The Division of the Twelve Tribes

Scripture Passage: 
1 Kings 12:1-33

INTRODUCTION: The kingdom is united in the ascension of Rehoboam to the throne of his father Solomon, but the unity will be short lived. The people come to Rehoboam for some relief; but when they find none, they turn to Jeroboam for help. Ultimately, the demise of the kingdom can be traced back to Solomon’s love for many strange women.

  1. THE PEOPLE REQUESTED A LIGHTER YOKE (1 Kings 12:1-5)
    1. Israel Came to Make Rehoboam King (1 Kings 12:1).
      1. Rehoboam went to Shechem.
      2. All Israel came to make him king.
    2. Jeroboam Came Up from Egypt (1 Kings 12:2-3).
      1. He heard the news of Rehoboam’s ascension to the throne (1 Kings 12:2).
      2. The congregation called for Jeroboam to come from Egypt (1 Kings 12:3).
    3. The People Requested a Lighter Yoke (1 Kings 12:3-4).
      1. Jeroboam and the congregation went before Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:3).
      2. The people made request of Solomon (1 Kings 12:4).
        1. Solomon’s yoke was grievous.
        2. They desired a lighter service and a lighter yoke.
        3. They pledged their loyalty.
    4. Rehoboam Requested Time to Give an Answer (1 Kings 12:5).
      1. He asked for three days’ time.
      2. He requested that they return at that time.
  2. REHOBOAM SOUGHT COUNSEL ON THE MATTER (1 Kings 12:6-11)
    1. Rehoboam Consulted with the Old Men (1 Kings 12:6-8).
      1. He sought counsel from those who stood before his father (1 Kings 12:6).
      2. They assured him that a lighter yoke would yield the loyalty of the people (1 Kings 12:7).
      3. He forsook the counsel of the old men (1 Kings 12:8; Job 12:12; Proverbs 16:31; contrast Psalm 119:99-100).
    2. Rehoboam Consulted with the Young Men (1 Kings 12:8-11).
      1. He sought counsel from those who grew up with him (1 Kings 12:8-9).
      2. The young men advised Rehoboam to increase the burden upon the people (1 Kings 12:10-11).
        1. Rehoboam’s little finger was to be thicker than his father’s loins (1 Kings 12:10).
        2. Whereas Solomon did lade the people with a heavy yoke, Rehoboam was to add to that yoke (1 Kings 12:11).
        3. Whereas Solomon chastised the people with whips, Rehoboam was to do so with scorpions (1 Kings 12:11).
  3. REHOBOAM PROMISED TO ADD TO THEIR YOKE (1 Kings 12:12-15)
    1. The People Returned to Hear Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:12).
    2. Rehoboam Answered the People Roughly (1 Kings 12:13-14).
      1. He forsook the counsel of the old men (1 Kings 12:13).
      2. He spake to them after the counsel of the young men (1 Kings 12:14).
    3. The Cause Was from the Lord (1 Kings 12:15).
      1. Rehoboam hearkened not unto the people.
      2. The cause was from the Lord.
      3. The events fulfilled the prophecy spoken by Ahijah (1 Kings 11:29-39).
  4. ISRAEL REBELLED AGAINST REHOBOAM (1 Kings 12:16-20)
    1. Israel Rejected Rehoboam as King (1 Kings 12:16).
      1. They saw that Rehoboam’s answer was contrary to their request.
      2. They departed to their tents in rejection of Rehoboam.
    2. Some Israelites Remained in Judah (1 Kings 12:17; 2 Chronicles 11:13-17).
    3. The Remainder of the People Rebelled (1 Kings 12:18).
      1. They killed Rehoboam’s tax collecter (1 Kings 12:18a).
      2. Rehoboam fled for his life (1 Kings 12:18b).
    4. The Kingdom Was Divided (1 Kings 12:19-20).
      1. Israel made Jeroboam their king (1 Kings 12:19-20a).
      2. Judah remained loyal to Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:20b).
  5. REHOBOAM GATHERED AN ARMY AGAINST ISRAEL (1 Kings 12:21-24)
    1. Rehoboam Gathered an Army of Judah and Benjamin (1 Kings 12:21).
      1. Rehoboam prepared troops of Judah and Benjamin.
      2. He was prepared to war against Israel to restore the kingdom.
    2. The Lord Foiled the Plans for Battle (1 Kings 12:22-24).
      1. God sent word by Shemaiah the prophet (1 Kings 12:22-24a).
        1. The Lord sent Shemaiah to Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:22).
        2. Shemaiah warned Rehoboam not to go up against Israel (1 Kings 22:23-24a).
      2. Jeroboam Established His Base in Shechem (1 Kings 12:25).Rehoboam cancelled his plans to attack (1 Kings 12:24b).
  6. JEROBOAM ESTABLISHED THE NORTHERN KINGDOM (1 Kings 12:25-33)
    1. Jeroboam Established His Base in Shechem (1 Kings 12:25).
    2. Jeroboam Feared Israel Going to Worship in Jerusalem (1 Kings 12:26-27).
    3. Jeroboam Made Golden Calves for Israel (1 Kings 12:28-30).
      1. Two calves of gold (1 Kings 12:28a; 2 Kings 10:29; Hosea 8:4-6)
      2. A matter of convenience (1 Kings 12:28b-29; Acts 24:25)
        1. Jerusalem is too long a trip (1 Kings 12:28b).
        2. Bethel in the southern tip of Israel (1 Kings 12:29a)
        3. Dan in the northern tip of Israel (1 Kings 12:29b)
      3. The preeminence of Dan (1 Kings 12:30; Judges 18:30-31)
    4. Jeroboam Established a New Priesthood (1 Kings 12:31; 1 Kings 13:33; 2 Chronicles 13:9).
    5. Jeroboam Ordained a New Feast Day (1 Kings 12:32-33).
      1. Like unto the feast that was in Judah (1 Kings 12:32)
      2. Complete with offerings and incense (1 Kings 12:33)

CONCLUSION: A once united kingdom has been split due to the pride and foolishness of its leadership. Now, the kingdom, which was meant for the purpose of bringing glory to God, is caught up in gross idolatry.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 22:19

That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.