their eyes. This has always been wrong.
1 Kings 12:29 “And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan.”
“Beth-el … Dan”: Beth-el was located about 11 miles north of Jerusalem within the territory of Benjamin (Joshua 18:11-13, 22). It lay at the southern end of Jeroboam’s kingdom on the main north-south road to Jerusalem. Israel had long revered Beth-el as a sacred place because Jacob had worshiped there (Gen. 28:10-22; 35:1-15). Dan was located in the northernmost part of Jeroboam’s kingdom, about 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee. A paganized worship of the Lord was practiced at Dan during the period of the judges (Judges 18:30-31).
He set these terrible calves up for them in two different places, pretending it would be more convenient for them to worship. This is an evil leader and they do not recognize him as such. They accept these calves. The people have a false leader.
1 Kings 12:30 “And this thing became a sin: for the people went [to worship] before the one, [even] unto Dan.”
“This thing became a sin”: Jeroboam’s policy promoted gross and flagrant violation of the second commandment (Exodus 20:4-6) and led to violation of the first commandment (Exodus 20:3).
It was a sin to make the golden calves, but it was a worse sin to go and worship before them.
Verses 31-32: “Jeroboam” also instituted other religious substitutions including a non-Levitical order of “priests,” and a new religious “feast” in the “eighth month” that rivaled the Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month in Jerusalem. The chronicler (2 Chron. 11:13-17), reports that Jeroboam’s spiritual reforms caused a mass exodus of true priests and believers southward into Judah.
1 Kings 12:31 “And he made a house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.”
“High places”: Jeroboam built minor sanctuaries on high places throughout the land of Israel. Over the centuries these high places became the breeding ground of Israel’s idolatrous apostasy (Hosea 5:1; see note on 3:2).
“Priests”: Jeroboam appointed priests to run his sanctuaries from all his tribes. His action blatantly violated the stipulation that only Aaron’s descendants were to hold that office in Israel. (Num. 3:10).
These high places had been a place of worship from time to time throughout the history of the Israelites. The LORD had always been opposed to them. The law forbids anyone who was not of the Levitical tribe to be a priest. These were just people who knew nothing of the law that they made priests.
1 Kings 12:32 “And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that [is] in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Beth-el, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Beth-el the priests of the high places which he had made.”
“Ordained a feast”: Jeroboam instituted a religious festival to compete with the Feast of Booths held at the temple in Jerusalem and scheduled it for the 15th day of the 8th moon (Oct./Nov.), exactly one month after its divinely ordained Judean counterpart (exodus 34:22-23; Lev. 23:33-36, 39-40).
1 Kings 12:33 “So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Beth-el the fifteenth day of the eighth month, [even] in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.”
As he had done in Dan.
“Even in the month which he had devised of his own heart”: The feast of tabernacles was of God’s appointing, but the time of keeping he had devised himself, changing it from the seventh month, Tisri, which answers to our September and October, to the eighth month, Marchesvan, which answers to part of October and part of November.
“And ordained a feast unto the children of Israel”: To be observed by them as the feast of tabernacles was by the priests of Judah and Benjamin.
“And he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense”: Which none but the priests should do. Perhaps the reason why the same resentment was not shown as to Uzziah was, because this was not at the altar of the Lord. Whether he burnt incense after the manner of the Jewish priests, or as the priests of Egypt did to the sun, where he had been for some time, is not certain. The former burnt incense only twice a day, morning and evening, the latter three times; at sunrise they burnt rosin, about noon myrrh, and about sun setting “kuphi”, which was a compound of sixteen sorts.
This is, possibly, speaking of the feast of Tabernacles, which was on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. He had chosen a time that suited him better. Notice, the sacrifices were not made to the LORD, they were made to the golden calves. This was an abomination in the sight of the LORD. Beth-el will be destroyed, when the Assyrians take Israel captive in a few years.
1 Kings Chapter 12 Questions
1. Where did Rehoboam go to be anointed king?
2. What does “Rehoboam” mean?
3. Where was Jeroboam at this time?
4. What request did the people of Israel make to Rehoboam?
5. Solomon had _________ the people heavily to support his lavish way of life.
6. What must Rehoboam do, to keep them from revolting?
7. How many days did he send them away, until he could consider their request?
8. Who did he first consult with?
9. Why was this a wise thing to do?
10. What should he have done even, before consulting with the old men?
11. What advice did the old men give him?
12. A really good leader is a ___________ of those he leads.
13. Who did he go to next?
14. What did they tell Rehoboam to do?
15. What kind of remark is this?
16. Whose advice did Rehoboam take?
17. What did Rehoboam tell them, after the three days?
18. Who had told Jeroboam he would reign over ten of the tribes of Israel?
19. What do they say in answer to Rehoboam?
20. Who did Rehoboam reign over?
21. Who was sent to collect the tribute?
22. What did they do to him?
23. Who set Jeroboam up as king?
24. What kind of king would Jeroboam be?
25. How many men did Rehoboam have, who were ready to fight?
26. Who did the Word of God come to for Judah?
27. What did God say to them through this man of God?
28. Where did Jeroboam dwell?
29. What did Jeroboam fear the people would do, if they worshipped in Jerusalem?
30. What terrible things did Jeroboam make for them to worship?
31. Where did he put them?
32. When did Jeroboam call a feast?
33. What feast of Judah was it supposed to be like?