The Story of Rehoboam and Jeroboam
The Kingdom Splits in Two

God wanted to punish King Solomon for worshiping other gods. But he liked Solomon’s dead father too much to do that. So he decided to wait until Solomon was dead and punish his son instead.

A prophet announced that God was going to let most of Israel be taken over by Jeroboam, one of Solomon’s officials. Solomon wisely attempted to hinder God’s plan by killing Jeroboam. But before he could, Jeroboam fled to Egypt, where he waited for Solomon to die. Solomon was succeeded by his son Rehoboam.

The people of Israel told Rehoboam they would serve him, but only if he didn’t make them work as hard as his father had. Rehoboam wasn’t sure how to answer them, so he asked for advice. The elders he asked said he should give the people what they wanted. But the young men he asked said he should make the people work even harder. While torturing them with scorpions.

To punish Rehoboam for what his dead father had done, God made Rehoboam decide to follow the bad advice of the young men. This caused most of the Israelites to turn against him. Israel made Jeroboam their king instead of Rehoboam, but the tribes of Judah and Benjamin seceded from Israel. They became the kingdom of Judah, and kept Rehoboam as their king.

God’s chosen king Jeroboam made golden calves for the Israelites to worship, to keep them away from the temple of God in Jerusalem, where his enemy Rehoboam was. Because the king God had chosen for his people was the worst ever, God punished him by killing his son Abijah, who was the only good member of his family.

Then after Jeroboam died, God appointed a new evil king for Israel, Baasha. God had Baasha punish dead Jeroboam by killing his whole family and all his male slaves. When God realized that his latest chosen king was also evil, he decided to destroy Baasha’s whole family too, to punish Baasha for carrying out the will of God when he destroyed Jeroboam’s family. God accomplished this through another new evil king of Israel, Zimri.

A week later, when the Israelites found out what Zimri had done, they chose a new king, named Omri. Then Zimri killed himself. King Omri was more evil than any of his predecessors, and his son King Ahab was even more evil.

The end.

The moral of the story

Always give people whatever they want, and never make them work hard.

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